NBA Summer League: Day 5
Denver Nuggets (4-0) 99 vs Chicago Bulls (0-1) 71
Behind the effort of second year point guard Ty Lawson, (18 pts, 4 ast, 1 to) the Nuggets showed they are one of the top teams in the SL with another blowout, running their record to a perfect 4-0. This team is a finely tuned unit and playing very impressively.
Lawson looked great on the break as well as creating shots when necessary as the shot clock is winding down. For European teams, this is certainly a team to watch with a number of solid prospects such as Draper, Edwards, and Hamilton.
Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0) 88 vs D-League All Stars (0-2) 82
In their first game of the post LeBron era, the Cavs dealt the D-League All Stars their second stright loss. JJ Hickson looked great scoring 18 and 9 scoring on a number of athletic finishes.
Cavs first rounder from a year ago Christian Eyenga had a solid performance scoring 13 and 7.
For the D-Leaguers, Russell Robinson had a game high 20 pts while athletic slasher Larry Owens had 15 on 7-14 shooting.
Toronto Raptors (2-0) 100 vs Houston Rockets (2-2) 91
The Toronto Raptors moved to 2-0 in this year’s summer league with a 100-91 win over the Houston Rockets. Despite suffering a head clash, DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 23 points (10/15FG). DeRozan collided with Jermaine Taylor at the end of the third quarter with both requiring treatment to head wounds. Taylor went to the locker room while DeRozan spent time on the bench icing his cheek. Both would return however.
DeRozan was aggressive driving to the basket, finishing with contact and getting to the line. He had a series of three point play opportunities but could only convert on 3/6 free throws. Point guard Bobby Brown had a highly efficient game today, scoring 20 points on just 6/7 field goal attempts. Brown’s decision making and shot selection were near flawless. He also picked up 3 assists and 2 steals.
Raptors first rounder Ed Davis wasn’t influential in today’s game. His first field goals didn’t come until 3 minutes into the third quarter. Davis collected just the 4 rebounds and picked up 3 turnovers in his 26 minutes. He did have a nice entry pass to Joey Dorsey (13pts 12rebs) for an assist.
Sonny Weems had a solid game going for 13 points and 5 rebounds. On consecutive plays, Weems acrobatically threw down a Brown lob on the break. Weems then set up team mate DeRozan for an equally spectacular alley oop.
Second round pick Solomon Alabi had a respectable game despite his limited offensive opportunities. He finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds. One of the positives in Alabi’s game is his soft touch from the free throw line for a big man. He converted all six of his free throw attempts.
Patrick Patterson had a better game today, finishing with 14 points and 9 rebounds on 6/13 shooting. Taylor was a greyhound in transition as usual, leading the Rockets scoring with 17 points, 3 rebounds but only shot 6/16 from the floor. He also picked up 5 turnovers.
Jordan Hill showed some rare aggression today, collecting a strong offensive rebound and put back in traffic. Hill collected 15 points and 6 rebounds for the game.
In an interesting sequence, Raptors GM Brian Colangelo was alerting the officials of Houston’s illegal picks. The Rockets were called for an illegal pick on the next possession.
Memphis Grizzlies (2-0) 67 Milwaukee Bucks (0-2) 64
For the second day in a row, the Bucks lost a heart breaker after a valiant comeback. Larry Sanders knocks down 2 three pointers in the fourth quarter, the second of which tied the game with .7 seconds on the clock. Sam Young then answered by knocking down a 3 to end the game.
After a lackluster first game, Sanders (22 pts, 9 reb) was very impressive in his second, showing the ability to score in a variety of fashions. His scoring also came against Thbeet and Darrell Arthur, 2 NBA guys, making it all the more impressive.
OJ Mayo was focused on his point guard skills as he intentionally passed up scoring opportunities in order to do so. He had amassed just 1 point with 6 minutes left in the game. He had 7 turnovers and 3 assists. His point guard skills appear to be a long ways off and it's questionable how much point guard he'll ultimately be able to play based on what he's shown so far.
