2008 NBA Summer League: Day 7
The Pistons struggled again without their top player Rodney Stuckey who is nursing a toe injury. In his absence, Will Bynum made a case for why he belongs on an NBA squad going for an efficient 20 points on 8-11 shooting.
The forward tandem of Amir Johnson and Walter Sharpe were active and displayed their excellent athletic ability getting out in transition.
Gerald Green continues to underwhelm, struggling to use his athleticism advantage to dominate. There has to be a lot of concern about his ability to "get it". He had 8 points on 2-6 shooting coming off the bench.
For the victors, the scoring was balanced with James Singleton standing out with his physique and activity. He had 10 and 7 while Charles Rhodes used his tenacity for 10 and 6.
Aaron Miles, who looks a lot more like a European PG than an NBA point led the Mavs with 14 points on 5-8 shooting.
Hornets 80 Clippers 76
The intrigue from this game was the match up between Hilton Armstrong and DeAndre Jordan. While Jordan clearly got the upper hand showing excellent improvement in his shooting and offensive skills, Jordan was a force in the paint defensively blocking a number of shots and altering others.
Armstrong finished with game high 25 points on 10-17 shooting. Armstrong's breakout offensive performance is a great sign for Hornets fans.
Jordan struggled to put points on the board but had a few monster jams one in which he turned his ankle and briefly left the game. Armstrong got the best of the youngster with a blocked dunk attempt late in the game.
Marcus Williams had a breakout performance for the Clippers. He was extremely effective shooting the ball 8-16 for 24 points as well as getting to the line (8-9). While his stats were impressive, Williams rarely wows you with any athleticism but with Eric Gordon sitting out, Williams has made the best of the opportunity with 2 solid performances.
Mike Taylor struggled shooting just 4-12 coming off signing a contract with the Clips. He also had 5 turnovers, the are of his game that he needs to really focus on.
Bobby Brown had a nice stat line with 17, (7-18) and 6 assists leading the Hornets to victory. But he still doesn't instill a sense of confidence with his decision making, and has a tendency to try to by flashy as opposed to making the fundamental play. This was always the complaint about him in college, and though he's improving, it's still certainly an issue.
Sixers 87 Raptors 85
You know your summer league team is weak when CG Giles is starting for you. The Sixers played down to the level of their competition while the (0-3) Raptors put up a solid effort battling Philly to a 2 point loss. They actually could easily have won the game as Jaycee Carroll hit a last second shot on a drive but was called for a questionable offensive foul giving the ball back to the Sixers.
The big three for Philly Thaddeus Young, Jason Smith and Marresse Speights closed out their summer league in solid fashion with a win. Coming off his worst game of the summer, Young had a game high 21 points. He struggled some with the physicality of Joey Graham shooting just 6-15 but got to the line 11 times and made it count hitting 9.
Speights shots weren't falling but he impressed once again with his transformed body and athleticism around the basket. He missed on one monster jam attempt but quickly got the same opportunity and made amends.
Smith had 12 points , his game is a finesse one as he prefers drifting out on the perimeter for shots, but did a solid job of cleaning the glass in this one with 12 boards.
Jamont Gordon is failing miserably in his bid to prove that he can play the point guard position. His play alone kept Toronto in the game and though he used his muscle to get to the line (8-8 ft) 12 points, he failed to get others involved (0 assists) and turned the ball over repeatedly (6 to).
Suns 98 Spurs 74
Sideshow Bob aka Robin Lopez played well getting tip backs and staying active going for rebounds. His 14 (6-12 fg) and 9r in 23 minutes helped the Suns make short work of an undermanned Spurs squad.
James Gist looks like a very solid second round pick by San Antonio. Gist led all Spurs in scoring with 13 on 5-6 fg.
The Suns 2nd year athletic wing tandem of Alando Tucker and DJ Strawberry suddenly find themselves as summer league vets. Tucker was scintillating with 24 on 8-11 fg while Strawberry struggled from the floor (3-10) but was able to knock down a 3 finishing with 12 pts.
T-Wolves 88 Blazers 78
With his newly shaped body "That's Kevin Love?", a fan was heard saying, the highly skilled bigman continues to tear up the dregs that the NBA summer league throws at him. Love put up another excellent statline with 26 and 15 on (7-20) shooting. Love's ability to use position and his great hands to snatch boards should make him very effective at rebounding in the league.
On the negative side, despite his loss of weight, Love still plods and ran out of gas in the second half becoming less effective. He also got his shot blocked a number of times by Steven Hill. While Love's tremendous play is a positive sign, the level of competition he's facing is a far cry from the beasts he will face on a nightly basis on the NBA level. But he should be effective in a limited role due to his high basketball IQ and NBA readiness.
Jerryd Bayless did his thing, getting by his man and to the rim at will. He is fearless driving to the basket and loves contact. His NBA ready physique allows him to absorb punishment and keep coming back for more.
Bayless had a game high 29 points knocking down 13-16 from the line. He still doesn't get others involved enough, just 2 assists with 6 turnovers, which is the area of his game that will require work.
Petteri Koponen continues to show his high offensive skill level. He is extremely adept and getting defenders off balance using his lethal crossover and pulling up for jumpers. The Blazers appear to have found a gem at the end of the first round as Koponen has been one of the real surprises of the summer league. He finished with 14 on 7-14 shooting.
Coming off a very nice 19 point effort against the Clips, Corey Brewer was MIA going much of the contest without scoring before finally dropping a FT to finish with 1 pt on 0-4 shooting. Not the type of production you expect from a second year forward taken 7th overall.
Bucks 79 Nuggets 67
Behind the summer league's assist leader Ramon Sessions, the Bucks cruised to a 12 point victory. Sessions was at it again with 9 assists to go along with 13 points and 8 boards. He has been one of the real bright spots of the summer league thus far.
Bucks draft picks Joe Alexander and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had nearly identical stat lines as both went for 10 and 7 and shot .500 from the floor.
The Nuggets were paced by former Dukie Dahntay Jones who went for 20 on 5-12 shooting.