2008 NBA Summer League: Day 2
*After Nick Prevenas' day one report from NBA.com's streaming video, we will report live from the event throughout the rest of the summer league.
By Danny Ourian
Toronto Raptors 86 Sacramento Kings 93
The Kings beat the Raptors at Cox Pavilion today, backed by the strong play of their first round picks of the past two years: Quincy Douby and Spencer Hawes, who finished with 20 and 23 points, respectively. This year's questionable draft pick, Jason Thompson, looked shaky at best and was outplayed more often than not in 20 minutes of foul-prone action. 8 fouls in 20 minutes. Oh, the joy of summer league, where fouling out is an afterthought and names like Deji Akindele come to life.
Holding off a furious late comeback after being up by 8 points with 4 minutes left in the game, the Kings secured the win with solid play down the stretch by PG Sean Singletary and 2nd year center Spencer Hawes. A late Douby strip of young upstart Jaycee Carroll sealed the deal.
What did we learn? The Kings really took a gamble with the 12th pick of the draft. This was a high risk, high reward pick. Raw, Thompson was active around the basket and on the defensive side of the ball, but he often didn't know his role, attempting drives to the basket from the wing whereas he should be limiting his dribbles. We did hear the following words though: 3 point goal for Jason Thompson! Interesting debut indeed.
The best player on either team was Joey Graham, who poured in 24 points on a variety of drives, slashing cuts, and mid-range jumpers, and got to the line 15 times, converting on 12 of them. He should be nicknamed SHOULDERS. His defense was solid and he eats the glass up goijng against bigger players regularly. He should find his way into the Toronto rotation this year as a 3rd or 4th man off the bench.
Douby showed the full Summer League arsenal: good shot selection (If I'm open, I'm pulling it), getting to the basket almost at will, and showed he can play off the ball (his most natural ability) or get his team into the offense effectively.
Los Angeles Clippers 66 Charlotte Bobcats 81
[img_assist|nid=1464|title=DJ Augustin|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=320|height=198] Despite Al Thornton's herculean efforts to will them to victory, the LA Clippers Summer League team lost handily to the Charlotte Bobcats this afternoon, 81-66. Thornton displayed a full arsenal of perimeter jumpers, slashing drives, and around the rim activity on his way to 22 points and 7 rebounds on 7 of 12 shooting in 30 minutes of action. Eric Gordon pitched in 15 trigger happy points in the loss.
The Bobcats showed what a difference playing with a quality PG makes displaying great balance as eight different players chipped in at least 6 points, with Jermareo Davidson and his boatloads of energy leading the way, scoring 15 points on 6 for 10 shooting. DJ Augustin, the rookie PG out of Texas, did a masterful job of running the show with 14 points, 2 assists, 2 steals, and only 2 turnovers in 24 minutes. He showed the instinctual passing ability that made him the 9th pick of the draft, and got into the gut of the defense seemingly at will. Augustin will likely spell the end of Raymond Felton's days In Charlotte. Size, for this young PG, apparently does not matter. Granted this is summer league and it's too early to draw any conclusions, but this is obviously a positive sign for him.
Still, the story of the game was Thornton's aggressiveness and natural scoring ability. His agility, leaping ability, and mid-range game were all at work today, and with Elton Brand's departure for Philadelphia, look out for Thornton to step up into a leading scoring role for the Clips this upcoming season.
Philadelphia 76ers 85 Denver Nuggets 99
The Nuggets breezed by the 76ers today in convincing fashion, 99-85, behind a balanced attack that featured Dahntay Jones' 21 points and Sonny Weems' 17 in only 20 minutes of action. Weems, the 6'6" guard out of Arkansas who turned heads with an array of athletic drives and perimeter shooting.
For the 76ers, young stud Thaddeus Young continued his impressive Summer League tear with 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals, showing the quickness and attacking mentality that made him one of the standout rookies in last year's class. Marreese Speights showed flashes of montrosity in the paint, cramming dunk after beastly dunk on his way to 14 points on 7 for 9 shooting to go with his 5 boards and 2 rejections. Unfortunately for him (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), he will be playing behind Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert for the foreseeable future and unlikely to make much of a dent in the rotation in the coming season. Still, his ferocious stuffing behavior around the rim and activity on the glass will make him a solid rotation player as early as next season.
