Game Four Final: Los Angeles Clippers 78- Boston 61
ClippersEric WeissYaraslov Korolev
Korolev wasnt as active as he was the first game, only taking a few shots on a handful of moves in the half. Korolev looks extremely smooth with the ball in his hands when he did decide to take it to the basket as he can handle very well for such a long player. Korolev has a nice shot from outside and showed one very smooth 18 footer.
Late in the 2nd half the team really focused on getting Korolev as many different looks as they could. Korolev played outside and inside, handling the ball as well as posting up. Korolev got himself to the line with various aggressive moves from the face-up, either deep or close-baseline side. Korolev also did some quality board-work, getting 7 on the game. James Singelton
Singleton didnt score as much as he did in the first game, but he was just as relentless on the glass as he collected 7 boards in the half. Singleton had a few put-backs, but no show of his jumper yet.
The 2nd half was a powerful display of Singletons overall game as he opened up the 3-point attack and mixed in his signature offensive rebounding prowess. Singleton is not only athletic, he has supreme timing and anticipation of plays as well. Its a shame that hell most likely be buried on the Clippers bench, unless they give him a legit shot at taking Corey Maggette
s spot. Daniel Ewing
A good scoring half for Ewing as he continues to press hard for recognition. Ewing hit a couple of nice pull-up jumpers and has been very effective with his change of pace, using footwork and fakes to get his defender off balance. Ewing is looking to score more once he penetrates, but has dropped a few nice looking passes off as well.
Ewing was phenomenal on both ends of the court in the 2nd half. Ewing stripped balls on defense, ran the break and got teammates involved, and shot lights out from outside to complement his nifty drives to the lane. Great game from Ewing, who is fighting to prove he is a worthy rotation guard on a burgeoning playoff squad. Bonaface NDong
NDong was on fire late in the game today. NDong was always a competent shooter, but he showed fluid post moves and even a bit of mid-court handling ability. NDong broke out a hook-shot arsenal in the 3rd quarter that was very impressive and if he had gotten on the boards a bit more he really would have been one of the top 6 performers of the day. CelticsJonathan GivonyRajon Rondo
If tonights game was any indication at all, the Celtics might have gotten one of the biggest steals in the draft with the 21st pick. Rondo was your consummate point guard when he was handed the reigns, controlling the tempo of the game wonderfully, handling the ball under pressure, setting up teammates, making good decisions with the ball in his hands, getting by his man with a lightning quick first step, knowing when to push and when to pull back, and even doing a little scoring of his own with his lightning quick first step and cool, calm demeanor to finish with a sweet reverse.
Despite how impressive he was on offense, his defense it what really makes him a special player. He plays fantastic pressure defense and got in the passing lanes on numerous occasions, and even if you beat him on your initial move, you have to be weary of him wrapping his long arm right around you and poking the ball out with his massive paws. He snuck out of nowhere on a couple of occasions to poke the ball out of an unsuspecting opponents hands.
Rondo slowed down like everyone on the Celtics in the 2nd half, but still showed some nice flashes on occasion. He did a great job breaking his man down off the dribble and getting into the paint, but preferred to dish it out to his hapless teammates who could not hit a shot from outside rather than finish with a floater. His defense was very good as usual. Gerald Green
Green was very aggressive to start off the game and scored a quick 7 points before anyone else got going. The Celtics media brass here told us that Danny Ainge
was right in Greens face in practice today, and you could see that he came out with a sense of urgency to try and prove himself. He started off by putting the ball on the floor strong and scoring in the lane with a swooping hook shot, and then came off a screen and knocked down a 20 foot jump-shot. He got to the free throw line as well and took sharp angles when making cuts coming off the ball towards the hoop. The 2nd quarter was designated more for Allan Ray
, so well have to wait and see how he responds in the 2nd half.
After starting off hot, Green could not hit a shot the rest of the way. He took some very tough contested shots and missed badly on quite a few of them. Once things stopped falling for him, his body language got very poor and his head dropped. The coaches realized this and he was taken out of the game. Al Jefferson
A major disappointment for me personally, youd expect a guy with the kind of resume and hype he has to show more in a summer league setting. Jefferson will bring it in small doses and tease you with the brief glimpses he shows. He took the ball strong in the paint against two defenders and scored right on them with impressive footwork, but in most other instances looked dazed and confused when asked to improvise or show any type of basketball IQ. For example when double teamed or pulled out of the paint and asked to participate in the flow of the offense, Jefferson struggles to make good decisions and looks lost.Allan Ray
Rays shot was off today, which means that there really wasnt any way for him to contribute to the Celtics considering his one-dimensional game. He got some minutes at the point and showed us that hes definitely a shooting guard.
