Vegas Summer League Recap, Day Four

Vegas Summer League Recap, Day Four
Jul 09, 2005, 03:49 pm
Final Score: Cleveland Cavaliers 82 - Golden State Warriors 61

Halftime Score: Cleveland Cavaliers 41 - Golden State Warriors 33

Cleveland Cavaliers

Jonathan Givony

Luke Jackson- Started off cold once again before finally nailing a three pointer. That got him going and he started driving to the basket, pulling up off the dribble and making some very nice passes. Was really feeling it at one point and had a hard time missing.

In the second half Jackson really seemed to rediscover his old self. While his shot isn’t in the crazy-deadly range he’s capable of, Luke seems to be shaking the last remnants of rust off of his game and will probably star for his team the rest of the week. His passing and quick decision making are starting to look like the old Oregonian Jackson that made him the 10th pick in the draft. Luke better dominate, because his squad is sauce.

Martynas Andriuskevicius- Looked completely lost from the very second he got in. Got stuffed by Diogu on his very first shot in America, and then was dunked on by Chris Taft on the next possession down the court. Threw the next pass he got 10 feet out of bounds, picked up a couple of fouls and then dribbled the ball off his foot. Stroked a very nice 12 footer from the baseline. Played nice defense on Chris Taft to force him into a travel. Made a great pass to Ike Udoka. Got on the floor to force a jump ball.

John Gilchrist- Finally saw some playing time at the beginning of the 2nd quarter after being benched yesterday for being late for a team meeting. Did an average job running his team, but scored a couple of nice baskets.

Golden State Warriors

Jonathan Givony

Zarko Cabarkapa- This big guy has skills that no one else does at 6-11. He has an awesome handle which he uses to get into the lane repeatedly and score on his man, and solid range out to the NBA three point line. He isn’t particularly quick or athletic, but he’s really fun to watch and a total mismatch for the opposing team.

Ike Diogu- Great footwork in the paint, showed all kinds of moves to get his man commited before taking him to task. Was a bit unlucky at times but made his presence felt in other areas before clearing the floor for less proven prospects the Warriors need to see.

Was doubled a lot in the post and forced to give the ball up in the 2nd half. Showed awesome hands once again to snatch some big offensive rebounds and come up with a strong hook shot inside the paint. Must work on recognizing the double and getting rid of the ball quickly for the re-post as teams are delaying it in order to get him trapped on the baseline.

Andris Biedrins- Ran the floor really hard, showed great hands for a 2nd straight day to make a tough catch in transition and finish.

Didn’t play all that much, but was solid in his time on the floor without standing out too much. Solid post moves for the Warriors starting unit although they barely played him in the latter half.

Monta Ellis- Hit a nice three pointer off the dribble, got excited and forced another one right after that which he bricked. Not much in terms of PG skills, but did a good job putting the ball in the hoop. Once again made an effort on the defensive end.

Chris Taft- Was loving the fact that he was being guarded by Martynas Andriuskevicius. Showed some nice footwork to use his trademark jump hook shot to score on him repeatedly. Did some very nice work inside the paint in the first quarter. Got a little scrappy on the glass and with loose balls as well.

In the 2nd half Taft continued to work inside the paint, scoring with back to the basket, coming up with offensive rebounds and playing solid defense. Granted most of what he did was against the string bean Andriuskevicius, but it’s an encouraging sign regardless to see him actually motivated.

Final Score: New York Knicks 80 Washington Wizards 71

Halftime Score: New York Knicks 45 Washington Wizards 33

Washington Wizards

Jonathan Givony

Andray Blatche- Nailed a beautiful three pointer and then got excited and took a very poor one. Brought the ball up the court, took his man off the dribble, put it behind his back twice either way and then floated the ball into the hoop in the smoothest way possible. The kid is incredibly skilled for a 19 year old, the only question now is whether he is going to keep working at it and add a low post game to compliment his height.

Blatche was murdered everytime he tried to guard David Lee or any of the other power forwards, he looks lost a lot when he tries to do too much, but he showed some really tantalizing skills to make you really wonder how so many GM’s decided to let him slip all the way to the Wizards at the end of the 2nd round.

Blatche was forcing the issue a little too much in the 2nd half. The same thing happened to him yesterday, he started off the game looking like a top ten pick and ended up jacking up terrible shots from behind the arc and looking completely lost when it comes to rebounding or playing defense.

Donell Taylor Made some very athletic moves to the basket, blocked Trevor Ariza on a fast break and played with a lot of heart. His chances are getting better every single day. He played the point for a few minutes at a time and looked pretty good in the process. He did a better job shooting the ball today than he has done so far, that is going to be the thing that most likely makes or breaks which direction his career heads toward.

