The Real Charles Jenkins Finally Stands Up at Summer League

On the bus headed to the game, Warriors’ second-year point guard Charles Jenkins said one of his veteran teammates, David Lee, shot him a serious look and a few words: be aggressive.

Jenkins responded by posting a game-high 24 points Saturday to carry Golden State’s summer league squad to a 95-74 win overDenver’s edition. He was 9 of 12 shooting, knocking down all six of his shots en route to 17 second-half points.

“Before the game, a lot of people were telling me play aggressively,” Jenkins said. “Don’t look so timid out there. Shots weren’t falling for some guys so I had to fill in the void.”

Jenkins’ performance was equal parts impressive and puzzling from the Warriors’ perspective.

It was impressive because one night earlier he was a consummate floor general. In the 91-50 win over the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer league squad Friday, Jenkins spent the game in the shadows. He made sure the ball was moving, looked to set up the hot hands and run the offense. He exerted most of his energy on the defensive end. You barely noticed him out there.

But Saturday — with rookie forward Harrison Barnes struggling mightily on offense, and guard Klay Thompson drawing extra attention fromDenver— Jenkins became a weapon. He scored 13 points in the third quarter, turning a five-point halftime deficit into a 68-62 Warriors lead entering the fourth quarter.

Which leads to the puzzling part: why doesn’t he play this way more often?

“It would be best if he knew when to choose which way to play,” said Warriors assistant coach Pete Meyers, who’s coaching Golden State’s summer league team. “I thought he had a good floor game (against the Lakers). But when he’s playing like this, he’s hard to defend.”

Most of the time last season, Jenkins looked like the player he was against the Lakers. Passive, mostly looking to be a facilitator. Especially when he was a starter, Jenkins rarely looked to make plays, conceding to the veteran scorers.

Certainly, there is something to be said for his unselfishness and ability to play his role. But those who know and love Jenkins’ game say he needs to be more like the Jenkins from Saturday — aggressive, opportunistic, confident.

Against the Nuggets, Jenkins successfully got into the lane off the dribble, leading to a game-high seven free throw attempts. Because of his strength, he can absorb contact and still finish. Because of his vision, he can find guys in the lane (he would’ve had more than two assists if his teammates did a better job finishing). On top of that, Jenkins’ pull-up jumper was clicking Saturday.

“He’s one of the best midrange shooters I’ve ever seen,” Thompson said. “And I’m not exaggerating.”

Jenkins said after the Lakers game, people kept telling him to be more aggressive. He said he got a text from a friend who asked him if he was alright.

No doubt, Jenkins’ task will be to balance the two playing styles, especially when he’s playing with the full roster. But the Warriors, who just acquired point guard Jarrett Jack, are hanging on to Jenkins because of his ability to be the guy he was Saturday.

* According to a league source, the Warriors met with free agent forward Carl Landry on Friday. Golden State is still on the market for a power forward to play behind David Lee. The Warriors have limited funds, shy of $3 million, to spend. But it turns out that may be enough to get Landry, who the Warriors have liked for some time.

No deal is imminent, according to the source, but talks are progressing.

* Thompson had a hot start, knocking down his first four 3-pointers. But Denver began bringing the help his way, which turned Thompson into a driver.

Thompson finished with 17 points on 5-for-14 shooting. After taking five 3-pointers in the first quarter, Thompson took just one the rest of the game. Saturday’s outing gave him a chance to work on his off-the-dribble game.

“I should’ve finished a few more of those at the rim,” said Thompson, who had six turnovers in 36 minutes of action.

Thompson won’t get another chance to finish better at the rim until training camp. Warriors general manager Bob Myers — who never really preferred Thompson play summer league — is pulling the plug on Thompson’s summer league stint.

Thompson, who participated in the rigorous TeamUSAtraining camp July 6-11, said he would like to play all the games. But after two games, the Warriors no longer want him to risk injury. Plus, Thompson out of the lineup gives the Warriors a chance to get a good look at a few other players.

* After a shining debut, Warriors rookie forward Harrison Barnes struggled on offense Saturday. He finished with 13 points on 5 of 17 shooting in 35 minutes. But Barnes’ still found a way to contribute, pulling seven rebounds and collecting four steals.

While he was integral part of the Warriors second-half surge, Barnes showed examples of why his athleticism was questioned during the draft process.

He had a tough time staying in front of Nuggets second-year swingman Jordan Hamilton, a wiry athlete who seemed to slither easily to the rim. On a semi-transition play, Barnes — dribbling up the left sideline — opted to slow it down. He seemed to have a slight advantage, and the Warriors would love to see him exploit that situation and make something happen. But that takes the kind of athleticism and ball-handling Barnes isn’t known for having.

Early in the fourth quarter, Barnes had back-to-back shots inside swatted away by Kenneth Faried, who easily rejected Barnes’ ginger flip shots. Minutes later, he missed another point-blank shot at the rim, followed by a missed power dunk.

