Vegas Summer League: Day One

Vegas Summer League: Day One
Jul 07, 2007, 01:55 pm
Game One: Philadelphia 76ers 65, San Antonio Spurs 61

The first game of this year’s NBA Summer League pitted a more experienced Spurs team against the extremely athletic 76ers. In what eventually became a rather forgettable outing for both teams (in a fairly forgettable overall day as far as the quality of basketball was concerned), there were a few bright spots, including Louis Amundson and Louis Williams separating themselves from the rest of the players on the floor with their quality of play.


Louis Amundson
16 Points, 11 Rebounds, 8-10 FT

-The former UNLV star looked right at home using both his foot speed and second jump quickness to his advantage against San Antonio’s plodding front line.
-Much like last year, Amundson made plays the entire game, whether that be through drawing a charge on the defensive end or hustling after a rebound to get an extra possession on offense. He never went unnoticed for even a second in his time on the floor.
-For a player who has often been criticized for his free throw shooting, Amundson appears to have really improved from the charity stripe.
-Amundson was clearly the best player on the floor in this game.

Rodney Carney
8 Points, 3 Rebounds, 3-12 FG

-Carney had a very tough time getting into a comfort zone on the floor, as the Spurs made him create his own offense, something he clearly isn’t comfortable doing at this point in his career.
-Even when Carney did put the ball on the floor, he forced a number of drives into the heart of the Spurs’ defense.
-He did make a couple of very athletic plays though.

Louis Williams
19 Points, 3 Assists, 7 Turnovers

-What Williams lacked in substance tonight, he made up for with style. He shot well from the field, but played a rather inefficient floor game.
-No one on the floor could keep Williams out of the paint, and he got to wherever he wanted whenever he wanted. However, Williams made a number of unforced errors from these spots and needs to learn how to control the tempo of the game better. He looked sloppy with the ball and even dribbled it off his foot a few times.
-It was nice to see his shot falling, and he seemed a lot more confident than he has shown recently.

Bobby Jones
11 Point, 5 Rebounds, 4 Turnovers

-Jones found himself experiencing many of the same problems of Williams. He showed much improved range on his jumper, but turned the ball over unnecessarily on a number of occasions.
-In transition, Jones showed a slightly improved handle, but he still has a lot of room for improvement.
-He did knock down a few shots and played his typical excellent defense.

Jason Smith
2 Points, 5 Rebounds, 1-6 FG

-There is no question that Smith seemed out of sorts today. He failed to differentiate himself from the other players on the floor, and didn’t show off any of his athleticism.
-For what its worth, Smith’s jump shot didn’t appear to be as fluid as usual, indicating that he may be a bit nervous.

Thaddeus Young
5 points, 2 rebounds, 2-6 FG

-Young came out looking to fire initially, but will need to work on his ball-handling skills.

San Antonio Spurs

James White
13 Points, 2 Rebounds, 5-9 FG

-With most of White’s touches coming on the perimeter, White did an admirable job scoring off the dribble.
-Most of White’s points came at the rim, and his jumper could still use some work, but he showed signs of progress in the shot creating department. He’s obviously a freak athlete.

Jackie Butler
11 Points, 6 Rebounds, 8 PF

-After starting out slowly, Butler began to come around on the offensive end in the early second half. Unfortunately, his momentum was derailed by consecutive missed dunk attempts.
-Butler appears to have added some weight, and didn’t look as mobile or explosive as he did before coming to the Spurs. He looked out of shape and disinterested too often.

C.J. Watson
13 Points, 4 Rebounds, 4 Steals

-The name of the game for Watson today was defense. He did an extremely good job defending Louis Williams in the second half.
-At one point, he deflected passes on four consecutive possessions.
-Watson also displayed the ability to get past his defender and score using a floater. He’s also got a pretty jumper.

Game Two: Seattle Supersonics 66, Dallas Mavericks 77

While this wasn’t the perfect debut for Kevin Durant against NBA competition, his stat-line was nothing to scoff at. Unfortunately, his play wasn’t enough to overcome the combined efforts of Maurice Ager, Jose Juan Barea, and the rest of the more seasoned Dallas lineup.


Kevin Durant
18 Points, 1 Rebound, 5-17 FG, 7-9 FT

-It became apparent early on that Dallas wasn’t going to give Durant anything easy. This became the theme of the game for the lanky wing as he was sent to the line frequently. Once he got into a groove offensively, Dallas’s defense had a very hard time shutting him down. He went into the post an awful lot and looked to go to work with crafty footwork, often leading into a turnaround jumper.
-Many of Durant’s misses from the field were shots that he normally makes with ease. It is entirely possible that he was feeling a bit tentative because of the atmosphere and wanted to defer to his teammates.
-Durant had a hard time on the glass, as he can no longer use just his length to pull down boards. Don’t look for his rebounding numbers to increase immediately either, as he spent a large portion of his time on the floor defending away from the basket. Seattle played him extensively at the 2 or 3 spots.

