New York 74 (0-2) Phoenix 99 (1-0)
The Phoenix Suns opened their 2012 summer league schedule with a 99-74 win over the New York Knicks in game 1 of day 3. Without #13 pick Kendall Marshall, who is still on the mend with his wrist injury, 2nd year man Markieff Morris led all scorers with 21 points on 7/16 shooting.
Morris displayed a variety of skills at both ends of the floor. Offensively, he scored the ball facing up as well as with his back to the basket. He showed his ability to use the dribble, connecting on shots using a once bounce dribble pull up and breaking down his defender. Morris rebounded well, hit the offensive glass & also blocked a couple of shots. He grabbed 9 rebounds, 2 blocks & 1 technical foul in 28 minutes.
Point Guard Diante Garrett was impressive for Phoenix, setting up his teammates nicely dishing out 10 dimes. He protected the ball and took quality shots, just missing out on a double-double with 8 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
DeShawn Sims provided good support, hitting some outside jumpers. He had 16 points & 3 rebounds for the game. Marcus Landry (12pts 5rebs 5/9fg) & Erving Walker (12pts 2reb 2assists) also reached double figures for the Suns. Landry made back to back three’s midway through the 3rd quarter & was consistent throughout the game. Walker substituted well for Garret when in the Game and he and Mustapha Farrakhan (10pts 4 rebs) went at each other when both were in the game.
There’s been another Notorious POB sighting this year in Vegas, this time turning out for the Suns summer league squad. Not much went Patyrick O’Bryant’s way this afternoon, but he did knock down an outside jumper. His air ball with Goldcamp (5pts 4 rebs) defending him was his most forgettable moment of the game. He had 6 points & 4 rebounds.
It was another tough game for the Knicks. Chris Smith (2pts 4rebs 3assists 0/6fg) had the roughest of games, finishing with more air balls than field goals (2-0). Chris Copeland was the Knicks best player and had a nice running battle with Morris. He had 17 points 3 rebounds 2 blocks and a steal. Against the odds, he pick pocketed Garrett in the open floor for his only steal. Copeland can score inside and out, again showing off his outside range, knocking down shots out to 18 feet.
Artsiom Parakhouski also played hard & picked up some baskets cleaning up misses. He rebounded well & hits the offensive boards. He had 10 points & 6 boards in 21 minutes of action.
Dallas (1-0) 88 Denver 77 (0-2)
3rd year guard Dominique Jones set the early 2012 Summer League record for points with 32. He shot 12/25, grabbing 8 boards and took over the game against a young Nuggets squad.
Second year wing Jordan Hamilton was impressive once again for Denver with 18 points on 6/15 FG and 3/5 from downtown.
Denver rookie Evan Fournier had his moments once again. He looks smooth with the ball in his hands and shows vision to find teammates while handling the ball. He finished with 15 points but struggled shooting just 4/15 from the floor.
Undrafted rookie SG David Jelenik chipped in 11 pts for the Mavericks.
Toronto Raptors (0-2) 59 Miami Heat (1-0) 71
Head coach Erik Speolstra & Chris Bosh were courtside to see the Heat summer league squad make their first appearance in this year’s Summer League, defeating the Toronto Raptors 71-59 in the first game in Thomas & Mack Center.
Terrel Harris led scoring for the Heat, finishing with 14 points on just 4/12 shooting. Harris was busy and despite his numbers from the floor, was active all game collecting 3 rebounds, 3 assist & 4 steals. Norris Cole shot 4/10 from the field for his 13 points.
The Heat received some good minutes off the bench from Drew Viney. Viney scored 7 early points in as many minutes and pulled down some strong rebounds. He showed his outside touch, trailing Cole midway through the 4th and splashing a three to give Miami 13 point lead. He would finish the game with 12 points 6 rebounds 2 assist & a steal in 28 minutes.