Perhaps it’s a lack of athleticism. Or perhaps it’s experience, him needing to learn how to get his shot off and take advantage of opportunities. Either way, it’s a part of his game worth watching.

* Jeremy Tyler played just 9 minutes, 48 seconds Saturday. He went scoreless, missing two shots, and grabbing two rebounds. He had four fouls, three in the first 1:18 of the game trying to guardDenver’s Kenneth Faried.

Marcus Thompson

  • deano

    Tyler has not progressed at all from last season, at the end of which GSW was so thin that he got a lot of playing time. GSW is thin no more, and a veteran PF is sure to be added to the roster. If Tyler’s contract is not guaranteed, he may not make the team. Based on these two summer league games, he shouldn’t make the team.

  • I sure hope the Warriors hold on to Charles Jenkins. I am afraid they might include him in some deal to dump salary (Jefferson/Biedrins).
    He would benefit by playing in the D-League for a season to gain the experience he needs for the point guard position.
    Jarrett Jacks numbers were inflated big time because he played for one of the worst teams in the league last year.
    In the long run, Charles Jenkins might end up being a better player.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Thoughts from Game 2:
    Jenkins, playing aggressively, will be fun to watch next to Jarrett Jack. Both are similar players, able to play either guard position.
    Barnes has bad hands and is not a confident ball handler.
    Thompson is a beautiful shooter and will continue to develop as a playmaker, but cannot be relied upon to do too much YET.
    Ezeli’s going to be a very good bench player, as will Draymond Green.
    Tyler sucks. A kid names Justin Burrell played better and got more minutes than JT3.

    Get Luis Scola, get Luis Scola, get Luis Scola. If not (and I know it’s probably not going to happen), be very happy getting Carl Landry.

    is there ANY way we can rid ourselves of Biedrins? Who wants Brandon Rush? Find someone who really likes BRush, then sign and trade him with Biedrins for a player on the last year of his contract (Maggette in Detroit, KMartin in Houston, Calderon in Toronto).

    We need McGuire on this team more than we need Brandon Rush.

  • haastheman

    It was clearly experience. Faried is a good defender. Barnes didn’t shoot well, but he did play well. He didn’t get frustrated when he missed a shot, he went after the steal on the outlet pass. And took it several times. He looked real poised, he’s letting the game come to him. He looks like a boxer in the first couple rounds feeling his opponet out. This kid will is good, and will get better. Green played well too, very high basketball i.q. Ezeli played big, not too schooled offensively, but takes up space defensively. Reminds me of what Kwame Brown did for us early last year.

  • Barnes will play better the more he acclimates to NBA ball. Practice time & the pre season will strengthen his weaknesses. He played somewhat passive @ Carolina because of the way they structure their players; upper classmen get more opportunities. he was schooled to defer to others.

    He will get more opportunities on the pro level. He has tremendous upside. The W’s wide open style will befit him.

    Green & Exeli have tremendous upside as well. Jenkins will remain on the W’s. Can’t affor to get rid of him because 1) don’t know what Curry can give & 2) they will need three point type guards. They will be fine if they can get another “tough guy” Like Landry. Wonder if they had amnestied Beans instead of charlie bell if they would have jumped all over Luis Scola. he would be perfect for the W’s & their “new” tough guy defensive mindset. . .wishes, fishes. . .that better be the ladt bad personnel move the W’s make for a while!

  • Pessismistic

    I didnt see the game but from what GSWSCRIBE stated says alot about Harrison Barnes. Its either you got it or you dont got it. He’s saying he dont got it.

    “On a semi-transition play, Barnes — dribbling up the left sideline — opted to slow it down. He seemed to have a slight advantage, and the Warriors would love to see him exploit that situation and make something happen. But that takes the kind of athleticism and ball-handling Barnes isn’t known for having.”

    I am sorry if you have something “in” you as a player you take that straight to the rack. Bryant, Durant, Wade, and others are not gonna let up. They gonna take it to you no matter what.

    I was hopefully optimistic about Jeremy Tyler but from the reports stated its not looking good for him. Like above you either got it or you don’t. He appears to not have it.

  • Young

    Jenkins did ball tonight (i’m no jenkins fan)

    Thank goodness Tyler’s contract isnt guaranteed. $1M saved…(hopefully going toward scola should he go unclaimed)

    Barnes appears to be exactly what they said he was. Good, not great…too bad, but with Klay and Steph taking the focus of the defense, his scoring should be good. (shockingly low bball IQ tho!)

    After watching summer league, its more clear than ever. No reason in the world to sit Barnes for B. Rush. The entire NBA knows B. rush’s game and no one is that interested…Start Barnes or Jefferson…

  • Fire Bob Fitzgerald

    MT is relentlessly negative about Barnes. MT’s posture in this regard is harming his overall credibility.

