2007 NBA Summer League: Day Eight
By Aran Smith
Link: NBA.com Official Summer League Site
The top performers of day eight were Kevin Durant, Oliksey Pecherov, Von Wafer, Ron Hale, Aaron Brooks and Al Thornton.
(1-2) Phoenix Suns 94 - (0-4) New Orleans Hornets 86
Ron Hale had a surprising breakout performance leading the way for the victorious Suns with 25 points on 9-13 shooting. Phoenix first rounder Alando Tucker struggled shooting just 5-20, but the rest of the Suns picked up the slack helping the Suns to notch their first victory in summer league and in the process run the Hornets record to 0-4.
On the positive side for New Orleans, first round pick Julian Wright had a strong showing running the floor well and staying active putting up 14 points on 5-8 shooting. He's a work in progress but shows good potential as a glue guy.
Also impressive for New Orleans were second year bigman Hilton Armstrong and ex-Florida PG Anthony Roberson who had 24 and 23 points respectively.
(2-2) Los Angeles Clippers 90 - (2-2) Memphis Grizzlies 84
After a solid game, it was back to his timid, unassertive ways for Rudy Gay who was outplayed by rookie Al Thornton who demonstrates the intensity and mental toughness that Gay lacks. Gay shot just 4-16 from the field with 13 points, missing some key baskets late in the game, while Thornton went for 19 on 8-18 shooting.
For the Grizzlies, Mike Conley Jr. shot poorly from the field (2-10) with 9 points, 8 assists and 6 turnovers. Kyle Lowry was the lone bright spot for the Grizz with 20 points showing a real displeasure with losing at the end, which is just the competitive fire missing from Memphis star Rudy Gay.
(3-1) Boston Celtics 100 - (2-2) Milwaukee Bucks 76
A run away wrecking ball was spotting in Las Vegas by the name of Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Davis finished the game with a team high 16 points. The young and talented Celtics squad ran their record to 3-1 with an easy win over the Yi-less Bucks.
David Noel led all scorers with 18 points on 8-17 shooting. Lynn Greer has been the Bucks most impressive Summer league player checking in with 13 points. He looks like an excellent NBA backup PG.
On the bright side, on Saturday came word that the Bucks had re-signed point guard Mo Williams for 6 years.
(3-1) Denver Nuggets 120 - (2-2) Los Angeles Lakers 88
The Lakers were outscored 30-6 in the second quarter falling behind by nearly 30 points as the Nuggets ran away with the victory. Von Wafer continued his excellent summer play with another strong scoring performance hitting 8-13 shots for a total of 22 points. His 19.8 ppg leads the team.
Javaris Crittenton and Jordan Farmar matched one another with 13 points in the ongoing battle for the Lakers point guard position. Crittenton shot 5-13 with 6 assists, while Farmar shot 3-8 with 2 assists.
(2-1) Houston Rockets 74 - (0-3) Washington Wizards 69
Aaron Brooks continued his outstanding play with 23 points on 8-16 shooting. He also recorded 4 assists to no turnovers. He's making the Rockets look smart for taking him at 26 when some felt this was a reach to take him in the first round.
Oliksey Pecherov broke out for a huge game with 26 points and 14 boards. His energy looked much better from the very beginning of the game and he finally looked comfortable. He was the best bigman on the court knocking down outside jumpers and grabbing boards.
Dominic McGuire shot just 2-8 with 9 points, but has been very impressive in his minutes for the Wizards averaging 10.3 ppg and showing supreme athleticism.
Nick Young came off the bench to score 14 on 5-14 shooting. He's showing a smooth offensive game at times, but still struggling to create moving to the basket.
(3-1) Golden State Warriors 85 - (0-4) Seattle Supersonics 71
With Lebron James sitting courtside and Bill Russell in the stands, Kevin Durant and Marco Belinelli squared off guarding each other throughout much of the game and putting on a show for the fans. Belinelli faked Durant out of his shoes on a number of occasions, while Durant's length caused problems for Belinelli as KD had a big second half scoring run to finish with 32 on 9-23 shooting.
Belinelli started hot but cooled off finishing just 6-22 from the field but had a number of sensational shots and passes which drew a big reaction from the crowd. Golden State's new "Nelli" fits right in with Coach Nellie's run and gun style.
Jeff Green also impressed with 15 points (6-13) and 8 boards. He hammered home one dunk showing that he has the strength to finish inside over opponents. He also played an excellent team game, finding open teammates and playing unselfishly. Green and Durant should both start for what's going to be one of the youngest and worst teams in the league. The Sonics and Grizzlies (depending on what they do with Gasol) are looking like the front runners for the top pick in the draft next year.