I never knew it was possible to watch a Summer League game in April. Since Summer league resides within the time frame of, you know, summer, the pleasure of being treated to a mediocre display of basketball prowess during the regular season only comes around so often.
It was only fitting that the score stood at a raunchy 7-2 in favor of Brooklyn after an inspiringly poor seven minutes of play. Every drive to the rim by a Pelicans player concluded with a vicious swipe from a Nets defender, en route to approximately 34,394 first quarter turnovers. I recall a two minute stretch where Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Luke Babbitt traded blows as lead ball-handlers for a stretch of possessions, but I may have just been in a drunken stupor.
[Checks the tape]
Wow, that did actually happen.
Omer Asik continued his league-leading knack for getting hit in the face by a shovel pass that somehow catches him by surprise right before he picked up his second foul four minutes into the first quarter. Unsurprisingly, he failed to make another appearance in the game.
Jordan Hamilton and the aforementioned Babbitt laid a house of bricks that would make the third little pig from The Three Little Pigs squeal of jealousy.
This brutal battle of clownery masked as an actual NBA game had all the makings of a point total within the realm of a college basketball tussle.
But then ... Something happened. Tim Frazier entered the game.
Frazier immediately sped up the previous sluggish pace of the game, made things easier for the rest of his teammates on the floor, and was undoubtedly the biggest reason why New Orleans was able to oust Brooklyn. Combining his excellent court vision and ability to finagle the gear in which he moves, Frazier found open teammates all afternoon for a career high 13 assists.
Suddenly, Hamilton and Babbitt were finding better looks more suited for their respective style of play. James Ennis was the beneficiary of a saucy dime strictly because he possessed the proper gumption to run the floor:
When Frazier wasn't making the game easier for his teammates, he was cooking Brooklyn's sorry defense with sneaky lay-ins and a dosage of three-pointers due to the respect the inexperienced defenders had to pay to Frazier's passing ability. His 19 points, a career high, was a wonderful sight to be exposed to, and the primary reason my attention was kept during the telecast (other than the heroic broadcast turned in by Joel Meyers of course).
Speaking of Meyers, I would be remissed if I didn't share the best line of the telecast from a delightfully sarcastic FSNO broadcasting duo:
"A jump-stop from a seven footer. Boy, just when you thought you had seen everything."
Never change, Joel. Thank you for making a lost season a little more tolerable.