2007 NBA Summer League: Final Day
By Aran Smith
Link: NBA.com Official Summer League Site
The top performers of day ten were Von Wafer, Nate Robinson, Rashad McCants, Jeff Green, Kevin Durant and Spencer Hawes.
(2-3) Washington Wizards 79 - (2-3) Milwaukee Bucks 67
The Wizards took advantage of the Bucks missing their top summer league player with Lynn Greer out. Dominic McGuire, who has been one of the real surprises of the summer league, scored a team high 18 points. Washington's wing forward averaged 12 ppg on 41% shooting, 6 rpg and 2 blocks displaying impressive length and athleticism in the open floor. He should find a spot on the Wizards 15 man roster.
Nick Young had a solid though unspectacular final game of the summer league with 11 points on 4-9 shooting connecting on all 3 of his foul shots. He finished with a solid 14.8 per game average on 39% shooting. He still must work on his face up game, but showed a lot of emotion and nice offensive potential.
Mike Hall had an excellent final game scoring 17 points (7-11) and 6 boards. The George Washington grad doesn't blow you away with any aspect of his game, but he has solid size and athleticism for the 3 position and plays hard. Whether he can find a spot with a team is questionable, but he's a guy who could get looks in preseason.
Kyle Visser was just average in the 5 games of summer league averaging just 4.6 per game and shooting a woeful 28.6% from the floor. He'll need to raise his level of play in preseason to make the squad.
(5-0) New York Knicks 116 - (3-2) Denver Nuggets 108
Knicks point guard Nate Robinson had a team high 24 points (6-12) helping to lead the Knicks to a perfect 5-0 record and after the game was awarded the NBA Summer League most valuable player. The fire plug averaged a team high 19.6 ppg and 6 assists showing excellent maturation in his game.
Von Wafer scored 42 points in just 26 minutes of action coming a missed three point shot at the buzzer from breaking the 2007 Summer Camp record for points in a game by Marcus Banks. It seemed that Wafer couldn't miss from the outside in the second half as he finished 5-9 from 3 and 16-26 overall. It's still summer league, so he'll need to prove it once the season starts, but Wafer looks like one of the most improved players in summer league. He finished with a summer league high 24.2 ppg on 53.7% shooting and 44% from 3.
Wilson Chandler started off extremely hot and looked on pace to score 30 but after scoring 15 in the first quarter. He cooled off considerably as fellow rookie Demitris Nichols filled in where Chandler left off. Nichols finished with 23 on 9-16 shooting once again showing his great touch from outside and solid ability to un the floor.
Small forward Brian Greene capped off a very impressive summer league with 16 points on 5-10 shooting. For a player that few knew much about, Green's athleticism and high skill level should make him an excellent pick up for a higher level European team. He lacks the speed to probably make it in the NBA, but has a great understanding of the game and really gives great effort.
Point guard Dontae Draper was another beneficiary of a great summer league. His play has surely risen his value and pay for next season on the open market for Europe. He's a hard nosed point guard with great quickness and athleticism. A few seasons in Europe and a stint in the NBA is not out of the question for him.
(4-1) Minnesota Timberwolves 84 - (1-4 Phoenix Suns 81
Rashad McCants having just watched Von Wafer tie the year's camp record for points in a game appeared determined to break the mark going off for an impressive 30 first half points. He found things much more difficult in the second half being held to just 2 points.
Randy Foye was probably the top overall player in summer league. Not that Nate Robinson didn't deserve the MVP award, he certainly did as the Knicks went undefeated. But right now, Foye is the top overall player that participated. His ability to create shots off the dribble and get to the rim had scouts comparing him to Baron Davis. He's going to turn into a tremendous player in the next few seasons. Foye finished at 18.4 ppg on 44.2% shooting.
Corey Brewer's offensive woes continued. He scored just 5 points on 1-5 shooting. He's truly a great team player and a lot of what he brings to the table doesn't show up in the boxscores. But it's becoming apparent that some of the success he had offensively was due to the incredible talent he had surrounding him helping to take the defense's focus away from him. Brewer averaged 11 ppg but on just 29% shooting. He should be a solid team player for many years to come, but don't expect him to turn into an all star.
