Adelaide 36ers star Mitch Creek took his Summer League opportunity with both hands, suiting up for the Utah Jazz and playing the kind of hard nosed game that Australians have become known for around the world.
Slotting into a team with players oozing potential across the board, Creek carved out a niche on the squad early in Vegas in particular, with his defensive pressure giving opposition players trouble while his offensive game caught up as time went on.
Reflecting on the experience as a whole with Tommy Greer, Creek acknowledged the adjustment being the most difficult.
“It’s a completely different game and the way they play is so different so it took a couple games to adjust to that but I think the last couple games I adjusted well and started to get on the scoreboard a little bit,” Creek explained.
The Jazz coaching staff raved about Creek’s play all week, with head coach Zach Guthrie using a Joe Ingles comparison to showcase the way in which the 36ers’ forward was able to impact games in Vegas.
Creek used the week in Vegas in particular to work with the Jazz on identifying the areas in his game where he needed to improve in order to take the next step, which would be securing a position on an NBA roster.
“I always want to be a better shooter, I need to continue to try and demonstrate that where I can and like I said, it’s understanding the play now and knowing how they play the game of basketball more so in the NBA, it’s so different to Australia,” said Creek.
“I think a lot of guys who play that two, three spot have found it pretty tough. Playing the four is a lot different, I played a bit of four today and caused some mismatch problems but just the ability to play off the on ball in the seams and playing out of the pocket passes, that kind of style of the game, improve my ball handling as well. I think they are the two areas I’d like to improve most and I think if I can do that I can really cause some havoc.”
The experience as a whole leaves Creek in a prime position to have a huge NBL season with Adelaide, however in the meantime it is the Australian Boomers camp which becomes the focus.
20 players from the NBL and Europe will head to the Gold Coast on Wednesday where Andrej Lemanis will begin evaluating their play to select a final 12 to contest the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Lemanis and all the other guys there. All the other guys in the NBL and guys coming in and out of different leagues and different teams here even, it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity, it’s my first real Boomers camp with the full squad basically so I’m just looking forward to the opportunity,”
“It’s another opportunity and one I never thought I’d have, so to have two of those in the space of two weeks, I can’t count my blessings enough.”
Catch the full post-Summer League interview with Mitch Creek below.