NBA Summer League: Day 1
Houston 73 Golden State 69
Houston defeated Golden State 73-69 at Cox Pavilion to tip off the Summer League. James White led the Rockets in scoring with 14, while second round pick Chase Budinger contributed 11 off the bench, including a three pointer with his first shot. Budinger impressed with his overall team play and shooting.
Joey Dorsey was strong inside for the Rockets, finishing with 8 points and 12 rebounds and 2 thunderous dunks, though his skill level doesn't appear to have developed a great deal from college.
With Anthony Morrow on the sideline in flip flops for Golden State with a sprained left ankle, it was left to Anthony Randolph (20) and Rookie Stephen Curry (16) to provide the bulk of the scoring.
Randolph was very impressive getting off to a quick start, scoring 12 points in the first quarter. He's put on some weight and no longer looks as easy to knock off balance on drives. He's also added some consistency and confidence to his outisde shooting.
Cartier Martin was solid in his 24 minutes of action, scoring 14 points and producing several nice plays for his team. He hustled on defense, but unfortuantely he doesn't appear to be an NBA level athlete. Curry saw some time at the 2 spot in the second quarter, with both Acie law and Jared Jordan running point.
This was a game the Warriors probably feel got away from them late in the 4th. After an extended break which the Rockets fought back, Randolph returned and looked positioned to lead his team to a win. Down 3 with 10 seconds left, Curry deferred to Randolph who was called for traveling, which effectively ended the Warriors hopes.
Although Jermaine Taylor didn't make an appearance, both teams can be encouraged from what they saw from their 2009 draft picks. Based on his play alone, Budinger showed some signs off the bench that he was worthy of a higher pick, while Curry displayed solid shot selection for the most part and had a couple of nice set up's for his teammates as well.
Some have criticized Curry's athleticism and size but his offensive skill level and quickness will ultimately allow him to be succesful.
Overall Houston was the more cohesive unit and stars Curry and Randolph deferred to teammates too much in the final quarter letting this one slip away. Despite the loss, Curry and Randolph appear to be two big building blocks for the Warriors in the future.
Detroit 86 Sacramento 77
The Pistons 35th pick DaJuan Summers played more like a first round pick today against the Sacramento Kings. The Georgetown product led his team to a 86-77 win, finishing with 24 points & 7 rebounds.
4th overall pick Tyreke Evans was a mixed bag. He didn't have the best shooting night (4-10,15 points) but is quite a handful going to the basket with a head of steam. He strongly favored going left early.
Pistons first round pick Austin Daye struggled at times after an energetic start finishing with 9 points (3-9 fg). He missed a few open shots but he appears to have put some weight on. His speed on the perimeter and body stregth remain his biggest obstacles.
Swedish rookie Jonas Jerebko didn't get many opportunities but made some solid plays in his 12 minutes looking long and athletic. He had one excellent put back dunk.
38th pick Jon Brockman drew the appreciation of the Cox Pavilion crowd with his strong hustle play throughout the game but especially in the second quarter, after diving on a loose ball and assisting Evans for a breakaway dunk. Israeli rookie Omar Casspri showed he could be a fiery competitor but was the recipient of a Michael Bramos(13 points) facial (as the undrafted free agent went up and banged on him). Bramos had a productive second quarter himself with 7 points, taking the Pistons lead to 46-38 at half time.
The second half belonged to Summers who started the half with 8 straight points (2 three's & 15 foot pull up after losing Thompson). He poured in 12 points in the third to push the Pistons up by 16 going into the final quarter.
The Kings didn't really challenge in the final quarter but Deron Washington got the crowd's attention with a well timed two hand skywalking jam in the last 5 minutes. Donte Greene was active throughout the game finishing with 11 points & 7 rebounds.
Clay Tucker was also productive in his short minutes, going 5-7 fg for 11 points.
LA Lakers 85 Toronto Raptors 84
The 2009 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers started their summer league today with a 85-84 win over the Toronto Raptors. The fearsome combination of Ben McCauley (24 points,15 rebs) and Adam Morrison (24 points, 5 rebs) proved too much in the end for Toronto. David Monds also contributed with 17 points on 7-10 shooting, showing a handy mid range game in the process.
The Raptors built a 12 point lead in the second quarter, however consecutive turnovers from #9 pick DeMar DeRozan allowed the Lakers back into the game. Smush Parker pushed the lead back out to 9 after assisting (pregame dunk champion) Brent Petway for a crowd pleasing dunk on the half time buzzer.
It was Morrison who got the Lakers back in reach, scoring 5 straight to start the second half. The third quarter also saw the athleticism of Derozan on full display when he converted a Roko Ukic lob. Lakers second round pick Chinemelu Elonu made 2 free throws to give the Lakers a 1 point advantage going into the final period.
While Monds was feeling good against O'Bryant, Derozan didn't have the best of finishes to the game, missing two shots in the final minute. McCauley's jumper with 14 seconds remaining gave the Lakers the lead and the win. Derozan couldn't convert and it was only Ukic's three at the final buzzer that made it a one point game.
Smush Parker was effective against his former team. He protected the ball, played strong on ball defense and got results more often than not. The notorious POB (O'Bryant) showed flashes with 15 points on 7-9 shooting, but still looks too lost and unaggressive to ever live up to his potential.
The Lakers only draft pick Elonu didn't show a great deal in his first run. He is physically impressive and will improve but his hands are of stone. Rebounding and shot blocking will be his calling but he may end up in Europe before making a real run in the league.
DeRozan missed some field goals and made a couple of costly turnovers however he is a great athlete, his shot will improve and he should only get better. He'll need time to get there though.
Milwaukee 65 Dallas 59
Brandon Jennings shook off a frustrating start to steer the Milwaukee Bucks to a 65-59 win over the Dallas Mavericks tonight. Jennings was scoreless until the final 2 minutes of the third quarter when he scored 5 points and drew a charge to give his team the momentum and a 44-39 lead going into the fourth. Milwaukee was able to pull out the win despite shooting just 36% from the floor.
The game had a sloppy start, middle and end, with both Dallas points guards called for carrying violations. Ahmad Nivins (19 points & 6 rebs) was effective around the basket as Milwaukee struggled to contain him.
Kentucky rookie guard Jodie Meeks didn't quite go for 50 today but shot well, worked hard off the ball and on defense.
The second quarter started off quiet with the Bucks going scoreless for the first 3:45. Things got a bit heated after Jennings drew an offensive foul on Aaron Miles.
The pair exchanged words after Miles seemingly took exception to Jennings snatching the ball from his hands.The third quarter also saw Paul Delaney leveled by an illegal Alfred Aboya screen. Delaney was clearly shaken up from the shot.
For Milwaukee, Joe Alexander had a team high 14 points, but shot a miserable 4-18 from the field. He'll need to improve on his efficiency if Milwaukee is to continue to win.
Dallas rookie French first round PG Rodrigue Beaubois showed great quickness but was let down by his ball control and decision making. 2 assist with 6 turnovers isn't the start he was looking for. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's value doesn't always show up on the stat sheet as he puts forth a lot of dirty work for his team.
Although he didn't have the best shooting night statistically (3-12 fg), Jennings wasn't forcing his offense after a scoreless first half. He looked to get his team involved and ultimately got the victory. This was a commendable effort from the # 10 pick.
"Anthony Randolph (20) and Rookie Stephen Curry (16) to provide the bulk of the scoring. "...any pun intended here?
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