Alando Tucker had a decent game finishing with 13 points but struggled from the floor at 6-18 shooting. Overall he had a very strong summer league finishing with 17.4 ppg on 41% shooting. Tucker has some work to do on his offensive skills, but his mid range jumper and energy level show that he should end up a very solid pick at 28 for Phoenix.
Though DJ Strawberry struggled from the field on the final day at 3-13, games in three straight days made things tough. He had a very solid summer league showing at 15.6 ppg and 40.6% shooting. The Suns may find it difficult to leave him off the 15 man roster when the season starts.
(4-1) Houston Rockets 76 - (0-5) New Orleans Hornets 71
In leading the Rockets to a 4-1 record, Aaron Brooks received the rookie of the month award for his play in this year's summer league. On Sunday, Brooks shot just 6-15 but hit 2-4 from 3 with 4 assists and 5 to. Brooks quickness makes him extremely difficult to guard and his polished offensive game will make him a solid contributor from day one. If Brooks is able to cut it defensively, he could conceivably contend for the Rocket's starting PG position in his rookie season.
Anthony Roberson finished off an excellent summer league leading the Hornets in scoring at 19.5 ppg and 2.2 apg. The Hornets were without a win, but with such a solid showing, Roberson stands a good shot to make the 15 man roster.
Adam Haluska finally broke out with an excellent game shooting 6-8 for 15 points. His 5 game averages were less impressive at 6.6 ppg on 36% shooting.
Julian Wright's lack of experience was apparent throughout the summer league as the early entrant, lottery pick still has a ways to go offensively. Wright had 8.6 ppg shooting a respectable 39% but was not a factor in the final day with 6 points on 2-7 shooting. The Hornets struggled losing all 5 games.
(2-3) Portland Trailblazers 84 - (0-5) Seattle Supersonics 78
The Green-Durant combo went winless in the summer league and is looking towards a long season with such a young and inexperienced team. But that's what happens when you lose 48.8 ppg (the combined total scoring between Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen). The duo will suffer through a good deal of bumps and bruises but they should be quite a formidable tandem in a few years. With Seattle likely one of the worst teams in the league next year, they should be able to add a top 5 pick again next year and then begin to build around their extremely young and talented nucleus. This is a team with a clear cut strategy in place, and landing the second pick in the draft in a year with two unbelievable talents put the Sonics in a great position for the future.
Seattle's freshmen tandem went for 60 points (32 for Green, 28 for Durant), showing improvement in just the 5 games of summer league. While the immediate future won't be pretty, the long term future looks very bright in Seattle. Durant finished with 24 ppg, but struggled from the field at 33% per game. Jeff Green's shooting numbers were a lot better at 46% and 14.6 ppg.
Although his stats didn't jump off the page, with 12 points on 6-13 shooing, Joel Freeland's final game showed that he has a lot of promise. He was very aggressive going for rebounds and attacking the basket and impressed knocking down some outside shots as well as post moves. Freeland appears to have better potential than McRoberts and should continue to develop over the next few seasons in Portland.
Martell Webster was a little inconsistent but had a lot of solid moments showing both explosiveness and outside precision. He finished with an average of 14.8 ppg on 46% shooting and still seems to be a solid prospect, he just needs more consistency.
(3-2) Sacramento Kings 82 - (2-3) Los Angeles Clippers 60
Spencer Hawes matched his summer league high with 22 points but this time he did it in much more efficient fashion shooting 10-18 as opposed to 11-25 the last time plus the Kings were victorious. Despite being just 19, Hawes skill level in the post will allow him to contribute right away.
Justin Williams made a lasting impression with his great energy and athleticism throughout the summer league. Williams had 14 and 14 on the final day and made a strong push to earn a contract for next season. He finished with an average of 11.8 and 10.6 over their 5 games.
Al Thornton led the team in scoring once again with 17 but shot poorly from the field. He gained a lot of praise from scouts for his hustle, toughness and non-stop motor, averaging 17.6 ppg on 38% shooting. Fatigue seemed to creep in for him on the final day as he shot just 6-18 from the field lowering his FG% for the week below 40%.