5 takeaways from Blazers Summer League debut

NBA

Trail Blazers began their quest to repeat as Summer League Champs on Saturday

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 06: Nassir Little #9 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots against Khyri Thomas #13 Detroit Pistons during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Trail Blazers began their quest to repeat as Summer League Champs on Saturday and here are five takeaways from their game against the Pistons.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 06: Anfernee Simons #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers passes against Bruce Brown #6 of the Detroit Pistons during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Pistons defeated the Trail Blazers 93-73. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Anfernee Simons is going to be as good as Damian Lillard keeps telling us he will be.

With a team-high 15 pts in 24 minutes, Simons looked comfortable on the floor, calling plays and helping guys find their spots and picking his own well. Since he stunned the city with his 37 point performance in the regular season finale, it’s been a question whether he can do that on a more night-in night-out basis. I believe he’ll answer that question definitively in Vegas this summer. He started to show it Saturday and will continue to develop familiarity with running the floor of an NBA game and should be looked at to run the second unit at times this fall.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 06: Gary Trent Jr. #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers brings the ball up the court against the Detroit Pistons during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Pistons defeated the Trail Blazers 93-73. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Gary Trent Jr. has developed since last year’s summer league outing.

I liked the spots Trent Jr. was picking Saturday. He seemed more comfortable, he finished with the best three-point percentage on the Blazers, shooting 2-5 from distance and adding 10 points to the Blazers box score.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 06: Nassir Little #9 of the Portland Trail Blazers stands on the court during a game against the Detroit Pistons during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Pistons defeated the Trail Blazers 93-73. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Nassir Little will take some time to get comfortable.

The Blazers lone draft pick from 2019 showed some nice aggressive play in his Summer League debut but will need to work on his productivity. With one of the worst plus/minuses on the team (-19) he put only two points on the stat sheet in his 22 minutes of play.

Keep an eye on Devin Robinson. An intriguing addition to the Blazers summer league roster, Robinson had some of the best highlights of the game, including back-to-back dunks in the third quarter that showed off his athleticism. In the first, he jumped over several players to throw down the two-handed jam and Robinson finished with the lone double-double for the Blazers (14 pts, 10 assists). This is Robinson’s third straight summer league, having played with the Wizards in 2017 and 2018 but after a fight with Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills in April, the Wizards released a statement saying they wouldn’t be extending him a qualifying offer which made him a free agent and how Portland could pick him up for Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 06: Devin Robinson #38 Portland Trail Blazers goes up for a dunk against of the Detroit Pistons during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Where is Skal Labissiere? The fourth-year man out of Haiti was on the Blazers initial summer league roster, and went through summer league practices in Portland but reportedly may not have made the trip to Vegas, according to team reporter Casey Holdahl. When asked about it today, Holdahl said “he’s not on the bench, which I would assume means he did not travel with the team to Las Vegas.” Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest reported earlier this week that Labissiere sprained his right shoulder a few weeks ago and may not play at all in Vegas so it could be as simple of an answer as the Blazers wanting to not risk him injuring himself further.

The Blazers are back in action Sunday night at 7 p.m. against the Rockets.

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