The top performers for Day 6 were: Jason Thompson (31 pts,
10 reb), Andray Blatche (27 pts, 15 ast), Austin Daye (27 pts, 13 reb), DaJuan
Summers (26 pts, 8 reb), Dante Cunningham (22 pts), and Joe Alexander (18 pts)
96 New York (0-2) 73
The Detroit draft picks all played very well with Austin Daye dropping 27 pts
(9-17) and 13 reb, DaJuan Summers had 26 pts (12-21) and 8 reb while Jonas Jerebko
put up 13 pts (5-11) and 12 reb.
Some sharp shooting was on display early on, from both the Knicks and Pistons as Daye and Morris Almond led their respective teams
in the opening period. Point Guards Sean Singletary and 29th pick Tony Douglas
had a nice duel, with Singletary getting the early nod.
Pistons second round selection (#35) DaJuan Summers (19.5 ppg 5.8 rpg) must
have been confused that they named the league after him, because he’s been playing
as if it’s HIS league. Summers continues to be one of the real surprises in Vegas playing far better than many of the players taken above him.
Summers heated up after a slow first half, helping the Pistons maintain their
13 point half time lead heading into the final quarter.
Daye played a
patient game today for the majority of the contest showing his high offensive
Not much changed in the final period with consecutive baskets from Summers
extending the Pistons advantage to 20 points midway through the 4th. Jerebko
worked hard on the boards against Jordan Hill and threw a nice outlet in one
of his best SL performances yet. Hill didn’t display the softest of touches
around basket today finishing with 14 points on 6/14 shooting, but his length
and athleticism is apparent.
First rounder Tony Douglas will go close to leading SL in assists but his shot
needs work for him to truly be effective. He can create and rarely made a bad
decision with the ball (10 ast 2 to). Joe Dumars and the Pistons have to be
pleased with the performances of their draft picks today, all played well in
the comprehensive victory.
Milwaukee (4-0) 87 Chicago (0-2) 72
The Bucks led by #10 pick Brandon Jennings, moved
to a perfect 4-0 SL record after defeating the Bulls 87-72.
Brandon Jennings (14 pts, 6 reb, 9 ast) has been one of the real standouts taking
over the reins for the Bucks and running the show. He appears to be ahead of
schedule, and has done an excellent job of creating for his teammates. His ability
to play the PG position appears to be second nature and his quickness is at
such an elite level, that he has had little trouble getting by defenders and
into the paint. His a/to ratio in this game (9 to 4) is also an encouraging
sign for the Bucks.
Amir Johnson (17 pts, 8 reb) got off to a nice start for the Bucks and appears
to have good chemistry with Jennings (both are Southern California products).
James Johnson had an unusual display of athleticism early
in the second quarter when he climbed the backboard support to retrieve a stuck
ball from a Jodie Meeks miss. Unfortunately for the Bulls, this was probably
his best highlight. JJ took some highly questionable shots (4-15 fg) and played
recklessly at times, committing too many turnovers (6), but he did use his aggressiveness
to get to the line a bunch (8-11 ft). Meeks shook off a slow start finishing
Joe Alexander looks to be gaining some confidence hitting some outside shots
as well as converting on some drives, and finished with 18 points on 7/16 fgs,
for his second straight quality performance. Taj Gibson (12 points 8 reb) had
a mixed day and eventually fouled out.
Chicago’s failure to convert more than 40% of their shots didn’t
give them much chance of challenging the Bucks. Jennings long ball put Milwaukee
up 13 in the last three minutes effectively icing the game.
The Bucks will look to complete their perfect SL when they meet the Toronto
Raptors tomorrow. Chicago will look to register their first win Friday when
they face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Toronto (2-2) 74 Phoenix
14th pick Earl Clark had a solid SL debut (13 and 12)
in defeat Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors, 74-73. The Cox Pavilion crowd
were compensated for some terrible Suns shooting by spectacular dunks from first
DeMar Derozan and Brent Petway. The game wasn’t the best quality as neither
team eclipsing the 40% mark from the field.
DeRozan led all scorers with 20 pts (9-16 fg) helping the Raptors even their
summer league record at (2-2). For a player who looked so lost early in his
freshman season, DeRozan appears to have made a big leap toward becoming a legitimate
player, on top of being a world class athlete.
For the most part of the 4th quarter, the Raptors couldn’t reduce
the Phoenix lead. With 2 minutes left in the 4th, a Patrick O’Bryant transition
dunk cut the lead to four. Quincy Douby then made an appearance and scored a
quick 5 points to cut the lead to 1.
DeRozan laid in a lob to take the lead. Out of the time out, Hubalek missed
a long two. Goran Dragic had to go the length of the court in 5 seconds to win
the game. A perfectly timed weak side help block from Petway sealed the comeback
victory for the Raptors.
Unfortunately for Toronto, a scary moment as Ekene Ibekwe landed very hard and awkwardly
on Dragic and stayed down. As a precaution he was taken by stretcher from the
court to the hospital, with the medical staff concerned about a possible neck
The good news is that he had feeling in his arms and fingers. Ibekwe’s
effort was the definition of taking one for the team, his commitment sealing
a deserved win for Toronto.
