By Rick Fois
Player of the Day:
The Thomas and Mack Center was packed for the last game of the day: the match up between Dante Exum’s Utah Jazz and Jabari Parker’s Milwaukee Bucks. But emerging from the battle was probably the biggest slider on Draft Night. If it is of any consolation he certainly didn’t look like a 23rd overall pick. Rodney Hood put on a show scoring 29 points on 7/10 of threes and 5 assists to complete his game, leading the Jazz to an easy win. He displayed all his skills, shooting, attacking the basket, scoring in transition, making key passes without doing too much. In the third quarter he had three threes in a row and the Arena caught fire. He looked very ready to be an important player for the young Jazz, and it’s likely that in Salt Lake City they are a lot more excited about him after tonight.
Lucas Nogueira: None of the Raptors players had an especially good game today while their team was getting killed from the Mavs. But Bebe really disappointed not only for his lack of impact in the game but also for the careless attitude he showed. 2 points, 5 rebounds in 20 minutes with zero help to his team are already very bad numbers, but his lack of aggressiveness were really disappointed. He is a great kid with a positive attitude, but there are moment in this sport, even in pick up game where you got to have the desire to win, losing has to bother you so much that you are showing not only with your playing but also with your body language that things are about to change. For a player that is rumored to jump to the Raptors already from the next season we expected a much better performance.
Amath Mbaye: from the Japanese league with love, the French forward and former Oklahoma Sooners was on fire today. Amath is a player who probably should have been drafted, but didn’t hear his name called last year after declaring early following a disappointing junior season. M’Baye has been well liked by the San Antonio Spurs for some time, who considered drafting him, according to sources. Scoring in every possible way, attacking the basket, getting fouled. He ended up with 27 points in just 15 shot and a +21 of +/- in the Clippers win by 6 points over the Heat. M’baye showed his ability to score and take responsibility offensively. He is athletic, but very good in executing at half court. Took full advantage of Lorenzo Brown creativity as PG and put his name on the map for this Summer League. Watch out for M’baye to make an NBA team in the near future.
Jeremy Tyler: The Knicks forward was a beast today for a team that can count on many scorers. But Tylor not only scored 19 points taking only good shots but added 8 rebounds and 3 assists for a very solid all around performance that lead the Knicks to destroy a really bad Charlotte Hornets team. The +23 in plus/minus was the cherry on top for a player that could emerge with the new Triangle offense coming to NY.
Rudy Gobert: The French Center was very good today and helped the Jazz easy win over the Bucks. Gobert was great in protecting the rim, while also showing good footwork when defending the ball on P&R. He ended the game with 13 points with a perfect 100% from the floor, 9 rebounds and 5 great blocks. He was a big presence in the paint on both end of the floor and a lot of Bucks player realized tonight how hard it can be to score over him
Lorenzo Brown: Brown once again took over the game helping his Clippers to win. While in the first quarters he played more for the team, sharing the ball and riding a M’baye who was on fire, in the second half Brown took the scoring responsibilities upon himself winning the duel with Napier and the game. He finished with 22 points for one of the player that is showing the most in this summer league.
Justin Holiday: another player who doesn’t want to miss this chance to show the world his talent is Holiday. In the loss against the Lakers he again took over the game finishing with 26 points and 4 three pointers. Compared to yesterday he wasn’t so effective at Rebounds where he was well boxed out. But he was showed again to be a very versatile player that can do many things on the floor to help his team winning.
Ricky Ledo: there are few who doubted the talent of Ricky Ledo. The Mavs guard is a matchup nightmare as he showed today in the win over the Raptors. He was very aggressive on both ends finishing the game with 18 pts, 4 reb and 5 assists. In particular, the last statistical voice, the assist, speaks loudly about the improvements in his game; sharing the ball and involving the team, outside of creating for himself. Today he was unstoppable.
Austin Daye: We were waiting for Kyle Anderson to show something today, but the best player on the floor for the Spurs was the veteren, former lotto pick, Austin Daye, who finished with 18 pts, 11 rebounds and 5 assists. Daye already had some great all around game with the Spurs during the last season, but today without doing too much, he displayed his improvements and maturity. He was good defensively, and offensively he moved the ball extremely well, made the open shot and facilitated well for the life of his teammates.
Jordan McRae : Another good game for the 76ers wing, was despite the lack of physicality and strength compared to many NBA wings, today was very aggressive, getting to rim left and right and finding many fouls. McRea looked like a real player out there, and while maybe he doesn’t look too fancy, he was indeed very efficient, for example on defense his energy helped him get 4 steals transforming them into transition plays.
Andrew Wiggins: Had a highlight dunk after a crazy spin move on the baseline. That dunk woke up the entire Cox Arena. Outside of that, Wiggins didn’t do anything special today finishing with 10 points and 3 assist in the Cavs win over Philly. He was solid on defense, and also on offense where he took a couple of nice jumpers and didn’t force too many shots. He still didn’t show that he can create his own shot from off the dribble, but he showed that he can play in David Blatt’s system without any problem, without searching for his shots and stats but being a really good player for the team, which perhaps could be even more special.
Dante Exum: He took a couple of steps backwards today. He didn’t look as confortable as he did a couple of nights ago. He had 6 points missing many shots, with 3 assists but also 3 bad turnovers as he showed his lack of physicality compared to more experienced players. Both he and Burke struggled offensively but the team found other resources in Motum and Hood to get the win. On the flip side, both were much better than the first game defensively.
Julius Randle: The Lakers forward started the game like everybody expected he would, going left for a left handed lay up. He struggled a lot in the first half, committing charges, getting his shot blocked and looking a little out of basketball shape. He did much better in the second half finishing with 14 points. What is concerning is just 4 rebounds and 5 TO. He may need a couple more games to get accustomed to the level and learn how to succeed at the NBA level. He didn’t lack passion and aggressiveness, but needs to improve his ability to read the floor and decision making.
Russ Smith: for somebody that was never considered a pass first PG in college, Smith is creating very well for his teammates. Today he had another double double with 14 points and 11 assists creating havoc for the Spurs defense. His speed and fearless approach to the game make him unique, and certainly creating a lot of problems defensively for teams playing against him.