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Game #1 Summer League 2-on-3: Rookies look like rookies

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network 1. Noah Vonleh struggled on offense, going 1-for-13 (!!!!), but the team in general looked like a mess. Anything stand out to you?

Spencer Percy (@QCHspencer): Vonleh was a victim to the flow of this game for Charlotte. Absent minded, like the rest of the squad, early on. He was lost on defensive positioning most of the night + is clearly struggling to see man-and-ball. Offensively, some nice moves to get looks, but obviously no dice on finishing. Overall, he’s active on the glass with his length and effort, which is the most encouraging thing I saw.

Greg Pietras (@Handles_Messiah): So yeah, Vonleh stunk, but you still saw why he was drafted so high. He’s quick and agile and smooth and his jumper looks pure, but everything he put up just hit the rim and died a quiet death. On offense, he was especially raw when trying to create his own shot, with three of his attempts being blocked.

He looked a little spaced out in general. On offense, he seemed unsure of what to do in the pick and roll. On defense, he was a half-second late on contesting several shots, and his rotations were a little sloppy. He basically looked like an 18-year-old thrown to the wolves.

It didn’t help that ball movement in general was terrible, and he wouldn’t have an easy look for most of the night. Point guard Mickey McConnell looked for his own shot first, PJ Hairston also looked for his own shot first, and everyone else looked like a power forward or a power forward trapped in a smaller man’s body.

28% shooting obviously stands out, but four assists on 20 made shots is probably the more accurate stat. That’s part of the reason it’s difficult to conclude a lot from Summer League play — Vonleh will look different when he’s being spoonfed at least a few gimmes.

2. Same question for P.J. Hairston, who scored seven points on 2-of-16 shooting.

Spencer: There for himself tonight – no one else. He shot the ball every time his eyes even thought they could make out an object that looked like the rim. Defensive effort was below average, but that’s sort of his thing. Disappointing performance, but this troubled kid has some more serious issues in his life currently.

Greg: The same overall issues with the team apply, though Hairston getting a little ball-dominant obviously didn’t help. Most of his shots were contested and came off the dribble, though he whiffed on most of his catch-and-shoot opportunities as well. He’s a player that leans on his jumper, and when it’s not falling, he’ll struggle. At the same time, it’s not surprising that one of his two made field goals came when he got the ball on the perimeter with some actual space to work; he pump-faked his defender and hit a nice floater along the baseline. 

We pretty much know Hairston can shoot, so it’s easy to just call this an off night for Hairston. He at least looked engaged and energetic on defense, which could be the bigger question mark for him.

3. Josh Davis was a wrecking ball, and point guard Mickey McConnell scored a third of the team’s points. Anything or anyone else worth discussing?

Spencer: I love Josh Davis’ game – 14 points & 16 rebounds! He really is a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard. I thought Jordan Bachynski was the dark horse to make this Hornets roster, but just 12 minutes tonight.

Greg: My favorite part of the broadcast was the sideline interview with general manager Rich Cho. Paraphrasing: “We’re really here to get a look at Zeller, Vonleh, Hairston, those three guys. I guess the undrafted players, too, I guess, but yeah, definitely those three guys.” Good luck clawing your way onto the roster, other guys.