PJ Ramos- Had a couple of very nice moves in the paint. Got the ball one time from 14 feet out with Channing Frye guarding him, Ramos backed him all the way to the basket using his strength and footwork and then used a nice baby hook shot to put the ball right over the unsuspecting Frye. A very nice half for PJ Ramos.

Ramos picked up a bunch of fouls and barely got any minutes in the 2nd half unfortunately.

Gerald Fitch- Did a nice job running the point in spurts, but mostly in terms of getting into the lane and creating his own shot rather than showing some real PG skills setting up his teammates. Fitch can score with the best of them, he’s tough as nails, can shoot the three and he plays some very good defense when he wants to. He’s done a nice job here, maybe securing himself a spot in someone’s training camp if he’ll decide to turn down the sure fire offers from Europe.

David Hawkins- This guy is listed at 6-4, but he is definitely taller than that in actuality because of the fact that he has absolutely no neck whatsoever. He did a great job once again getting to the basket and scoring his points. He jus could not be kept out of the lane, even by New York’s best defenders like Trevor Ariza for example. If Hawkins could improve his shot to the point that its consistent from NBA range, he would have a very good chance at sticking on an NBA team. With all the money he is going to make in Europe over the next ten years, though, I am not sure if he really has to worry about non guaranteed contracts and the NBA that much.

New York Knicks

Eric Weiss

Trevor Ariza- Ariza didn’t do anything spectacular, but he was solid in all facets of the game. It looks like he’s really trying to let some of his lesser proven teammates show what they can do. He did miss rather badly on a pull-up jumper, but I wouldn’t read into that too much.

David Lee- David is still hitting those boards. This kid will be a contributing player because he knows the game of basketball and he uses his plus athleticism to make plays. Lee threw down to monster reverse jams and looked real smooth on the first when he went around his defender on the baseline and threw it down. He hits the boards very well, often coming across the lane to steal them from unsuspecting opponents. His free throw mechanics need work, as does his jump shot, but he can play and should improve as time goes on.

Lee needs to keep working at his perimeter game because teams will take away his strong weak-side game once he starts burning them. Lee’s quickness is a great asset and he’ll always be a good cleanup guy, but to take it to the next level he needs that mid range game to set it all up. Don’t believe the rebounding stats from the box score though, because Lee was much closer to 10 rebounds than the 5 they credited him for. That's typical of the horrendous work the statistician is doing here, to the point that you really can't take any of the boxscores here seriously.

Nate Robinson- I’ve looked forward to this game all day. The word “awesome” comes to mind when watching him play. Robinson can do it all, he runs the break tremendously, he sees all the angles and he can finish himself if all else fails. Nate’s handle is nasty and he continues to pull the string on it like a yo-yo, baiting his opponent off balance so he can smoke him. Although he can dribble drive past any defender he has really improved on making quicker decisions with the ball and is really facilitating the offense much better than the previous two games. If he keeps this up into the NBA for a year or two, Marbury might be in trouble…

Nate made a few beautiful passes in the second half of the game to compliment his brilliant moves toward the hoop. You won’t see the assists in the box score because the stats keeper is completely inept, but he’s legitimately a point guard even if a scoring one.

Channing Frye- Channing has pulled a disappearing act in this one and I wonder if it has to do with all the negative energy he’s been carrying around. I really like Frye as a contributing player, but he’s not letting the game come to him and his attitude has really taken a toll on his performance. We’ll see what happens…

In the second half Frye really calmed down and started settling into his moves. While he by no means had a good game, he at least was able to compose himself and make some strong moves from both the post and face-up. Confidence is key for this guy because he’s got skill. The only question is whether the New York media is going to kill him until he gets to where he needs to be at in a few years.

Final Score: Phoenix Suns 74 - Los Angeles Clippers 68

Halftime: Phoenix Suns 29 - Los Angeles Clippers 39

Phoenix Suns

Ron Slay- Another very solid outing for Ron Slay. He’s obviously lost a lot of weight since his days at Tennessee, and is clearly much more athletic because of that. He took his man off the dribble numerous times and made his way to the basket, picking up points and fouls on the way. He ran the floor extremely hard, did a good job talking on (but not actually playing) defense, playing heady basketball and just doing a solid job on his way to either a non-guaranteed minimum contract in the NBA or a really nice contract in Europe. Most likely the latter.

Slay had a nice game today, doing pretty much everything he could to help himself. Maybe next game he can show off his range, he certainly had it in college.

Leandro Barbosa- More of the same from Barbosa today. He created his own shot, made his way to the basket, played solid defense, showed a little pull up jumper and did a very average job running his offense.