NBA D-League Select 105 Sacramento (0-4) 89
Coming off their first ever Vegas SL victory, the scrappy D-League
Select team apparently likes the feeling of winning as they got their second win
in two days, taking down the Sacramento Kings 105-89. The D-Leaguers shot an
impressive 59% for the game and moved to 2-0 in this years SL.
4th pick Tyreke Evans was not in the starting line up tonight due to a finger
injury (fell on his hand on a drive) picked up in his last game, and his absence
was missed. He had little impact, finishing with 5 points, and 6 rebs, 3 assists
in 23 minutes.
Jason Thompson started strongly finishing on a powerful
dunk early in the first on his way to 31 pts (13-23) and 10 reb. Thompson took
over the bulk of the offense with Evans inefficient due to the injury.
Second round pick John Brockman continues to draw crowd appreciation each game
with his heart and hustle, launching himself into the courtside seats for an
impressive save. The D-League select team kept things close led by Gary Forbes
(17 pts) and Othyus Jeffers (21 pts).
Thompson though, was proving a handful for the minor leaguers,
crashing the offensive boards and providing enough offense for the Kings to
take a 7 point lead at the half time break. He had 20 in the half as both squads
shot over 50%. The Kings shot a miserable 18% from three-point range.
The D-League Select team outscored Sacramento by a massive 59-36
in the second half for their second straight win. Trey Johnson scored 20 points
on 8/10 shooting, backing up Othyus Jeffers nicely, who had 21 points and 7
rebounds himself. The Kings have now slumped to their 4th straight defeat.
Portland 87 Houston 82
The Houston Rockets joined the Milwaukee Bucks as the only two undefeated
teams after day 6 of SL. Most impressive is the fact that this bunch is led
by no first rounders. There wasn’t much separating the two sides in the
first quarter, with both squads coming out hot. 32nd pick Jermaine Taylor provided
some early entertainment by throwing down a contested open court dunk to give
the rockets an early 13-10 lead.
Houston got its running game together in the second quarter, outscoring the
Blazers 11-2 on the break in the first half. They went into the main break with
a handy 10 point lead, up 50-40. Chase Budinger led the victors in scoring with
17 points (6-8 fg) after coming out hot in the first half.
Portland won the third quarter on the back of Pooh Jeter and Dante Cunningham’s
(22 pts) play. The pair helped Portland outscore the rockets 24-17 and cut the
margin to just three heading into the 4th quarter. Houston’s Marty Luenan
was effective in stages, finishing with 15 points 5 rebounds 4 ast. Joey Dorsey
has had better games this SL, but he causes trouble for the opposition on the
boards and played within his limitations. He still commits too many fouls however.
James White supported Budinger with 16 points.
The fourth came down to execution, where the Rockets simply did a better job
in the latter stages. The Rockets invited Portland back into the game by committing
two offensive fouls in the last three minutes (Dorsey & Temple). The Blazers
didn’t accept the invitation however, with Cunningham throwing possession
away immediately after a time out. After Budinger put the Rockets up by 2 late
in the game, the Blazers had two opportunities to tie the game but misses from
Cunningham and Jeter saw the Trailblazers drop to 0-2
2008 SL MVP Bayless was a little disappointing, scoring only 13 points and
6 boards. The most disappointing part of his game is the 2 assists and the 6
turnovers. No exactly the type of development Portland is looking for from their
second year point guard.
Denver (1-1) 77 Washington (1-1)
The Denver Nuggets finished off day 6 with a 77-70 win over the
much cooler Nick Young and the Washington Wizards. Nuggets forward Sonny Weems
bounced back nicely after a forgettable end to yesterday’s Spurs game. Weems
led Denver in scoring with 17 points on inefficient 6/15 shooting. He also pulled
down 11 rebounds.
Andray Blatche continues his strong play in SL and was a monster today despite
being on the losing end of the scoreboard. Blatche finished the game with 27
points, 15 rebounds (8 or’s) and 3 assists. One of those assists was a
lob to frontcourt partner JaVale McGee. McGee himself was a presence putting
up 12 points (3-12 fg), 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Nick Young couldn’t
duplicate yesterday’s performance, struggling to get off and finishing
only 3/8 from downtown. He would finish with 17 points and 3 steals.
The Nuggets’ Ty Lawson really struggled (again) with his shot going a
disappointing 1-8 and scoreless in the second half. He assisted in getting the
Nuggets off to a good second half start but beyond that didn’t have much
else going tonight. C.J. Giles made a productive cameo in limited playing time.
The former Oregon State big man posted 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks to
contribute to the win.
Only 1 point separated the teams after the first half. The Nuggets finished
the game stronger with Weems starting the second half with a three pointer.
The 8 point lead built midway through the third quarter, gave the momentum to
Denver who went on to outscore their opponents 38-30 in the second half to improve
to 1-1 in their two games.
Friday will see Denver match up with the Portland Trailblazers which will follow
the Wizards and Timberwolves game to be played at Cox Pavilion.