Deron Washington continues to play impressively after an excellent season playing PF in Israel. Washington hit 5-7 from 3 finishing with 16 pts.
On a side note John Bryant had 2 fouls in 3:36 min.
Sacramento Kings (2-0) 90 vs Los Angeles Lakers (0-4) 84
Day 5 saw two of the best rookie big men in DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Caracter go head to head in the Thomas and Mack center. Cousins came away with both the win and points advantage over character, shaking off a slow start to finish with 19pts, 12rebs, 3assists, and two steals. It was Caracter who set the tone early however, showing his outside touch and impressively blocking a Cousins shot. He finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks and 5 turnovers.
With John Wall again present courtside for support, Cousins got stronger throughout the game, showing range of his as well as a reliable jump hook in the paint. He continues to show vision and willingness to pass out of the post or to cutters. His shooting efficiency will need improving, connecting on just 8 of his 20 field goal attempts. He also come close to traveling when putting the ball on the floor and did commit 5 turnovers.
Kings second rounder Hassan Whiteside scored just the 4 points but did show some promise on the offensive end. Whiteside converted on a jump hook in the lane as well as banking 15 footer from the wing. In a highly unusual play, Whiteside was unlucky not to be credited with another field goal after simultaneously tip jamming a miss with Sylven Landesberg. He finished with 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Dontae Greene and Wayne Chism provided strong bench support, scoring 17 & 13 points respectively. Greene looks to be more confident in his outside shot, with both he and Chism displaying good shot selection.
Breaking the trend for the Lakers, DJ Strawberry was their leading scorer today with 17. Strawberry has been overshadowed by Ebanks and Caracter however he has been steadily improving every game this SL. Bigman Courtney Sims had his best showing so far with a double double, going for 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Devin Ebanks showed some restraint in his shot selection and did drain some outside shots. He finished the game with 12points 3rebounds.
John Wall and rapper Irv Gotti were in attendance to watch the game.
Portland Trailblazers (2-0) 81 vs. New Orleans Hornets (0-3) 69
The Portland Trailblazer moved to 2-0 in this year’s summer league, downing the New Orleans Hornets 81-69. The Blazers were led by backcourt duo Patty Mills and Armon Johnson who have continue their strong play. Without the services of Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton, the Hornets relied on the scoring of Aubrey Coleman, however he didn’t receive much support from his team mates.
Coleman had his outside shot falling today, effective getting where he wanted and pulling up. He finished with 19 points (8/13FG), 5 rebounds and 3 steals. First rounder Craig Brackins looked set for a big game, drilling 3 three’s in the opening quarter. He sprained his right ankle in the second period and didn’t return however. He would leave the game with just the 9 points in 9 minutes.
Quincy Pondexter is struggling a little with his outside shot, going 5/10 from the field for 11 points. He also collected 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 turnovers.
Mills led the Blazers scoring today with 18 points on 6/9 shooting. He didn’t do as good a job protecting the ball today, picking up 5 turnovers to his 3 assists. He also had some difficulties defending Coleman who rose up and made several shots over Mills. He also collected 3 rebounds and 3 steals.
Johnson also continues to impress, adding 15 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Johnson keeps showing his value at both ends of the floor using his size and athleticism to give opposing guards trouble.
Mills and Johnson received solid support from second year men Dante Cunningham and Jeff Pendergraph. Rookie Luke Babbitt wasn’t overly aggressive and managed to only collect just 9 points and 1 rebound.
Golden State Warriors (2-2) 72 Miami Heat (1-1) 69
Warriors guard Brian Chase knocked down a game winning 3 pointer in the closing seconds to lift a depleted Warriors team to an even record.
Reggie Williams was the star once again for Golden State putting forth another extremely impressive performance. His game high 23 points (8-19 fg) and 7 boards show why many feel he's the Warriors 2-guard of the future.
Brandon Wright is likely out for the summer league with a bruised left shoulder. Restricted free agent CJ Watson was there rooting on his team.
The Heat were led by Siena guard Kenny Hasbrook with 14 pts. Texas rookie center Deter Pittman has struggled putting up just 7 pts on 2-6 shooting.