Barbosa is so athletic that’s it’s really not fair to have a guy like him playing at this level. He is much quicker than anyone else here even when he is playing in 3rd gear. He has a great crossover move he goes to now a lot and a very nice floater once he gets into the lane. He isn’t a selfish player, he just has a scorer’s mentality. He was easily Phoenix’s best player today, and probably one of the best players seen here all day. He was just on another level in certain parts of the game. It wouldn’t surprise me if he scored 30 when it’s all said and done.

Stevie Graham- Graham had a couple of very nice moves, including one where he exploded on the baseline into a very nice hesitation move using his footwork, strength and smoothness before faking the ball into the basket. There aren’t many players here who can pull off such an advanced move with that kind of smoothness. Beyond that he made some nice passes, rebounded strong, stroked a mid-range jumper from 18 feet out and played solid D, but was again a little too passive on the offensive end at times. He’s got a ton of potential, that’s for sure, but will someone have the patience to bring it out of him?

In the 2nd half Stevie started off hot with a great move from the left side this time, and then followed that up with a very smooth 16 footer. He sat on the bench for quite a while and then came back looking to put points on the board, calling off his teammates on one play creating his own shot. Later on he made a beautiful pass to Barbosa on the fast break when he clearly could have been selfish and taken it himself.

Lucas Tischer- More of the same from the bruising Brazilian. He did a good job skying for rebounds, pushing Kaman around in the post, challenging shots around the rim and showing a very limited basketball IQ. He’s going to have to do a little more than that to make someone’s roster.

Los Angeles Clippers

Shaun Livingston- Warmed up, but did not play even a minute.

Daniel Ewing- Ewing is having a much better game this now that he isn’t facing off against the Celtic’s experienced backcourt. Ewing has shown good control of the ball and has made smart decisions overall from the point. To compliment his solid floor game, Ewing has drained at least 3 nice jumpers including a deep ball. On the other end of the floor Daniel is getting after it and showing the coaching staff that he wants to be a part of the team’s future. Good showing thus far

In the second half Ewing continued to show poise. Though his scoring was down his control of the offense was very solid and he continued to show hustle on defense. On one play he pinned Lynn Greer on a layup attempt just as Greer had stolen the ball from Ewing’s teammate.

Quinton Ross- The new Q for the Clippers is having an outstanding game on both ends of the floor. He’s handled the ball well, broken pressure and hit his open shots. Ross has really worked on his shooting this summer by the looks of things. He’s hitting more than just set shots, being able to go up for a jumper without a hitch. On defense he’s been like glue on his assignment, which is not surprising considering that’s how he made the team last season. Good improvement for the young player

Chris Kaman- What can you say about this guy? He’s got a ton of talent, but is still learning when to do what. Kaman showed that he can hit the midrange turnaround jumper if he creates the space, but when crowded it flattens out and becomes inaccurate. Kaman has good footwork and a nice passing eye, but still turns full force into the help defender too much. I’d hang a big “construction in progress” sign on him and hope for the best. Regardless, Kaman was the Clipper's best player today.

Escaped our wrath because of a lack of time and motivation: Lionel Chalmers and Dijon Thompson. Both were absolutely awful, especially Chalmers.

Final Score: Denver Nuggets 92 - Detroit Pistons 75

One of the best games we’ve seen so far. Very high scoring and up and down.

Detroit Pistons

Jonathan Givony

Darko Milicic- Started the game a little slowly, backed down Schenscher and then tried to get cute with a hook shot instead of throwing it down. He was stuffed by Marcus Haislip. After that he had a wide open look from 18 feet out and he hesitated and then turned it over on the ensuing pass. Other then that he showed a lot of potential in a lot of areas, but mentally he just can’t put it together. His feet are very quick on defense, his hands are great in the post, he has a beautiful hook shot, can stroke the 18 footer, has nice footwork and great body control to get his man off balance and get his shot off in the paint. The biggest problem here is that he just won’t take the ball strong up at the hoop and finish with authority, preferring to get cute and fade away everytime instead. Darko put a lot more effort in today, though, hitting the deck twice for a loose ball and calling for the ball. You can tell with the passes he makes and the way he moves off the ball that he really knows how to play and has some serious talent, he just needs someone to believe in him and bring it out out of him now.

Darko was very active on the offensive and defensive glass in the 2nd half, but settled way too much for the outside jumper which kept bouncing off the back of the rim. He also had some very nice passes and a strong offensive move to score after turning off his shoulder for a kiss off the glass. All in all, a better game for Darko than yesterday, but still nothing really to write home about. He showed a couple of sparks here and there, the upside is definitely still there, hopefully he’ll gain some confidence for next time off this outing.

