Shai Gilgeous-Alexander off to strong start in Summer League

The LA Clippers selected Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with their first lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft, and while he was considered a great prospect, the idea was he would need some seasoning. Through two games in the Las Vegas Summer League, however, Gilgeous-Alexander is showing that his game might be more advanced than previously thought.

Gilgeous-Alexander has displayed poise while playing in space, and his shot is far more effective than anticipated. In the Clippers’ recent win over the Sacramento Kings, the 6-foot-6 point guard poured in 21 points in 26 minutes, on 8-for-16 shooting.

The guard’s length has also proven to be a factor, as he collected three steals against the Kings.

Gilgeous-Alexander has already received praise for his leadership, despite his rookie status.

“He’s really methodical, like just cerebral,” said Jerome Robinson, the Clippers’ second lottery pick. “He’s got like a slow and a fast pace. He’s great at changing pace and the way he plays, being able to create and being able to guard multiple positions.”

Summer League head coach Casey Hill added, “Just from an instinctual standpoint, he’s kind of ahead of his time. … He’s savvy.”

Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 17 PPG through the two contests, but he’s making an impact elsewhere, too. He’s filling up the stat sheet, which is always a positive sign for youngsters participating in the summer showcase.

Come the regular season, Gilgeous-Alexander will jockey for playing time as the Clippers bring a multitude of guards to training camp. Milos Teodosic recently opted into his second-year player option, while Avery Bradley was re-signed to a 2-year deal. Patrick Beverley will return from injury, as well.

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