Kelly Oubre, Jr. scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his much anticipated debut but it wasn’t enough as theWizards lost to the Phoenix Suns, 86-77. Archie Goodwin scored a game-high 22 points with T.J. Warren chipping in 20 for the Suns. Former Maryland center Alex Len was too much too handle down low scoring 17 points, many coming off easy dunks.
This game started out as you’d expect the first summer league game, too. Both teams seemed very jittery as the first five minutes of the game was plagued with easy missed shots, forcing plays, and turnovers. Things finally settled down for both squads about halfway through the quarter.
Oubre scored his first bucket of the game halfway through the quarter on a floater in the lane and that really got him going. He continued to attack the hole and showed that he is very good around the rim–especially when he can get a running start. More importantly, he was engaged right from the get-go on the defensive end. He’s long, has active hands, and has good lateral quickness. Even with Oubre showing flashes of his potential, the Wizards found themselves down 20-9 after the first quarter.
Fellow rookie Aaron White got involved early in the second quarter on a monstrous, one-handed, put back dunk off a three point miss. White ended the night with four points (both on put back dunks) but showed that he can be effective in the pick-and-pop game a slasher attacking closeouts.
The Wizards were able to cut the Suns lead to five, 25-20 at the midway point of the second quarter but it was Alex Len who then starting going to work. The former Terp scored most of his points on easy dunks and was too much to handle for any of the Wizards’ big men.
The Wizards shot a below average, 36% from the field and turned the ball over 11 times to find themselves down 43-40 at halftime.
The poor shooting continued into the third quarter but the Suns were unable to pull away. The Wizards kept hanging around and cut the lead to seven on an acrobatic layup from Traevon Jackson at the end of the third quarter.
The start of the fourth quarter looked like it would turn into the Kelly Oubre Jr. vs. T.J. Warren show. The two went right at each other starting with a nice step back three from Oubre. Warren answered on the other end with a nice fade away jumper over Oubre and the two starting chirping at each other.
The Wizards continued to hang within striking distance but were unable to make one last push to tie the game or take the lead. The Wizards fought until the end but fell short, 86-77.
Oubre played very well for the Wizards scoring a team high 20 points (on 8-20 shooting) and 10 rebounds. One thing is for sure, Oubre does not lack confidence. He’s unafraid with the ball in his hand was aggressively attacking the rim all night. He forced a bunch of drives and shots tonight but that’s to be expected from a rookie. Additionally, all of his drives would come back to his left hand. That’s fine in summer league ball but other teams will catch onto that very quickly once the regular season starts. All in all, it was a very nice performance from the rookie.
Aaron White had just an okay game. White scored just four points on 2-5 shooting, both of which, again, were put back dunks. White is underrated athletically evidenced by his put back dunks and is sneaky quick as well. When setting a high screen, White would always pop rather than roll to the hole and it seemed like the Suns caught onto that quickly. As a result, White was forced to create his own opportunities as not many plays were run for him.
The Wizards are back at it Sunday afternoon where they will take on the NBA D-League Select Team at 4 P.M. EST.