Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora steals the show in Summer League debut

Mar 27, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks kicked off their long-awaited 2021 Summer League run with a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

With many young players on both teams looking to make a name for themselves, Milwaukee’s Jordan Nwora stepped up and made an impact. While players such as Sandro Mamukelsahvili and Mamadi Diakite had productive nights as well, Nwora was the story of the game for Milwaukee. An impressive 30 point outing to propel the Bucks to a down-to-the-wire 81-78 victory made him the center of attention.

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The young wing showed incredible poise on the offensive end while showing an increased sense of urgency on the defensive side of things. If this fantastic performance is any indication of what is yet to come for the 22-year-old, Nwora could see an increase in his workload in his second year.

With that being said, let’s take a look at Nwora’s impressive night.

Jordan Nwora provides an offensive spark for the Milwaukee Bucks in his Summer League debut

Nwora was known as a prolific sharpshooter throughout his college career. The Louisville alum shot an impressive 39.4 percent from deep in his three-year stint with the Cardinals. In his Summer League debut, Nwora showcased his excellent shooting.

While Nwora certainly struggled to start the game, he found his stroke in the second quarter. In fact, he outscored the Clippers 17-13 by himself in the second quarter. Nwora’s hot shooting provided a spark to bolster Milwaukee’s lead to 18 points. Jordan’s performance provided a glimpse into his scoring potential at the NBA level.

One other component of Nwora’s game that showed improvement was his passing and playmaking. Nwora finished Monday night’s game with six assists. His ability to make plays for others was certainly a welcome sight for Bucks fans. In his first season in Milwaukee, Nwora had seven assists in his 274 minutes of game time. On Monday night, he had six assists in 30 minutes of game time. His improvement in his passing is a change that needed to be made, and it seems that he is finding his footing in that regard. If Nwora is looking to earn extra time next season, his passing will be crucial to his development.

Certainly, Nwora’s shooting was the story of the night, but the improvements he showed in his passing and his off-ball movement were a welcome sight. There is still room to improve, but his Summer League debut provided a glimpse into his potential as an offensive threat. In a system such as Milwaukee’s, where 3-point shooting is a focal point, Nwora proved his 3-point shooting is at an NBA level.

Jordan Nwora improved his defensive effort in his Summer League debut for the Milwaukee Bucks

Nwora’s improvements weren’t only shown on offense. As stated before, Nwora is known as a sharpshooter. Typically, when someone is held in high regard for their shooting ability, their defense can be lackadaisical.

However, the young wing provided improved effort on the defensive end. There are certainly some observable defensive limitations, but the effort given on that end was a welcome sight. One knock on Nwora’s defensive presence is his tendency to float in open space during his off-ball defensive sequences.

While that was still present in his Summer League debut, there was some improvement in that aspect. Though the limitations were there, he stepped up when he needed to. With just under a minute left in the game and the Bucks clinging to a one-point lead, Nwora poked the ball away from the Clippers to force a turnover. That play set up the Bucks to take a shot and increase their lead to three, and Milwaukee was able to hold on to secure the victory. Los Angeles shot well down the stretch, and Nwora provided key defense to keep Milwaukee’s lead alive and eventually come away with the victory.

The uptick in effort defensively from Nwora was a bright spot to go along with his excellent shooting. There is certainly room to improve, but seeing a young player making an effort to improve on the defensive end could be an indicator of their development. Without his key defense down the stretch, the Bucks could have started their Summer League campaign with a loss. Going forward, Nwora’s effort on the defensive end will be important as he looks to become a more well-rounded defender.

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With the first game out of the way, the Bucks will take on the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Look for Nwora in the second game as he looks to piggyback off his impressive outing in game one.