Towards the end, Darko came strong with some really good moves at the basket. One great jab step to get him man off balance and drill the 14 footer, and another strong dunk off of an offensive rebound. He was rebounding the ball very well in the fourth as well. He showed some emotion by telling his guys that he wanted the ball more in the post, not on the perimeter.

Amir Johnson- Banked the buzzer beater from 30 feet out off the glass at the end of the 1st quarter. Other than that didn’t do much, looking pretty lost.

Jason Maxiell- Making some great moves from around the basket and even from the perimeter, getting to the hoop and trying to tear it down when he’s there. Maxiell is a highlight reel waiting to happen on both ends of the court, coming up with a huge block on the 7-1 N’Dong on one play, another one on Schenscher and throwing down some monster jams in others. Maxiell’s mid-range shot was falling for him pretty well too, and he got to the line. He’s a really fun guy to watch, that’s for sure.

He was his usual tenacious self in the 2nd half, on both ends of the floor. His battle with Linas Kleiza was especially intriguing, as they both kept going at each other everytime either one got the ball. He had 6 fouls already midway through the 3rd quarter, and finished with 7, which limited his minutes.

Alex Acker- Continued to shoot the ball very well from the perimeter, leading the Pistons in scoring with at least 11 points in the first half. He was handling the ball with confidence and making good decisions, getting in the passing lanes and coming up with steals, and making some really good passes. If he can shoot like this from outside the rest of Summer League (he is on fire) the Pistons will have trouble not getting some minutes out of him in the regular season. Regardless, he looks great.

Picked Hodge’s pocket very nicely in the 2nd half and took the ball all the way to the hoop for an emphatic dunk. Also made some really nice unselfish passes, showing that he has some potential at the PG position as well. Acker is one of the better players at this summer league so far, that's for sure.

Carlos Delfino- Started the game very slowly, shooting an airball and then coming up way short on another. He made up for it with some decent defense, but Delfino still has a long ways to go to be ready for next season with the shape he’s in right now.

Looked very selfish in the 2nd half, stopping the ball movement, forcing his shot and going to the basket very slowly with his head down. He definitely got outplayed by Detroit’s rookies.

Ricky Paulding- After a pretty bad game yesterday, Paulding didn’t do much to improve the overall impression he left today. He was stuffed by the rim on one breakaway play, held on to the ball too much in others, and generally didn’t look like he’s improved that much in his year overseas from what we’ve seen of him so far.

Denver Nuggets

Eric Weiss

Julius Hodge- Hodge hasn’t done anything spectacular so far, but he’s running the point with authority and had a couple of solid inlet passes. Julius doesn’t back down from his man and is playing heady defense. The outside shot is a major weakness for Hodge, but I expect him to work on it fervently over the next few months.

The second half was a great one for Julius. Hodge turned up the defensive intensity and really disrupted Detroits attack. From the point guard position Julius took control of his team and got them into the lead for good. There were quite a few nice passes and his decision making on drives was top notch. Hodge stole the ball numerous times and totally outmatched his opponent, regardless of whom it was.

Linas Klieza-Linas didn’t play much but made the most of his time. The kid will stick his nose in any situation and usually comes out with good results. Klieza’s shot looks very smooth and he’s quick with his decision making, something he’ll absolutely need on the NBA stage. He had a great catch off the shoe tops in traffic and finished around a bevy of defenders. Klieza even broke out his passing arsenal toward the end of the first half showing both the inlet pass and the nice hard dish on the drive.

The highlight of Klieza’s second half were the two monster challenges he made against Jason Maxiell. “Mad Max” is the largest of loads and was throwing his weight around with a fury. But, Klieza came in strong on him twice, taking the body contact and still putting a bid in for the throw down jam.

Marcus Haislip- Marcus started off the game very well, hitting a nice mid range shot coming hard to the right. Haislip followed this up with a great block on a Darko Milicic hook and got him again on the next possesson-called a goal tend. Hasn’t shown any back to the basket game so far and if he doesn’t have that I don’t know what he’ll do.

Boniface N’Dong- N’Dong surprised a bit in the game so far. Looks like a Manut Bol clone, but has shown a nice little mid range shot and pulled off a couple of shimme shakes in the lane to get free. Doesn’t have great hands as a couple of passes bounced right off him. Great shot blocking instincts and long as hell.

N’Dong had another solid half in the 2nd, moving well without the ball and putting himself in a position to score. Boniface continued to impress with some outside shots that no one knew he had, at one point hitting a turnaround baseliner in his defender’s face. If he was a little more athletic he would be a lock to make someone's roster, but he might just do it regardless if he'll settle for the minimum (he can get more in Europe).

