During their Summer League play, Sindarius Thornwell and Brice Johnson have been impressing the LA Clippers.
The big story heading into the first game of the 2017 Summer League was Lonzo Ball and how great he could actually be. However, Brice Johnson helped to spoil his first outing. Meanwhile, Sindarius Thornwell, a second round pick this year, has been putting together solid performances for the LA Clippers.
Both young players are hoping to be part of the team’s regular season rotation and not relegated to either the G-League or the end of the bench. Their play this summer has proved that they could both earn some minutes for Doc Rivers’ Clippers.
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Thornwell, who showed his toughness during the NCAA tournament, set out to prove something to his coaches. Before their first game against the Lakers, Thornwell reportedly asked to guard Lakers’ forward, Brandon Ingram. Ingram, who could possibly become a star player, is someone who could easily dominate the Summer League. However, this didn’t scare Thornwell.
"You don’t ask to guard the best player on the opposite team. He asked for the challenge,” Cassell said. “To see him go out there and put forth the effort and take on the challenge to guard a guy like Ingram was huge."
That is huge. The young wing relishes the challenge of taking on the big name players. With the addition of new players such as Patrick Beverly, the Clips could be looking to change their identity. Thornwell’s tenacity could really help with that change.
Meanwhile, Brice Johnson set out to prove that he could be a good NBA player, despite missing most of last season with an injured back. With only one other backup big on the roster (Montrezl Harrell, who also is playing this summer), Brice is looking to lock up some minutes. With the rumor that Blake Griffin could miss the start of the season, Brice could possibly even see himself with major minutes or starting. He was quoted as saying:
"“I just have to come out here and prove to the guys in the organization that I can still play. They drafted me for a reason and I’ve got to come out and prove it.”"
Through three games, Sindarius Thornwell is averaging 16 points on 41% shooting, along with 4 rebounds and 1.7 steals. Brice Johnson is averaging 14 points on 57.1% shooting and 5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks. The LA Clippers plays their last regular Summer League game tonight, then they will begin the Las Vegas tournament.