The Orlando Magic summer league team raced out to a 20 point lead and held off a furious Brooklyn comeback to win 92-88.
Of course bigger than the results of summer league are how the players play, especially the ones that will make the team. Good news Magic fans, the kids looked good.
Andrew Nicholson showed off polished footwork, confidence both facing the the basket and back to the basket, and a soft shooting touch. His frame is slender, but he is extremely long and that showed up in his ability to get his shot off in traffic and to rebound. Nicholson finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds. What his role will be in 2012 remains up in the air, but with Ryan Anderson out of the picture, it looks more promising than before.
Kyle O’Quinn had a reputation as a worker bee coming into Orlando, and didn’t disappoint. His hustle and motor were impressive. He blocked a couple of shots and challenged others. He made 8/10 shots and finished with 16 points, and added 4 rebounds. He seems likely to earn a roster spot, but minutes could be hard to find his rookie year.
Justin Harper came out guns a blazin’ for Orlando. He started at the small forward spot, and played the whole game there. Perhaps the player selected out of Richmond a year ago to play the stretch-4, won’t be subject to that anymore, but with Mark Price coaching the summer league team and the Magic not having a coach yet, who really knows. I do know he looked bulked up and very comfortable and confident on the floor. Harper scored 15 points on 6-9 shooting and 2-4 from 3pt range.
DeAndre Liggins played suffocating defense, spending most of his time on MarShon Brooks and holding him scoreless from the field, and 0-10 day, but Liggins lack of an offensive game will make it difficult for him to make the team, let alone carve out any kind of role with it.
Ish Smith was missing, and presumed to be pursuing a contract elsewhere, so you can cross him off you list most likely as a 3rd point guard in Orlando in 2012.
Check out the complete box score here.