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Number three is number one as Rockets edge Thunder 90-88

But the real stars...

2022 NBA Summer League - Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets
What we came to see.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

This will be a short recap, unlike the previous super long one. Hopefully it all balances out.

This recap features the return of Bullet Points The Lazy Man’s Friend(tm).

  • I think Jabari outplayed Chet, or played him even, at worst. His defense was excellent, and his overall game was good. His shooting wasn’t great, but that’s really not a big concern of mine, long term, for Jabari. His rebounding, and defense, were good. People may talk about 4 blocks for Chet, but Jabari had 3, and 4 steals to go with that. Summer League is a scramble, and that’s not best for a player like Jabari. For the most part he took good shots. With an offense featuring Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Kevin Porter around him, it’s going to be fun.
  • Josh Christopher had a better second game. It’s important to remember, he’s 20, younger than many draftees. It’s not crazy that he’s at summer league, a lot less crazy than Giddey, in some respects. I’m not quite sure what Christopher is in the NBA, but he’s something.
  • Tari Eason was a force this game. Mostly for good, sometimes for pure chaos. He scored 14pts, grabbed 11 rebounds, notched 2 steals, and a block. He did less shooting, and more attacking.
  • Daishen Nix recovered well from a nightmare first game to play very well today. 16pts on 6-9 shooting, and 6 assists, but mostly he played under control, typically made good decisions and helped keep the game under control. He’s restored faith.
  • Bruce Pearl was far better to listen to than Mark Few. Pearl provided some genuine insights, pearls of wisdom if you will, into Jabari and the game. I’d willingly listen to him comment more on basketball in general. Few’s insights were just that, few. But he had all the cliches ready, and deployed them all with ruthless blandness. Sorry AK.
  • TyTy’s game was a mixed bag today. Like most young players, if he can play within a flow, without having to think too much, he looks great. But he’s a heady player with real talent, and I’m high on his future. He doesn’t look overwhelmed defensively.
  • Rafael Stone, like everyone, loves Boban. Maybe he makes the team. Also, he seemed happier with the team’s play, and liked the shots Jabari was taking. He was more interested in him taking good shots than making shots, and I agree. BTW - Smith shots quickly. Not just with good form, but he gets the shot up fast, with no wasted motion.
  • Trevor Hudgins can really, really, shoot. He wasn’t overwhelmed defensively, against Team Extremely Tall And Thin, so he’s got a shot.
  • Lamb, unlike Nix, didn’t recover from his terrible first game, but he was less terrible and more helpful.
  • The Rockets in general made an effort on defense, looked organized, competent, and defended as well as they were allowed to defend.
  • That’s because while the Rockets were better, the referees weren’t that much better. 43 personal foul calls is better than 51, or God help us, 73. Unfortunately, the referees continue to feature more heavily, and have more impact, in this Summer League than the players. Whatever the NBA is trying to do here, they need to stop. Anticipatory fouls, borderline and late whistles, tetchy touch fouls, extremely exacting travel calls, on things like slight foot drags, are simply baffling in this context. What is the point of this? This doesn’t resemble NBA officiating. What is being gained, by anyone, except possibly young referees?



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So I went to a movie theatre for the first time since before COVID started, and I saw...Conan, in 35mm, at Portland’s wonderful Hollywood Theatre. It’s certainly a movie of its times, but it’s also excellent in many ways. Especially on the big screen. It’s a cinema experience, light on dialog, heavy on spectacle and swords and sorcery. James Earl Jones got to play two of the best villains in all of cinema, not just Darth Vader, but Thulsa Doom (having stolen Nigel Tufnel’s wig). Conan the Barbarian and a killer robot are really Arrhnold’s best roles.