Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by SlyPokerDog, Jul 29, 2021.
I haven't seen that.
Portland Trail Blazers rookie forward Greg Brown III certainly made his mark during the NBA summer league in Las Vegas.
High-flying dunks. Spectacular blocked shots. Energy and enthusiasm. The play of the team’s second-round pick out of Texas teased of what might be, should he develop his game. There to get the first crack at polishing all of that raw talent in Brown’s slender, 6-foot-9 frame was Roy Rogers, the Blazers’ summer league coach, who described the rookie as a bundle of energy bound to make mistakes but eager to learn from them.
“I’m excited by his work ethic,” Rogers said. “He has a chance to be a good player provided he puts in the work each and every day.”
Brown played 19 minutes per game in Las Vegas and averaged nine points on 57.1% shooting 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for the 2-3 Blazers, who concluded their schedule on Tuesday.
Brown, who has room for growth as a shooter, made just 25% on threes (0.6 of 2.4 per game). At Texas, he shot 33% (30 of 91) on threes from a closer distance. But he looks comfortable shooting and has a solid stroke. So, there’s reason to believe he could evolve in this area.
The Blazers, who didn’t have a pick in the first round after trading it as part of the Robert Covington trade during last year’s NBA draft, acquired Brown from New Orleans after it selected him with the 43rd overall selection. Portland sent the Pelicans a future second-round pick and cash.
The Blazers have had a strong track record in recent years with second-round picks, most notably Gary Trent Jr., taken in 2018. Brown, once considered to be a potential lottery pick by some, could become a similar find for the Blazers.
Just 20, Brown went to Texas last season rated as the No. 9 high school player in the country on 247Sports and No. 10 by Rivals.com. Brown played well for the Longhorns but didn’t live up to the recruiting hype, averaging 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Brown offers something that the Blazers have never found in the second round. He is 6-foot-9, rangy and ultra-athletic. But he is also super raw and at times battled maturity issues at Texas.
Last season, Brown threw down a powerful dunk against Baylor but received a technical foul for taunting.
Late during the final game of the regular season against TCU, Brown attempted a dunk similar to the one he made Tuesday against Houston, when he went between his legs with the ball, but missed, much to the dismay of Longhorns coach Shaka Smart.
In the Big 12 tournament quarterfinal game against Texas Tech, Brown played just 13 minutes and at one point walked away from the bench and up a tunnel before returning. Brown did not start in the Big 12 championship game against Oklahoma State and played just six minutes.
None of these situations should be considered huge issues, but they are signs that Brown has some growing up to do. He said last week that he appreciated the fact that the Blazers summer league roster had numerous NBA veterans who have helped teach him how to carry himself as a professional.
The Blazers featured forward Michael Beasley (11 years), guard Emmanuel Mudiay (five years), center Kenneth Faried (eight years) and guard Antonio Blakeney (two years). They were brought in, in part, to help pass on knowledge to the younger players, according to Rogers.
Some of the lessons learned, Brown said, include being early, staying late, building relationships, working hard in the weight room and simply being professional.
“Every day is a learning experience,” Brown said. “They’ve been teaching me how to become a pro on and off the court and I’ve been soaking it all in, being a sponge and trying to get better.”
The lessons, Brown said, will make him better prepared for the start of training camp in late September.
“I know what to expect when I go into training camp, what to look for and how to approach the locker room when I go to my team,” Brown said. “So, overall I think it was a very helpful experience.”
Veteran advice led to Brown’s spectacular dunk in the second quarter on Tuesday. Brown said he put down some dunks at a recent practice, leading to Beasley telling him he should do that in the game.
“When the opportunity came, I remembered that conversation,” Brown said.
On the play, CJ Elleby, the team’s second-round pick last year, made the long pass to Brown during a fast break, then watched the show.
“I was just staring at him in disbelief,” Elleby said.
The dunk also impressed Rogers.
“Greg is so athletic and that’s just a rare glimpse into his athleticism,” Rogers said. “I told him, ‘I’ve been in this league a long time as a player and a coach. I’m not sure I can ever remember witnessing something like that in a summer league game, a preseason game, or any game.’ I’m excited for Greg. He’s an eager learner. He works hard. I think he has a really bright future provided he stays humble and continues to work.”