Ricky Sanchez- Sanchez is young and underdeveloped, but he’s got a dirty outside shot for a 6’11” seventeen year old kid. Showed a couple of nice passes while in motion, something hadn’t shown previously. He's not very explosive and he definitely shies away from playing defense or taking contact, but all the skills are there for him to work on and develop into something a couple of years down the road.

Sacramento Kings - New Jersey Nets

Final Score: Sacramento Kings 71 - New Jersey Nets 60

Halftime Score: Sacramento Kings 28 - New Jersey Nets 22

Jonathan Givony

Kevin Martin- By far the best player on the floor here, for his second game straight so far. Martin was not only the most explosive player here, he was also the most active. He was leaping all over the place, rebounding in traffic, elevating for beautiful floaters, and playing outstanding defense on Antoine Wright and others. He seemed to be the only player on Sacramento’s roster who was really willing to take the ball and make something happen for his team. He had no problem taking the ball strong to hoop and taking contact or getting dirty in the paint on the other end despite his skinny frame. Martin was just too quick and fluid for most people to keep up with, but he didn’t force the issue too much regardless and had no problem making the extra pass. If he can show the ability to consistently hit the outside shot here in Summer League, you may be looking at Sacramento’s starting two guard next season.

Francisco Garcia – For the second straight game, Garcia looks pretty off and nowhere close to the player he was in college. His shot wasn’t falling for him, he had trouble making the right decisions offensively and just looked completely out of tune. In the 2nd half he came back a little stronger on the defensive end but was absolutely hell bent on scoring on a few consecutive possessions down the floor, resulting in being rejected embarrassingly by Derrick Zimmerman on a mid-range jumper. Garcia finished 1-8 from the field and will surely want to forget the beginning of his summer league career.

Antoine Wright- Wright was quiet once again, but was pretty effective regardless. He was handling the ball a lot, but often preferred to make the extra pass instead of strictly looking for his own shot and come up with a couple of nice assists in the process. His jumper was hit or miss, mostly miss, but he looked pretty good on the defensive end. Once again, not a great game, but also not a bad game out of Wright.

Ronnie Price- Price was feeling it from outside and did a good job putting the ball in the basket. He handled the ball a bit but didn’t really show much in terms of PG skills in the process. In the 2nd half he made some very nice passes but still struggled at times handling the ball so much. Regardless, a really nice game for Ronnie Price today. He played solid defense, showed the right attitude and didn’t make too many mistakes.

Erik Daniels- After being t’d up and benched for the entire game last time around after an altercation with Ron Slay, Daniels came back and had a nice little game for himself against the Nets. He did a good job hitting his shot from outside, the #1 thing he has to show here, and also did good work defensively, passing the ball and on the glass.

Ellie Myles- Myles was his usual tough and scrappy self; rebounding, playing tough defense, knocking people in the paint and trying to make things happen around the basket. His jump hook wasn’t falling for him at all, but he made a few nice passes today. Nothing special out of Ellis here.

Eric Weiss

Antoine Wright- Not much has gone right for Antoine these first three games, but Antoine has begun to temper his enthusiasm for taking every shot he wants. Wright’s drives were much more selective in this game and he had much success when doing so, often getting the assist if his lane was cut off. Wright’s shot is still flat from the perimeter as he looks to be rushing his delivery to beat the defensive pressure. Certainly his best showing from a composure standpoint and I’d expect his shooting percentage to increase the rest of the week. Not afraid of contact in traffic, that’s for sure…

Sam Clancy- Just a solid overall game for big Sam. He’s got the power to back his man down and shows a very solid understanding of when his shot is there as well as where his teammates are when he’s got the ball. New Jersey was so bad for most of this game that Sam had to organize the offense for most of the second half, he did so quite well. I’m not sure how solid his jumper is, but he looked smooth on one baseline shot and if he can add that to his repertoire I think he could stick on a roster in need of a thinking man’s power forward.

Melvin Sanders- I didn’t intend to be writing about Sanders today, but he forced me to do it. Melvin had the most complete game of anyone on the court today with the exception of Kevin Martin. Sanders scored from inside and out, driving to the lane for pull-ups and showing a nice touch from the perimeter. His floor spacing and timing on his moves without the ball were the best of any player by far and he capitalized on every opportunity that presented itself. Great game for this guy. will have all of the Vegas Summer League games on their site for you to view. Right now there are select games along with a great free three minute highlight clip of some of the best plays seen in Vegas. Head over to's website and check out what they have to offer. On Tuesday, July 26th the entire Summer League will be up for you to view


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