Brooklyn Nets: Takeaways from Summer League Game 1
With the draft completed and free agency all but complete for the Nets, the attention now turns to Summer League. Although Brooklyn doesn’t have any marquee lottery picks on the roster, they still bring a roster to Las Vegas full of talent and potential.
A game that saw Brooklyn trail for the majority of the first half, the team was sparked by the play of their new rookies in the second half. The Nets kept the game close and even led during different stretches of the second half. Guys like David Duke Jr, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Quinndary Weatherspoon provided some production at times. Jordan Bowden also displayed some very nice activity on the defensive end. However, the Memphis duo of Desmond Bane and Killian Tillie proved to be too much down the stretch as the Nets would go on to drop their first Summer League game.
Here are a few takeaways from the Nets’ 91-84 loss:
Easily the most hyped player amongst Nets fans following the NBA Draft, rookie Cam Thomas did not disappoint in his Nets Summer League debut. Although he did amass four quick points once he entered the game, Thomas struggled a bit from the field en route to a 1-7 shooting half.
Not sure whether it was the Gatorade at halftime or what but Thomas came out with a different type of energy. He had a nice coast-to-coast layup in the third quarter as well as having some nice defensive rotations. The fourth quarter is really where Cam turned it up. His aggressiveness is what really jumped out as he started attacking the basket seemingly at will. After multiple possessions of penetrating to the rim, Thomas started digging into his bag a bit. First, it was connecting on a nice jumper off a snatch-back from the wing, and then it was knocking down a corner three off a broken play as the shot clock expired.
For the game, Cam finished with 17 points on 5-15 shooting in 25 minutes of action. Although he only connected on one of his six three-point shot attempts, he did knock down six of his eight free-throw attempts. He was also a +10 in plus/minus. And usually, that stat can be a bit misleading however it’s no coincidence that the Nets would go on their runs while he was on the floor. Now one game isn’t enough to start crowning Thomas the Rookie of The Year however in terms of debuts, this was a very solid one.
Nets “Vets” start strong but finish weak
With the roster consisting of mainly, rookies and G-League guys, Reggie Perry and Alize Johnson are the only two players on the Summer League roster that saw time for Brooklyn during the regular season. At first, the game started off pretty well for the “Vets”. Perry scored Brooklyn’s first points of the summer with a three from the top of the arc. He also drew a charge after a nice rotation on defense. Alize Johnson displayed the same type of energy and Moxy that Nets fans saw him deliver during the regular season. Both guys were very active on the boards as was to be expected in the first half. Perry alone accounted for about a third of the team’s total rebounds in the first half with seven.
The second half however was not as kind to them. Even though Perry finished with double-digit rebounds (12), he only finished with six points. Considering he had six points at halftime, one could say his second-half performance was a bit underwhelming. There were also some questionable decisions made by him during multiple offensive sets down the stretch. For Alize, he was still bringing the energy and even had a few nice buckets around the rim in the third quarter. However, it was that energy that led him to be a bit out of control in certain instances. In 23 minutes, Johnson finished with 13 points and seven rebounds but was a dismal -19 in plus/minus. The only other Nets player with a worse plus/minus was Perry at -20.
Obviously, one game in Summer League doesn’t necessarily mean anything for two guys that did have some high points for the big squad last season. However, struggles are not something you generally want to see from two guys expected to be a part of rotations in some aspects next season.
Day’Ron Sharpe- Someone a guy like Reggie Perry should be wary of, Day’Ron Sharpe out of North Carolina put up a solid day of work in his Summer League debut. Although he only played 14 minutes, he was a positive impact on the court which explains his +14 plus/minus. Sharpe really made his presence felt on the boards as he racked up eight of them. He probably should’ve had some foul shots as well as he was fighting hard in the paint. Day’Ron even had himself a highlight play in which he anticipated a pass on defense, jumped the lane, and took it the length of the court for a transition layup.
What that play showed is not only is Sharpe a load to handle inside but he’s got some athleticism in the open floor as well.