Jeff Green
7 Points, 8 PF, 3 Turnovers

-This was far from the debut Green expected it to be, as he committed numerous fouls early and appeared to lose his aggressiveness.
-Offensively, Green didn’t look comfortable putting the ball on the floor when playing out on the perimeter. It will be interesting to see if he is moved inside, or if he continues to try and score from the outside. A change will need to be made in the near future, as Green doesn’t seem to be in rhythm at all right now.

Zabian Dowdell
2 Points, 1-7 FG

-While Dowdell’s stat line was modest, he is the type of player who simply looks good at what he does.
-His shot may not have been falling, but he moved the ball well and worked hard defensively.

Julius Hodge
14 Points, 10 Rebounds, 8-10 FT

-Hodge played very well today, and produced very efficiently while slashing to the basket.
-His solid shooting at the line, and ability to draw contact should allow him to replicate these numbers throughout the summer.

Saer Sene
4 Points, 5 Fouls, 1-6 FG

-While Sene appears to have added some strength and improved his foot speed, he really hasn’t developed an NBA level low post game.
-His length helps him get his shot off, but he doesn’t have very good form.
-He looked pretty frustrated at times.

Johan Petro
2 Points, 3 Rebounds, 1-7 FG

-Petro falls into essentially the same boat as Sene. He has some tools to work with, but he will need a lot more practice before he can contribute. He settled for some jump-shots and didn’t display a great activity level.


Jose Juan Barea
14 Points, 9 Assists, 2-3 3FG

-Barea was really spectacular today. Not only did he create his own offense and knock down his shots from the perimeter, but the Maverick offense ran notably smoother when he was on the floor.
-Barea picks his spots very well when he drives, and never dribbles himself into trouble. This was really an impressive outing for the crafty point guard, probably the best from any point guard in day one.
-To cap things off, he even knocked down two NBA 3-pointers, something that was previously considered a concern.

Reyshawn Terry
8 Points, 6-6 FT

-Terry didn’t put up great numbers, but deserves recognition for the work he put in on the defensive end.
-His athleticism and smooth game seem like they would be well suited for the NBA game.

Bradon Bass
12 Points, 8 Rebounds, 8 PF

-There may not have been a bigger bully down low today than Bass. He used his strength to his advantage all night low, and didn’t back down from Seattle’s lengthy post players.
-His aggressiveness did work against him defensively, as he was noticeably overzealous on a few occasions.

Maurice Ager
17 Points, 2 Rebounds, 7-13 FG

-Maurice Ager was extremely solid all game long. He shot well from the floor and didn’t force anything on the offensive end.
-His night was capped off by the three spectacular two-handed dunks he threw down in transition.

Nick Fazekas
4 Points, 1-7 FG

-Fazekas didn’t really look comfortable on the floor. His shot looked less natural than usual primarily because of a lack of lift created by mechanical footwork. He played almost strictly on the perimeter and his shot wasn’t falling for him at all.

Game Three: Memphis Grizzlies 86, Team China 77

In what turned into a surprisingly exciting game, Yi Jianlian’s much-anticipated debut was overshadowed by the absolutely unbelievable exhibition Rudy Gay put in on the first half. Team China has a number of draft eligible prospects on their roster, but they simply didn’t have the talent to compete with Memphis down the stretch.


Rudy Gay
21 Points, 6 Rebounds, 2-3 3FG

-Gay went absolutely crazy late in the first half. His string of great play was sparked a ridiculous dunk where he jumped from one side of the lane to the other before crushing the ball with two hands in traffic. With that highlight behind him, Gay put on a dazzling display of outside jumpers and jams that brought the crowd to its feet.
-It was nice to see Gay get out of his nice-guy mode and show the mean streak that he will need to be a star in the NBA. At one point, Gay received a technical foul for hanging onto the rim after throwing down a huge dunk on Yi.

Kyle Lowry
13 Points, 5 Assists, 0-4 3FG

-This game reaffirmed most of what is already known about Lowry: he possesses a great first step, is a solid distributor, and still needs to polish his outside jump shot.
-During Gay’s offensive onslaught, Lowry snuck in an equally impressive one-handed dunk in transition.

Alexander Johnson
6 Points, 6 rebounds, 10 Fouls

-Johnson receives special recognition here more for his fouls than for his performance in the game itself. The referees didn’t hesitate to call even the most unnecessary fouls, and by consequence, the aggressive Johnson tallied 10 personals.
-Johnson put down the strongest dunk of the day when he put down a thunderous jam right on top of Yi Jianlian. He’s obviously one of the most athletic big men here.

