2007 NBA Summer League: Day Nine
By Aran Smith
Link: NBA.com Official Summer League Site
The top performers of day nine were Randy Foye, Craig Smith, Rudy Gay, Reyshawn Terry, DJ Strawberry, and Nate Robinson.
(5-0) Dallas Mavericks 91 - (3-2) Boston Celtics 70
Behind the steady and clutch play of JJ Barea, the Mavericks completed their undefeated run through this year's summer league at 5-0. Scouts like Barea as a back up but he obviously struggles against bigger point guards defensively due to his size. He can be posted up by bigger point guards so he is most effective against smaller PGs. Barea finished with 10 pts (5-9) and 11 assists.
Reyshawn Terry led the way for Dallas looking very strong knocking down a few outside shots as well as dunking on the break. Before this game his summer league average was below 6 points per game, but he broke out with a 23 point (9-13) performance. His NBA body and athletic ability should allow him to be an excellent pro, and a very solid pick up in the second round via trade.
Glen Davis led the way for the Celtics with 19 points and 14 boards. He out-battled Brandon Bass hitting 8-18 shots and a game high in boards. Allen Ray and gerald Green each had 15. Green has been a major disappointment averaging 11.4 ppg on 29.8 % shooting, when much of the offense was centered around getting him the ball.
(3-1) Minnesota Timberwolves 102 - (2-3) Memphis Grizzlies 91
It was the Randy Foye show as Foye went off for 16 points in the first 7 minutes of the game. Foye helped Minnesota build a 20 point lead in the first half and saw the lead close to single digits as he sat on the bench. He quickly put the game away after entering back in the game in the fourth quarter. Foye might be the top overall player in summer league. Not only did Foye knock down 12-17 from the field, he looked very good passing the ball, setting up teammates, finishing with 2 assists. His maturation into a point guard as well as scorer is apparent.
Craig Smith impressed again with an effortless 25 points on 10-13 shooting. He's proving to be an absolute steal of a second rounder a year ago.
Corey Brewer played well scoring 18 on 7-17. He squared off with Rudy Gay for much of the game, and though he looks extremely skinny and has a long ways to go offensively, his shot was falling and he played well.
Rudy Gay had his best performance yet. He was knocking down outside shots as well as driving to the basket. He finished with 26 on an effective 9-15 shooting. Look for him to build upon his decent rookie season with improvement. He's a guy that could average 20 ppg someday, but it will require him to become hungrier. How badly does he want to be great is the question.
Mike Conley's shooting woes from the perimeter continued (3-12), but he finished with 15 points by getting to the rim and finishing and also getting fouls called (9-12 ft).
(4-1) Detroit Pistons 84 - (2-3) Los Angeles Lakers 81
The big story from this game was the play of Amir Johnson who had missed the Pistons previous 4 games. He had 17 points on 7-12 shooting and it's a shame we didn't get to see more of him, as he looks vastly improved. When he was drafted at the end of the 2nd round two years ago, he had no position and was just a freak athlete. Two years of working with NBA coaches and trainers has turned him into a tremendous looking prospect. He showed the ability to handle the ball, as well as make plays around the basket. Watch out for Johnson as an emerging player in the next few seasons.
Javaris Crittenton is looking like an excellent selection at 19. His 26 points led all scorers and he's showing a great ability to finish around the rim as well as knock down perimeter shots. He could very well be the opening day starter at PG for the Lakers, and if he's not, it probably wont be long before he takes the job.
Rodney Stuckey continues to impress with his ability to create shots and play solid basketball. His 19 points including the game clinching shot at the end helped the Pistons to run their record to 4-1. He and Afflalo have both looked very good playing together.
(1-3) Washington Wizards 76 - (2-3) Cleveland Cavaliers 71
The Wizards notched their first victory behind 18 points from Nick Young. Young has been solid throughout the summer league and did his thing showing his advanced midrange skills and ability to finish at the rim.
Cleveland had their PG Daniel Gibson back but it wasn't enough as their roster lacks a great deal of fire power after having no draft picks last year and the disappointing play of Shannon Brown. Brown finished with 14 on 5-15 shooting.
Dominic McGuire continued his strong bid to make the squad with 11 and 8.
(3-1) Houston Rockets 90 - (2-2) Sacramento Kings 72
Aaron Brooks continued his stellar play in the summer league with 17 points (a summer league low for him) on 6-13 shooting. He got up for one dazzling ally oop dunk and showed the ability to score around the basket to compliment his excellent 3 point shooting range. It is preseason, and some players are able to do things here that they won't be able to in the league, but Brooks is looking like the real deal and a player who many teams erroneously passed on because of his size. He's been the best player on the floor for them every game and helped lead their record to 3-1.
Mustafa Shakur is making a strong bid to make the Kings. His size and willingness to defend and hustle is winning a number of fans. He's not much of a scorer, but his skills and size could make him a nice back up in the league.
Spencer Hawes impressed in the first half with 10 points but went cold in the second half scoring just one basket (12 total) and finishing 6-18 from the floor. Stamina appears to be the biggest issue for him, and he'll need to continue to adjust as his body matures. Despite a so so summer league, he shows a lot of potential and should turn into a very solid pick at 10.
(3-2) Golden State Warriors 87 - (4-1) New York Knicks 91
The Knicks were able to withstand a valiant fight from an undermanned Warriors team. The Knicks are maybe the most talented overall team and were able to run their record to 4-0.
Nate Robinson led the charge again for the Knicks with his boundless energy. He finished with a game high 23 on 7-15 shooting. Renaldo Balkman continues to impress scoring 19 points to go with 12 boards.
Without Nelli 2 (Marco Belinelli) on the floor for the Warriors, Josh Powell became their top player. He's looking vastly improved with excellent upper body strength and solid moves. He can be a very good back up power forward in the league for a number of seasons.
(1-3) Portland Trailblazers 89 - (1-3) Phoenix Suns 85
Phoenix was led by their two rookies DJ Strawberry and Alando Tucker who had 27 and 18 respectively. Strawberry has looked very solid scoring from the outside as well as using his great athleticism defensively.
Without both Oden and Aldridge, the Blazers rallied behind rookies coming off the bench Taurean Green 19 points and Josh McRoberts 11 points. The Blazers have so many picks from the past two drafts that it will be a real battle to make the squad for a number of them.