The Oklahoma City Thunder won their first game of the 2017 Summer League in exciting fashion against the Detroit Pistons 92-91.
Obviously, Domas Sabonis was no longer able to play with the Thunder’s Summer League squad after being traded yesterday. First round pick Terrance Ferguson has yet to sign his initial contract and is not in Orlando with the team.
Summer League is about development and growth. With the loss of Sabonis, the Thunder were represented by Semaj Christon and Josh Huestis as the only two players with NBA/Oklahoma City experience.
Here are three things that stuck out:
As stated earlier, Summer League is mainly to see growth and development in individual players. Christon is a player who Oklahoma City gave every opportunity last season as Russell Westbrook‘s primary backup. It was an up and down year for the rookie out of Xavier with more negatives than positives.
Today was a mixed bag for Semaj. While statistically, Christon isn’t going to be a player who will wow you, the main thing with the young guard is confidence.
Christen looked in control and definitely looked one of the few players with NBA experience. He had a handful of nice dishes and drives.
As of right now, Christon remains the backup point guard for the Thunder. If that is still the case when the 2017-18 season begins, his confidence will have to remain high.
Lack of Shooting
Until the final minutes, the Thunder were abysmal from beyond the arc. They finished the game shooting a respectable 36 percent after a desperate final run.
Guys like Huestis, Christon and Daniel Hamilton handling the shooting duties won’t light up the score board from deep.
This Summer League squad is designed to defend. While Huestis has shown a capable shot with good mechanics in his brief NBA experience, he will need to start pressing the issue with his shot if he wants to make strides.
With two minutes remaining, the Thunder were down 11. Hamilton scored five points in 7.6 seconds to take the one point lead.
All thanks to a officiating blunder.
Official Haywoode Workman admitted to giving two free throws to the Thunder when they should have only had a one-shot technical.
Even in the Summer, the officials need some development.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!