O'Quinn is a different story. He doesn't have the skills Nicholson does or the overall talent but there's no issue with his physical play or aggression. Playing against Pistons center Andre Drummond, O'Quinn was on the all-out attack. While getting in Drummond's face and physically challenging him nearly every possession, O'Quinn drew the eyes of nearly everyone in the room.
His hustle is evident. He runs the floor with purpose, and he seems to relish setting screens and battling for rebounds. He had 11 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes while Drummond had 3 points and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes. O'Quinn had 16 points on Monday and is 12-of-18 shooting for two games, mostly as a result of fighting close to the rim. He gets there because he has some polished footwork, again a product of a four-year college player.
It's hard to predict the role he might have with Orlando this season with much unknown about who will be in uniform. But whoever coaches the team, O'Quinn has all the classic traits of a rugged backup who will pressure the coach to throw him out there even with a talent and size disadvantage.
"Nine or 49, it doesn't matter to me," O'Quinn said talking about his draft position. He didn't pull those numbers out of the air. Drummond was picked ninth, he was picked 49th.
O'Quinn very much knows the score; he has no delusions. But there's no mistaking the focus he had on besting Drummond, something that last year's No. 3 overall pick Enes Kanter of the Utah Jazz struggled with the day before.
"You have to come in with [a chip on your shoulder], you know what kind of swagger those major college guys walk into the gym with. Us Norfolk State guys, we don't have that," O'Quinn said. "Anything we want we've got to take. That's the mentality I've had for the last four years and I've rolled it over into summer league. … I'm not a guy who came out after one year or two years and had everything given to him. I know it sounds redundant but I worked for everything, I appreciate everything."