Las Vegas Summer League Day Three

Las Vegas Summer League Day Three
Jul 14, 2008, 07:07 pm
Day Three featured less highlights than Day Two, but there were still a handful of very notable performances, including those of Arron Afflalo and Bobby Brown who carried their team to wins.

Game One: New Orleans Hornets 77, Charlotte Bobcats 75

New Orleans

Julian Wright: 11 Points, 5-12 FG, 4 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 5 Steals, 2 Blocks, 6 Turnovers

Wright may not have put up the best stat line today, but he was easily the most impressive player on the floor. The athleticism he possesses at his size is simply incredible, and coupled with his ball handling ability, makes him a very intimidating matchup. He put his court vision and passing on display today, getting into the lane at will before kicking out to open teammates for open jump shots. While his passing ability makes him an asset, his other offensive skills are still very much a work in progress. Wright didn’t look great shooting the ball, and needs to continue developing that aspect of his game. Despite his lack of perimeter shooting, Wright is too long and athletic for most of the players in attendance to keep out of the lane. That same length and athleticism provided some of the most impressive highlights of the day, including a couple of big steals for give and go alley oops, and some of the most emphatic blocks we’ve seen all week.

Bobby Brown: 20 Points, 6-14 FG, 1-4 3FG, 7-8 FT, 5 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 1 Steal, 6 Fouls

Today, Brown offered scouts a reminder of just how good he can be when the game gets out of control. He had a very hard time scoring and running the show in the first half, but didn’t turn the ball over all the much. In the second, he turned things on, using the frantic pace of the game to get a handful of deflections leading to run outs resulting in nice alley oop passes, multiple trips to the line, and a handful of lay ups. He even managed to jump over a defender on his way to missed dunk that he finished with two free throws. Unlike last Summer League, Brown struggled mightily from the outside today, looking pretty tentative when given space to pull the trigger from the perimeter. Still, he showed just how unbelievably talented he is when considering his terrific combination of size and athleticism, and is certainly a guy NBA scouts are keeping close tabs on.

-Adam Haluska looked solid and has surprising speed and quickness, but isn’t vertically explosive, which negates his ability to get to the rim at this level. He didn’t get many chances to shoot from the outside today, a trend that probably won’t last.

-Hilton Armstrong had a decent game, but not as good as some of the performances he had last year. We’ll keep an eye on him when he’s not in foul trouble.


Alexis Ajinca: 11 Points, 3-8 FG, 5-5 FT, 4 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 2 Blocks

Ajinca came through with a very nice performance today. He showed tremendous touch, but is still incredibly raw. A lot of his moves look good, but they don’t turn into production. That should change over time considering his age and willingness to work hard to improve. Ajinca has range, and some footwork down low. Unfortunately, he’s going to have to gain a considerable amount of weight to utilize the latter, a difficult proposition considering how skinny he is in the lower body. That lack of bulk hurts him defensively, but his wingspan more than compensates for that deficiency on this level. Though he didn’t show great production, Ajinca is beginning to translate his potential to higher levels of play.

Jermareo Davidson: 12 Points, 4-8 FG, 4-6 FT, 9 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Block, 4 Fouls

Davidson looked as good today as he did yesterday, using his size and athleticism to make an impact around the rim. He shows better footwork than he used to, and had a couple of nice seals for strong finishes. When he couldn’t get a good look at the rim, he showed impressive vision in traffic, dropping two nice passes to teammates while spinning through the lane. His comfortable level in this setting is a testament to what a season of experience has done for him. He’s not making nearly as many mistakes as he did last year, and is beginning to figuring things out defensively as well, using leverage better to gather rebounds and hold position on the block.

-D.J. Augustin has a good game, but wasn’t as successful distributing the ball as he was yesterday due to the frantic pace of the second half.

-Orien Greene earns mention here for playing well both today and yesterday, but we’ll wait for him to have a better performance to pass judgment on what he’s accomplished here.

