Las Vegas Summer League Day Six

Las Vegas Summer League Day Six
Jul 17, 2008, 07:49 pm
Game One: San Antonio Spurs 82, New York Knicks 67
Matt Williams

San Antonio

James Gist: 10 Points, 5-11 FG, 0-2 3FG, 10 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 4 Fouls

Gist had a decent game today, but was productive. He knocked down a catch and shoot college three pointer early, and proceeded to fall in love with outside shot. Though he didn’t force many bad shots (and he’s made some this week), outside shooting just isn’t a consistent enough part of his game right now. His release point isn’t consistent yet because he doesn’t use his legs as much as he needs to when shooting from that range. Gist is capable of making plays at the rim due to his length and athleticism. He pulled down his share of offensive boards today, and displayed soft touch at the rim when in position to finish. Defensively, Gist did a good job contesting shots and staying in front of his man. He had good, but not great lateral quickness, but compensates with a huge wingspan. That length makes him a very good rebounder on both ends, as he made clear today. The rest of his offensive game has a way to go, and he still needs experience to get better defensively, but he’ll get every opportunity to develop overseas.

Roger Powell: 15 Points, 6-13 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-5 FT, 4 Rebounds, 1 Steal, 1 Block

Powell had a very solid game today, staying aggressive and not making many mistakes. While he did force a few shots into the defense, he’s developed his offensive game significantly. He’s got very nice range, something that wasn’t true early in his career. His form is very consistent, and allows him to knock down shots off the dribble or in catch and shoot situations. While he’ll make some shots, he’s still not entirely comfortable as an outside, but he’s come a long way nonetheless. Defensively, Powell made a lot of plays, showing good intensity and using his strength to prevent his man from getting into the lane. While he’s not a strong candidate to make a NBA team (he’s still very much stuck in between the 3 and the 4), he’s going to be a nice player on a lower level.

-Ian Mahinmi had a good game today, showing nice touch once again from the outside. He struggled a bit with his release point, but that will only develop with experience and repetition.

Anthony Tolliver has been consistently impressive, doing a lot of shooting and a little bit of everything else. He is a good rebounder, a sound defender, extremely intelligent, and just a highly versatile all-around player. Don’t be surprised to see him making a team this summer…

New York Knicks

Nate Robinson: 8 Points, 2-10 FG, 1-6 3FG, 3-4 FT, 4 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 2 Turnovers

Robinson had a very poor first contest, which is a shock considering how thoroughly he dominated this event last year. Robinson just couldn’t get a shot to fall all game, and had to do most of his damage attacking the rim. His quickness made it possible for him to get in the paint whenever he wanted to, but he put up a few wild shots around the basket. He did a pretty solid job running the point, but his teammates didn’t do a great job finishing when he set them up. His defense was decent at best, but he hasn’t nearly as aggressive in passing lanes as he was last year. Despite the fact that this was Robinson’s first game, his performance didn’t live up to expectations. It will be interesting to see is Robinson turns things around before the Summer League comes to a close.

-Wilson Chandler and Anthony Roberson both had decent games, but they weren’t as good as they were in their previous outings.

Game Two: Dallas Mavericks 93, Sacramento Kings 71
Matt Williams


Gerald Green: 18 Points, 5-12 FG, 2-3 3FG, 6-6 FT, 7 Rebounds, 2 Turnovers

The young shooting guard had a very good game today, and while he didn’t show great decision making, he did come up with some big plays. He knocked down two consecutive three pointers, and while he was consistent from range today, that’s not a dependable part of his game yet. He did a tremendous job beating his man off the dribble and getting to the line, but he took some questionable shots when he was forced to change directions. Green did a great job on the glass, showcasing the leaping ability that has made him famous. He’s capable of being a very good rebounder for a small forward, and could really set himself apart if he showed more dedication to that part of the game. Green played well today, but needs to do so on a regular basis to earn himself an NBA contract,

Charles Rhodes: 13 Points, 4-6 FG, 5-7 FT, 10 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Steal, 9 Fouls

Rhodes had a very nice game today, showing his ability to help his team offensively. Rhodes scored a lot of his point on run outs, and he likes to creep out in front of the play when his teammate gets a deflection defensively. While this didn’t hurt his team today, it can become a problem when his teammates don’t get the steal and he’s left behind the play. Rhodes displayed good form on his jumper, and while he’s still developing his range, he has the release and elevation to become a very capable shooter from beyond college three-point range and potentially NBA three-point range. The big forward has pretty good ball handling ability for a big man, but he isn’t quick enough to exploit that skill offensively. Defensively, Rhodes showed good rebounding skills, getting low to box out and using leverage to ride his man out of the lane. When defending the ball, he was aggressive to a fault, often getting caught with hand on a shooter around the rim. Rhodes has a lot of nice tools, and is a solid athlete, but faces an uphill battle reach the NBA.

