Aaron Harrison and Dakari Johnson made their NBA summer league debuts on Saturday afternoon, and while neither shot the ball well they both made a positive impact for their respective squads.
Harrison had 10 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists in 22 minutes in the Charlotte Hornets’ 76-74 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the first day of the Orlando Summer League in Florida.
"I was a little nervous at the beginning, but once you get warmed up, it's just basketball," Harrison said afterward. "It's good to get minutes like that."
Harrison was 4-for-10 from the field and 1-for-6 from three-point range, but he was extremely active, and effective, on defense while spending time at both the point guard and shooting guard positions. His only turnover came when he stepped out of bounds on his way to a what would have been an impressive dunk.
"He shot the ball a few times when I thought he should have passed it. But overall he's been playing extremely well for us in the camp," Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing said.
Ewing, the team's summer league coach, recently said that Harrison is a much player than he anticipated. But "tonight he took a step back, in my opinion ... he has to share the ball."
Dakari Johnson, a second-round draft pick by the Thunder was 3-for-8 from the field and finished with seven points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal in 23 minutes. He also said he has some first-game jitters.
"I was a little nervous but as the game went on it went really well," Johnson said, according to a report on the Thunder's website. "We've been practicing for a week together, so we were prepared and we tried to get better on the defensive end, too.
"I am always going to to impact on the rebounding end offensively and defensively. I try to go after every board."
Marquis Teague, who is also on the Thunder’s summer league roster, did not play.
Former Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky, now with the Hornets, had a double-double. He was 4-for-8 from three-point range en route to 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Grizzlies 81, Nets 73: Andrew Harrison, a second-round pick by Memphis, had eight points, three assists and no turnovers in his summer debut. Harrison was 2-for-5 from the field, and he hit his only three-point attempt in 24 minutes.
Former University of Louisville star Russ Smith, who also started for the Grizzlies, had eight points, eight assists, three steals and two turnovers.
Earl Clark, another ex-Card, had four points, three rebounds and four turnovers for Brooklyn.