JW Summer league impressions

kicker22

Well-Known Member
JW should have come back I think he got bad advice to go pro. His just doesn't have good handles, something he never has had at Iowa. He had that two week stretch where he was hitting everything and at the top of his game before his injury. Such a tough break right before the Big tourney where I thought he had a shot at a MVP. His game is solid in transition and shooting but his drives are not his strength. I think Garza is just too damn marketable not to make the team. Plus his drive is unquestioned. He will be a top player by his 3 year in the pros.

Looking good in summer league and generating those results in the regular season is a huge task as the level of competition steps up considerably. While I'd be pleasantly surprised if he's contributing substantially night in and night out, whether as a starter or backup seeing major minutes, I think its a major stretch to think he's going to be a "top player" by his third year in the league. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what your comment, but I interpreted it as being a top player in the league as opposed to a top player on his team. I hope I'm wrong, but at this point I don't see his athleticism and skillset placing him among the leagues elite.
 

Hawkfnntn

Well-Known Member
JW should have come back I think he got bad advice to go pro. His just doesn't have good handles, something he never has had at Iowa. He had that two week stretch where he was hitting everything and at the top of his game before his injury. Such a tough break right before the Big tourney where I thought he had a shot at a MVP. His game is solid in transition and shooting but his drives are not his strength. I think Garza is just too damm marketable not to make the team. Plus his drive is unquestioned. He will be a top player by his 3 year in the pros.
Like a month or 2 before the season ended I was in your camp. But he was shooting so well that combined with his performance at the combine athletically and in those games his stock really went up.

You're dead on about his handles it's not only not a strength of his but for a SG it's a weakness for him. Kyle Korver was similar in that way where if he had to dribble more then once the defense did their job on him. JW isn't able to dribble drive on guys to create for himself or others. He's a dependent SG that requires others to help get him open for catch and shoot opportunities be it off drive and kicks or him coming off screens.

I do think that if he's shooting over 40% range from 3 and forcing the defense to guard him out thee he's got value in the NBA. He won't ever be Dwayne Wade obviously but he should be good enough to have a role off the bench in the NBA and maybe start some down the road. I don't think another yr in college would have improved his game that much. He kinda is who he is. He's gotta just not try to force things he's not good at and stick to his strengths and he'll be fine.
 

trj

Well-Known Member
Like a month or 2 before the season ended I was in your camp. But he was shooting so well that combined with his performance at the combine athletically and in those games his stock really went up.

You're dead on about his handles it's not only not a strength of his but for a SG it's a weakness for him. Kyle Korver was similar in that way where if he had to dribble more then once the defense did their job on him. JW isn't able to dribble drive on guys to create for himself or others. He's a dependent SG that requires others to help get him open for catch and shoot opportunities be it off drive and kicks or him coming off screens.

I do think that if he's shooting over 40% range from 3 and forcing the defense to guard him out thee he's got value in the NBA. He won't ever be Dwayne Wade obviously but he should be good enough to have a role off the bench in the NBA and maybe start some down the road. I don't think another yr in college would have improved his game that much. He kinda is who he is. He's gotta just not try to force things he's not good at and stick to his strengths and he'll be fine.


Full disclosure, I haven't been watching any of these Summer league games....just been checking out the box scores. I don't think JW's handle is really that important. imo, he just has to be a catch and shoot guy on offense and be a decent defender on D(Korver has been in the league 50 years and totally has sucked on D).

80-90% of the guys in the NBA, it is about finding a role, finding a niche. I think JW and Garza will both find that niche and have good NBA careers
 

Luftgekuehlt67

Well-Known Member
Sounds like JW had a solid last game. 28 min, 17 pts, 7 rebs. Eyeball test might have told a different tale, but that sounds like some nice production.

I can't even fathom the pressure he must be under - very happy that he seems to be giving himself a fighting chance at a team taking a closer look. I would be shocked if he doesn't stick to a G League roster. Lots of short term call ups and 2 way opportunities if you can show some production and fit an archetype.
 

Luftgekuehlt67

Well-Known Member
Wow, I'm late to the party, but I just checked in on Luka - not sure how he looks on the stat sheet, but what a physical transformation. Dude wants it BAD, I so hope it works out for him.

He looks really nimble...like, shockingly nimble. I think that was a good move, he's not going to be overpowering guys the way he did in college but, damn, it's been a matter of months! To pull a physical transformation like that in such a short time window, you know that fire has to burn white hot.

