The Hornets finished off a perfect 0-5 record in the Las Vegas Summer league with a 101-93 loss to the Raptors. The Hornets, playing again without Thornton and Collison, led midway through the fourth quarter but weren't able to keep pace with the Raptors down the stretch. Obviously, going 0-5 in summer league isn't that big of a deal – the individual performances were far more important.
Quincy Pondexter was the Hornets' go-to scoring option, finishing with 26 points on 7-15 shooting. He consistently found ways to get into the lane, easily driving past his defender. He played a variety of roles on offense, playing a point forward position at times, and playing a more traditional small forward role at others. Since he so consistently beat his defender to get to the hoop, he was getting lots of foul calls – he was 12 for 15 on free throws. Defensively, he was consistently active, playing physically and fighting through screens. He picked up 7 fouls, although many of them were committed since he was the only player back in transition defense.
Craig Brackins finally played down low, and he played well while banging in the post. He picked up his first double-double as a pro, grabbing 10 boards and scoring 10 points. He still spent a lot of time on the perimeter, where he had a bad day, making only 2 of his 9 three-point attempts. Overall, Brackins was only 3-14 from the field. He finally started showing his post moves today, and they were acceptable. With his back to the basket, Brackins likes to turn over his right shoulder to get to the rim. He didn't show an ability to finish, but at least he could get to the basket from the post. On defense, he was pushed around by bigger and stronger players yet again. Simple drop steps could really put Brackins out of position.
Maurice Ager was an efficient scorer once again, knocking down 21 points on 8 for 15 shooting. He was consistently running the point and only turned the ball over twice. He only got three assists and at times had a hard time getting the ball into the point on entry passes. Once again, he looks like a completely different player than the guy we saw last weekend.
You have to expect Kyle Hines to get a training camp invite. He grabbed 7 rebounds (6 offensive) and scored 10 points in only 23 minutes of playing time. He was constantly around the ball, creating havoc on defense and showing of a variety of skills on offense. On multiple occasions, Hines drove into the lane only to kick the ball out to a wide open man in the corner for an open three. His biggest weakness is his height and the fact that he doesn't have any semblance of a perimeter game. He passes up open shots in favor of driving, even those as close as the elbow. On defense, he used his 7'2" wingspan to get two steals and a block. He sometimes has problems rotating. One issue is that he occasionally won't know who to pick up, and sometimes he has to slide to cover the opponent's center. When that happens, the center can easily overpower him, get good position for an entry pass, and Hines has to foul. But he played well enough this weekend to merit a training camp invite, even if it's tough to imagine him fitting in the Hornets' roster.
Josh Carter received a lot of playing time tonight, and he continued his streak of not making much of an impact. He scored 9 points on 3 for 7 shooting, and didn't show up much else at all. It's not that he's played poorly in Summer League, it's just that he hasn't distinguished himself at all. He disappears from the game for long periods of time.
Aubrey Coleman is another player that might have earned a training camp invitation. He scored 12 points in only 17 minutes, getting to the line 8 times. He was also able to slash to the rim off the dribble, and played with speed and athleticism. He played well in Summer League, earning lots of minutes and scoring plenty of points.