Game Three Final: Portland 78- Minnesota 65 TrailblazersJonathan GivonyTravis Outlaw
Outlaw continues to go away from everything he does well and force everything he doesnt. He insists on putting the ball on the floor and pulling up from mid-range every time he has a chance to, and due to his form and inconsistent release point will never be able to knock down the shot at an acceptable rate. On one occasion when he surprised his defender and actually decided to take the ball all the way to the hoop he got himself two points, but other than that this half was a disappointment for Outlaw. Brandon Roy
Roy was far and away the best player on the floor today, creating offense for himself and especially his teammates every time he touched the ball. His phenomenal combination of ball-handling skills, footwork, quickness and smarts allowed him to shred up the defense and get into the paint whenever he pleased, and he did a great job finishing with either hand at the basket, pulling up from mid-range, getting to the free throw line or finding the open man spotting up on the wing. Roy is certainly not a point guard, but hes looked more and more natural at the position every game that has gone by so far. Hes incredibly unselfish and will very rarely miss an open teammate.
Roy wasnt quite as prolific in the 2nd half, but he still impressed mightily every time he touched the ball. Even when he cuts his man down, gets into the paint and misses, he still looks really good. LaMarcus Aldridge
Aldridge didnt get all that many touches today offensively, and the ones he did ended up with soft 15-17 foot fadeaway jumpers that were not falling. He seems hell bent on proving that he is a face the basket Kevin Garnett
style power forward, and it seems like it might be hard to convince him to play otherwise. What was encouraging from what he did today was the fact that he crashed the glass exceptionally hard and came away with quite a few rebounds. He also did not back down defensively either.
Aldridge didnt have a much better 2nd half, not really being overly aggressive and still settling for garbage when he did get touches. Much like was the case at Texas, Aldridge was very much content just running up and down the court aimlessly with no real purpose in mind. He took his fair share of rebounds today which made up for his shortcomings to a certain extent, but Coach McMillan is going to have a very fun time trying to get him to play the way he wants. Martell Webster
This wasnt Websters day shooting the ball from outside, as most everything he tried coming off screens rimmed out. When he tried to put the ball on the floor he either traveled or was stopped in his tracks, and he seemed to hang his head a bit when things werent going well for him.
Webster was slightly better in the 2nd half, but this was still his worst game by far in Vegas up until now. He was looking to score way too much and went out of his element quite a bit. Hector Romero
Hector Romero is deserving of special mention in this column for the work hes been doing all week long so far. Even though he is anything but an NBA player due to the fact that hes essentially a 6-5 power forward without elite athleticism, Romero is nothing short of a fantastic basketball player. He is tough as nails and a lot more skilled than you would initially think, outstanding on the low block and just as dangerous on the perimeter. Romero put the ball on the floor today and even soared in for one extremely impressive dunk, and then stepped outside and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers. He rebounds like a monster and knows where to place himself on the floor, always making the right pass and never making mistakes or forcing the issue.
MinnesotaEric WeissRandy Foye
There wasnt much to write about Foye as the Wolves did virtually nothing well in the first half of play. Foye handled the ball against Brandon Roy
, which was a nice little side-bar to the action. Foye kept Roy in front of him on nearly every possession as Roy didnt seem to have the tricks to penetrate past Foyes defensive pressure. On one play, Foye drove hard to the basket and threw a ball-fake, reverse-pivot move and was fouled while trying to go up for the hook shot. Other than a couple of other standard Foye jumpers there wasnt much going on. Foye uses his change of direction and speeds very well to get himself going toward the basket, using this to set up a sweet floater from the baseline and another down the middle of the lane. Bracey Wright
For Wrights sake, the Wolves staff better have told him to unleash the offensive arsenal, because he dominated most of the possessions for the team. Wright can shoot decently when set for the shot, but fancies himself a off-dribble shooter far more than his game deserves. He handles well enough, but really congests the action on the court when looking to do his thing and often times teammates are left standing around waiting to clean up after him. Certainly not a point guard or even a combo guard, Wright has no intuitive sense of playmaking so he will have to perfect the array of floaters and in between shots he takes. On the NBA level, no one is going to let Wright play this style of ball because he isnt efficient at converting the opportunities he creates for himself. Wright needs to formulate a plan of attack for his game and develop one or two solid NBA skills before trying to expand his overall game. MinnesotaEric WeissGreg Brunner
Brunner was tough on the glass and moved the ball well, which is typical because he is a smart basketball player. Brunner used his body well to get between his man and the ball when going to the glass. But, it has been a bit disappointing to see Brunner abandon his face-up game in favor of attempting to play on the block against taller and more explosive athletic big men. Brunner has great instincts and solid footwork, which enable him to get offensive rebounds or deep position down low, but it is just too difficult for him to finish when the help defense rotates over. Most every undersized power forward in the NBA find success by utilizing the midrange jump shot to set up drives to the basket when the proper situation arises. Brunner has the ability to do this, but has yet to concede the idea that he can maintain his traditional post game and still be effective. If a back to the basket game is what Brunner wishes to play he can do so overseas, because it will not work on the NBA level.
