Game Three of NBA Summer League
August 13th, 2021
Game 3 of Summer League
Miami Heat (2-0) vs. Utah Jazz (2-0)
In today’s game between these two undefeated teams, they are both here to prove that double overtime and the shot at the championship will not be a distraction or an excuse coming into this game. Two players that need to be on your radar are the guards Max Strus, third year player out of DePaul, and Trent Forrest, second year player out of Florida State. Both guys hit game winning shots in sudden death on Wednesday and are looking to continue their stunning performances tonight. Another player that is looking to continue to make a mark is Udoka Azubuike, after flirting with the NBA Summer League record for blocks with six in the Jazz’s double overtime win over the Mavericks. Only person that can stand in his way is Omer Yurtseven, rookie out of Georgetown, who had an astounding first showing in the California Classic and will make Azubuike have to play some perimeter defense throughout the game.
First Half Analysis
Right off the bat, the Jazz continue to shoot the three-point shot as Brantley forced a contested shot and with the miss, Max Strus makes the Jazz regret the forced shot as he pulled up from three and made the shot with ease. With the play in the first quarter, Utah seems predictable, shooting around the perimeter and highly contest layups and Miami did their homework with Yurtseven getting two blocks as he anticipated each drive. Seems that Miami has full control of this game going into the game’s first timeout as they lead 9-4 holding Utah to only one made field goal, which was an assist to Azubuike from Forrest. Jarrell Martin, fourth year player out of Louisiana State University, made a much-needed confidence booster three coming right off the bench as MaCio Teague, rookie out of Baylor, was able to draw the double team. Another staple of the Utah Jazz is turnovers, with a minute thirty left in the first quarter, the Jazz already had eight turnovers along with a three second violation technical foul on Azubuike shortly after. Though the quarter was not pretty for the young Jazz unit, the score at the end of the first quarter was 17-13. Starting the second quarter, Kyle Fogg, rookie out of Arizona, putting the pressure on defense getting two tips on the ball in the first defensive possession. Fogg continued this pressure a few possessions later forcing a backcourt violation on Strus. MaCio Teague was able to bring the pressure on defense as well bringing a positive trend for this group getting a steal from DeJon Jarreau, rookie out of Houston, and getting the assist while on the ground to Elijah Hughes, who has been quiet in tonight’s game compared to previous showings. Despite the Jazz only shooting 1-10 from three this half, Utah is only down by one going into the second half with a score of 33-32. Max Strus, the leading scorer going into the half, is showing he has some NBA talent with 11 points and 5 rebounds and showing he is worth the new two-year, $3.5 million contract he signed earlier in the day.
Second Half Analysis
Elijah Hughes is making me eat my words as he scores the first five of seven points of the second half, a wide open three and a heavily contested layup that had a little bit of a stare down at the defense. On top of putting points on the board Hughes was able to get an assist to Azubuike, dunking over Yurtseven. Yurtseven didn’t let the poster affect him as he was able to get a uncontested dunk down low and put some emphasis at the rim to show his confidence. Though he has not been shy of shooting the ball, Jarrell Brantley made his first basket in the third quarter, and it was from the perimeter, even had some words for his defender as he trotted to the other side of the court. By no surprise, the leading scorers for the Jazz are currently Hughes (15), Forrest (13) and Azubuike (10). Ending the third quarter, Utah has finally grabbed the lead with a score of 59-53. Azubuike is starting to take notice of the fatigue of the Heat and is taking full advantage of that, scoring Utah’s first six points (layup, dunk, and two free throws). Those points added to the Jazz’s 11-0 run that lasted four and a half minutes starting from the end of the third quarter. Utah is showing that they want to have the chance at the championship game of the NBA Summer League by showing how aggressive they’ve finished outscoring the Heat 25-12 in the fourth quarter and having Azubuike flirting with a double-double with 18 points and 9 rebounds while teammate Trent Forrest finished with a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
At the beginning of the game, the Jazz looked as if they were fatigued from their previous game against the Mavericks as Utah allowed Max Strus (14 points and 7 rebounds) to show his versatility and leadership by getting the ball to players like Omer Yurtseven (16 points and 11 rebounds) and DeJon Jarreau (12 points and 5 rebounds). With a back and forth first half, the Jazz were able to capitalize in the second half outscoring the Heat 52-32. Distribution of the ball was key for the Jazz and finding their offensive rhythm proved to be too much for the Heat, allowing five Utah player to get into double figures (Azubuike, Hughes, Brantley, Forrest, and Teague). With this performance from MaCio Teague, Utah front office executives should look at giving this man a two-way contract with the heart and drive he has shown on the court. Next game for this undefeated Jazz team is on Sunday, August 15th against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers, in the hopes to continue their win streak and qualify for the NBA Summer League championship game.