Summer League review: Jan Vesely

Summer League review: Jan Vesely
July 23, 2012, 4:04 pm
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The 2012 Las Vegas Summer League is in the books. Time to reflect on what we witnessed during those five games from those Washington Wizards. Up first, Jan Vesely.2012 Summer League stats (since Vesely played only two minutes in the final game due to an ankle tweak, per game numbers based on four games): 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 50 FG percent, 35.7 FT, 2.2 turnovers.The good: Our SL goal for the shooting challenged forward involved simply knocking down perimeter looks. Vesely did just that, especially early on, draining all three of his 15-feet and beyond attempts in the Wizards opener(by comparison, he made only three shots from a similar distance all last season). His form looks improved and the rising second-year forward made at least half his shots in all but one full game. Oddly several misses came on dunks or plays at the rim. Also worth noting most of his outside makes came on essentially set or minimally contested shots...Running the floor has never been an issue for Vesely and his overall basketball instinct are better than he's at times credited. The tougher than he looks 6-foot-11 forward took advantage of an overmatched Grizzlies frontcourt with 12 rebounds in a win over Memphis.On the other hand...: Before we say the shooting problem is fixed, let's look again at the free throw percentage. Vesely missed nine of 14 attempts and the inaccuracy was spread out over three games in which he attempted one from the charity stripe...Defensively, he still showed a penchant for reachingrather movinghis feet, body into proper guarding position...When it comes to whistles being blown - and in Vegas, the foul calls against Veselycame in bunches -, more restraint, maturity is required.Granted, Vesely is only 22-year-old, but learning to remain focused on thenext playrather than the previous one is crucial.Forecast...:Instead ofplaying for the Czech national team later this summer, Vesely is staying in the U.S. to work on his game. Combined with his summer league experience,he shouldbe far more ready for the NBA rigors than he was as a rookie. That might seemlike arather "duh" statement, but after last year's truncated offseason while adjusting to a new country, culture, it's also the truth. What's also the truth is that Vesely's 2012-13 role is hardly defined. The Wizards now have a deeper frontcourt and barring injuries or the unforeseen, consistent minutes beyond 10 or so per game may not be available. Vesely's NBA ceiling may ultimately be that of an energy reserve, but even there the Wizards have the currently more capable Trevor Booker. Knocking down thoseopen looks as he did in Vegas, easily the biggest Vegas takeaway regarding the No. 6 pick in the 20111 draft. If Vesely does that when the games turn real and while breezily running the court with John Wall and while making above the rim plays on both ends, he'll force Randy Wittmanto keep him on the court.