Rocky Mountain Revue, Day 4

Rocky Mountain Revue,  Day 4
Jul 21, 2005, 05:41 am
Day 4, July 19th, Game #9- San Antonio Spurs vs. Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte 84
San Antonio 62

Damien Tolman

This game started out fairly well with former University of Utah star Britton Johnsen hitting shots and getting to the rim, while Sean May on the other end used his brute strength to man-handle his matchup inside and make his way to the hoop from the perimeter. Josh Asselin was knocking players around in the key himself, being sent to the line a half a dozen times himself in the first half. At the break it was only a five point Bobcat lead, despite their obvious advantage talent wise. The second half had a bit of a different tone as San Antonio was overpowered on the defensive end despite Charlotte's loss of Raymond Felton just four minutes into the second half. Charlotte constantly put outstanding pressure on the ball and refused to give the Spurs any open shots.

May exploded in the second, dominating the paint by overpowering his opponents time after time. After the third quarter the game was in Charlotte’s grasp, but still a manageable 13 point deficit for the Spurs. At that point they lost all will to win the game and the Bobcats ended up putting the game away with a final of 84-62 in Charlotte’s favor. The key to the game was the excellent ball handling and unselfish play of Charlotte as they won the assist column 18-6 and ended up with seven less turnovers. It seemed as though S.A. didn't have any will or life at all to make up for their obvious disadvantage in talent, coming up with a very flat second half performance.


Andre Barrett- Barrett had a dismal performance in this game, once again being outmatched defensively. On the offensive side of the ball he was just as bad, making just one of six of his shots and not doing a good job distributing the ball to his teammates either, finishing with only one for the gamer. Barrett finished the game with 5 points.

Britton Johnsen:- Johnsen wasn't the team savior on the offensive end that he had been in the first two games, in which he led the RMR in scoring. He was shooting 50% at the half, but it was all down hill from there, finishing the game with 4-13 shooting including 0-5 from behind the arc, firing off shots with none of the same confidence he had displayed in the first two games. Britton also was forcing the issue a bit at times, turning the ball over four times. On the defensive end he was actually a little more aggressive to make up for his off shooting night, getting in the passing lanes numerous times and coming up with 12 rebounds for the game.

Justin Hamilton- Only played eight minutes this time around and did not have much of an impact on the game.


Alan Anderson- Alan started off slowly this time around, only converting one field goal in the first half. The second half was much more successful, though, helping him finish the game with 10 points. Anderson doesn’t seem to be as active of a player as he was during his senior year at Michigan State or at the Chicago pre-draft camp, not moving very well without the ball or calling for it that much either. You could tell that his confidence has been wavering here in Salt Lake City so far.

Matt Carroll- Carroll wasn't nearly as explosive as he has been in previous games, not attacking the rim as often to draw contact or getting himself open for uncontested shots. It seems like he may feel like he has proved himself here in SLC so far and isn’t as motivated as he was in the first few games to prove himself. He finished the game 3-5 from the field, with two of the FG's coming from behind the arc for nine points.

Raymond Felton- Ray struggled badly shooting the ball, finishing 1-8 from the field in his 18 minutes of play. Despite his lowly performance from the field, he did a great job of setting his teammates (especially Sean May) up with six assists before going down early in the third quarter, all without turning the ball over even once.

In his little playing time, Felton also did a good job on the defensive end, showing quick hands and feet to stay in front of his man. Unfortunately he was lost early on in the second half after taking a bad hit off a screen, crouching in the middle of the floor holding himself in pain. He seemed to be alright after the game but didn't see any minutes after the incident. He should be back on Thursday.

Sean May- Clearly the player of the game, May dominated from square one. He used his strength to fight his way through the post against much taller opponents, drawing contact a couple of times, but getting the ball in the basket with ease. He made ten field goals out of the
sixteen he shot and found himself on the line shooting three free throws, making two. He finished with 22 points. May also did a nice job passing the ball as we’ve been accustomed to seeing him do at North Carolina, racking up three assists in this contest. Defensively he did a good job of muscling his opponent away from the basket, forcing them to take more difficult shots, and was usually the first to the boards collecting seven rebounds and one very nice put-back on a miss by Bernard Robinson.

