LAS VEGAS – There wasn’t a ton to talk about for most of game one of Saturday’s Summer League action between the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks. The Grizzlies jumped on the Knicks early, taking a 35-16 lead at the end of the first quarter and won 93-77. With that in mind, I took the time to focus on Memphis rookie Tony Wroten, Jr. Wroten was a bit of an enigma leading up to the NBA draft. A long, athletic 6’6″ point guard who was a great defender, gifted passer yet an iffy decision maker and terrible shooter. Good new for Grizzlies fans is for one game, albeit against lesser competition, Wroten was sensational.
One of the issues with Wroten during the draft process was determining whether or not he was a point guard or a shooting guard. Wroten came in to the game for Josh Selby and played mostly off the ball while Jeremy Pargo ran point. Wroten got to the basket at will both on dribble and on cuts to the basket leading to him scoring eight points off of two drives to the basket and two trips to the free throw line. Wroten got a little sloppy with the ball in the second quarter, turning it over twice. Interestingly enough, Wroten didn’t take one jump shot in the first half, which shows that he knows it’s not a strength of his and he didn’t force anything. It also shows that whoever was guarding him didn’t know to lay off him and force him to shoot.
The Knicks did layoff Wroten and forced him to take a jump shot and he went 2/3 from three. Overall, Wroten finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists on 5/9 shooting to go along with 7/8 from the free throw line. It’s just one game and I can’t emphasize enough how bad the Knicks Summer League team is. But it’s clear Wroten has been working on playing off the ball and removing the massive hitch in his jump shot.