I watch 82 NBA games a year (every Nuggets game from tip to final buzzer), I would dearly love to see some more Hawks out there. Clones have put an incredible number of guys into the league over the last decade or so, here's hoping it's our turn!!!
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
FYI. Pistons and Lakers on tonight at 9:00 p.m. central time. Catch Luka's last 2021 summer league game. I think it's on ESPN2.
 

Grady

Well-Known Member
Happened to catch Luka's game a few days ago: his team was behind 15 pts when he entered, and on his hustle, put-backs, FTs (4-4) and 3 pt shooting, they closed the deficit to 6 pts in about 2-3 minutes of action; when they sat him down, the lead ballooned back to 15 in about 90 seconds. Noticeable. Great game to show what he can bring to a team at this level.
Also caught Weezy's excellent game: 3 pters, coming off screens in the lane, fast break points -- nothing out of his wheelhouse. His biggest liability in the games I've seen him in is his foot-speed defense -- no surprise there. If he ups his defensive game, he could stick.
Both he and Garza getting a lot of playing time in these games compared to some others.
 

RyDogg

Well-Known Member
I'm impressed with how much Luka has adjusted to fit the NBA. He obviously couldn't expect any team to adjust what they do to fit his post up game, but he has quickly evolved and showcased the strengths he has that does fit the NBA. He transformed his body to be able to move better so his slower foot speed isn't exploited so much. He will at times post up when he sees an advantage, but quickly moves out of there if the pass doesn't come and he is constantly screening up high for the pick and roll/pop. Add to that his enormous hustle and rebounding and he is not only making the team, but likely carving out an immediate role. Love to see him dispel the doubters again and especially love it for him.
 

thedukeofearl

Well-Known Member
I watched JoeW play his second or third game

The competition is extreme on each individual team

Every player wants to stay on the league team

When JoeW was in, he played D, rebounded, and was open on the wings/corners
almost every play and his teammates wouldn't even look at him

Generally, 2 players would dribble around and pass to each other and eventually
one of them would force a last-second shot

Damn, I believe he will make the team

Popovich is a savvy and excellent coach and is quite good at evaluating the overall
quality of his players

Luks is really doing quite well

He is difficult to stop, and the more he gets the ball inside, the better he will be
His footwork and positioning are excellent, and he will get his shot of when guarde
by almost anyone he faces
 

Luftgekuehlt67

Well-Known Member
I watched JoeW play his second or third game

The competition is extreme on each individual team

Every player wants to stay on the league team

When JoeW was in, he played D, rebounded, and was open on the wings/corners
almost every play and his teammates wouldn't even look at him

Generally, 2 players would dribble around and pass to each other and eventually
one of them would force a last-second shot

Damn, I believe he will make the team

Popovich is a savvy and excellent coach and is quite good at evaluating the overall
quality of his players

Luks is really doing quite well

He is difficult to stop, and the more he gets the ball inside, the better he will be
His footwork and positioning are excellent, and he will get his shot of when guarde
by almost anyone he faces
Really astute observations, I like it, Duke!

For my money, NBA summer league has got to be one of the harshest, most imprecise evaluation tools in all of sport. Really. From a prep standpoint, it's a hell of a lot closer to an intermural league than it is to proper organized basketball. Rotations are based on, at best, educated guesses and, at worst, expediency ("whoops, need to get Jimmy a couple minutes here so we can say we took a look").

As I said before, first and foremost I want to see Joe and Luka both stick. If you can't tell it's an absolute life dream for both of them, you're blind. So, as two guys who gave it all for the Hawks, I want to to work out for them. Secondarily though, I hope they come through the experience - good, bad, or in between - in a good mental place. They are high performing individuals and have been prepped and conditioned for this moment since probably about grade school but, ultimately, they are both young men and very human and must be under remarkable pressure.

I wish them both the best of luck. I'll be damned if I saw this coming, but I think Luka's gonna make a roster. Joe I'm getting more of a 'tweener vibe, he might need a bit of luck. That's not to say he's hopeless, if he can at least get a G League look, that would keep him in striking distance at least.
 

trj

Well-Known Member
I'm impressed with how much Luka has adjusted to fit the NBA. He obviously couldn't expect any team to adjust what they do to fit his post up game, but he has quickly evolved and showcased the strengths he has that does fit the NBA. He transformed his body to be able to move better so his slower foot speed isn't exploited so much. He will at times post up when he sees an advantage, but quickly moves out of there if the pass doesn't come and he is constantly screening up high for the pick and roll/pop. Add to that his enormous hustle and rebounding and he is not only making the team, but likely carving out an immediate role. Love to see him dispel the doubters again and especially love it for him.

