The mantra Summer League means nothing… or nothing grand, always holds true.
But this particular summer league game seemed very important in perhaps clarifying a few things, sorting out or separating the young prospects, and calming the fears of another 2021 draft class failure. At least for the hyperbolic, hot take, clickbait crowds.
Miller has shown is all around skill throughout the games, but there hadn’t been an “aha!, we really got one!” moment yet. So now he has his statement game, showing his smooth shooting touch from deep, a nice midrange floater game, ball handling ability to make compound moves to get to his spots, his athleticism, his patience with the ball, passing vision.
Will it get Bill Simmons to shut the hell up? No, nothing ever will. But nobody’s here to please that homerific hater from the harbor.
But everyone else now can see the vision, the fit. The potential to be a big time scoring, impact on the game type player, especially once he starts building strength.
Nick Smith Jr., while we all can admit he has tunnel vision sometimes, seeing all the tools he has in his bag was one of the most exciting summer time things I’ve seen. We’ve always wanted a Lou Williams/Jamal Crawford guy on our team, looks like we potentially have one.
But the thing that stood out was the confidence at the end. He knew he could take his guy at any moment, and wasn’t afraid to attack. The anti-Bouk moment where he forever separated himself from that level.
I know the Hornets are probably putting him at lead guard specifically to work on a skill set he doesn’t have. To start getting reps at looking for others, setting other guys up.
He’s not there by any means at all, but it takes reps to build habits. Watching film will help, I think he can learn to increase his field of vision. But what you can’t learn is being an aggressive, natural born scorer, and looks like we got one with high potential.
On the opposite end, I think we’ve reached the final conclusion for Bouk. I’m not one of those body language people, as sometimes people appear to have resting bitch face, or just move at a different pace. I don’t think Bouk pouts as much as we think, but he also never ever ever plays with any kind of energy. There’s no exuberance, no joy to his game.
It’s like he relies on hitting a shot to give him energy, but if he can’t hit a shot, then theres no other heat source that can raise his blood temperature to the caring level. No sacrificing his body for anything, sacrificing shots to get ball movement.
I think NSJ sealed Bouk’s fate. Definitely not going to pick up his option, but very well may be cut before the season.