There was 0.4 seconds remaining and the Miami Heat were down 70-69. Justise Winslow inbounded the ball and threw an ally-oop to the cutting Tyler Johnson. Johnson caught the ball in mid-air and banked the ball off the glass for the game-winning shot. That was the ending of yesterday's 71-70 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. But did Miami come out victorious today when lottery picks Justise Winslow and Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson face-off?
0-1 (2 pts) Indiana Pacers 76
1-0 (7 pts) Orlando White 85
13 points (6-11), 9 rebounds, & 6 blocks.
17 points (8-12), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, & 3 blocks.
Welcome to the NBA Joseph Young. Or more like NBA meet Joseph Young. The prolific scorer from Oregon University was taken in the second round of this year's NBA Draft and did not play in the Pacers' first game on Saturday due to illness, but today he wasted no time in showing his talent as he made his first four shots (nine points) to put Indiana up 11-8.
Fellow 2015 draftee Myles Turner was also in on the fun with six of his 13 points in the first quarter to keep his team up heading into the second quarter. In the new period, former Washington Wizards' big man Chris Singleton went on a scoring spree by scoring 10 of Orlando White's 24 points, which decreased his team's deficit to two heading into halftime. Out of the break, both teams matched each other's production score for score until a defensive breakdown by White led to Solomon Hill making an easy layup, and lacidasical offense resulted in the Pacers' Mantas Kalnietis stealing an inbounds pass with 1.8 seconds on the clock and tossing up a prayer of a three-point attempt that dropped as time expired. The five points in 1.8 seconds looked to be a major momentum shift in favor of Indiana, but Orlando's Taylor Braun didn't allow it to be. Braun, who took over the fourth quarter Saturday against Detroit with eight of his points in the 10 minute segment, bucketed nine of his 13 points in the same quarter today, which stole the Pacers' previously captured momentum. In fact, White started the final quarter on a 22-8 run, giving them a 10-point lead with 2:34 left in the game. Pacers' second year big man Shayne Whittington did all he could down the stretch to help his team come out on top, including putting together a personal 7-2 scoring run, yet it was too late as Indiana fell 85-76. Pacers' guard Joseph Young finished the game 0-for-6 after scoring nine first quarter points, while Myles Turner had a fantastic game of 13 points, nine rebounds, and six blocks.
1-0 (6 pts) Orlando Blue 65
1-0 (6.5 pts) Oklahoma City 73
21 points (8-11), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, & 3 steals.
***Summer League Star of the Day
19 points (9-12), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, & 2 steals.
Aaron Gordon, the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, had a very disappointing rookie year this past season as a foot injury consumed 35 regular season games. Nevertheless, the former Arizona Wildcat improved his offensive game and has been phenominal in two 2015 NBA Summer League games. After posting 22 points and 18 rebounds in a day one victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, Gordon started right where he left off this afternoon against Oklahoma City with 10 points in the first seven minutes.
So Blue was up big again. Interestingly no, as Orlando was 6-for-20 in first half field goal attempts not taken by the 19-year old Gordon. While Blue's players were struggling to put the "biscuit in the basket," the Thunder's Mitch McGary found his rhythm with six points that took OKC into halftime with a six-point lead. Coming out of the locker room, the Magic's last two first round picks Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja became "Air Gordon" and "Super Mario" by combining for 14 points to draw Orlando within one heading into the final period. Although Hezonja continued his quality play early in the fourth quarter by throwing home an ally-oop from Elfrid Payton and knocking down a jumper, those baskets would be the only two made by Orlando for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. While Blue went through another shooting slump, Oklahoma City went on a 12-0 run that was the final nail in Orlando's coffin. Despite Aaron Gordon having another very good game (21 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and three steals), it was fellow 2014 draftee Mitch McGary who (19 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals) stole the show and led his squad to victory.
1-1 (8 pts) Detroit Pistons 73
2-0 (12 pts) Miami Heat 78
14 points (4-5), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, & 1 block.
17 points (5-15), 4 rebounds, & 1 assist.
In game three of today's Orlando Summer League action, the 2-0 Miami Heat did not play starters James Ennis, Zoran Dragic, or yesterday's hero Tyler Johnson as they all received the day off. Would it cost them? Right out of the gates, everyone had their eyes on the one-on-one matchup between the eighth overall pick, Detroit's Stanley Johnson, and the 10th selection in the 2015 NBA Draft, Miami's Justise Winslow. In the first half, Winslow was the better of the two as he was able to drive to the basket and draw fouls for free points at the free throw line. Although the Duke product was outscoring his counterpart 13-6, Johnson's team was the one possessing a 43-38 lead heading into the break.