  • Pessismistic

    Negative? What should he only report on the positive things? He’s a reporter he calls it like he see’s it. What you think people make this stuff up? If reporters fail to report precisely they lose credibility and thus lose their job. Did he bash on him after his first game? Seriously…………..

  • lobo

    let me understand you mr fire….a guy shoots 5/17 you are covering and reporting on the game…what do you say??? if you actually read the article he reported exactly what he and everyone saw..off night shooting but found a way to contribute…talk about losing credibility…

  • moderate voter

    Tyler will likely be cut, they threw the dice on this guy but it’s looks like the gamble was a flop. Tyler needs to play overseas or get some experience in D-League, and then come back and try and catch on with NBA team. He’s just too raw and inexperienced right now. I do agree with other bloggers Charles Jenkin’s can definately play, I thought he had sub-par season offensively last year, he is a better shooter than he showed. He needs to fire up that mid-range, he’s one of best shooters on team.

  • impurviousshort

    Five Quick Points:

    1) Barnes looked good. His shot didn’t fall but he was aggressive. He picked up his rebounding. He got 4 steals and lose balls. Barnes is going to be very good.

    2) Festus Ezeli was a beast. 11 points, 7 boards, and 3 blocks, but more than that he controlled the paint. Denver was not to eager to go inside.

    3) With Klay, Barnes, and Jack, the Warriors are going to be a lot longer on the perimeter and better defensively.

    4) Tyler looked completely overmatched, maybe he’ll build strength while surfing in Santa Cruz.

    5) The Warriors have look of a well coached team on the rise.

  • I think Barnes was adversely effected by his time @ North Carolina. The structured approach harnessed his natural skills too much.

    Also, he’s admittedly not the explosive type. But more time in an up tempo system like the W’s will hasten his transition.

    Kinda like Jenkins. he’s coached by a former point guard that didn’t have the athleticism, strength or mid-range game Jenkins possesses. part of the transition of a point guard. Toughest position to play because of all the responsibility. With jack in tow it can do nothing but help his overall growth.

    But Tyler has to go to the D league or overseas. He needs to develop that hunger. Many have talked about not only his game but overall growth as a person hindered by not having @ least a year of college experience. He flat needs to grow up. Not necessarily mature but I remember a comment he made when a reporter told him the rookies (Thompson, Jenkins & Tyler) should hang back in the bay & work on their games.

    “Nobody told me that” was his response.

    As if he HAS to be told. . .wow. . .Scola will be a hard get. . .wonder if he sacrafices some dollars for a year. Probably not. . .

  • Damn! The Suns won the Luis Scola amnesty auction. . .oh, well, the W’s didn’t have a chance in hell. . .not giving amnesty to Bedrins didn’t help!

    Worst contract in the leagu. . .can’t they cry “uncle?”

  • DubsFO

    A lot of the rookies in summer league are not in top basketball shape. They were all careful to avoid injuries before signing their contracts. Barnes was aggressive Friday, but just floated through Saturday’s game and clearly didn’t have the same energy. Will be interesting to see the next couple games after a few days off and some more practices. Klay is done so they’ll be more opportunities for Jenkins, Barnes, Green,etc

  • Young

    With formal charges finally being brought against Andris, ANY CHANCE WE CAN GET OUT OF HIS CONTRACT?

  • Jai

    ” Perhaps it’s a lack of athleticism. Or perhaps it’s experience, him needing to learn how to get his shot off and take advantage of opportunities. Either way, it’s a part of his game worth watching “.

    Harrison Barnes is missing the X factor of not coming up in the hood. He grew up in Aimes, Iowa. That’s not the hood. He had no competition in Iowa. He dominated whoever he played. Barnes just doesn’t have any flavor or swag to his game. For one, he looks a little tight. Relax, loosen up. Maybe do some palates

  • roadster

    Agree with the comments on Tyler. He looked lazy and get pushed around. He also plays small. He likes bringing down the ball instead of holding it over his head and used his body and height to protect it. He also doesn’t attack the basket. Likes to fade away and do some outbalanced shots.

    I will not be surprised if his body fat is still 12-13%. His FG and FT % is very low. The only consolation is he rebounding is not too bad. If he can rebound, defend, and shoot FT better, then he is worth a project. Otherwise, we are wasting time on him.

  • moreaufan2

    First of all barnes has played well in summer league, this is the time for guys to make mistakes and they are playing with guys they have just met and had short practice time. He has nice hands in my opinion. he has done well, and he can defend and is active of defense. He has a very high ceiling.

  • moreaufan2

    Barnes has done some nice things, not one rookie has done thing all right even guys like lamb who is doing lot of scoring turns the ball over, does that mean he is a bad ball handler, no! Barnes has to work on going to the basket more instead of settling for the 3 all the time