Orlando Summer League has begun for the Charlotte Hornets and they started the week off against the Orlando Magic (White) group. The Magic have two summer league team's, but this group is usually considered the D-League team with a large majority of the roster being players that played in the D-League or international last year.
The Hornets come to OSL with an extremely young roster. Only one player has any NBA experience, and that's last year's undrafted free agent signing, Aaron Harrison. The Hornets will be looking to Harrison to show some of that experience and play some of the better basketball for the group. Unfortunately it didn't start off that way with a string of turnovers by Harrison, and the rest of the Hornets, torpedoing anything Charlotte was able to get going. Of course, one has to expect these things considering the level of basketball.
Unfortunately for Harrison and the Hornets it didn't get any better. Harrison came out of the first quarter a little more focused and energetic, but he hurt his wrist while diving for a steal. Afterwards he just didn't look much of the same with a lot of standing in the corner, and when he did get engaged he wasn't able to make much happen. The turnovers also continued.
A couple players that did look pretty good in the first half were DeShaun Thomas out of Ohio State and Gabe York out of Arizona. Thomas found a way to get to the rim fairly frequently, and once he did get there it was pretty much a guaranteed bucket. He had great body control. This makes sense as while he's technically a rookie he does have professional experience from playing over in Europe. York played well by just being everywhere as much as possible. In the first quarter in particular he might have covered every inch of the court, and made a dive for a loose ball. However, he was much quieter in the second quarter.
In the third quarter things didn't get much better for the Hornets. While Harrison showed a tendency to get to the line, and Thomas began gobbling up boards, they just couldn't keep up with Magic (White)'s scoring pace. By the end of the third Magic (White) were up big and it didn't look like much was going to change.
The fourth quarter was much of the same with the Hornets unable to score at a pace able to match the Magic (White) group. They managed to keep it from getting embarrassing, but every run was met with a turnover or a basket given up near the rim. Arinze Onuaku in particular was a major problem for the Hornets all game. Yet despite all this the Hornets managed to have a chance at winning it near the end. Unfortunately for them the deficit they had to overcome was just too big.
The Hornets ended up losing, and it was disappointing to see Aaron Harrison have an absolute nightmare of a game, but there were some nice performances from Gabe York and DeShaun Thomas. Those will be two names to keep an eye on all week.