-Shan Foster struggled once again today, with JaJuan Smith outplaying him once again on both ends. Foster has had a very hard time standing out, while Smith has done wonders for his stock overseas this week.


Darian Townes: 14 Points, 4-7 FG, 6-11 FT, 6 Rebounds, 6 Fouls

Townes had a breakout game today, using his physical assets to make an impact both offensively and defensively. While he may not have much in the way of skills, Townes has great size and strength. He won’t show much with his back to the basket, or from the midrange, but today he did a good job getting position underneath the basket and finding ways to get layups and trips to the foul line. Defensively, Townes showed good rebounding ability, but is still a work in progress defensively. He doesn’t show very good anticipation, making it hard for him to track down rebounds and block shots. His size makes him productive nonetheless, but he still has a long way to go. Raw big men usually struggle in this setting, getting taken advantage of by more skilled players, but Townes did a great job staying active today despite not getting many touches. He did some good for his stock overseas with this performance.

-Spencer Hawes had a very slow start today, but turned things around late in the game. He had one great up and under in transition that left a defender standing out of bounds as Hawes turned to the basket for an easy two. His fundamental showed through today, and he finished the game with some nice shots from the outside and no turnovers.

-Justin Hawkins started out today’s game with some great shooting, but he lacks the other guard skills to be consistently effective.

-Jason Thompson had a decent game today, but is still learning what he needs to do in order to make an impact. He was a bit tentative today, and it showed in his production.

Game Three: Philadelphia 76ers 86, Washington Wizards 72
Matt Williams


Jason Smith: 24 Points, 9-14 FG, 6-6 FT, 11 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 1 Steal, 3 Turnovers, 7 Fouls

This game was the epitome of what made Smith a first rounder in 2007. His combination of athleticism, size, and shooting touch was on full display today, and this game is an example of what Smith can do if he reaches his potential. The young power forward has never been on to show major glimpses in terms of production, which is what makes this game such an interesting representation of what he has to offer. Smith drilled numerous jump shots, showing the touch the made some believe that he could develop NBA three-point range. He displayed a nice turnaround jumper, but primarily acted as a catch and shoot outlet today for his teammates driving to the basket. Defensively, Smith kept a lot base when defending the ball and boxing out, allowing him to neutralize Washington’s quality big men on some occasions. He had some problems defending Andray Blatche, and doesn’t have great footwork defensively when his man faces up. Overall, this game offered a glimpse of what Smith can do when the flow of game suits his skills. He’ll need to develop his repertoire and aggressiveness to show these same glimpses on the NBA level.

-Much like Smith, Marreese Speights put his skills on full display, showing amazing consistency from the midrange on his way to 24 points. His face up game isn’t very advanced, but when defenders give him an inch he’s money from fifteen feet. Speights will need to diversify the things he can do in the low post as he matures, but he has the raw tools of a top-five selection.

-Jamont Gordon performed well today, showing great point guard skills and using his strength advantage to get into the paint almost at will. It will be interesting to see where he lands in training camp, but ultimately he seems like a guy who could be very good in the D-League due to his unique physical assets at the point guard position.


Andray Blatche: 18 Points, 6-10 FG, 0-1 3FG, 6-10 FT, 5 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 1 Steal, 5 Turnovers, 6 Fouls

This is the type of game that the scouts in attendance expected from Blatche. He looked largely disinterested, especially defensively, was the best player on the floor, and did whatever he wanted when he turned it on. Blatche’s athleticism, size, and ball skills make him a capable player in most settings, let alone one as frantic as this one. The young power forward did most his damange at the rim today, using his quickness and leaping ability to get good looks from inside. He showed a willingness to take contact, earning a few trips to the line, but overpenetrated on his misses. Defensively, Blatche didn’t make a big impact on the glass today, but did a decent job collecting the rebounds that came to his area. He needs to do a better job boxing out, since he is more than capable of dominating that aspect of the game when he makes the effort. Blatche is clearly not used to playing in this setting, as he made a lot of bad passes and was generally a little too liberal with his passes offensively and his reaching defensively. This is more of a chance for Blatche to gain more experience than anything else, and while he produced today, it would be nice to see more focus from him in the future.

