5 Things we learned from Hornets opening Summer League game

Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
1 of 5

On July 3, the Charlotte Hornets made their 2023 Summer League debut. Charlotte lost to the San Antonio Spurs 98-77 in a disappointing game. With multiple fresh faces, and 2nd overall draft pick Brandon Miller, there was plenty to try and learn from the Hornets’ Summer League roster’s first outing.

The game started off at a frantic pace, with both teams looking to jump out to an early lead – something the Spurs were successful at. It took the Hornets almost the entire first quarter to reach double-digits in scoring.

As always, with Summer League competition, the contest was often paused due to turnovers, fouls, and coaches looking to set some minor details straight. After all, everyone involved is playing for something – stakes are high when contracts and/or regular-season playing time is on the line.

The score may not have been what Hornets fans had hoped for, but the development process for some of the team’s younger players can’t be ignored. Here are five things we learned from the Hornets’ opening game of Summer League.

#1 Brandon Miller’s offensive versatility can help the Hornets

In his first game since being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, Miller produced 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block while shooting 45.5% from the field, 42.9% from deep, and 71.4% from the free-throw line. Miller did have 6 turnovers and 7 fouls, too.

Outside of the box score, we got a first-hand glimpse of Millers’ offensive versatility. We saw the incoming rookie tasked with bringing the ball up the court, running pick-and-roll actions from the wings, setting screens, running ghost screen actions to create shooting space, and attacking closeouts off the dribble.

Miller’s diverse scoring ability was also on display. The Alabama product hit floaters, jumpers, and lay-ups and converted his chances from the charity stripe. Considering this was Miller’s first game at the Summer League level on a team that had never played together before, his performance was encouraging, although it was also a bit raw.

No player committed as many fouls as Miller. Only Blake Wesley of the Spurs was responsible for more turnovers.

On defense, Miller spent time as a point-of-attack defender and help-defender, making a solid impression as he used his size and length to disrupt his opponents’ rhythm, leading to some poor decision-making as a result. This was only Millers’ first game, and we will surely witness some growth over the coming weeks, but all things considered, there were definitely things to be excited about from Charlotte’s latest recruit – most notably his poise when finishing with a defender on his hip, and his off-ball movement to get open for catch-and-shoot opportunities.