Bill Lea/Utah Jazz
Game Recap – Jazz Lose 74-70 to Sixers
Danté Exum goes for 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assist and one steal in his Summer League debut
By Matt Sanchez – UtahJazz.com
Summer league is a time for teams to workout veterans and get their first look at rookies. It’s two weeks in July to develop and improve.
For the Utah Jazz, their first game of summer league went as expected. They played well at times, played poorly others and lost a very competitive game to Philadelphia 74-70 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“We got down early and it was nice to see us defend and play well when there aren’t a lot of things going your way,” Head Coach Quin Snyder said.
There are kinks to be worked out, sure, it’s summer league, but there is certainly a lot of excitement surrounding the young Jazz team.
They fell behind 19-7 early on in the game as offensive fouls and careless turnovers were hurting the Jazz. Something clicked early in the second quarter and the Jazz seemed to shake off the rust/jitters or whatever it was.
Playing in his first NBA action, rookie Danté Exum looked very good. He wowed the crowd with an alley-oop dunk from Trey Burke and constantly looked like the fastest player on the court. He got by defenders with ease and when Exum pushed the ball, good things happened.
“As a point guard, I try to make things happen for my teammates and I was able to do some of that tonight,” Exum said.
More often than not Exum made the correct reads and only committed one turnover. Impressive for any point guard, let alone an 18-year old rookie.
“Dante is capable of making plays for his teammates and he enjoys doing it,” Snyder said.
Exum was easily the most exciting player on the court and the best player as his +/- was +9 on the night. He finished with 10 points and three assists on 4/10 shooting.
Another bright spot for the Jazz on the night was Rudy Gobert. Gobert finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks and looked improved, especially on defense. He did miss a defensive assignment or two but rotated well and protected the basket all night.
Also seeing his first NBA action was rookie Rodney Hood. Hood nailed his first three-point attempt then went on to miss his next nine from downtown. Hood’s less than stellar night did have its positives as he pulled in eight rebounds.
“I’m here to shoot the ball and that’s what I’ll keep doing,” Hood said. “I got good looks and I know they’ll fall for me in the future.”
Jazz fans were also eager to see recently minted first-team all-rookie member Trey Burke in action. Burke struggled in his rookie summer league last season and was intent on settling in and being the leader this year in Vegas. Burke looked very quick and set up his teammates well. He finished the game with 11 points and four assists.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Burke said. “We are definitely making strides but when you shoot 3-30 from three it’s hard to win games. We were still in the game and competed.”
The Jazz will be back in action on Monday night as they face the Milwaukee Bucks and their prized-rookie Jabari Parker.