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Cam Whitmore leads Houston Rockets late to knock Utah Jazz out of summer league

And with that, summer league for the Utah Jazz is over

2023 NBA Summer League - Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images

Missing most of their summer league starters, the Utah Jazz didn’t have enough to overcome Cam Whitmore and the Houston Rockets, who won 115-101.

The injury report for Utah wasn’t good in this one, and it makes you wonder if they weren’t too interested in going to the summer league title game so they could start their summer break sooner than later.

It’s bad when it takes a “Show more” on the injury report for the team...

That said, the Jazz did have Micah Potter on the floor, a mainstay for the Salt Lake City Stars and he got most of the shots, the issue was they weren’t falling this game. Potter was 8/22 from the field and 4/17 from three. 17 threes accounted for nearly 20% of the Jazz total field goal attempts. Safe to say if those are only falling at 23%, it’s hard to win.

The best player on the floor for the Jazz was definitely Nick Ongenda who had 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Ongenda has a ton of length and plays hard, he was a -1 in a 14-point loss which tells you about his impact on the game. Ongenda has looked solid all summer league, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a camp invite.

The story of the game for Houston was Cam Whitmore. Whitmore struggled early but found a groove as the game went on. He was really strong to end the game knocking down two big threes late to put away the Jazz.

Whitmore is going to be fascinating to watch this season to see how he develops and if he can live up to the “steal of the draft” moniker he’s getting. His dropping to 20 in the draft was the biggest surprise on draft night, and people are coming to the table with a wide range of opinions. The thing is everyone has a point with Whitmore.

If you’re not big on Whitmore, you have all the ammo you need from his performance in summer league. He had a very uninspiring start to Las Vegas Summer League when teams were playing their best players. His shot wasn’t falling and he was the black hole offensively that people talked about during the draft. He also looks a little small and doesn’t have a lot of creativity when he’s near the basket.

If you’re big on Whitmore, you can point to the good games he’s had and some of the explosive highlights, some of them coming from this game. He knocked down threes in this game, especially the spot of ones, and he shows some impressive drives using his strength and athleticism to finish. He’s a player that looks like if he can just develop, he could become that steal that Whitmore fans are talking about.

That said, we’ll see how things go during the regular season, I’m sure everyone will be sane and rational with everything they say.

For the Jazz, this is the end of summer league and it came with some great highs, and a few frustrations. The highs definitely came with Keyonte George who dazzled regardless of opponent and consistently popped off the screen. He showed in just 5 games of summer league that he very well might be the future at the guard position for the Jazz. As far as frustrations, it wasn’t fun to see George go down with a sprained ankle and end his summer abruptly. Just like the George injury, it would have been nice to see Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh this summer but both were out the entire time with injury. Obviously, Jazz fans wan them to be healthy and it’s good the Jazz are taking a cautious approach, it’s just hard as a fan not to be disappointed not seeing their top-ten pick play.

How long until pre-season?