Dexter Pitman’s frame was a handful for the Raptors to handle inside & was more effective as the game progressed. He didn’t register his first field goal until the last minute of the first half. The Raptors had some big bodies in Daniel Orton & Quincy Acy to throw at him, however didn’t manage to slow him down. Pittman’s effort was impressive, no more so than when he ran the floor to finish a pretty looking fast break. He couldn’t quite get the elevation to throw it down but got the 2 points in any event. He also hustled hard for a steal, threw a nice outlet for a Harris dunk.
Ed Davis ended up with a respectable double-double however surprisingly didn’t record a single block for the game. His length & timing allowed him to control the boards finishing with 15 points & 12 rebounds in 28 minutes of play.
# 8 pick Terrence Ross didn’t have the best shooting game but got good looks for the most part. On occasion, he was a fraction slow recognizing cuts made by team mates and picked up a couple of turnovers. He again displayed his slashing ability and outside shot. His defense was solid and bothered some long range attempts with good close outs. Ross ended the game with 14 points 6 rebounds and 5 turnovers.
Quincy Acy doesn’t need to get up a lot of shots but is a solid finisher around the rim. He could well prove to be a solid NBA defender/rebounder at some stage. Former Kentucky big man Daniel Orton looks a long way off from contributing to an NBA roster & will likely be plagued by conditioning issues throughout his pro career. His hands let him down a couple of times this afternoon and finished with 2 points and 3 rebounds.
Bobby Brown (2pts 2 rebs 4 assists 5 TO’s) didn’t do much scoring today but did pick up one of the plays of the game when he pinned a lay-up against the backboard in the 2nd quarter.
San Antonio Spurs (1-0) 82 Atlanta Hawks (1-1) 76
The Spurs took care of business against the Hawks behind their tandem of second year first rounders Kawhi Leonard and Cory Joseph. Leonard paced San Antonio with 23 pts while Joseph pitched in 18 of his own. Leonard fell out of the lottery in 2011 but may end up every bit as good as #2 pick in this year’s draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Rookie John Jenkins failed to get on track shooting 0-3 from deep. He finished with 13 points on a respectable 6-14 shooting. he;s been a pleasant surprise for Atlanta having dualed 3rd overall pick Bradley Beal to a virtual deadlock. We’ve been a strong proponent for Jenkins all along and feel that he has a bright future ahead of him. He received some unwarrented criticism for being taken with the 23rd pick and looks every bit worthy of the selection thus far.
Second year center Keith Benson of Oakland paced the Hawks with 20 points (9/13 fg).
Cleveland Cavaliers (0-2) 64 Charlotte Bobcats (2-0) 68
Without #2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Charlotte Bobcats posted a thrilling come from behind win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the last 15 seconds of the game, Cleveland # 4 pick Dion Waiters went from hero to goat as he called a ‘Webber’ (ironically enough in front of Chris Webber, who was sitting courtside) with 4 seconds left in the game to end the Cavs chances of a first win. Tonight wasn’t the first time we have seen a summer league team call a time out they didn’t have. The Dallas Mavericks did the same thing back in 2009.
Waiters finished with 10 points (3/11fg) after making his first shot and missing most of the rest. He did step up and nailed a long two with 13 seconds left to put Cleveland up 1. Kemba Walker, who had a shocking shooting night himself, then made a running floater with 6 seconds on the clock to give Charlotte a 1 point advantage. After some tight defense on the inbounds pass, Waiters called a timeout when the Cavs had none & effectively ended the game. Walker then stepped up and knocked down the technical free throws to seal the win for Charlotte.
The Bobcats started the game with the same pressure and ball movement that was a staple of their first summer league win, however poor shot selection and decision making let them down for most of the game. Walker took low percentage shots and finished with 13 points on a shocking 2/14 shooting. As bad as Walker’s shooting was, Byron Mullens missed more shots and was worse. Mullens was in love with the three point shot tonight, missing all seven of his attempts. He hit the offensive boards well however & finished the game on 9 points on a horrendous 4/17fg 8 rebounds 2 steals and 2 blocks.
Bismack Biyombo wasn’t as effective as his first game but did make some important plays late in the game. He got a 3-point play in the last 2 minutes & pulled down a strong defensive rebound in traffic to secure possession with less than a minute left in the game. He also made a nice pass out of the post for an assist early in the 4th. Biyombo finished on 6 points 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Carlon Brown put up 11 points in just 14 minutes of play off the bench.
