Title:Deng Adel comes home in NBA preseason debut
Date: October 6, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about Deng Adel’s preseason breakout against a team he played with all summer.
Dean Vickerman had a good sense that, if given the opportunity, Deng Adel might do something just like this.
The Melbourne United head coach got to know Adel well over the course of the summer while the undrafted rookie spent several weeks working out with the club. Melbourne United has developed a reputation for being a haven for the influx of NBA talent from Australia who head home for a chunk of the offseason and still want professional-level workouts. Along with names like Dante Exum, Joe Ingles and Jonah Bolden, and under the tutelage of Raptors assistant coach Phil Handy, Adel was a fixture alongside the defending NBL Champions as he prepared for his first professional season.
Now in training camp with the Toronto Raptors, Adel was relegated to watching the team’s first two preseason games. With six Raptors sitting out and coach Nick Nurse having a keen sense of how to put the team’s tryout playersin fun situations, Adel figured to see his first opportunity. If Vickerman had learned anything over the summer, it was that Adel wouldn’t shy away from any opportunities thrown his way.
“There’s a thing about Australian talent that sometimes they like to blend and really fit in, and it makes our culture strong,” Vickerman told The Athletic prior to tip-off. “But he’s one that’s got that ultimate confidence, that’s willing to stand out from the crowd a little bit. We saw it in practices, anytime there was a game-winning shot to have, he wanted the ball in his hands. You know, you love people that are that confident to want to take those shots.”