Jazz close league with loss

Jul 13 2012 - 11:45pm

ORLANDO, Fla. -- This 8 a.m. EST breakfast battle to wrap up the Orlando Pro Summer League was no big deal. Enes Kanter's wake-up call was Monday, anyway.

After a less-than-stellar opening game, Kanter came back strong the entire week, finishing with a team-high 15 points and eight boards in the Utah Jazz's 89-75 exit-special loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Utah concluded summer league play with a 3-2 record, but the management got what it was looking for. Teams with a lot of young talent need the minutes this week provides -- the lockout prevented this last year -- to gain experience and showcase both the positive and the things to improve.

The week may have belonged to Alec Burks, who posted a five-game average of 17.2 points despite Friday's forgettable eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, but Kanter's progression was a positive storyline.

The 7-0 center admitted he gained at least 20 pounds while visiting his native Turkey, and he looked a step slow when Detroit's Andre Drummond controlled the opening day.

Improved focus was there Tuesday when Utah downed Philadelphia and then came double-doubles against Orlando and Indiana.

"I'm trying to lose weight; I'm trying to get in shape, Kanter said. "I know I'll be so much better when I keep playing."

Simply getting the time on the court is key when trying to develop a backup center. Kanter averaged 26 minutes this week.

"I didn't have a lot of confidence, because I didn't get a lot of playing time," Kanter said. "Coaches said I'd get minutes during summer league and I'm getting used to it."

Kanter's performance this week was perhaps the most scrutinized, with starting center Al Jefferson's contract expiring after this season.

"He's ahead of schedule despite what people are saying," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said of Kanter. "We talked about it being a two- or three-year deal, and that's where we're at. We're patient with it."

Jeremy Evans had 11 points for Utah on Friday. Second-round draft Kevin Murphy, who progressed as the week went on, scored 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

* JAZZ NOTES: Burks garnered a spot on the all summer-league team .... Michael Stockton, son of -- come on, you know that -- had five points on Friday. He finished the week averaging 2.6 points a game and had five assists against Philadelphia ... The team finished with two less players after Salah Mejri and Henry Sims left Thursday ... Forward DeMarre Carroll did not play Friday due to a sprained left ankle.

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