This was supposed to be the battle of the Thompson Twins. No. 4 overall pick Amen Thompson and the Houston Rockets facing off against No. 5 pick Ausar Thompson and the Detroit Pistons. Sadly, Amen turned his ankle in Houston’s first Summer League game and is now in a walking boot.
Still, there is plenty of interest in the game tonight at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2. First, we get another look at Ausar Thompson, and I am hoping he is more involved in the offensive game plan compared to Detroit’s game 1 victory over the Orlando Magic. It’s not that Ausar was disappointing. Far from it, in fact. He just didn’t have the ball in his hands much, and was limited to just four shot attempts.
He did impress, however, with a high level of defense, a natural instinct for where to be on the floor on both ends, and a beautiful transition pass to a streaking James Wiseman for a dunk. He finished with seven points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks on the night.
One player who would qualify as a disappointment would be second-year guard Jaden Ivey. He was all over the place and just never looked comfortable in game one. I’m not sure he’ll even play in game 2, but if he does, you’d hope to see someone who can dictate the action and score effortlessly.
While Houston is without Amen, it is not a team without intrigue. Several Pistons fans wanted Detroit to draft Cam Whitmore at No. 5 in the draft, but some injury concerns saw him fall all the way to Houston at No. 20. He showed off some obvious burst in Summer League, but also some tunnel vision that had some analysts concerned. Houston also has Jabari Smith Jr., fresh off a game winner, and Tari Eason, who is just a joy to watch on the court.
If Ivey does sit, that will also open up opportunities for rookie combo guard Marcus Sasser to get more responsibility on both ends of the floor. It should be fun.