clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA Summer League Game Notes: Memphis Grizzlies vs. D-League Select

Some thoughts on Memphis' big first victory in their first game of the 2016 NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

1) Andrew Harrison had a magnificent and-one at the rim early in the game for the Memphis Grizzlies. He utilized a nice hesitation dribble with his right hand, exploded forward, absorbed contact, and finished with nice spin off the glass.

2) Harrison's ball-handling ability is light years ahead of where it was when he came out of college. He favors the hesitation with his right hand above all other moves, and it works well for him. He mixed in a couple other nice moves i.e. in-and-out crossover with his right and a eurostep that lead to another and-one.

3) Wade Baldwin IV's passes with one hand are as crisp as passes you see with two hands from even some of the best point guards. The force he puts behind the ball is unbelievable. It's going to be really hard for defenders to jump passing lanes on him.

4) A problem for Baldwin at Vanderbilt was a lack of aggression when rounding the corner on picks. Rather than shooting forward as soon as he hits the big man's hip, he is still hesitating and blatantly looking to pass first. He made some really nice plays for other guys a few times in this situation, but he needs to vary it up and keep the ball himself some to keep defenses honest and prevent them from focusing so much on the roll man.

5) Shoot. The. Ball. Baldwin. He got all the way to the rim at full steam on multiple occasions then passed up a shot that could have easily drawn a foul at the least. With that said, he has some work to do as far as figuring out what is and is not a good shot within the flow of an offense. He airballed a pretty bad three when he surprisingly pulled up behind a pick. He had one shot behind the backboard that he was probably fouled on - but he had no business rising up in the first place. And he shot a turnaround baseline jumper that wasn't a good look against a double-team with time left on the shot clock. Head coach David Fizdale must be patient with him and let him figure this out in a sort of trial and error deal.

6) DJ Stephens got caught up on a lot of screens. Tough to say whether that's a result of lack of communication from the big whose job it is to call it out and communicate whether a switch needs to be executed or not, or if it's just a lack of recognition on Stephens' part. The latter would be a problem.

7) Baldwin doesn't have to turn his body to make passes to guys who aren't directly in front of him. Sling passes, across-the-body pocket passes both look easy for him. That's very important, because it gives the man on the catch a little more time with which to work.

8) Harrison can be physical on defense, but his lateral quickness is sometimes lacking. Quicker guys can get by him with ease as Quinn Cook did a handful of times. He's not a problem defensively, but I think he gets lost and doesn't lock in as much as you'd like to see from a guy trying to make an NBA roster.

9) On one drive, Harrison had a bad turnover, but it wasn't all his fault. He left his feet without knowing where he was going to go with the ball, which is the big mistake. It seemed like he looked for a guy in the opposite corner which is the correct move, but nobody was there. Even a member of the coaching staff screamed "corner baby," so some guy definitely missed his spot.

10) JaMychal Green did not have a particularly strong game, but his recognition of schemes and plays is so far ahead of his teammates. It's obvious that he's the guy out there who has played at the highest level. On one play, he was way out in front of a hammer play that can be incredibly difficult to defend if run correctly. He deflected the ball out of bounds easily.

11) My mama taught me not to say anything at all if I can't say anything nice, so I'm not going to talk about Keith Steffeck.

12) Stephens helped his cause by knocking down a couple of spot-up threes. The Grizzlies are going to give him every opportunity to make the roster it seems, but he's going to have to show out more than he did in game one of summer league. He disappeared for long stretches, and he was hardly noticeable in the entire first half outside of making a gimme bucket on the break that every guy on the team could have also made.