By Rick Fois
Player of the Day
Jordan McRea: after the first half, he had tallied 20 points and a perfect 7/7 from the floor using his all around skill set to score his baskets. He attacked from the dribble, curled on the pick and roll and made a 3 pointer. The true leader of the 76ers offense, he keeps doing what he was doing in college, even better. There were a lot of doubts about him, in particular about his weight from this site included, but his performances in the SL have been as consistent as you could ask, giving his hopes of making the Sixers a boost. McRea doesn’t seem to suffer physically and his wiry strong lower body allows him to control his body very well around the basket. He finished with 25 points in just 26 minutes, a perfect 10/10 on FTs and just one missed shot. Despite the loss against the Bulls, following up a number of solid showings, he deserved to finally be the player of the day for the sensational offensive display.
Isaiah Canaan: Not a surprise for those that are familiar with him. What’s sure is that not many PGs out there can dominate a game like Canaan can when he’s on his game. He clearly is not the definition of a true PG but has no problem in scoring and getting to the rim any time he wants. He made big shots for Houston every time they needed. The Speed is considerable and the decision-making seems to be improving every day. Against the Cavs he exploded for 28 points clinching the game in the last minute with a big three pointer and a sweet lay-up and leading the Houston Rockets to the next round in the win over the Cleveland Cavs.
Dante Exum: Dante’s Inferno, has turned into Dante’s Ice Age part 3. After some up and downs, today he probably had his worst game so far for the Jazz. Two air balls from 3 point, and a fast break where he dribbled the ball off his foot out of bounds were just some of his lowlights from today. The most troubling things is how slow and heavy he is looking while moving around, he doesn’t seem to be able to change speed to go by someone. The shot that looks better than advertised is proving to be very inefficient. 5 points on 1/8, 0 rebounds and 3 TO are numbers that Exum obviously would like to forget asap. Granted, without any college or pro experience, what did people expect to start? His choosing not to attend college worked out great from a draft standpoint, but it didn’t do his transition to the league any favors.
Tony Snell: Another great game by Tony Snell, a player that doesn’t stop developing and finally is making all the shots he couldn’t hit last year with the Bulls jersey. You can see is confidence when his number is called and how aggressive he his with and without the ball. Today he was very impressive once again finishing with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assist and 3 blocks to lead the Bulls in their win against Philly and a lot of big plays to help the Bulls to keep the lead during the game.
PJ Hairston: There was no doubt about his offensive talent and PJ is already playing very mature basketball. He was running off screens, attacking in ISO and using his athleticism to get to the rim and rain threes. He was impossible to stop today finishing with 21 points on 16 shots in the Hornets upset of the Pelicans as Charlotte went on to win by 29 points.
Russ Smith: It was in a losing effort, but another game where he went by every single defender that attempted to guard him. He finished with 19 points 5 rebounds and 6 assists and was the only player with Fells and Gaddy able to score on the Hornets defense. Smith had total domination of the ball, not exactly a Spurs kind of player, but a player who can definitely create an advantage on the defense when he wants.
Ben McClemore: The 2nd year Kings guard played another really clean and solid game, without forcing the issue but patiently taking what the game offered. 22 points, 7/11 fg, 6 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the Sacramento Kings in the win over the T-wolves. His shot selection once again was much better, and he was calm poised when attacking the basket, qualities that he definitely didn’t show in his rookie year.
Shabazz Muhammad: He tried to keep Minnesota in the game, playing really hard and attacking the basket with power, showing once again his favorite move, attacking baseline for a floater. He got to the FT’s line a lot as result of his strength around the basketball. 24 points with 13 shots weren’t enough for the win but another solid performance by Shabazz.
Austin Daye: one thing is sure after this Summer league, when his feet are set and the shot is not contested you can be sure Daye doesn’t miss. Today he didn’t shoot well for his standards only 2/9 from threes but the defense didn’t leave him to many opportunities and he still struggles to create shot for himself. On the positive side, he was very good defensively and added 4 rebounds and 3 steals to the boxscore in the Spurs win against the Jazz.
Adreian Payne: Atlanta today had an easy time against the Blazers and for the most part is was thanks to Payne making shots and opening up the defense for Releford, Schroder and Holt to attack the paint. Payne finished the game with 19 points and 3/5 on 3pts. He could have gotten some more rebounds but today he was exactly the player the Hawks drafted, adding perimeter shooting from their bigmen.
Bobby Brown: The little magician from Fullerton didn’t quite put up a performance like his 79 points in China last year but he was the only player who kept the Blazers hopes alive scoring 20 points on 3/4 from three point. Explosive as always, he was able to create and hit a number of difficult shots but couldn’t avoid the lost against the Hawks.
Tim Hardaway Jr: he has little in common with the rest of the competition. 22 points in 21 minutes with 4/8 on 3s. He basically scores when he wants to and no one has slowed him dow this summer league. His qualities were in full display and once again he had a couple of nice jumpers and then attacked the defense off the screens leading the Knicks to the win over the D-league. To think a number of scouts had this guy pegged as a 2nd round pick for much of his career at Michigan.
Andrew Wiggins: he had a solid performance on a day where speculation is running wild that he will get traded to Minnesota. Particular it was the first time he showed the ability to create a clean jump shot for himself, something we didn’t see before. He keeps showing the ability to get to the rim and manufacture free throws but still lacks the fluidity and feel that you expect from a number one pick to take control of the game. The numbers look good though, 21 points on 15/20 FT and 5 rebounds.
Shabazz Napier: Another bad shooting night for Napier who really doesn’t like the rims in Las Vegas, good thing he won’t have to worry about NBA games being played here. 1/7 from three point land isn’t good enough for a small player like Napier and again he had a hard time in finishing with contact. He managed to finish with 14 points, but had just 1 assist in the Heat’s elimination vs. the Wizards. Hope the Heat really liked Napier as much as LeBron apparently did before the draft.
Cameron Bairstow: what a game he had today, 18 points and 8 rebounds and showing constant growth. Despite his lack of verticality, few players screen like he does and once again his box out were straight from the coaching clinic manual. He will soon steal Tom Thibodeau’s heart.