After making his 2014 NBA Summer League debut in a 85-77 loss against the Boston Celtics with the Miami Heat steering three points and six rebounds and a monster block against Celtics number #1 draft pick Marcus Smart, the Heidelberg native had little time to reflect or rest his muscles as he returned back to the Orlando Magic training facility 30 hours later to square off against the Brooklyn Nets. After not really being a real option in the Miami Heat offense against Boston where two time NCAA champion with UCONN Shabbaz Napier had an off day on 3/15 shooting, Fraport Skyliner Danilo Barthel witnessed a very much improved Napier who deleted his jitters from game one returning with a 17 point and seven assist evening and 2013 Atlanta Hawks draft pick James Ennis stole the show from every one pouring in 29 points. Despite all this fire power from other teammates, Barthel quietly did his job on the floor on both ends and still was able to improve his stats form his debut against the Boston Celtics helping secure the 110-91 rout against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Miami Heat got rolling right form the get go and never looked back having their biggest lead at 21 points and Barthel helped add on to the lead in the first quarter when he scored six points. Barthel can do a lot on the court, but one thing that has kept improving in the last year is his smartness and alertness on the court especially reading plays. After not being totally aggressive in his debut, the German stepped on the court and was very aggressive, wanting and getting the ball and finishing strong. His first bucket was off a pick and roll, his second bucket was a beautiful running hook shot something Frankfurt Skyliners fans saw with regularity in the 2007-2009 seasons when Ilian Mr swish Evtimov had incorporated it into his offensive arsenal something Barthel might remember watching when he was a kid at games. He also made a smart play on defense where he got a charge call on ex Sacremento Kings forward Donte Greene.
In the second quarter, Barthel played the first minute and then departed not returning. Miami got needed production from Shabbaz Napier and Justin Hamilton while James Ennis caught on fire at the end of the second quarter. The Brooklyn Nets continued to play catch up basketball and would have been down by 30 points had Mason Plumlee not been at the top of his game. Barthel returned in the third quarter at the 5.24 minute mark. His best play was grabbing an offensive rebound and making the put back. Barthel continued to be involved in the offense more than in the first game and despite so many other Heat players having consistent scoring. Barthel was blocked on one play, but made the heads up play retrieving the ball to find teammate Tyler Johnson who was unable to get the shot off as the shot clock expired. In the fourth quarter, Barthel got into the game again playing some more minutes and his best play was making his first assist in the NBA Summer league. In his best Jacob Burtschi manner, the ex teammate of Barthel in Frankfurt who at times would pass up an open shot for the better positioned player even if he had a shot into the ocean , the German found guard Tyler Johnson who connected on a three pointer and went 6/6 from the field finishing with 14 points something he never did as a senior at Fresno State as his best shooting there when hitting six shots was out of seven tries. In the end the state line of Danilo Barthel read eight points, four rebounds, one assist on three for four shooting in 12.48 minutes of play. Barthel improved vastly form his debut against the Boston Celtics and it will be interesting to see if he will be rewarded with even more playing time. On a court with many very talented Americans, Barthel doesn´t have to hide as he continues to play with the NBA boys. Barthel next faces off against the Detroit Pistons and ex teammate Tim Olbrecht on Tuesday.