Antonio Meeking- Meeking was very aggressive underneath the basket, trying to endear himself to the team by showing off his other skills to compliment his knack for scoring. Today he did a better job getting to the line than shooting the ball, though, usually drawing a lot of contact and getting to the line 11 times to make up for his 1-6 outing from the field. He is clearly putting in more effort on the defensive end, but needs to continue to work on this part of his game.

Game #10: Atlanta Hawks vs. Seattle Supersonics

Hawks 74
Sonics 78

Laird Doman

This was a game of night and day for the Hawks, and another very smooth game for the Sonics. The first quarter was the single best quarter seen at the revue, even without Atlanta’s two star forwards Josh Smith and Marvin Williams who both sat out due to injuries. The Hawks scored 28 points in this quarter because they were moving well without the ball, playing superb defense, making the extra pass, and avoiding the selfish play that had been their down fall in all of the previous games. The unpredictable Hawks then followed that impressive quarter up with their single worst quarter of the Revue, only scoring 7 points. The Sonics played a solid and consistent game all night and ended up beating the rollercoaster Hawks in a nail biter.


With the roster that the Hawks have assembled, you would expect them to be a lot better then their 1-3 record indicates in the talent short Rocky Mountain Revue. When they play as a team they are the best team here, but since that rarely happens they are usually one of the worst.

Royal Ivey- Another lackluster game from last year’s high 2nd rounder with only 2 points, 3 assists and 4 turnovers while going 1-5 from the field. The only thing he did do well tonight was his defense. Ivey was willing to sacrifice his body all night, doing whatever was necessary to make the right play. He stopped two separate fast breaks by taking a charge, and made a great play diving for a loose ball that went off of Mateen Cleaves’ foot. Offensively, his shot looked flat and his passing was fairly sloppy.

Sharrod Ford - Received his first starting nod in place of the injured Josh Smith at power forward. We haven’t gotten a chance to really see him until now because he had a hard time getting any playing time behind the young Atlanta draftees, but tonight he had a very impressive game. 15 points and 8 rebounds in only 25 minutes were his final numbers, far more impressive than anything that Josh Smith or Marvin Williams have done so far playing in front of him. He did all the little things for Atlanta, using his athleticism and grit to get things done deep in the paint.

Arthur Johnson - Not nearly as effective as he was last game. Johnson only had 6 points and 3 rebounds this time, not getting much playing time because he wasn’t tall or strong enough to go against Swift, or fast or athletic enough to match up with Petro.

Josh Childress – Childress was expected o have a huge night as the first option for Atlanta, but that wasn’t really the case here. He had a nice game overall, but not as impressive as his first outing here in SLC which was extremely impressive. He still finished with a near double-double with 9 points and 8 rebounds, though. When Ivey was out he was played as a point forward and even brought the ball up the court playing next to Salim Stoudamire. Salim seems to be lacking the ball-handling skills to be trusted enough with the ball in his hands as a point guard consistently.

Boris Diaw- Diaw had his breakout game here at the RMR, looking like the best player on the floor for either team while filling up the stat sheet. He came up with a big double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. Diaw showed off his versatility by playing all of the 1-3, but was still doing a lot of ball-handling no matter how he was played. He was working very well with fellow backcourt mate Josh Childress and the two seemed to be making plays off each other all game. It’s pretty impressive to see how fast this guy is with the ball in his hands at the height of 6-9.

Salim Stoudamire- The jury is still out on what exactly Salim is for the NBA, a point guard or a shooting guard? He always guards the smallest guy on the opposing team, but he very rarely brings the balls up or calls out plays. He seems very quite on the court and doesn't seem to have the intangibles to be a PG. Salim had 13 points and 2 assists, but needed a lot of shots to get there, going 6 for 16 from the field with 6 turnovers. He is a good on-ball defender, but tends to float and lose his man when someone else had the ball here today. Would get caught napping and his man, usually Cleaves, went back door for an open lay-up on more than one occasion.

