Thoughts from Orlando Summer League Day 4

Crossover Chronicles' Philip Rossman-Reich will be at the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League all week. He will provide his thoughts on the day's action in this running post throughout the day.

Three Up, Three Down

UP — Jeremy Evans, Jazz: The former slam dunk champion had his first really stellar day as the Jazz have quietly put together a decent summer league (Trey Burke aside). Evans scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds, looking a lot more comfortabel around the rim and doing all the hustle things he will be asked to do if he makes the Jazz roster again.


DOWN — Michael Carter-Williams, 76ers: Carter-Williams' offense continues to be something we all scratch our heads about. Yes, we know Carter-Williams is not a great jump shooter and is not a typical scorer. But he shot 3 for 16 in Wednesday's game and had only five assists against four turnovers. He was going up against a Thunder team sitting out Reggie Jackson too. It is hard to figure where Michael Carter-Williams will fit if he cannot efficiently play point guard. Plenty of time to learn.

UP — Chris Wright, Nets: The little-known point guard who was playing for a little-known team, Capitanes de Arecibo, last year had a strong showing for the Nets against the Jazz. He scored 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting as Tyshawn Taylor struggled for Brooklyn. It was a good showing for a player trying to break in to the league.

DOWN — Tony Mitchell, Celtics: Mitchell does a lot of things well. He is really athletic and is not afraid to get involved offensively around the basket. His jumper needs improvement and his efficiency has taken a hit this week. Mitchell scored two points on 1-for-9 shooting. He was involved, but was not contributing much.

UP — Jeremy Lamb, Thunder: A day after his teammate, Reggie Jackson, set an Orlando Summer League record with 35 points, Lamb went out and scored 32, continuing a strong week for him that included a game-winning shot after a slow shooting start. Lamb was 10 for 14 from the floor and accept for eight turnovers played a really good game. He was the guy who had the ball in the fourth quarter as the Thunder held on for the win.


DOWN — Tyshawn Taylor, Nets: Taylor is a guy who had a lot to prove at Summer League this week. He has had some strong performances and looked good, but also some uneven performances. Taylor still has a chance to make the roster and the Nets know what they will get from him. Wednesday, Taylor scored 10 points but committed six turnovers in a poor shooting performance.

Summer League Power Rankings
1. Rockets (3-0, 17 points)
2. Thunder (4-0, 20 points)
3. Celtics (2-2, 14 points)
4. Heat (2-1, 14 points)
5. Pacers (1-2, 11 points)
6. Magic (1-2, 8 points)
7. Jazz (2-1, 14 points)
8. Pistons (1-2, 9 points)
9. Sixers (0-3, 3 points)
10. Nets (0-3, 2 points)

Utah Jazz 98, Brooklyn Nets 69

The Jazz completed the second points sweep of the Orlando Pro Summer League, taking control early on in the game and never trailing in a 98-69 win over the Nets. utah led by as much as 32 points and shot 48.4 percent from the floor. In a growing Summer League trend, the Jazz went tot he line 37 timeswhile only giving up 14 free throw attempts. That spells victory for the Jazz who have struggled some this Summer League. Jeremy Evans and Chris Roberts each had 15 points and Raul Neto came off the bench to score seven. Trey Burke sat out the game after two puzzling and frustrating performances. Chris Wright scored 20 points off the bench for the Nets.

Oklahoma City Thunder 74, Philadelphia 76ers 62

Tuesday, Reggie Jackson set an Orlando Summer League record with 35 points. Wednesday, with Jackson sitting out to rest, Jeremy Lamb nearly bested that mark. He fell three points short, but unlike the previous games, the Thunder did not need to make any comebacks. Oklahoma City controlled the game virtually from tip off and built a lead with a 15-2 run to break a two-point game in the third quarter to improve to 4-0 and all but assure themselves a spot in the championship game.

–Michael Carter-Williams has improved throughout the week, which should make Sixers fans a little clamer. His shot selection has improved and he has continued to be able to attack the paint and get to the basket. Good signs against this competition as the improvement has been gradual, but noticeable.

–It is really starting to look like the Thunder and the Rockets have the best teams here. The reason is the energy and enthusiasm they play with plus the leadership and experience of Reggie Jackson and Patrick Beverley. Even though Jackson did not play in Wednesday's game, you could see his energy coming from the bench in support of his teammates and the way the Thunder feed off each other's defensive feats. That kind of unity can be very big in Summer League games.

Houston Rockets 85, Boston Celtics 78

The Rockets continued their torrid pace through the Orlando Summer League and have nearly set up a matchup with the Thunder in the championship game Friday. Terrence Jones scored 17 points and Robert Covington scored 11 points to go with 10 rebounds as the Rockets blew the game open in the third quarter and held on with energetic defense and timely shot-making. Kelly Olynyk continued his strong play with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics.

–This might be a common thought regarding Phil Pressey, but he has a lot of great skills and good vision. But it always seems like he is going a million miles a minute. That sometimes leads to bad decisions. A little more patience and he has the quickness and skills to be a solid backup. Has to still improve his defense though and his shot.

–Tyler Honeycutt is just a huge tease. Every time I watch him, I see him do something goo like rise up and drain a 3-pointer. But then I look at the box score and I am thoroughly unimpressed. Numbers are not jiving with visiion and that means he probably does not have a future in the league.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily