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Summer League 2016 Game 3: Thoughts and Notes

The Clippers blew a large lead and lost the game in overtime 92-84. However, some of their key Summer League players performed well and showed good promise.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of talking about the game much, I will mostly just cover player performances. Wins and losses don't matter in Summer League: what matters is how prepared the Clippers' players look against NBA competition. So let's go through them one by one.

David Michineau- After a couple games struggling to score, Michineau flashed much more of a scorer's mentality today. He took opponents off the dribble in the halfcourt and attacked in transition. "Michy" is very quick going to the basket and has a nice crossover dribble that enables him to get by defenders. Unfortunately, his handles as a whole need work, as the ball gets poked away from him pretty frequently, and he just doesn't beat defenders as often as he should with his quickness. He took several pull up jumpers today, and while I liked the willingness to shoot, his shot as a whole seems to lack touch. Finally, he has playmaking instincts-- he had several sweet drive and kicks as well as good passes up the court in transition-- but makes far too many bad decisions and careless passes. Fortunately, he should have great mentors in Chris Paul and Doc Rivers. I would expect him to be some kind of player in a year or two, but to not make much impact in his rookie season.

Andrew Andrews- Starting yet again in place of the injured Wilcox, Andrews played all right. He knows how to play the game and can do a little bit of everything, but he seems to lack NBA athleticism and is very small for a 2 guard. Andrews is probably destined for a strong career overseas or in the fringes of the NBA as a bench scorer.

Royce O'Neale- After impressing with his shot in previous games, O'Neal was cold from outside tonight, going 0-4 from deep. On the other hand, he pulled down 9 rebounds -leading the team- and added a few assists and steals. He has decent size and a really nice stroke on his jumper, so it wouldn't surprise me to see him make some teams' training camp roster at the very least.

Brice Johnson- Brice was the best player for the Clippers by far, putting up a 23 and 7 line. He has springy athleticism that will look terrific alongside the Clippers' already explosive offense, and should rival Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in terms of lob dunks. More surprising is his seemingly knockdown jumper that stretches all the way out to 20 feet. His range might not fully extend to the three point line yet, but he looked comfortable taking one in rhythm, and it wouldn't be shocking if he was hitting 3s by the end of the season. He can also make some nifty passes, though he turned the ball over a lot as well. Brice's defense and rebounding could use some work against NBA size and athleticism, but he has all the tools to be an effective role player for years to come.

Diamond Stone- The big man from Maryland had his best game of Summer League so far, scoring 20 points and pulling down 7 rebounds. He has an incredibly soft touch around the basket, making short jumpers and hook shots with ease. Stone does have a bad tendency to black hole in the post a little bit, passing out of unfavorable situations too slowly or not at all, but that is something that will improve with experience. Like the other Clippers' young'ns he has a turnover problem, but it's Summer League and that is to be expected. Similarly to Brice, he also isn't rebounding or defending at a great level yet-- a year or two with NBA coaching and practice should help a great deal in that regard.

Branden Dawson- Branden only scored 6 points on 5 shots, but he looked much more comfortable with the ball in his hands than he did last summer or during his rookie season. He had a very strong drive to the basket, drained a pull up jumper, and just generally played well on that end. Dawson also had a superb block as he jumped at just the right moment and swatted the shot right back to a teammate. Branden continues to impress without dominating the game, and might make it hard for Doc Rivers to cut him if he wants to add another veteran to the Clips roster.

Nobody else got more than a handful of minutes, and I suspect these are the only players the coaching staff is really interested in getting a look at.