No one gets an A, but Wizards make progress

No one gets an A, but Wizards make progress
July 20, 2013, 8:00 am
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How have Vesely, Singleton improved in Summer League?

The Wizards ended summer league play on a high note, but they still lost most of their games.

The first one vs. the Golden State Warriors produced the fewest points in the nine-year history of the tournament (108), but the Wizards played significantly better after that with nine free agents on the roster. 

Summer league isn't all about wins and losses. It's about progress for the players under contract and free agents who hope to land training camp invites with an NBA team in the fall:

Otto Porter: The top 2013 draft pick to compete here, Porter’s showing left much to be desired. He played fewer than three games because of right hamstring tightness, starting at shooting guard rather than his more natural position at small forward.  Porter shot 9-for-30, or 30%, had 11 total rebounds, three assists, two steals and three turnovers. He misfired on all five of his three-point attempts. But it took the Wizards a few games to get their offense together with Sundiata Gaines and Marquez Haynes, free agents, running the point. Porter wasn't available to play in more than 50% of the possible quarters (missed 11 of 20). Grade: Incomplete

Glen Rice: The 2013 second-round pick started slowly along with Porter, shooting 6-for-20 in his first two games and averaging just 8.5 points. But Rice picked it up in the last three as he shot 16-for-34, 47%, and averaged 14 points at shooting guard in place of Porter. Rice can help rebound and be active on defense, areas that aren't supposed to be strengths, and his versatility will give the Wizards options. On the downside, Rice’s three-point shooting only was on target in one game when he went 3-for-4. Overall, he shot 8-for-24. When he plays with John Wall, those looks will improve. Grade: B-

Jan Vesely: Going into his third season, Vesely spent most time at center where he was offensively more fluid against the smaller competition. Still, he had his issues holding defensive position in the paint. He was bullied by the New York Knicks who were far more physical. Vesely looked lost and was a step late on rotations which led to picking up some cheap fouls, but he was active and got better as he got over his nerves. Vesely averaged 11.6 points, including a high of 18 on 9-for-11 shooting. He didn't rely on lobs and chip shots at the rim for his points the way he did last regular season. Vesely knocked down mid-range jumpers and put the ball on the floor to create space and hit step-back shots, too. He even made 8 of 12 free throws, or 67%, in five games. For a post player, it would be much better if he could shoot closer to 80% from the line, but consider Vesely shot just 30.8% from there last season and that's a major improvement. If it weren't for his 16 turnovers, he’d get an A. Grade: B+

Chris Singleton: The forward answered assistant Sam Cassell’s call to be more assertive, though his jump shot never quite came around and he missed a lot of chip shots in the lane. Singleton shot 43% from the field overall. He also didn't make a three-point attempt. On the bright side, he did a lot of good dirty work which is where Singleton is supposed to excel. Singleton averaged 6.2 rebounds and played well in combo with Vesely with interior passing that resulted in easy buckets. Like Vesely, turnovers were a major problem. Singleton had 14. Grade: C+

Best of rest: G Marquez Haynes, F Dennis Horner, C Devin Booker

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