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Las Vegas Summer League Diary, Day 2, Part 2: The Summer Maturation of Brandon Jennings — Now Print That MSM!!!

(Prior to posting the following observation, Brandon Jennings played his last summer league game, a solid one, against the Raptors.  He scored 13 points and handed out 7 assists in a thrilling 84-83 loss which I did not see since I opted to spend time celebrating my nephew’s birthday at the Adventuredome at Circus, Circus.  In discussing the game with those who saw it,  not much happened that would alter my following observations except claims that Brandon’s shot was on which I find hard to believe if he went 1-4 from the arc, but  he was 6-13 overall.  Clearly his shooting ability — like that of most guards here — is a work in progress. Jennings averaged 14.6 points on 38-percent shooting, 8.2 assists and 3.6 steals in the Summer League experience. The Bucks finished 4-1. “I played pretty good. I think I showed people I can run the team, lead my team to victories and just be that true point guard,” he told reporters )

Jennings SummerIGM and Statesman (and O&B), I saw Brandon Jennings and he conquered part of my personal trepidation about his game.  Let’s start with the good stuff because I dare the MSM  (Mainstream Media) to pick up on this.  Brandon Jennings was an absolute gentleman as he was attentive to his summer league coach and complimentary to a fault to teammates who performed well, especially after one of his deft fastball passes.

I mention this first, because personally I wouldn’t trust the MSM, led by ESPN these days, to treat Mr. Jennings fairly although he is just barely a young kid.   So far his youthful bravado and  the honesty flowing from his brain to his mouth like a broken water faucet have made him a target for the media which is quick to look  for and create tantalizing content.  Now the Mainstream Media (reporters and producers alike) is just “laying in the cut” for an opportunity to extend the negative characterization of Jennings — therefore ignoring the fact that he is just a growing kid entering unfamiliar territory in life.  If he gives them a little fodder, his maturation will be unfairly ignored and he will be sold iconically as the next Terrill Owens or Mike Tyson to start newscasts and tantalize viewers.

Brandon Jennings, in my mind, can undoubtedly play NBA ball, despite his reported travails in Europe.  Not much of a revelation, except that I saw no reason why he shouldn’t be in the NBA for a while, eventually gaining a starting role, probably this year.  I don’t fully understand why he wasn’t playing more in Europe, except that he was a junior member of the team and did not garner the respect and deference reserved for  the vets on his team.

Jenning’s  biggest problems are his ability to hit a jumper and his size.  He is lanky, like Nick Young and, sorta kinda, Shaun Livingston, but he weighs about as much as a ‘kerchief.  He is going to have his ass handed to him defensively for a while.  All it takes to beat him is strength and speed.   The speed he has on offense does him no good the way he sizes up his man on offense.  He does not play the defender straight up.  It seems that he tries to lean the defender to the off hand which doesn’t work much in the NBA.  He was blown by regularly.  Secondly, whenever he gets hit in the chest while defending someone driving to the basket, he flies backwards like an autumn leaf.  Former Knick, old man Mark Jackson, of booty bumping legend, could still score 50 points on this kid by backing him down all day.

He is so thin.  My little sister’s wrists are as big as his ankles.  He needs to develop his body.  With Nick Young’s physique and better lateral movement, Jennings could be a two-way terror.

I love his confidence and the fact that his teammates know that the ball should be in his hands.  As soon as the ball is rebounded the outlet goes to Jennings and no one else.   He is always a threat to run by you and his coach was constantly encouraging him to speed up the tempo.  His drives to the basket are as nice in person as they are on tape.  Despite his lack of  weight, he has such control over the ball that he knows how to score under the basket with contact. Just an absolute joy to watch.

I also noticed that his passes generally are not fancy.  He will showboat every once in a while, but his passes are like Dwight Gooden fast balls: right on the money.  He is an excellent judge of the speed at which his teammate is moving and the ball hits them right on the spot.

Bottom line:  Jennings was a good pick by Milwaukee from what I have seen.  He has been one of the bright spots in the NBA Summer League. I hope for him that he is able to concentrate on his game which will force the media not to concentrate on his mouth.  The reputation has been built, but it can be changed especially if he does not take the bait from the media when he gets into New York and they ask him about his “F*ck The Knicks” comments (which were apparently the same sentiments held by mature free agents this summer.  LOL).

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Related Previous Posts

Las Vegas Summer League Diary, Day 1, Part 1: Fan Watching Better Than Watching Knicks Lose

Las Vegas Diary, Day 1, Part 2: Observations On Knicks’ First Outing

Las Vegas Diary, Day 1, Part 1

It’s On and Poppin’ In Vegas

Brandon Jennings Says F*ck The Knicks And Chris Duhon Ain’t Gettin’ It Done

July 17, 2009 - Posted by | Brandon Jennings, NBA Draft, NBA Summer League, Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. King Lives

    Thanks for all the insiteful commentary on the comings and goings in this years Vegas Summer League. I’m glad to read that Jennings is showing well in the summer league. I recall an interview with Donnie [ ]alsh regarding the shooting of the various players they had brought in for try outs while scouting for the draft. [ ]alsh pointed out that per his observations none of the prospective draft picks, Jennings included, showed mechanical difficulties of significant concerns that would prevent those players from developing and honing an NBA calibur J in the long term.

