Thomas, Roberts, Bowles off to fast starts

Thomas, Roberts, Bowles off to fast starts

Thursday, July 19, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

Midway through the week in Las Vegas, it’s time to check in on a player-by-player basis with how the Hornets have fared so far:

Austin Rivers

As summer league head coach James Borrego has stated often, Rivers’ transition to point guard is a work in progress. Prior to sitting out Game 3 with lower leg soreness, the first two contests were rough for the 10th overall pick, who was 4-for-19 from the field (1-for-8 on treys). Perhaps the more important stat was his assist-to-turnover ratio of 7-6.
Xavier Henry
Like Rivers, his first two games were mostly frustrating, but he bounced back with a more aggressive and effective performance in the victory over Phoenix. After struggling at the foul line during the NBA season, one good sign for the Kansas product is he’s 16-for-20 on free throws.
Darius Miller
Billed as a quality defender, the 46th overall pick has four steals and a pair of blocks this week. His offense has been slower to come around, at 7-for-20 from the field (0-for-6 on treys), but teammates such as Lance Thomas have said Miller was a knockdown shooter in workouts and practices.
Lance Thomas
The summer Hornets’ most valuable player so far, leading the way with 16.0 points per game, along with the second-best rebounding average of 7.3. He’s carried over his improvement from the NBA regular season to provide consistency across the board. The Duke product is also shooting 91.7 percent from the foul line in 24 tries.
Denzel Bowles
He opened eyes immediately by scoring 18 points off the bench in the opener vs. Portland, a performance that vaulted him into the starting lineup the next night. He’s averaged 4.5 points as a starter, but his rebounding continues to impress. Bowles has grabbed 25 rebounds, including 15 on the offensive boards, for a rate of about 17 rebounds per 40 minutes.

Brian Roberts

The Dayton product is receiving accolades from Borrego for his steady, veteran-like play in the backcourt. Roberts has been an efficient scorer and floor general, shooting 52.0 percent from the field, 42.9 on treys (3-for-7) and is perfect in 11 free throws. He was the best player on the floor during the first half of the Hornets’ victory over the Suns.
Jerome Dyson
For a player with previous regular season NBA experience, the point guard’s playing time has been relatively limited, causing his overall numbers to be pedestrian thus far. However, in Wednesday’s win vs. Phoenix, Dyson displayed his explosive scoring ability with nine fourth-quarter points. In terms of style of play, he presents a completely different look than Roberts.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning
The backup big who has received the most playing time so far, he’s had some nice plays in the paint (3 blocks), but the Washington product hasn’t finished well on offense (3-fo-11 from field).
Austin Freeman
The Georgetown product has essentially been the Hornets’ ninth man, averaging 8.7 minutes in spot duty. Like multiple Hornets, his best game was Wednesday vs. Phoenix, with five points in 11 minutes.
Michael Thompson
Has logged a total of 12 minutes in two appearances, with three point guards (Rivers, Roberts, Dyson) ahead of him in the pecking order for playing time.
Darko Planinic
Started at center in Game 1 but was supplanted by Bowles. Since then, Planinic picked up a DNP vs. Milwaukee and logged three minutes of action against Phoenix.
Mike Davis
A late roster addition, the Illinois product has been referred to as both “Martin” Davis and “Mark” Davis in the official box scores of his two brief appearances.
Mac Koshwal
DNPs in the first two games but had two points, two rebounds, a block and a steal in seven minutes vs. Phoenix.