NBA Summer League: Day 2
Toronto Raptors (1-0) 103 vs. Phoenix Suns (0-2) 69
The Toronto Raptors launched their SL campaign in spectacular style with a dominating 34 point win over the Phoenix Suns, their second sizeable defeat in as many days. Toronto dominated the boards from start to finish & shot 56% to runaway with a 103-69 win.
#13 pick Ed Davis made his Raptors debut and didn’t disappoint. Davis finished with 15pts 8rebs & 2blocks, showing a variety of skills in the process. Davis didn’t take long to make an impact, scoring a basket and swatting a shot in the opening minutes. He was aggressive on the offensive glass all game and provided some strong help defense. His face-up game might be an area of improvement if he is to be the force the Raptors expect. Toronto will be pleased with today’s performance however.
Second year man & starter Demar DeRozan had 16pts 2rebs. He played well offensively, moving well off the ball and attacking the basket. Toronto’s second round pick Solomon Alabi showed some good signs but looked stiff and awkward at times. He can finish strong around the basket but his offensive game needs refining. He’ll look to improve throughout the week.
DeRozan’s wing partner Sonny Weems was also strong in his first SL outing, leading all scorers with 19 points. He displayed overall good shot selection and excited the Cox Pavilion crowd with a spectacular reverse lob from Bobby Brown.
Joey Dorsey appeared on track to break his SL league rebounding record (20), picking up 10 boards in the first 15 minutes. He would finish with 11, however. The strength of Dorsey, Davis & Alabi on the boards was far too much for the Suns to compete with as they found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided rebound count (46-35)
The bright spot for Phoenix was the play of second round pick Gani Lawal. Lawal is a great competitor and doesn’t mind being physical despite his frame. He finished with 18pts and 6 rebs on 7/11 shooting. Lawal has room for improvement but Phoenix fans should be encouraged by what Lawal is showing so far in Vegas.
The PG match up of Zabian Dowdell & Bobby Brown made for an interesting plotline. Brown came away with the points decision finishing with an efficient 11pts on 5/6 and 6 assists. Dowdell meanwhile, struggled with his shot going a poor 1/8FG.
Earl Clark just about replicated yesterday's performance. He did finish with 15pts but on a dismal (5/14) and 5 rebounds but his first half shot selection was simply appalling. Frontcourt teammate Shaun Pruitt had a solid game for Phoenix totaling 10 points & 7 rebounds. His left handed shot is awkward but was active all game and showed he can run the floor by finishing a break. His effort pleased SL Coach Thunder Dan Majerle.
Denver Nuggets (2-0) 92 vs. Los Angeles Lakers (0-2) 74
The Denver Nuggets posted their second win of the SL, defeating the Lakers 92-74. The game was stopped midway through the third quarter when Brian Butch went down with a horrific knee injury. Butch looked to have dislocated his left patella tendon before being stretchered from the court for further examination. He was on his way to a double double having collected 6 points & 8 rebounds in only 14 minutes.
Unfortunately, Butch wasn’t the only casualty with Rob Kurz splitting his forehead open in the second after colliding with the backboard support chasing down a loose ball. He didn’t return to the bench.
For the second consecutive game, it was the Lakers draft picks who did the most damage on the score sheet. Devin Ebanks led all scorers with 24 points and 3 steals on 8/16 shooting. Ebanks runs & defends well, however he hasn’t been much help on the boards, collecting only 3 rebounds in his first two games. Rebounding is an area od strength for him so it's not too big a concern. He kept the crowd interested with a series of garbage time highlights.
Derrick Caracter again was too physical for his opponents close to the basket, picking up 17pts & 12 rebounds. He is a willing and able passer from the high post as well. He did commit 6 turnovers however.
Former dunk champion Gerald Green found some confidence in his shot in just 10 minutes of action. DJ Strawberry worked hard for his 10 points and 4 rebounds. His hustle yielded him mixed results though. He's got the size and versatility to be effective as a combo in the triangle.
Ty Lawsonled the Nuggets well, going for 18pts 7assist & 4 rebounds without turning the ball over. He missed some long shots but Denver’s running game was lethal when he was paired with Dontaye Draper. The Nuggets also got bench sparks from Antonio Andersenand Othello Hunter who contributed 12 & 14 points respectively.
Detroit Pistons (2-0) 89 vs. Golden State Warriors (1-1) 69
The Detroit Pistons improved their SL record to 2-0 this evening, blowing out the Golden State Warriors 89-69. The Pistons Summer League ‘Big 3’ of Austin Daye, Dejuan Summers & Jonas Jerebko was too much for the Warriors in the end after a tight first half.
Daye was particularly strong putting up a game high 20 points (8-20 fg), 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. He went to work early, topping the shorter Reggie Williams guarding him on a couple of occasions. Jerebko contributed 11 points and 6 rebounds. Summers played hard at both ends of the floor, finishing with 18 points & 7 rebounds.
Despite only taking 6 shots, Pistons Rookie Greg Monroe shook off yesterday’s performance & looked much more comfortable today. Aside from a point blank miss on a lay-up, Monroe displayed the ability that made him the #7 pick. He converted on back to back lay-ups after beating his man down the floor. He also displayed his superb court vision with a couple of sharp passes.
Both Pistons PG’s Terrico White & Edgar Sosa had solid games but it was Sosa who made more of an impact. He was lethal in transition and treated the crowd to a sweet bounce pass to Monroe on the break.
The Warriors’ Brandan Wright started the game making his teams first 8 points, however would only finish with 13 points in 15 minutes. Reggie Williams couldn’t replicate yesterday’s performance and struggled when the longer Daye was defending him. Williams did most of his damage during the 4th quarter.
Andre Brown might be the first player in basketball history to air ball a free throw and miss a dunk all within a couple possessions. Brown was a presence in the paint however, collecting 11 boards to go with his 6 points.
Houston Rockets (2-0) 87 vs. Dallas Mavericks (0-2) 78
The final game of day 2 was an intriguing match up between the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. The Mavs couldn’t overcome a woeful free throw shooting display (48%), falling short 87-78. Rodrigue Beaubois shook off his slow start to SL, exploding for 28 on 12/20 shooting.
Omar Samhan got the action started early, going at Jordan Hill and piling on 10 first quarter points, showing his good footwork and range in the first quarter. He was active on the boards as well, picking up 6 rebounds. Samhan had great energy today and was extremely vocal. He hustled hard & received a lot of encouragement from Owner Mark Cuban and Jason Terry.
Hill got going as the game progressed but had some difficulty getting good looks in the post with Samhan on him. A couple of his jump hooks were way off. He shot well from the free throw line however and finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Houston’s other two starters Chase Budinger and #14 pick Patrick Patterson didn’t provide much scoring for their squad. Budinger didn’t have his best game but pulled down 9 rebounds to go with his 7 points.
Patrick Patterson shot poorly after his efficient debut. Most of his shots were good looks but a few misses were well short. He finished with 6pts and 8 rebounds on a disappointing 3/11 shooting.
Mavs First rounder Dominique Jones was not as aggressive offensively today & only managed 6 shots in 33 minutes. Jeremy Lin has a large following here in Vegas and worked hard on the defensive end but didn’t many chances offensively.
The Rockets backcourt of Ishmael Smith & Jermaine Taylor proved too much in the 4th quarter. The pair are lightning quick and form a formidable combo in transition. The work of these two and bench guard Dwight Lewis were instrumental in improving the Rockets record to 2-0.