Donta Smith – Was not a factor either way with only 6 points and 3 rebounds on 3-9 shooting. Smith still hasn't shown very much in any of the games.

Marvin Williams - Did not dress because of a strained hamstring that may have been hampering him in his previous outings.

Josh Smith - Did not dress because of the sprained left ankle he suffered the night before vs. San Antonio.


The Sonics should be the worst team here based off the talent they’ve assembled on their roster, but since they play as a team they sitting tight at 2-2 and have already beaten both the Jazz and Hawks who were projected as the best teams participating here.

Robert Swift – Swift had another very average showing here with a mediocre line of 2 points, 5 rebounds, 7 fouls, and 2 turnovers. Fans here are still waiting to see a breakout game from the young red head. With his height you would think that Swift should be destroying the undersized competition inside, but the only time he is physical is on the defensive end and that usually just gets him in foul trouble. Despite that, he seems like he wants to learn as he is always look toward the bench to see what the coaches want him to do, while when he is out of the game he sits in between the coaching staff to get instructions. Swift needs to avoid getting frustrated with the refs so easily because it is really taking him out of his game.

Mateen Cleaves- Cleaves followed up last nights impressive performance over Deron Williams with an even more impressive game tonight. He started the review looking slow and making questionable decisions, but has turned himself around and is looking much better, thanks to better shooting from the perimeter and improved playmaking ability. Mateen has also been playing better defense and had no problem tonight on either end with the smaller and faster Salim Stoudamire. He was getting in Salim’s face all night and forcing him to shoot over him. He had a great night statistically with 18 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. He’s especially doing a good job taking charge of his team.

Alex Scales - The leading scorer for Sonics in the RMR continued his solid play yet again. His 13 points were not extraordinary, but they game at crucial spans during the game. He doesn't try to stand out too much, instead taking shots that are in the context of the offense and just knocking them down. Scales also doesn't make any mistakes on the defensive end either. He is 6'4 and plays SG here, but appears to have the ball handling skills and decision making to play the point in spurts as well.

Kaniel Dickens - The combo forward Dickens was the key cog in getting the Sonics back in the game in the first half, showing his range by hitting 2 threes to end the Sonics drought and start up a run of their own. Dickens disappeared somewhat in the second half, but his strong first half left a lasting impression.

Johan Petro – We are still wondering when we’re going to see something worthwhile out of Petro except for the occasional flashes he has shown. With his body he seems to have the potential to do great things, but nothing has come out of it yet here in Salt Lake. Petro doesn’t’ seem to have a clue what to do when the other team is pressuring the ball or trapping. When he has to do something other then wait underneath the basket he has to look at the bench for the coaches to tell him what to do. He showed off his trademark baby hook shot at one point, but that's the one and only thing he did. Petro finished with 2 points, 1 rebound, and 3 fouls in only 9 minutes.

Game #11, Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz

Dallas 83
Utah 74

Laird Doman

This was a fun game to watch from both teams as both gave up big leads to make things interesting. With 11 lead changes, many of which came in the 4th quarter, an exciting and well fought game developed. Dallas came out with a very balanced attack, with all of their players getting at least 14 minutes, while the Jazz relied on their three drafted rookies to get the job done.


DJ Mbenga– There is nothing that this guy loves more than to block shots and punish opponents around the rim. Mbenga is the single most intimidating player at the RMR without question. He appears to be some kind of a super-human athlete that looks like he could have been a Gladiator in Rome if he was given the chance. Players with the defensive mind set of Mbenga are almost impossible to find, especially when you are talking about undrafted players coming from Belgium of all places. Any shot by the Jazz within 10 feet of the hoop was contested by Mbenga tonight. A line from Utah Jazz RMR head coach Scott Layden during a timeout says it all: "no more of these finger rolls, just slam it down." Layden was saying all of this because no matter where DJ was on the court, he seemed to sniff out a soft shot and send it back as a souvenir for the 5th row. Mbenga finished with 5 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks, not including the 10 to 15 shots he altered just with his presence around the rim. If he can develop any kind of offense, maybe even a soft touch around the basket, we are talking about a surefire contributor for the Mavs next year.