Rod Benson
6 Points, 3-3 FG

-Benson did a good job in a complimentary role today, and did a good job of facilitating the skills of those around him.

Terrance Kinsey
20 Points, 2 Rebounds, 7-10 FG

-Kinsey was played by far the most efficient game of any player today. He was stroking from the outside and finishing strong at the rim. His jumpshot looked especially smooth, and his contributions were consistent throughout the game.

Mike Conley Jr.
12 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists

-Conley displayed the tremendous body control that made him one of the most impressive point guards in the NCAA last season. His ability to float in the air and finish with both hands around contact is extremely impressive.


Yi Jianlian
23 Points, 7 PF, 7 Turnovers

-Yi showed the qualities of two very different players throughout this game.
-In one sequence, he blocked a shot on a weakside rotation before outhustling everyone to the other side of the floor for an awesome dunk in traffic. On a subsequent play, he simply threw the ball away.
-Early in the game, Jianlian appeared out of rhythm, but he improved as the game went on.
-Yi’s mid-range jumper is simply a thing of beauty. He also looked aggressive getting to the free throw line.
-Defensively, Yi struggled badly, picking up five fouls in the first five minutes.

Game Four: Boston Celtics 74, Portland Trailblazers 66

In the most anticipated matchup of the night, Greg Oden gave it a run against Gerald Green and the Celtics. While Oden didn’t see a whole lot of action, the crowd got as much as it could handle from LaMarcus Aldridge who played extremely well throughout.

Boston Celtics

Gerald Green
14 Points, 2 Rebounds, 1-3 3FG

-Green put on an impromptu dunk contest before the game, and stole the attention of the crowd who was standing in awe of Greg Oden. Green carried the swagger he displayed in his dunking exhibition to the game tonight, as he looked solid throughout. Green’s shot selection leaves a little to be desired, but it’s hard to fault him for trying to show some new moves in the Summer League.

Rajon Rondo
6 Points, 4 Rebounds, 1 Assist

-Rondo gets mention here for two reasons. One was his underhand 75 footer to beat the first half buzzer, and the other is the hustle he displayed diving into the first row of folding chairs after a loose ball.
-The lightning fast point guard played well, but didn’t look to be forcing anything.

Leon Powe
19 Points, 9 Rebounds, 7-13 FG

-Powe really came to play today, as he banged down low all game.
-His unwillingness to back down from Oden and Aldridge was the primary driver of his success. He got blocked a number of times around the rim, but did a great job continuing to go after the ball and using his body to compensate for his lack of height.

Glen Davis
3 Points, 6 Rebounds, 8 PF

-Davis looked a little sluggish today, and had a very tough time hedging the pick and roll due to his poor conditioning and lateral quickness.
-He didn’t look to score very often offensively, and appears to be satisfied with letting Leon Powe do most of the dirty work in the paint.

Allan Ray
11 Points, 3-10 FG, 0-3 3FG

-Ray played a solid floor game, but had a very tough time getting things going from the field.
-He found himself with numerous open looks, but just couldn’t get them to fall.

Portland Trailblazers

Greg Oden
6 Points, 10 PF, 2 Rebounds

-Tonight was truly a tough one for Oden. He was met in the paint by two pit bulls in Davis and Powe, and found himself committing frequent fouls from the start.
-Oden did have his moments though, as he threw down a monster slam on one end and got his hand on a few shots on the other.
-He was double teamed almost every time he receive the ball, and showed the ability to find the open man on a few occasions, but also made a couple bad decisions. He was probably pretty nervous, as the inexplicable goal-tend he had early in the game after a shot was already well on its way down.

Sergio Rodriguez
4 Points, 3 Rebounds, 3 Assists

-Rodriguez looked good running the point, but didn’t have the chance to show the improvements he’s made in his game. He got a little careless with the ball at times and wasn’t super aggressive slashing to the basket.

LaMarcus Aldridge
26 Points, 11 Rebounds, 3 Blocks

-If Rudy Gay had the best half today, Aldridge had far and away the best game, maybe of any player today. He came up big whenever Portland needed a bucket.
-He displayed range out past the NCAA three point line, and played very well in the limited minutes he saw next to Greg Oden. His mid-range jumper looked particularly impressive
-Aldridge’s ability to cut off of Oden when the rookie center is double teamed will make the pair a very formidable duo for the future.
-Aldridge ran the court extremely well and also had a couple of excellent blocks.

Martell Webster
18 Points, 8 Rebounds, 1 Assist

-Webster started off poorly, but came around in the second half.
-His willingness to rebounds was a good sign, as was the way he continued to run the floor throughout the game.
-When Webster’s shot began to fall, he became a legitimate threat for Portland offensively.

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