In the final game of Salt Lake City Summer League, the Utah Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 98 - 83.
The story of the game again was Ochai Agbaji and Keyonte George, let’s talk about Ochai Agbaji first.
Agbaji has come into Summer League in elite physical shape, and it has shown in every game. In this one, he had an impressive stat line of 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists. Agbaji started slow going 1/10 so it’s impressive to see him finish the game shooting 8/20 (which included 13 threes). The shooting is great to see, but it’s the 13 rebounds that should be exciting for Jazz fans. That insane athleticism from Agbaji means so many different plays every game that impact every play. Agbaji blocks shots, grabs sky-high rebounds, and makes it difficult for the opposing team on the defensive end. There’s still some polishing to do with Agbaji’s game, but when the season starts, not so much is going to be asked of Agbaji. It’s clear the Jazz want him shooting the ball often, and doing things with the ball in his hands. That type of freedom is allowing Agbaji to explore parts of his game he wouldn’t be able to in the regular season and you can bet the Jazz will be happy when he needs to perform in the regular season.
The other player tonight that deserves a lot of praise is Keyonte George. Yes, the shot wasn’t falling tonight, and there were some times when he fell asleep on the defensive end, but George showed some passing ability that should have Jazz fans excited about his potential. George finished with 15 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds but it’s those 5 assists that should get Jazz fans excited. In college, there were times when George would try to make an impossible pass that would lead to turnovers. In the NBA, with more spacing, it’s looking like those passes are hitting their target much more. George finished with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 5/1. If he can keep up that level of efficiency and ball control, there’s every reason to believe he can become an NBA playmaker. The question will be after the summer league, can he do it when the brighter lights are shining?
The other thing to get excited about for George has been his ability to get to the line. George had 10 free throws tonight and knocked them all down. Considering he shot just 2/11 from the field, scoring 15 points shows he’s a player that can manufacture points even when the shot isn’t falling. Again, a great sign for the rookie guard from Baylor.
This duo of players is looking like they’ll have a bright future. Now, if only we can get a chance to see them play with Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh in Las Vegas.