With the conclusion of the summer league, I’ve gone back to read what I wrote with what I hoped would happen in the Summer League and the improvement of the “rookies.” And I am happy to say, that they have both improved, in my eyes Hendo being the biggest improver.
First up, Gerald Henderson aka Hendo aka Fro
What I wrote previously:
Improvement: Needs a big off-season, as he’ll be fighting for minutes. Training camp and pre-season games will show whether he deserves minutes or not. He needs to work on his shooting, although his release is solid. Also needs to work on his ball-handling, and keep adding to his game if he’s to compete with the others for minutes.
GH’s Summer league Stats:
Averaged 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists , 1.25 steals, 2.5 turnovers and 0 blocks per game
Benched for much of last season, he showed some flashes of potential here and there. Most notably was his game against the Nets, with several highlight reels and a ferocious facial on Devin Harris. And during SL, he didn’t disappoint. Gerald Henderson is finally showing why he was a lottery pick. After a poor showing last season, being unable to break into the roster he finally got some minutes late, and showed his strong but one dimensional slashing game. Combining his brilliant athleticism, Henderson was able to score on multiple occasions with dunks, tough layups and a brilliant tip in to win a game.
Most notably with Henderson was his shooting. Although it deserted him in the last two games (and thus lowered his FG %), in his games his shooting looked far more consistent and he looked far more confident than last year taking shots. He’s made leaps and bounds on his shot, and he’s really added a consistency into his game. His FT percentages were also very good, which showed his commitment to improving his shot. His ball-handling was far better also. It was clear that he has also added to this part of his game, willing to go either right or left instead of mostly sticking to his right. Having a stronger ball-handling game will really help him get to the rim in the upcoming season.
His rebounding average is also getting better. Although not strikingly off the page (due to a 0 rebound game in game 3), he’s spoken about watching Crash and Cpt. Jack and really working on getting inside the paint and helping out the bigs with rebounding. And to me, for him to watch Cpt. Jack and Crash go to work will really help him improve his game. His passing game was also on show, being able to make some smart dishes to his fellow teammates. He showed great basketball IQ and showed good vision and decision making. Turnovers are also an issue here, with giving up the ball 2.5 times per game. Needs improvement in this area.
Grade for SL: A-
Needs to Work on: Shooting. Although a far more accomplished shooter, still needs some improvement. He still has around a month until pre-season starts, so he should be able to add some more consistency to his game shooting.
Derrick Brown aka UPS aka ‘steal of 2009’
What I wrote previously:
Improvement: He needs to decide whether he wants to be a 3 or a 4. From what I’ve gathered, he wants to be a 3. With that, he needs to work on his ball handling and perimeter shot. His release is rather…slow and awkward and he needs to work on that. His ball handling is also rather one dimensional, and needs to work on that in the off-season.
Derrick Brown’s SL stats:
Averaged 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 3.0 turnovers and 0.6 blocks per game
Showed plenty in the minutes he got last season, however somehow entered into the dreaded doghouse of LB, and was benched heavily. Now with a full season behind him, he’s looking to add to his rookie season and establish himself as a player off the bench to bring energy and hustle. He really committed to rebounding in the summer league and averaged a team high 7 rebounds. Due to college, he played as a 4, but naturally Brown should be more of a 3. With TT most likely taking the starting reigns and Boris taking the rest, Brown will need to fight for minutes behind Crash.
The biggest thing about Brown’s game was his overall showing. He showed commitment to crashing the boards hard, as well as trying to dunk as much as possible. He showed good touch from the 3 point line, showing his slowly expanding game. His ball-handling still needs work, however he’s also made improvement in these areas. Still stuck in between a 3 and a 4, he needs to put more work onto his ball-handling to have more success in the NBA and make the transition effectively. He has also put on a lot of muscle, looking much stronger on the court. Looked quite lean and very fit, looking very strong and will be looking to stay in that shape heading into the season.
Turnovers are a big issue for Brown though. He will need to improve on that aspect of his game.
Needs to work on: Ball-handling. Still stuck in the transition period and he most likely won’t make it as a 4 in this league, even with his added strength. Also his shooting technique is still slightly off the pace. Would be easier for him to get off shots if he could improve his speed of his shot. Also needs to work a bit more on his fundamentals.
Other notable players:
Jeremy Pargo: Don’t sign him. Although he made some nice assists, he looked for his shot far too often and made horrible decisions in his shot making ability. There was a reason he only played 3 games in the SL for the Bobcats. Definate no-go for me.
Sherron Collins: He reminds me of a shorter, bigger stronger Felton. Strong, big yet surprisingly nimble and agile. Not to mention he possesses a nasty 3 pointer. He’s now been signed by the Bobcats, and to me was the only one who really deserved a spot on the Bobcats roster of those not signed.