Nobody said it had to be pretty. The Utah Jazz defeated the San Antonio Spurs 92-76 in both team’s first contest of the 2018 NBA Summer League. Both teams hovered around 40% shooting from the floor and an atrocious 50% from the free throw line. The Jazz did knock down 45.2% of their three-point attempts compared to 24% for San Antonio, a big difference in the scoring of the game.
The Key Contributors
Former Iowa State standout Georges Niang led the way for Utah offensively, tallying 17 points on 7-12 shooting including 2-4 from deep. The former second-round pick of the Indiana Pacers was a G-League All-Star and First-Team All-NBA G-League in 2017-18. Having only appeared in 31 NBA games thus far across his two-year career, Niang will have to continue the high level of production if he hopes to claim a spot on Utah’s NBA roster come fall.
Another young NBA veteran, North Carolina’s one-and-done Tony Bradley Jr., was the driving force inside for the Jazz in the victory. Bradley struggled shooting the ball (4-11) but remained a presence in the paint with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the victory. The Jazz do not have a ton of minutes up for grabs, but similar defensive efforts will help Bradley Jr. carve out a nice spot behind DPOY winner Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors.
Kelan Martin, the undrafted swingman out of Butler, also had a very nice game for the Jazz. The 6’7″ guard/forward hybrid posted an efficient 13 points and 8 rebounds on 5-9 shooting. While it may not be likely that Martin cracks Utah’s deep wing rotation this year, he could be a solid stash option for the Jazz should he continue to produce at such a steady level.
Grayson Allen’s Debut
Grayson Allen may not have been the best member of the Jazz’s NBA Summer League debut, but he was definitely the player with the most attention on him. Utah’s first-round pick had a solid, balanced performance that allowed him to lead the team in assists (7) while adding 11 points, 8 rebounds, and a steal. Allen struggled mightily from the field (4-16 for the game) but his overall contributions showed he can still help a team even when his shot is not falling.
That ability to contribute in multiple ways will make Allen a valuable player for the Jazz, if he can demonstrate such versatility on a consistent basis. Allen’s shot will have to fall for him to play in the NBA, but that should come in time as he adjusts to the NBA game. All in all, Allen’s debut, much like the Jazz win, was not the prettiest. That being said, it got the job done.
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