All the attention surround Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night in Las Vegas, but it was the Los Angeles Clippers led by Brice Johnson and Sindarius Thornwell who had the final word in the 96-93 overtime victory. While it’s still only one summer league contest, the product on the floor reminded coaches and fans alike why this Clippers’ summer league roster could be one of the franchises more entertaining ones in recent memory.
Let’s take a look at the two standouts from Friday night’s victory.
Brice Johnson – The kid can play. He’s most likely the most important player on this roster, and his development actually will have a direct influence on the regular season roster. As the Clippers’ 2016 draft pick, Johnson spent much of last year in the league formerly known as the D-League.
He dominated the game, especially in the second half, to prove he was the best player on the floor on either end of the floor. He finished with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Oh yeah, and he also had a pretty nice move on Ball for the cherry on top of a strong summer league outing.
Pretty baller move tbh pic.twitter.com/jhqdXVyyMc
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) July 8, 2017
It’s fair to expect Johnson to get a lot more run in the regular season this year.
Sindarius Thornwell – Simply put, Thornwell took the spotlight away from Ball Friday night. Finishing with 26 points would have been enough, but it was the constant defensive pressure and deflections that highlighted a summer league debut that’s left us all in awe.
— Ben Beach (@benbeach) July 8, 2017
What made his performance stand out even further was the 18 free-throw attempts; he has a strategy and sticks to it. Similar to Johnson, Thornwell showed just in one game why and how he can help a roster adjusting to the trading away of Chris Paul.
The Clippers play next on Sunday against the Utah Jazz.