Charlotte Hornets

Observations from Bobcats’ summer league opener

Bobcats shaded by Spurs in opener

Rick Bonnell’s observations off the Charlotte Bobcats’ 69-68 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at the Las Vegas Summer League on Friday:

• Much as advertised, Bobcats draft pick Cody Zeller runs the floor exceedingly well for a 7-footer. That will come in handy but there were times he got caught along the baseline on fast breaks because the guy in pursuit was just about as fast.

• Jeff Taylor had a fine summer league before his rookie season. His confidence seemed a little dented over the second half of last season. Las Vegas sure agrees with him: He scored 11 points off five shots in his first quarter this summer league.

• I don’t know whether any of the non-contract players on the Bobcats’ squad will be invited to training camp, but Georgetown center Henry Sims is intriguing. He’s quite a good athlete for his size. Not so much in basketball skills, but there’s something to work with there.

• Bismack Biyombo really struggled in the first half against the Spurs: He missed his only shot from the field (a baseline jumper), missed both his free throws (shooting foul off that baseline jumper). While he had five rebounds, he also had three fouls and three turnovers.

• Even with two older brothers with NBA experience, Zeller has to learn as he goes. San Antonio’s Deshaun Thomas jerked him around for some easy jump shots early. Zeller has said he’s still not totally comfortable with the difference in the college game and the NBA (nuances of the defensive 3-second rule and the extended spacing pro shooters present).

• A classic rookie learning moment for Zeller: Thomas isolated him at the top of the key in the second half and made a move. Zeller reached out to impede his drive and immediately heard a whistle. Zeller was dumbfounded, but this was a pretty standard implementation of the NBA hand-check rule (very different from college).

• Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with a long jump shot to win..just how you’d draw it up. Or not.

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