Note on game one:
The World Cup finals prevented us from attending the majority of the New Orleans-Denver game. Game Two Final: Sacramento 86 Toronto 79 KingsJonathan GivonyKevin Martin
Martin once again had no problem showing that being a very good and extremely promising NBA player should and does translate to being a fantastic player in the summer league. He had no problem being the focal part of Sacramentos offense, taking the go-to role on his shoulders and producing points nearly every time he touched the ball.
Martin is far too athletic for anyone here to stay in front of. His first step is lightning quick and he is crafty enough his ball-handling and shot creating skills to get into the paint whenever he pleases. Even though his off-balance floater wasnt always falling for him, particularly early on, he kept attacking the rim relentlessly and was rewarded for his trouble with numerous trips to he free throw line. Martin enjoys pulling down rebounds and igniting the fast break as well, always looking to push the tempo of the game and being extremely intelligent in dropping it off to the open man after a drive or using the glass to score the points himself. When coming off screens from mid-range, Martin has the craftiness to bait his man in the air and earn two free throws, something he did on more than one occasion.
Just like hes done in his first two games here, Martin took a bit of a backseat in the 2nd half and let some of his less unheralded teammates take over the spotlight. He still got his points, though, mostly off quick drives and baiting guys into the air for a foul from mid-range. Quincy Douby
Douby had another very solid overall game. He picked things up in the 2nd half big time, putting the ball on the floor for some and ones, coming off screens from mid-range and the 3-point line, and scoring much like he did at Rutgers. His ball-handling was really on display, using an array of ball-fakes and hesitation moves to free himself up and keep his defender on his heels. Douby has gotten better and better as the summer league has gone on, and with Artest done and Kevin Martin
leaving the team to allow the other players to shine, Douby should step up and play a leading role over the next few days. Douby looks like he should be able to crack Sacramentos rotation next year, especially if he can find a way to add some strength to his skinny frame. Louis Amundson
Amundson had his typical 100% effort hustling game, and has been rewarded for his efforts here with a 3 year deal with the Kings, with the last two years being non-guaranteed. His first year is reportedly guaranteed to the tune of 75 thousand dollars. What weve written here over the first few days says it all about the way Amundson played again today. He is a terror on the offensive glass, works his ass off all game long, plays great defense and scores points just by being in the right place at the right time. Pooh Jeter
Jeter deserves mention for the way hes played in all three games of the summer league so far. A player mostly known as a big-time scorer on a mid-major team, Price has come in and shown a very good feel for the game with the way he runs an offense, makes decisions and finds people off the dribble. Jeter doesnt force the issue the way you think a mid-major combo guard (like Ronnie Price
) would. He picks his spots nicely and its a shame that we havent had a chance to see a bit more of him here. Further helping his cause is the fact that he appears to be an absolute dead-eye shooter from outside, in addition to being extremely quick with the ball in his hands. TorontoEric WeissAndrea Bargnani
Bargnani had a quite first half relative to his explosive debut. Bargnani started off by hitting a standard 15 footer, but picked up two quick fouls and sat until the 2nd quarter. In his first play of the quarter however, Bargnani showed off his body control and touch by extending out high above the rim for a one-handed ally-oop catch and slam. Bargnani didnt shoot much in the half, but converted about every attempt he took, hitting a smooth 3-pointer and making a very fluid left-to-right slide step dribble for the pull-up shot from 18 feet.
There were a few more highlight level plays for Bargnani in the 2nd half, though he remained less of a feature performer than one would expect. Bargnani showed his ability to put the ball on the floor when he went in for a driving dunk, nice to see a powerful finish from a perceived finesse player. Catch and shoot shots are automatic from distance, but Bargnani shows an excellent ability to hang in motion and still put a soft touch on the ball. Still no rebounding to speak of though as Bargnani looks allergic to mixing it up inside or showing any semblance of intuitive ability in this area. Andre Barrett
Barrett had the most active and productive half of any Toronto player as he saw extended minutes at the point. Barrett started off his action with a couple of nice midrange shots from the elbow and baseline. Once he established the threat of the shot, Barrett was able to get into the lane and attack the basket which enabled him to draw contact and get to the free throw line. On one play, Barrett took a scary hit from Louis Amundson
who collapsed on him in a heap after knocking him out of the air. But Barrett showed his toughness by shaking it off and getting up to hit his free throws. Another nice play found Barrett knifing in for an offensive rebound which he corralled and whipped out to an open Bargnani for the 3-point hit. Kris Humphries
Humphries had a couple of nice offensive plays mixed in with some quality rebounding. Humphries showed his touch after toughness by muscling through a defenders contact and hitting two soft fade-away shots in the paint. When in traffic, Humphries can bang and clear space for himself to secure the rebound, which he did a number of times. Humphries has shown this before in these setting though, so the question is can he bring the intensity and focus to the regular season.
Humphries showed much of the same things in the 2nd half of play. He certainly has the ability to board and has great physical ability. Not a great feel game for Humphries today though and not a lot of speed or urgency from him either. Talent cruise control is the best way to describe his game thus far.