Game Two: Golden State 95, Dallas Mavericks 86

Golden State

Marco Belinelli: 25 Points, 9-19 FG, 2-8 3FG, 5-7 FT, 3 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 1 Steal

Belinelli put on a tremendous performance, showing the same offensive prowess that he did last season. Forced and made shots from all over the place when he got hot early in the second. Though he took quite a few questionable shots, Belinelli shot a solid percentage from the field. He’ll take a lot of jumpers off balance with a hand in his face, but when he’s in the zone, it really doesn’t matter. Despite his prowess as a shooter, he showed some nice slashing ability too, getting to the rim and going to the line. He’s not a great finisher in traffic, but aims to get to the line when he gets in the paint. His aggressiveness as a scorer is his claim to fame, but he also showed good court vision today. His flair for passing made for a couple of nice highlight reel no-looks that ended with dunks for his teammates. This is an ideal level of play for Belinelli, since his defensive deficiencies are taken advantage of and he has free reign offensively. Whether he can translate that to the NBA at some point remains doubtful.

CJ Watson: 14 Points, 3-4 FG, 1-1 3FG, 7-11 FT, 3 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 4 Steals, 3 Turnovers

This may not be Watson’s best performance of the Summer League, but it accentuated his talents. He did a great job moving the ball up the floor on the break and making things happen. He has nice quickness and great speed, allowing him to beat his man to the where he earned numerous trips to the foul line. Watson shows a tremendous motor, always in attack mode. His assist numbers weren’t great, but he set the tempo and sparked quite a few easy baskets. His shooting touch looked solid, and considering the amount of time he spent with the ball in his hands, he didn’t turn the ball over all that much. Defensively, Watson was an absolute nuisance. He has incredibly quick hands and took advantage of some shoddy ball handling by Dallas’s starters. Watson stood out more than he did last year, and seems like he’s capable of sticking in the League if that is telling of his development over the past year.

-Anthony Randolph had a good outing, but it didn’t compare to his last performance (30 points). He did show nice toughness, coming back from an ankle sprain he suffered early in the game. His body isn’t NBA ready, so it is a good sign that he is willing to play through some minor injuries because he’ll probably suffer his fare share. His ability to bring the ball up the floor was on full display today, but he needs to do a much better job staying in control and minimizing mistakes.

-Brandon Wright looked explosive today, but he didn’t get enough touches to show what he can do offensively. Hopefully we’ll see more of him in future contests.


Gerald Green: 15 Points, 3-9 FG, 2-4 3FG, 7-10 FT, 3 Rebounds, 1 Steal, 7 Fouls

This game served as an opportunity for Green to showcase his perimeter skills. While they are largely undeveloped Green showed off both his strengths and weaknesses over the course of the contest. He opened the game with a picture perfect catch and shoot three, followed by a handful of ill-advised shots from the outside that were either well defended or off balance. Green remains an athletic freak with a lot to work on—not much different than what people said about him 3 years ago. Whether or not he gets to do that with an NBA contract may come down to how well he performs in whatever training camp he lands in.

James Singleton: 17 Points, 5-9 FG, 1-2 3FG, 6-7 FT, 8 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 2 Turnovers

Singleton had a great game today. He used his size to bully Golden State’s front line at the rim, and while their length got to him on a couple occasions, he was still effective. Singleton isn’t afraid of contact, and either sealed his man for an easy basket, got to the line, or gave the ball up. He did a nice job converting his free throws as well as being aggressive on the glass. He’s an impact player in Europe who is going to have quite games like this since Dallas isn’t showcasing many other bigmen. He recently signed a guaranteed contract with Dallas.

-Charles Rhodes played well today, and shows the same nice fundamentals and scoring ability that he did throughout his career at Mississippi State. He’s in essentially the same boat as Singleton, getting touches since Dallas’s roster doesn’t feature a young prospect who already has a contract.

Game Three: Los Angeles Lakers 85, Memphis Grizzlies 76

Los Angeles

Coby Karl: 16 Points, 4-13 FG, 0-5 3FG, 8-8 FT, 4 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 1 Steal, 1 Block, 3 Fouls

Karl had a good game today, despite shooting poorly. He was essentially running the show for the Lakers, handling the ball most of the game and looking pretty comfortable doing it. His stat line shows that he did a little bit of everything today, and he was one of the reasons the Lakers were able to stay ahead for most of the game. Many of his missed shots were the result of poor play by his teammates, leaving him with the ball late in the shot clock. Though he’s not athleticism enough to get separation, he’s not a slouch either. The fact that he’s comfortable playing a high level allows him to effective use the athleticism he does have, something that wasn’t true about him last year. Without a lot of help around him, Karl was clearly the best player on the floor for the Lakers. His fundamentals were on full display throughout the game.

-Joe Crawford had an efficient game, but didn’t get that many opportunities to shine. He made the only three pointer he took, and could earn a few looks if he shows consistent range.

