Summer League Player Reviews: Marquese Chriss and Troy Williams

 

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With the 2016 Vegas Summer League over, it’s time to look back on some of your Phoenix Suns young prospects performed in the desert heat of Las Vegas.

Marquese Chriss:
Stats: 10 PPG, 9 RPG, 0.7 BPG, 0.3 APG

Although he played in only three of the Suns six games, Marquese Chriss has left a lasting impression in my mind, whist also providing performances that should leave Suns fans optimistic on what’s to come from this young man. It was a well-rounded three games for Chriss, who provided plenty of highlight plays for the spectators in Vegas.

Offence:
Marquese Chriss was drafted as a young, hyper-athletic big with potential by the boat load, and by-and-large, that’s what he displayed offensively. Throughout the tournament he made good cuts to the basket for some easy layups and dunks, and moved very well within the offense.

His jumpshot however, left much to be desired, making zero three pointers on seven attempts. This was made worse with converting only 57.1 percent of his shots from the free throw line.

He hounded the ball on the offensive glass, coming away with three offensive rebounds a night, including some Stoudimire-esque putback slams that had me jumping out of my seat. Overall, Suns fans should be impressed and excited for the future of Marquese Chriss in the purple and orange.

Defence:
I came into Summer League with the expectation that Chriss could possibly be up there with the league leaders in blocked shots, however, this was not the case. He performed well, showcasing good defensive fundamentals, rather than risking fouls trying to send everything into the tenth row.

In his individual matchups, Chriss more than held his own. Apart from the first game of the tournament, no player scored double-digits on Chriss. He also displayed a passable ability to switch out onto the ball handler, which in today’s NBA is a crucial skill for a bigman to possess.

I hardly noticed Marquese on defence, which is almost a good thing. He kept his man quiet, stayed away from silly fouls (to an extent) and held his own against NBA competition. It was exactly what I wanted from the young Sun.

Stand Out Performance:
Undeniably, Marquese’s best performance was in the Suns second game; a win against the Boston Celtics. He finished with 15 points, 14 boards, two blocked shots, and some truly thunderous dunks in what was the best game to watch in my opinion of the whole summer league.

 

Troy Williams:
Stats: 12.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 APG

Coming into Summer League, I knew almost nothing about Troy Williams. From doing some research I discovered he was a long, athletic forward who works best slashing to the basket. It would be fair to say I am now the president of his fan club. No one for the Suns (with maybe the exception of Tyler Ulis) impressed me more than Williams, and I think he should be given a chance, either on the team or in the D-League.

Offence:
If you like to watch running basketball, you will like Troy Williams. He was consistently out on every fast break, and showed a good ability to finish at the rim. This “score first, think second” approach allowed for some easy buckets on drives, or drawing fouls and getting to the line, where he converted close to 80 percent of his attempts.

Williams also displayed a capable 3 point shot. He looked very comfortable shooting the ball with range, however consistency on his shot was hard to find. He tends to kick his legs out quite a lot, which hinders him from really getting set and into a shooting motion.

When Chriss went out, Williams stepped into the starting roll, averaging 20.3 points per game, and 6.6 rebounds per game. Those are impressive numbers for an undrafted rookie, and numbers that may have earned himself a roster spot going forward.

Defence:
Troy Williams looked very comfortable on the defensive end during his six summer league games. Averaging just under two steals per game, Williams was a pest, frequently jumping the passing lanes in search of a fast break dunk.

He reminds me a lot of Gerald Henderson, with his quickness and bounce, however he finished with zero total blocks. I would expect more than that from a player of his athleticism, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised with Williams ability to hold his own on the defensive end.

Stand Out Performance:
Williams’ best game came in the Suns overtime win against the Denver Nuggets, where he had 22 points in three quarters! He unfortunately fouled out, but hey, had he not, we may have never got the buzzer beater from Tyler Ulis.

 

Those were my thoughts on these two young studs, what do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below.

Ben Hopkins

Aussie battler, kebab connoisseur, passionate Suns fan.

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