Josh Powell – Powell played excellent defense on Kris Humphries, but the two seemed to neutralize each other on the offense end. Josh ended up outplaying last year’s #14 pick, but still struggled at times. The two were a fun matchup to watch at power forward as they are somewhat similar in playing style and build. Powell finished up the night with 8 points and 3 assists, running the floor particularly well and showing a lot of toughness.

David Logan - This was Logan’s break out game, coming up with 13 points and a couple of rebounds in only 18 minutes. He is very skinny and a bit on the small side height wise, but extremely quick and elusive. Deron Williams could body him up easily in the half-court, but just couldn't compete with his speed.

Felipe Lopez- This summer league vet came through for his team just like a true veteran should. With the Mavs clinging to 2 point lead, Lopez stuck a dagger in Utah’s heart by hitting a long 3 pointer over Snyder only a second left on the shot clock and 16 ticks left in the game. Lopez likes to fight and get in the other team’s head with his sneaky and sometimes even dirty play. His 14 points on only one missed one shot represents yet another excellent performance for him this summer for the Mavs. He has to have caught their eye by now.


Kris Humphries - Humphries had his worst game yet with only 5 points and 3 rebounds. He couldn't get anything going from outside tonight, his lay-ups were rimming out, and his aggressive defense wasn't being allowed by the refs. He looked very bad tonight at times and the Jazz really could have used his usual 15 points a game.

Robert Whaley- Whaley had another terrific game and is looking like one of the best centers at the RMR so far. He had a double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, 6 of which came on the offensive side, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, and 4 fouls. He picks up unnecessary fouls sometimes against guys that are bigger than him, but then takes them to task on the other end. This was the most aggressive he's been so far, doing things like calling for the ball when he was on the block and finding time to trash-talk a little bit on defense. He had a very nice game and so far seems to be Deron Williams’ favorite partner on the offensive end.

Kirk Snyder – It’s pretty baffling how a player that was drafted this high and played quite a few minutes last year could look so bad in a setting like this. Tonight he finished with 5 points, 4 fouls, 0 rebounds and 1-5 shooting in 20 minutes. He looks completely out of the offense, stopping the ball-movement every time he gets the ball, launching off-balance shots and refusing to play any defense. Utah’s coaching staff will try to give him instructions but he pretends like he doesn’t even hear them.

Deron Williams - Followed up two very poor games back to back with his best outing to date. Tonight he finished with 19 points (8-16), 5 steals, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 4 fouls, and 2 turnovers in 28 minutes. He did a very good job anticipating what the offense will do next to step into the passing lanes, while also outsmarting his man to make a trap at the half-court line. Unlike the other games where he was always looking to pass, tonight he was looking for his shot and taking it without thinking twice. His shots were a little flat, but they were falling which is all that matters. His lateral quickness needs work, as does his understanding with his teammates on the tempo in which he wants the team to operate. He makes passes that nobody seems to know are coming but himself, and those usually lead to turnovers here. If Deron can find a nice middle ground between scoring, passing and controlling the tempo he should be able to pick up the rest along the way.

CJ Miles - The high school kid if definitely not a consistent player at this point, that much is certain. He looks great shooting the ball one night, and then terrible in the next. One game he is making the extra pass time after time and then in the next he will strictly look for his shot the next. Miles definitely has potential, but he’s a super streaky player right now. He gave the Jazz a nice little spark off the bench at one point in the 2nd half, but tried to be a little too fancy numerous times during the game. He needs to work on his decision making, especially in the half-court offense.

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