-Sharrod Ford and Cedric Bozeman offered a nice forward duo for LA, but didn’t really stand out. They did their share of scoring and board work, but this team is too balanced for any one player to stand out unless they really step up.


O.J. Mayo: 15 Points, 6-13 FG, 3-5 3FG, 2 Rebounds, 6 Fouls, 6 Turnovers

Mayo really didn’t show up today, he struggled to get going from the outside, and when that happened, he didn’t make much of an effort to attack the rim. Coby Karl’s tremendous length bothered his shot on a couple occasions, and Dwayne Mitchell ripped his crossover late for an easy dunk. It is becoming very obvious that Mayo is trying to showcase his catch and shoot ability, and he’s doing a good job of it. This game had very little tempo to it, and it led to Mayo turning the ball over on a couple occasions when the floor wasn’t spaced properly. Despite the struggles, Mayo once again showed his range. He’s goes to make a killing against players that don’t defend him aggressively, but the Lakers made it a point to make it tough on Mayo

-Mike Conley had another solid game, but didn’t really stand out all that much. He took a couple deep jumpers, and while his form is solid, his consistency is still developing. Though Conley seems like a player that would thrive in this setting, he’s deferring to his teammates and looking to play sound basketball, not press to stand out. Javaris Crittenton is in largely the same boat.

-Darrell Arthur struggled mightily today, tallying nine fouls and seeming to lose his focus due to some tough calls against him.

Game Four: Detroit Pistons 75, Los Angeles Clippers 66


Arron Afflalo: 25 Points, 8-10 FG, 9-9 FT, 4 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 2 Turnovers

Afflalo had a great game today, utilizing his midrange shooting ability to take advantage of the absence of LA’s best wing defender Eric Gordon. Afflalo has very consistent form, and while his range isn’t great, he’s a marksman from seventeen feet. He did a great job getting to the rim by running the floor hard in transition and using his dribble to attack recovering defenders. Though Afflalo isn’t the most athletic wing, he’s polished and played to his strengths, helping he stand out as easily the most productive player on the floor today.

-Rodney Stuckey was extremely quiet, seeming to pick and choose his spots rather than playing his game. He played only 13 minutes, and looked good, but obviously wasn’t playing with a sense of urgency, even though it was impossible to ignore his terrific physical approach to the game.

-Cheick Samb and Amir Johnson provide a lot of size and youth up front for Detroit, and both seem bigger than they were last year. Johnson is the better prospect, but backup centers aren’t easy to develop and Samb seems capable of becoming one.

-Walter Sharpe is quite an athlete, but he wasn’t shooting well today. He and Deron Washington showed nice defensive intensity.

Los Angeles

DeAndre Jordan: 15 Points, 5-6 FG, 5-9 FT, 10 Rebounds, 1 Block, 3 Turnovers
Jordan had a very good game today, showing some of his considerable upside. He doesn’t have a high skill level right now, and faces an uphill battle in developing an effective one, but he showed that he can produce with help from a good point guard on this level. Jordon was the recipient of a handful of nice alley oop passes, and while he didn’t show almost anything with his back to the basket, there’s something to be said for using him using his size and athleticism to score without getting touches. Though Jordan isn’t very physically aggressive on the block, he will collect his fair share of rebounds due to his length. He flew over opponents on a number of occasions on his way to some tremendous putback dunks.

Mike Taylor: 13 Points, 3-8 FG, 1—1 3FG, 6-11, 6 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 1 Block, 7 Turnovers, 5 Fouls

Taylor earns mention here for playing relatively well today, especially in the second half when he stopped turning the ball over as frequently. The former D-League star has all kinds of offensive skills, showing great quickness and assertiveness, but he’s been off in both games we’ve seen him play. He can shoot the NBA three and contribute on the glass with his athleticism, but offers essentially nothing in the way of playmaking ability. His seven turnovers are the result of his over-dribbling offensively, and while he’s dominant in some settings, he’s yet to explode offensively in this one. Still not much to be found in term of his point guard skills.

-Al Thornton didn’t look as good today as he did yesterday, facing a lot of resistance defensively and getting taken out of his rhythm early in the contest. He was having a hard time getting to the places on the floor that he likes to score from, slowing him significantly.

-Nick Fazekas has a decent game, but was largely overwhelmed by Detroit’s athleticism inside. His touch lets him finish some open chances from the midrange, but he struggled around the rim.

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