Fascinating games

3 takeaways from the first two Summer League games

The Washington Wizards kicked off their Summer League last Saturday. Their first game saw them rebound from a huge deficit but ultimately lost to the Detroit Pistons 105-99. The next day was a different story for the Wizards, who beat the Phoenix Suns 97-72.

Wins and losses really aren’t the end of the Summer League. The focus is on the development of certain players; and maybe hope for a diamond in the rough.

It’s only been two games so far, but there are some catches to be made. Hopefully we’re not overreacting, but there are three big takeaways from the first two games of the Summer League.

3. Devon Dotson brings energy

One of the few bright spots in the first game came from someone not starting the game. This player was Devon Dotson. The young guard from Kansas has had a few cups of coffee in the NBA over the past two years with the Chicago Bulls.

However, he was unable to stay on the roster for the duration of one season. Dotson offers pedigree, as he was a second-team All-American in his sophomore year at Kansas. Unfortunately, he was not drafted that year after forfeiting his final two years of college.

This led to a short stint in the G-League where he had success. Wizards ripped him off and put him on their Summer League roster. Admittedly, he did not start, he showed good things by playing the point.

The Wizards were big against the Pistons, but Dotson’s energy at both ends of the court provided a big spark. His three buzzer blows late in the third quarter were the turning point in a legitimate Wizards comeback.

He struggled a bit more in the second game, but again his energy was contagious. Dotson might be able to play his way up the wizarding roster, or at least a chance to do so with a boot camp invite.

2. Vernon Carey Jr. makes some noise

One of the players the Wizards acquired last season was Vernon Carey Jr.. However, he was not given any playing squad, but was expected to play in that year’s Summer League. For the first game, he showed some flashes of talent.

The second game is where he started to shine. He has a good feeling at the post and shows a good dose of strength. At Duke, Carey was amazing in his only season at Durham. However, he was unable to carve out a place in the rotation in two seasons.

This summer league may be the start of a new career success for Carey. Taj Gibson’s signing could put a damper on his chances, but he’s still showing plenty of talent in two games.

1. Is it just summer league?

The number one person we were all waiting to see was the 10th pick in this year’s draft, Johnny Davis. There was a lot of anticipation for this first game, but he was disappointed. Throughout the first half, we saw Davis lack aggression and desire for the ball. However, we saw a nice pass from Davis in that first half.

The second half started and Davis showed more aggression. He was able to get the ball more in his hands, but nothing came with it. He struggled a lot, as he shot 1-11 from the field. Nothing was falling, but that was maybe the first scare in the game.

Then the second game happened and it was the same story. He came out more involved than the first game, but something is missing. Davis lost the ball multiple times while handling it. His shot did not fall once again. He lacks a lot of explosiveness out of the dribble.

Davis sometimes seems lost on the field and tries to force the issue when he tries to be aggressive. There was the play where Jalen Duren destroyed Davis’ shot. It showed him forcing a shot because he felt the pressure of having to play better, while showing the levels of athleticism on display.

Despite the issues we’ve seen so far from Davis, we have to wait until the regular season. We’ve seen great summer leagues that resulted in nothing (Glen Rice Jr.). On the other hand, there have been players who have struggled in the Summer League and become elite in their careers (Trae Young).

There is no statement yet on Davis and his career. However, the first two games were a bit difficult and I hope he comes back better for the rest of the Summer League.