In the second half, "the Stanimal" finally broke out of his cage by scoring the Pistons' first five points to extend their lead to eight. But right when the tide looked as if it was about to turn in favor of Motown, Miami stormed back thanks to huge lifts off the bench from big men Joshua Smith and Seth Tuttle. The duo would ignite an 18-7 Heat run that would turn an eight-point deficit into a three-point lead with only 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Despite the Heat's leading margin ballooning to six late in the fourth quarter with a reverse layup from Willie Reed, Pistons' guard Spencer Dinwiddie made back-to-back buckets to make it a two-point game with 37 seconds remaining. After allowing an offensive rebound on the following possession, Detroit fouled Tyler Kalinoski, who shot 78.9 percent from the free throw line last season with Davidson. The first attempt from the sharpshooter was missed, leaving the door wide open for the Pistons to tie or take the lead on their next possession.
Later, Kalinoski made the second and Detroit called a time-out to advance the ball to mid-court. With the game on the line, Dinwiddie threw the inbounds pass to Adonis Thomas, who curled off a Jared Berggren screen to get open. Thomas then set his feet and fired a game tying three-point attempt that bouced high off the back rim and right into the hands of Miami's Justise Winslow.
The day before with the game tied, Winslow was unable to make both free throws to put his team up two with just seconds remaining. Today, he did not fail to capitalize and knocked down both attempts to finish the game with 17 points, three more than Stanley Johnson. In addition to the 2015 first round draft picks of both teams playing well, the 2015 second round picks Darrun Hillard of the Pistons and Josh Richardson of the Heat both finished with double-figure points.
2014 First Round Picks In Action
-Aaron Gordon ORB (#4 Pick)
---21 points (8-11), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, & 3 steals.
-Elfrid Payton ORB (#10 Pick)
---4 points (1-3), 1 rebound, 4 assists, & 3 steals.
-Mitch McGary OKC (#21 Pick)
---19 points (9-12), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, & 2 steals.
-Shabazz Napier MIA (#24 Pick)
---Has not played in summer league due to hernia.
2015 First Round Picks In Action
-Mario Hezonja ORB (#5 Pick)
---14 points (6-16), 3 rebounds, & 2 assists.
-Stanley Johnson DET (#8 Pick)
---14 points (4-5), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, & 1 block.
-Justise Winslow MIA (#10 Pick)
---17 points (5-15), 4 rebounds, & 1 assist.
-Myles Turner IND (#11 Pick)
---13 points (6-11), 9 rebounds, & 6 blocks.
-Cameron Payne OKC (#14 Pick)
---Will not participate in summer league due to fractured finger.
1. Miami 3-0 19 pts
2. Orlando White 2-0 13 pts
3. Oklahoma City 2-0 13 pts
4. Memphis 2-0 12.5 pts
5. Detroit 1-2 9 pts
6. Orlando Blue 1-1 7.5 pts
7. Brooklyn 0-2 4 pts
8. Indiana 0-2 4 pts
9. Los Angeles C 0-2 3 pts
10. Charlotte 0-2 3 pts
Orlando Blue - Memphis Grizzlies
Brooklyn - Charlotte
Oklahoma City - Los Angeles Clippers
Tomorrow's Game of the Day
Orlando Blue - Memphis Grizzlies
A much improved Aaron Gordon (43 points in two games), the fifth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft Mario Herzonja (26 points in two games), and a 2014-2015 NBA All-Rookie First Team Selection in Elfrid Payton is what Orlando Blue has brought to the table this summer, and despite today's discouraging defeat at the hands of Oklahoma City, Orlando Blue's matchup against Memphis tomorrow has the makings of what should be a fantastic contest. While Orlando has three top-10 draft selections highlighting their roster, Memphis has scorer Jordan Adams, big man Jarnell Stokes, and guards Russ Smith and Andrew Harrison, who are all very good players. Although Adams, who had a very impressive showing Sunday versus Brooklyn, did not suit-up yesterday. He is very likely to play tomorrow with his team looking to stay undefeated. Lastly, one must keep their eyes on Orlando's Aaron Gordon as he has dominated both ends of the floor while being the best player in the Orlando Summer League.