North Carolina product Tyler Zeller led Cleveland with 14 points. Zeller had a solid game, showing his outside touch from out to 20 feet as well as putting the ball on the floor when his defender overplayed him. He also added 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Fellow Big man Samardo Samuels had some nice moments off the bench. Samuels was our number 1 undrafted player back in summer league in 2010 ahead of Jeremy Lin. His best play came after muscling up defensively on Biyombo, running the floor and finishing with a dunk. He also drew a reaction from the crowd with a spectacular block. He had 10 points and 4 rebounds in 17 minutes. Tristan Thompson had one nice move in the first quarter but didn’t show much offense beyond that. He had 7 points 4 rebounds and 2 blocks, but his post game is still light years away.
D-League Stars (1-0) 85 Washington Wizards (1-2) 78
The D-League stars proved what they do every year, that they’re not to be taken lightly. What they lack in star power, they make up for in experience and grit. They took care of business knocking off a weary Wizard team playing their 3rd game in 3 nights.
Rookie Bradley Beal had 20 points but struggled once again from the floor hitting 6/15. He has yet to find his stroke shooting a disappointing 1-for-7 from deep.
The D-Leaguers were paced by former Texas Tech SG Andre Emmitt with 17 pts on 2/3 from 3.
Portland Trailblazers (1-0) 85 New Orleans Hornets (0-1) 82
An amazing 3rd quarter by 6th pick Damian Lillard helped set up an 85-82 win for the Portland Trailblazers in their first game of this year’s Summer League. In what is likely to be one of the best individual performances of this year’s event, Lillard spearheaded the Blazers who turned a 17 point halftime deficit into a 1 point lead heading into the 4th.
Lillard’s shooting numbers weren’t great however his playmaking was impressive throughout the game, starting with a sweet pick and roll with #11 pick Meyers Leonard in the opening seconds. Less than two minutes later, he blew past #10 pick Austin Rivers for an easy lay-up. It was Lillard’s 2nd half & third quarter performance in particular, that stood out however. He piled on 12 points, 1 rebound 2 assists and drew a charge (on Rivers) in the 3rd alone, to turn the game around. In the last 30 seconds of the game, he drained a step back 3 in Rivers’ face to finish with 25 points (21 in 2nd half) 4 rebounds & 4 assists on 9/21 shooting (7/11 fg in 2nd half)
Former Duke standout Nolan Smith had an impact in the first half as well, slashing to the basket and hitting a three on his way to 10 points & 2 boards, all in the first half. Leonard had a solid pro debut himself, finishing with a 14 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks (7 fouls & 5 TO’s). Nevada product Luke Babbitt also had a strong game and made some big plays in the final quarter. Babbitt lacks the athleticism of some of his peers however he does most things well and posted a 19 point 10 rebound double-double. Wesley Mathews made an appearance and put up 7 points in 15 minutes of play.
New Orleans big Denzel Bowles overshadowed some of his better known team mates and led the Hornets with 18 points and 12 boards in just 18 minutes of play off the bench. Bowles was a monster on the offensive boards, collecting 8 for the game. He also displayed confidence in his midrange shot, knocking a baseline 15 footer with the game in the balance. Bowles along with Lance Thomas were the Hornets best performers tonight. Thomas recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds.
It wasn’t through lack of effort, however Rivers had a disppointing debut and didn’t show the talent that compelled the Hornets to take him at #10. He had a few moments throughout the game and could’ve been a hero had he knocked down what would’ve been a game tying three in the last 5 seconds. The shot was taken in a very similar position and circumstance to the one that beat North Carolina back in February, except tonight he threw up an air ball. The Hornets still had a chance to tie the game but Brian Roberts barely drew iron on his last second attempt. Rivers posted 14 points (3/13fg 1/83fg) 3 rebounds 2 assists (4 TO’s) and 3 steals in his first game.
Rivers and the Hornets will be back on Tuesday to take on the Houston Rockets.