On Wednesday, the NBA Summer League postseason began. With that in mind, it couldn't be more fitting that two rivals in the Miami Heat and New York Knicks aimed to entertain fans with an evening matchup.
Unfortunately for any and all Knicks fans, this wasn't much of a back and forth contest. In fact, the Knicks flirted with complete and utter disaster, almost losing by the largest amount in NBA Summer League history. Having closed in towards the end of the contest, New York fell to Miami by a score of 113-66.
The Heat were led by two very intriguing players who impressed in the NBA D-League this past season. Both the Bakersfield Jam's James Nunnally and the Tulsa 66ers' Tony Taylor deserve training camp looks from NBA teams this coming fall, and on Wednesday, each of them continued to prove why.
Starting for Miami in front of his home town team, Sleepy Hollow's Taylor helped his squad take control of the game early and never look back. As his plus/minus of +26 would suggest, Taylor was a masterful floor general early on. He pushed the tempo, working some give and go's as he kept an eye out for his teammates. His high plus/minus also proved how much "the hockey assist" was a proponent of the young guard's game. He finished with 6 points, 2 assists, and 1 steal.
One of the main beneficiaries of Taylor's floor vision was Nunnally, who was last seen coming up in the clutch for Bakersfield in the NBADL playoffs. The swingman poured in the points, helping spread the floor and then display bold confidence with his shot selection. Knocking down 4 of 6 shots from downtown, Nunnally finished with 18 points, good for second most on the team.
Both Taylor and Nunnally could serve as worthy enough contributors in the NBA, perhaps as soon as next season. As a potential third point guard, Taylor's value would come in bunches as he could run the floor and provide defensive pressure in spurts. In the case of Nunnally, he would constantly serve as a long-range threat, able to knock down a couple of shots from deep if his team needed to narrow a gap before bringing their starters back in.
There are potential roles for either one of these guys in The Association. It's just a point of how soon such opportunities come about with many players competing for the same spots.