SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Brandon Miller made his summer league debut for the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, finishing with 18 points in a 98-77 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at the California Classic.
The No. 2 pick showed some jitters through the first three quarters, committing six turnovers and finishing the night with seven fouls. Most of his fouls stemmed from him struggling to stay in front of offensive players.
“I’m a little frustrated because I don’t like to lose, but I had fun out there,” Miller said. “Seeing a different environment from the college experience was fun. I think I was relaxed as far as emotions. Just let the game come to me, make all the right plays and just be there for my teammates.”
He continued: “We got the jitters out, so we’re going to be good.”
As Miller’s nerves settled, he found the rhythm that helped propel him to being selected second overall in last month’s NBA draft.
He scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and shot 5-of-11 for the game, to go along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 34 minutes.
“That’s hard to say — to give him a grade,” Hornets summer league coach Marlon Garnett said. “I’ll come back to that.”
Garnett said Miller’s pace can be a positive, but he has to learn how to control it so as to limit his turnovers. Garnett also wants to see Miller be more aggressive, and said he plans to help him do that by not having him handle the ball so much, but instead slip out of screens and attack.
Miller and the Hornets will play their second and final California Classic game on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers before heading to Las Vegas for the NBA 2K24 Summer League.