Most NBA teams initiate offense with high ball screens and the fact he is already aware on how to be productive from those offensive sets makes you super confident he will make the Pistons roster. Take it a step further, you really can see a 10+year NBA career from him despite the defensive deficiencies.
 

dahlhawk

Well-Known Member
Good to hear JW bounced back, he has a good overall game with small forward skills. He reminds me of a smaller Thunder Dan. Dan had to stop dunking because he pissed off too many of the "star players" by dunking on them and was regulated to becoming a 3-point specialist. I see that as JW's ticket to the league.
 

Hawkfnntn

Well-Known Member
I watched JoeW play his second or third game

The competition is extreme on each individual team

Every player wants to stay on the league team

When JoeW was in, he played D, rebounded, and was open on the wings/corners
almost every play and his teammates wouldn't even look at him

Generally, 2 players would dribble around and pass to each other and eventually
one of them would force a last-second shot

Damn, I believe he will make the team

Popovich is a savvy and excellent coach and is quite good at evaluating the overall
quality of his players

Luks is really doing quite well

He is difficult to stop, and the more he gets the ball inside, the better he will be
His footwork and positioning are excellent, and he will get his shot of when guarde
by almost anyone he faces
Yeah summer league play isn't NBA style of play. The rules are the same but it's refed different the players play differently. It's a whole lotta hero ball and not a lot of offense being run. It's a glorified AAU tournament. Guys like JW can't have consistent production because they rely on others passing it to them. Well... You described just how it is. So his shots and touches were going to be erratic in a structure such as this. I think he'll have a role in the NBA. Garza obviously will he'll be a great pro
 

BryceC

Well-Known Member
JW should have come back I think he got bad advice to go pro. His just doesn't have good handles, something he never has had at Iowa. He had that two week stretch where he was hitting everything and at the top of his game before his injury. Such a tough break right before the Big tourney where I thought he had a shot at a MVP. His game is solid in transition and shooting but his drives are not his strength. I think Garza is just too damm marketable not to make the team. Plus his drive is unquestioned. He will be a top player by his 3 year in the pros.

Completely disagree. 41st draft pick as about his ceiling. Unless he just wanted to keep going to school there is no chance he improved his odds of making the NBA IMO.
 

BryceC

Well-Known Member
For my money, NBA summer league has got to be one of the harshest, most imprecise evaluation tools in all of sport. Really. From a prep standpoint, it's a hell of a lot closer to an intermural league than it is to proper organized basketball. Rotations are based on, at best, educated guesses and, at worst, expediency ("whoops, need to get Jimmy a couple minutes here so we can say we took a look").

Summer league basketball sucks. You have to be an absolute die hard to watch it.
 

thedukeofearl

Well-Known Member
Wow, I'm late to the party, but I just checked in on Luka - not sure how he looks on the stat sheet, but what a physical transformation. Dude wants it BAD, I so hope it works out for him.

He looks really nimble...like, shockingly nimble. I think that was a good move, he's not going to be overpowering guys the way he did in college but, damn, it's been a matter of months! To pull a physical transformation like that in such a short time window, you know that fire has to burn white hot.

I watch 82 NBA games a year (every Nuggets game from tip to final buzzer), I would dearly love to see some more Hawks out there. Clones have put an incredible number of guys into the league over the last decade or so, here's hoping it's our turn!!!

Luka's positioning and footwork are very good. He went crazy in Sunday's game vs the Lakers. The announcers are starting to realize his talent, teamwork, and leadership

His enthusiasm is infectious and the quick release on his three is outstanding

I wouldn't be surprised to see him start as the season goes on and on

Here is a clip from last night's game against the Lakers. At about the 1:10 mark he
makes a last-second three with a beautiful quick release, turns around,I m and heads
back downcourt yelling Oh My God, Oh My God

I mentioned earlier that he very well could be a Dirk Nowitski/Tim Duncan hybrid and
he certainly looks as though he will develop into something of that order


It's All Good, Lads
 

Hawkfnntn

Well-Known Member
Summer league basketball sucks. You have to be an absolute die hard to watch it.
It does if you're watching it for any sort of pure basketball reasons. This is a glorified AAU tourny mixing and matching a bunch of dudes for the first time and just throwing them out there. So yeah it's not good basketball at all. If not for Luka and Joe I wouldn't watch 1 possession of it either.
 
Top