Orlando, Fla. — Notes and analysis following Utah's 76-73 loss to Detroit on Monday during an NBA Summer League contest inside Amway Center
Top Jazzman: No one. Deron Washington and Alec Burks were the only Utah players to reach double-figures in scoring, and they collected the majority of their points during garbage time. Washington (team-high 13 points, 4-of-5 shooting) didn't even play until the fourth quarter, while the Jazz watched a 34-25 halftime lead turn into a 57-45 deficit at the end of the third-quarter.
Thirteen Utah players scored, all but three on the Jazz's Summer League roster — John Millsap, Cedric Simmons, Kyle Weaver — took the court, and Utah lost its rhythm after a smooth first quarter.
Best game: Kim English. The No. 44 overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft dismantled the Jazz, scoring a game-high 18 points while only attempting nine shots. He was 5 of 9 from the field, 3 of 4 behind the 3-point line and 5 of 6 from the free throw line.
Starters English, Kyle Singler, Austin Daye and Brandon Knight combined for 61 of Detroit's 76 points. Only three other Pistons players recorded a basket, and Detroit ran a nine-man rotation.
Real Utah: Three of the Jazz's Summer League players — Enes Kanter, DeMarre Carroll, Burks — are under contract, while 2012 second-round draft pick Kevin Murphy is expected to be signed. None made a major impact Monday, though, while second-year players Kanter and Burks combined to shoot just 4 of 16 from the field.
Burks came alive toward the end of the fourth quarter, kicking up his intensity and keeping Utah close as Detroit tried to run out the clock. He continued to rely on slashing drives, though, and was never a threat from outside.
Carroll had a couple nice moments but was quiet overall: five points on 2-of-6 shooting and one rebound in 19:28.
Murphy was just 2 of 8, but he finished with seven points and displayed a smooth stroke during his Jazz debut.
Big question: Kanter was mysteriously absent. Utah ran two quick low-post plays for him at the start of the game, and Pistons rookie center Andre Drummond owned the No. 3 overall pick in 2011 on the block. Kanter never recovered. He often allowed Drummond to gain offensive and defensive position; he was slow getting up and down the court; he allowed foul calls to take him out of the game; his body language worsened as the Jazz fell behind.
Jazz Summer League coach Sidney Lowe challenged, encouraged and yelled at Kanter throughout the game, while several Utah players attempted to coach and motivate him during timeouts. It was one of Kanter's worst performances in a Jazz uniform. And while it was only a meaningless Summer League game, it was a discouraging sign for a player Utah hopes can one day become the team's long-term starting center.
Bright spots: The Jazz's Mike Green, Salah Mejrl, Blake Ahearn, Michael Stockton, Tony Gaffney and Washington. Each made the most of their time and none are guaranteed to be in the NBA when the 2012-13 season starts.
Other side: Drummond has real potential. He's big and powerful, but smooth and finishes strong. It's also easy to see why NBA scouts questioned his motivation, though. At times, he rivaled Kanter for the poor body language, and the No. 9 overall pick of the 2012 draft was often challenged by Pistons coaches.
Knight made a living at the line (9 of 14) and often burned the Jazz's rotating crew of point guards via crossover dribbles. He also dribbled too much, and never dominated.
Singler, Daye and English had the best all-around games, with the aggressive Singler at times stealing the show.
Numbers game: Utah was held to a combined 24 points in the second and third quarters. ... The Jazz shot just 39.4 percent (26 of 66) from the field but were 6 of 14 behind the 3-point line. ... All 13 Utah players who took the court collected at least 8:56 of action. ... The Jazz's starters combined for just 30 points.
Last notes: Singler can play. He's aggressive, attacks well, is a capable defender and very confident. … Several media members asked about Ahearn's ability to stay in the league while watching the game. All thought he deserved a shot. … The Jazz will rotate coaches during their five-game Summer League run, with Lowe turning over the reins Tuesday. … Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin watched Monday's game, but will return to Las Vegas on Tuesday to view U.S. Select team members Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. … Jazz General Manager Kevin O'Connor declined comment when asked about Raja Bell's pending buyout. O'Connor said Utah continues to explore its options during free agency. The Jazz are open to sign-and-trade possibilities, but O'Connor said they're always easier said than done. He also didn't rule out Utah re-signing unrestricted free agents C.J. Miles and/or Josh Howard.
Brian T. Smith
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