July 10, 2018, 1:48 am
After putting on an offensive clinic their last game, the Wolves relied on their defense to win this one. Who better man for the job than Josh Okogie?
Once again the Wolves’ first round pick put on a show with his athleticism, swiping three more steals and even more deflections. In three games Okogie now has seven steals, including this beauty.
Okogie playing free safety out here pic.twitter.com/cftYgDATu1
— Hoop Ball Wolves (@HoopBallWolves) July 10, 2018
Offensively he’s still struggling to find his footing, but he’s been aggressive in each game. Tonight he finished with 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and one 3-pointer. He’s averaged 12.3 points per game so far, though on 38 percent shooting. Luckily, come the regular season the Wolves aren’t going to be looking for his offense, it will be his defense that earns him minutes.
Keita Bates-Diop followed up his dominating performance yesterday (24 points, 11 rebounds) with a more modest, but well-rounded game. He finished with 11 points, six rebounds, four steals and two 3-pointers.
Okogie and Bates-Diop have quickly meshed well together and their camaraderie on the court is already noticeable. The classic rookie mistakes are there (blown pick-and-roll coverage, guys running into each other, speed of the game etc.), but the dynamic on the court with both guys is unlike anything the Wolves had on their bench last year. These guys aren’t stepping in day-one and making a huge impact, but looking ahead (maybe even a couple years) it’s easy to see how these two play well off each other.
Amile Jefferson scored just five points, but pulled 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. Jefferson is a bit of an odd fit for the modern NBA. He’s undersized at 6’9″, but is a tenacious rebounder. He’s quick and has tools to succeed defensively guarding most ‘fours’ and some ‘fives’, but his offensive profile is extremely limited, which makes it tough to keep him on the floor.
You’d like to see him add some range offensively because his rebounding can be really useful in a pinch (especially for the Wolves, who surprisingly struggled in that regard last year). A tough rebounder that can hit a 3-pointer would be a nice addition to this roster.
Charles Cooke started again, but scored just six points and had just a single rebound.
Jared Terrell matched his scoring output from last night with 13 points, but he had no assists for the second time in three games. He now has just two assists this summer in 55 minutes (but only three turnovers, at least).
After their 78-69 victory, the Wolves sit at 2-1 headed into the bracket portion of the Summer League. Their next game is yet to be determined, but they will have at least two more coming up.