    So I guesse as with a high motor being an important requisite in J. Hill’s development as an NBA calibur big man playing in the post, the development of a respectable jumper for Jennings will be needed long term to keep opposing defenders from giving space to avoid his deadly quickness on them drives.

    Comment by orangeandblue1 | July 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. Good morning/afternoon Gents:

    I recommend that you guys pay attention to Omri Casspi and Jason Thompson. I think that Bronx is familiar with Thompson’s game since Bronx paid attention to the Rider squads. Thompson is very aggressive offensively but had a bunch of fouls (9) during the DLS game.

    Casspri, is the first Isreali to play in the NBA. At the draft an entire section went wild and started waving Isreal’s flag as Casspi walked to the podium. Casspi is very fast and fluid. I think you will like him, but his scoring ability was not on display when I saw him.

    Tyreke Evans? There is something wrong here, but I don’t know what it is. He is not starting and he doesn’t look impressive to me. I checked around to find out what the problem is and found that an ESPN writer, reporting on an earlier game, did not agree with my assessment. You tell me.

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | July 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. ‘Lives’,

    I want to commend you on the service that you provide to the fanatics. I appreciate your high motor and basketball IQ. Thanks for the Vegas reports!!

    Before Vegas:
    Does this mean that IGM’s draft previews were a waste of time, ink, & discussion. It appears that the review of Jennings, Thabet (I told you he lacked Roy Hibbert’s skills) and others need to be revised. The reason I thought Jennings was the Knick’s pick is because D’Antoni is building a team that does not have players that can beat the opposition off the dribble, (think Roosta, Harrington, Chandler). Jennings can beat his man or, drive and create for others. Standing on the 3-pt-line and just jacking shots will never win in the league, unless you have an inside terror. The Euro-game SUCKS!!

    BTW–I read your review of Jennings 1st-game but I missed Lawson’s review, (he was 0 for seven from the field with 3 assist. Was IGM really Knee Deep in drag?

    Stateman2 asked early were you going to repeat the MSM-line, and in one of your write-ups you not only repeated the lines, but stuck your chest out and wrote “Because the MSM writes it does not mean it’s incorrect”. I thought that line was straight out of Larry Elders or Michael Steele’s top forty quotes while defending the Masta. (lol) Remember those who do not understand the MSM, are guaranteed to fall for their B.S.

    Have a safe trip home and get the Motherland’s Eagle Eye.

    Peace & Blessings

    Comment by Statesman2 | July 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. Fanatics,

    Yesterday’s summary of the players remaining in free agency was copied from the LA-Times, not my originals.

    Peace & Blessings

    Comment by Statesman2 | July 17, 2009 | Reply

  5. Yo peeps RealGM.com produced the following article…

    How Much Is This Year’s Free Agent Class Worth?
    Authored by Christopher Reina – 8th July, 2009 – 10:01 pm

    “David Lee: $18,077,903, 17.4, 11th, 81, 911%

    The FIC doesn’t take defense into the equation and that is a prime reason why Lee is not even close to being worth this much. He also has played on bad teams, so without question his statistics have been inflated. He is a nice fourth or fifth player and probably deserves half of $18M.”

    You can find the full article at the following link:

    http://www.realgm.com/src_feature_article/205/20090708/how_much_is_this_years_free_agent_class_worth/

    Note that in the final analysis Reina takes into account the warts in Lee’s game and assesses his true value at about 9 million per season which is the maximum I figured Lee’s services should entail. By contrast the Jazz’s Paul Millsap’s assessment did not include such a correction by Reina and his bottom line asking price according to that article would be 3 and a quarter million more dollars than Lee’s worth according to Reina.

    Note that even given that article’s assesment of Millsap, the Jazz’s restricte free agent will likely net 4 and quarter million less than the Reina’s assessment of his worth.

    What should that tell you about the reasonableness of David Lee and Bartleby’s/Beelzubu’s demands for an offer between 10 to 12 million per annum?

    Comment by orangeandblue1 | July 17, 2009 | Reply

  6. Seems Like Lives influenced Isola’s title for is most recent article about Knicks free agent David Lee:

    Portland’s Blazing a trail for Knicks forward David Lee

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2009/07/17/2009-07-17_jazz_move_provides_david_lee_room_to_move_to_trail_blazers.html#ixzz0LXxLblKX

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2009/07/17/2009-07-17_jazz_move_provides_david_lee_room_to_move_to_trail_blazers.html

    Comment by orangeandblue1 | July 17, 2009 | Reply


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