Brown’s long legs produce long strides, allowing him to eat up space quickly before launching toward the basket with great explosion. He could already become a threat in transition and on lob passes for the Blazers during the upcoming season. But powering through dunks as he did in college and summer league is not going to be as easy against stronger and more experienced NBA veterans.
Brown must improve his overall skillset (ballhandling, footwork, shooting) and his decision-making to become a valuable member of the team’s rotation. Playing time at small forward won’t be easy to come by with starter Norman Powell and backups Derrick Jones Jr. and Nassir Little on the roster.
Rogers said at the beginning of summer league that the game was moving at lightning speed for Brown while he learned terminology, plus defensive and offensive sets.
Rogers said he liked the fact that the rookie was getting a chance to make tons of mistakes in summer league.
In an early game, Brown allowed a dunk, turned to Rogers standing near the bench and asked: “That was mine, right?”
Rogers responded, “Yes,” and although pleased that Brown recognized what happened after the fact, urged him: “Next time, do it before the play.”
“There’s a lot going on right now for him, but I like the fact that he continues to work, he doesn’t get down on himself and he’s improved since the first day of training camp,” Rogers said.
Brown said he feels that he can fit in with any team and expects to do so with Portland. As for his role next season, Brown said he expects to provide athleticism and rebounding, and is ready for whatever else comes his way.
“If my role gets bigger, it gets bigger,” he said. “If not, I’ll keep doing whatever to help the team win.”
Of course Beasley encouraged him to do a between the legs dunk in game. Lol. I don’t want that clown anywhere near our regular season roster.
If you watch GB's highlight reel video posted above, it probably didn't take much encouragement. That's a very rehearsed dunk of his.
Greg Brown, DJJ, Ant, Nas....
If we added a speedy PG, we could become a very dangerous fast-breaking team.
My feeling about Roco is that he needs chemistry with Nurk and Norm and all 3 guys need to move their feet together....string...they really don't have chemistry yet at all...that needs a training camp at the very least...I think we'll see massive improvement in Roco's help defense...Chauncey talked about it at length. Chief and Nurk and Mo had that chemistry much more than we saw last season with the Norm acquisition and Nurk's return...I think we have the staff to get them playing together
if this is the roster we’re going into the season with, I think Brown might carve out a role, especially in the likely scenario that one of our centers miss time. Rogers mentioned how he he’s a quick learner and has a good work ethic. That’s always the type of comment I look for when it comes to rookies. Mix that in with his elite physical traits, and I’d say the odds of him playing are higher than other players we’ve had.
This means that me, at 5' 9" has a chance?
I'm not sure I want Paul George on this team ....
I doubt GB sees a more than spot minutes unless it driven by injury. But, I really like his potential. I think he more of a three. He has greatly athleticism, joy just on dunks but laterally.big arms/hands, aggression and energy. All the hallmarks to be a great wing defender. Then add on offense his slashing (I miss slashers) and I think he’s built for the 3. Defense won’t be good this year, But if he makes strides and shows any passion for D I think it’ll pay huge long term to treat GB as a wing.
So you're saying he's not Thomas Robinson, he's Travis Outlaw?
TO didn’t have the mentality to attack or believe in himself. Looks like GB might. I’d take a more confident TO anytime. Thomas Robinson could leap out the gym but I never saw him use that athleticism laterally or really doing anything aside from running downhill and jumping.
no idea if GB will succeed but he does have truly elite athleticism and a fearlessness. There’s no reason he couldn’t play spot 4 and be 5 down the road but I think it’s best to start his career on the perimeter. This falls apart quickly if his shots don’t fall. If his shots aren’t at least average then move him to 4 I guess. But if his shooting is decent then at 3 he can stretch, slash and collapse the D, if he can dish then we have star potential.
I know it's nothing and everyone does it but it makes me irrationally excited to see this kid working out at the PF 2-3x a day on a long weekend.
I really like this kid! Effort and enthusiasm isn't taught, you have it or you don't.
Every time this thread pops back up I read it as a different Greg and have flashbacks.
The funny thing is that this Greg wouldn't even have to end up great to have a better career than the other Greg. Just be good enough to stick in the league and stay healthy. Holy shit! Oden was a #1 pick. This guy could be better! Haha
Much like planning on a Dame/CJ led team getting us to contender status.
GB and MC are same height and both athletic. MC outweighs GB by about 30 pounds at this point.
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