Jason Smith showed he is no stiff after all, at least not in summer league, posting 15 points on 6 for 10 shooting using various weapons: mid-post up and under to get his man in the air and draw the contact, short corner turn and face, jab steps to freeze his man and fire pure over the top. This is one draft pick that Billy King can feel good about and new Sixers GM Ed Stefanski should hold on to.
However, the story of the night - aside from Denver's clear-cut superiority on the glass (41-29 advantage) was Young. It seemed every time you turned your head Young was on the break attacking the rim or getting his hands on a loose ball. He will be featured more heavily this year after a strong rookie campaign, and a bevy of ESPN highlight reel dunks are in his immediate future. Look out below!
Milwaukee Bucks 79 Memphis Grizzlies 88
In a game that featured many intriguing rookies-to-be and potential prospects, the Grizzlies handles the Bucks in the last game of the night in Cox Pavilion, 88-79. OJ Mayo showed the poise, balance, and scoring ability that made him the 3rd pick of this year's draft, pouring in 26 points on 9 for 19 shooting, playing 34 minutes overall. The Grizzlies were in control for all of 3 ½ quarters before holding off a furious Milwaukee comeback late, fueled mostly by Ramon Sessions quarterbacking, Darius Washington's full court pressure, and a Matt Freije sighting.
Joe Alexander, the 8th pick in the draft, showed jitters en route to a shaky 2-for-13 shooting night, finishing with 7 points, 5 fouls, and only 3 rebounds. Struggling all over the court, Alexander seemed rattled as the game went on, but still showed some of the tools that made the Bucks so high on him.
Darrell Arthur of the Grizzlies, he of the draft night green room snubbing, also struggled mightily, going 3 for 11 from the floor and fouling once for every 3 minutes of the 24 minutes he was on the floor (8 times). The Grizzlies were much better when PJ Tucker was on the floor, scoring 11 points and hauling in 8 boards in 24 minutes.
But at the end of the day, it was Mayo's game. He had 23 through just over 3 quarters, and a late 3 broke the Buck's late momentum. The hype surrounding his entrance into the league appears to be well warranted, and although he only played one year at USC, he appears ready to contribute right away for the youthful Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies handles the Bucks in the last game of the night in Cox Pavilion, 88-79. OJ Mayo showed the poise, balance, and scoring ability that made him the 3rd pick of this year's draft, pouring in 26 points on 9 for 19 shooting, playing 34 minutes overall Beauty Tips
He showed the instinctual passing ability that made him the 9th pick of the draft, and got into the gut of the defense seemingly at will. Augustin will likely spell the end of Raymond Felton's days In Charlotte. Size, for this young PG, apparently does not matter. Thank you very much...
Villanova faces off with North Carolina in the NCAA tournament. The last time this happened was in 2005, when a very suspicious call by the official virtually sealed the victory for North Carolina. Quick recap: Villanova down by three in the waning moments when guard Allan Ray drove to the lane, made the shot as the whistle blew. Everyone thought that Ray would be shooting a free throw to tie the game and possibly sending it into overtime. Everyone… except official Tom O’neill who signaled a travelling call on Ray. North Carolina went on the win the game, and the national championship. Villanova fans are still very bitter about that moment and they will be most definitely looking to revenge that loss on Saturday night.
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In the face serious recruiting violations Connecticut is looking for its 3rd national championship under Jim Calhoun. Allegedly, Uconn engaged in wrongful recruiting actions with former guard Nate Miles, who was expelled from Uconn in October, 2008. Coaches and players will say that they are concentrating on the games this weekend and nothing else, but can they really block out everything going on this weekend and not let it affect their play? We will soon find out.
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I really miss games in polish televisions... long time ago we could watch each of them... now... none! Would love to see that Philadelphia game! Free beauty tips