Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats NBA Summer League Update: Nick Johnson has best game to date

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Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson

If Nick Johnson’s stats are an indication, he’s off to an above-average start showing his versatility in the NBA Summer League

The former Arizona Wildcats standout produced his best game to date in the NBA Summer League in Orlando on Thursday. He had 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field with 22 points, six rebounds and six assists in Houston’s 88-74 loss to Memphis.

It was the first time Johnson and UCLA’s Jordan Adams shared the same court competitively since the Pac-12 tournament game four months ago in Las Vegas. Adams finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field for Memphis.

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NICK JOHNSON SUMMER LEAGUE STATS — ORLANDO
Source: NBA.com
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AARON GORDON SUMMER LEAGUE STATS — ORLANDO
Source: NBA.com
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In four games, Johnson leads the Rockets averaging 16 points a game. He is also averaging an impressive 5.3 rebounds a game.

Johnson’s scoring average and shooting percentage (.426) are similar to what he produced at Arizona last season (16.4 points and 43.2 percent). His three-point shooting in Orlando, 28.6 percent on 6 of 21 shooting, is an area he will look to improve upon in the games he has remaining in Orlando and Las Vegas.

His assist-to-turnover ratio (15 to 12) and steals (only two) are also focal points. He has four blocked shots, an impressive number for a 6’3″ player.

Aaron Gordon drew praise from NBA-TV announcer Kendall Gill for his work ethic during Orlando’s 76-67 loss to Boston.

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“I came to the facility at 7 a.m. before the games started here this week, and the first person I see is Aaron Gordon,” Gill said.

Gordon, who does not turn 19 until September, will need time to polish his skills. He is shooting 32.3 percent from the field without a three-pointer despite eight tries.

He showed improvement with his rebounding against Boston, tallying eight, after getting blanked against Memphis in 26 minutes Tuesday.

NBA SUMMER LEAGUE NOTES: Solomon Hill has missed Indiana’s first four games in Orlando because of a sprained ankle. The Orlando portion of summer league ends Friday. … Games in Las Vegas begin Friday. The Arizona angles on Friday do not include players but coaches. Steve Kerr will serve as Golden State’s head coach in Las Vegas when the Warriors play Charlotte at 5:30 p.m. Fellow former Arizona player Luke Walton will be one of his assistants. … Former Arizona center Sean Rooks is one of the coaches of the NBA D-League Select team in Las Vegas. His first game on the bench is Friday night against New Orleans at 7:30. … Former Arizona guard Mustafa Shakur was originally listed on the Pistons’ summer league team but that did not materialize because arrangements on both sides were never made, a team official told me.

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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