NBA Summer League: Day 5 Recap
Toronto Raptors 81, Sacramento Kings 70
The Raptors defeated the Sacramento Kings 81-70 in COX Pavilion, despite the best efforts of first-round pick Ben McLemore, who submitted his finest all-around game of the summer.
McLemore continues to improve with each game. Against Toronto, he tallied a team-high 26 points on 8-14 shooting. Aside from a couple of early questionable attempts, his shot selection was excellent. He moves well off the ball and makes decisive cuts. McLemore defended Koby Karl very well and was one of the more vocal players on the court. On the downside, he committed five turnovers and occasionally lost his handle in transition under little pressure, but this was an otherwise encouraging performance from a player the Kings hope to develop into a franchise cornerstone.
2011 lottery pick Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors with 18 points and eight rebounds. Valanciunas loves banging in the paint and throwing his weight around (as well as the occasional elbow). He effectively uses ball fakes and his footwork to create space, showing a nice touch with his left hand, as well as the ability to step out and hit from 18 feet. He was guilty at times of pounding the ball too much in an attempt to get deeper in the paint. His physical nature led him to commit nine fouls and seven turnovers.
Terrence Ross added 14 points and six rebounds. He was given the task of guarding McLemore for most of the game. Ross' defensive effort generated a handful of deflections, as well as a few shot-clock violations. His outside stroke has also improved. Quincy Acy provided his trademark toughness, playing physical defense and pulling down rebounds.
The Bulls beat the Trailblazers in the first overtime game of this year’s event. Point guards Marquis Teague and CJ McCollum went at each other the entire game. Despite McCollum's clutch three to send the game into overtime, Teague and the Bulls came away with an 80-78 win.
Teague was very efficient, shooting it well from outside and finishing drives in traffic. He mostly took smart shots and connected on all three of his long-range attempts. McCollum, meanwhile, missed most of his shots (8-25 from the floor), as he was unable to convert on some drives and let his shot selection get away from him at times. However, McCollum's only three was the biggest of the game -- the game-tying bomb with 10 seconds remaining. It was his leadership that helped the Blazers come this close. He finished the game with 27 points and six rebounds, but it was Teague's steady hand that helped propel the Bulls to victory.
Tony Snell continues to improve this summer. He is capable of contributing in a number of ways, collecting 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals today. He struggled defensively against the bigger Thomas Robinson, but Snell does possess the speed and instincts to become a good perimeter defender.
Robinson took over against the smaller, thinner Snell in the second half. The No. 5 pick in the 2012 draft is already playing for his third team, but he is clearly one of the strongest, most athletic big men at this year's summer league. The crowd appreciated his hustle, particularly in one sequence where he blocked a shot at one end and finished the break with a dunk. Robinson finished with 12 points and 18 rebounds.
[Player: Matthew Bryan-Amaning] has room to improve on offense, but he did show what he is capable of, playing more than 40 minutes in this game. He struggled converting close to the rim, but provided a physical defensive/rebounding presence, finishing with five points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
Apart from his inability to get the Blazers a shot at the end of overtime, Victor Claver was also impressive today. The versatile Claver has a better shooting stroke than his numbers might suggest. He can run the floor, finish lob passes and find teammates with his above-average court vision. He has good size and makes the right decision more often than not. He chipped in 10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Meyers Leonard was solid without being spectacular, using his soft touch around the basket and showing his range out to 20 feet. Second-round pick Erik Murphy got the crowd's attention with his outside shooting touch, connecting on a couple of threes in his 14 minutes.
The Blazers have yet to win a game in this year’s summer league while Chicago kept its record perfect.
Phoenix Suns 108, Memphis Grizzlies 88
Speedy Kentucky combo guard Archie Goodwin showed flashes of his incredible upside in this game, darting and weaving his way for 22 points in the Suns' victory. Goodwin got off to a fast start with 13 in the opening quarter. Donte Green (18 points) and Tony Wroten (17 points) led the way for Memphis.
Washington Wizards 97, Denver Nuggets 69
Jan Vesely! Coming into summer league, it appeared as if the former lottery pick might be on his way out of the NBA, but the 6-foot-11 Vesely is finally starting to play with some confidence, going for 18 points on 9-11 shooting in 21 minutes (of course, it's just summer league, but any signs of life from Vesely is encouraging for Wizards fans). As for Denver, the less said here, the better.
D-League Select 82, Dallas Mavericks 75
The D-League Select squad continues its hot play, running its record to 3-0 with another solid showing from Kyle Weaver (15 points). Josh Akognon led Dallas with 20, with Ricky Ledo showing flashes in his 20 minutes.
Minnesota Timerwolves80, Miami Heat 71
The T-Wolves rode a balanced scoring attack and 50.8 percent team shooting to a nine-point win, but first-round pick Shabazz Muhammad had a rough time finding his footing in this game. Brandon Paul led all scorers in this game with 13.
Five Warriors scored in double figures, with Lance Goulbourne topping the stat sheet with 13 and nine boards. Milwaukee's John Henson was a force on the glass (15 rebounds), but had a hard time hanging onto the ball once he corraled the board (eight turnovers).