Dominic McGuire: 12 Points, 5-8 FG, 2-4 FT, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Blocks, 2 Turnovers, 2 Fouls

This is the type of performance that we’ve grown to expect from the talented second-year forward. McGuire is a versatile player with a lot of tools, who won’t do a ton of scoring, but is capable of putting points on the board at this level. The Fresno State graduate does a very nice job moving without the ball, showing a nose for getting good looks at the basket. His jumper is still developing, but he’s always going to get a few easy buckets each game. While he’s not a great ballhandler, he’s capable of getting to the rim, where he looks for contact in an effort to get to the line. Defensively, McGuire shows the ability to defend both the perimeter and the post, and his combination of size, athleticism, and effort lets him make some plays on that end. McGuire will have a chance to earn himself some money this season with the Wizards.

-The downside of Nick Young’s game reared its ugly head today, as his shot was very inconsistent today. When he’s not connecting from the outside, his aggressiveness becomes a big problem considering the degree of difficult he takes on with his shot selection. There were a handful of occasions today where Young took an off balance pull up jumper when he should have continued his drive to the rim.

-JaVale McGee had his ups and downs today, and the way he plays make him a very inconsistent performer. He is always looking for ways to avoid contact, and while his length helps him accomplish that, he needs to learn to use pivots and fakes to shake his defender, not just jump away from him.

Game Four: Los Angeles Lakers 95, Minnesota Timberwolves 93
Mike Schmidt

Minnesota Timberwolves

Pooh Jeter, 15 points, 3 assists, 0 turnovers, 6/9 FG

After an average outing to open the summer league, Jeter came up big today and was a huge reason why Minnesota had a chance to win late in the game. Early in the game, the guard focused more on getting his teammates involved, and showed very impressive vision in both transition and the half-court offense. With the ball, he displayed very good creativity, and probably should have received more assists in the final box than he was credited for. Late in the game when the Timberwolves offense went stagnant, Jeter started to put his offensive abilities on display. He hit a difficult floater in the paint followed by a 20 foot jumper, and then made a difficult lay-up in the lane against two defenders while earning a free throw attempt in the process. Jeter is generously listed at 5'11" and lacks the ideal size for an NBA point guard, but does just about everything well on the court, and could potentially make an NBA roster.

Kevin Love, 18 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 6 turnovers, 9/18FG

As we saw earlier this week, Love had a big impact on the game, though he still struggled with turnovers. Still, his fantastic long-distance passing is a site to see up close, and he finished the game with 4 assists as a result. On the glass, he used his strong body to push opposing players out of the way, and used his fantastic hands and touch inside to convert a number of offensive rebound attempts into baskets. Defensively, it's clear the rookie has some work to do. He must learn when to contest shots and rotate at the proper times on the defensive end of the floor, but he stay out of foul trouble throughout the game. On the offensive end, he again displayed nice skills both facing the basket and in the low post. Though he's not the most athletic player, his incredible basketball IQ allows him to get shots off in situations where players his size normally struggle. He has the tools to be a solid big man in the NBA at least, and could turn into much more than that in a couple seasons. His outlet passes in the second half were just a pleasure to watch.

- Corey Brewer continued to play hard on the defensive end, and looked better on offense today. He must focus on improving his ball-handling skills.

Los Angeles Lakers

Lorenzo Mata-Real, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 6/8 FG

Facing off against his former UCLA teammate Kevin Love, Matta had his best game of the summer league thus far. The rookie big made his presence known early with his strong play inside, grabbing rebounds at both ends of the floor while playing very strong man to man post defense. Though he lacks the ideal size for an NBA center, he uses his body quite well, and has the bulk to play very physically down low. On the offensive end, Matta played quite well, showing solid touch while putting back a few offensive rebounds, and even shot a hook with his left hand on one occasion. Despite his lack of playing time last year, the rookie big has a number of nice tools that will at least give him a look in the D-League this season.

-Joe Crawford hit a game winning shot with 10 seconds left. He struggled for much of the game, but his strength and scoring tools came in handy during the second half.

-Nik Caner-Medley played very well at the power forward spot for the Lakers, converting on 10 of his 12 free throw attempts.

Game Five: Los Angeles Clippers 82, Memphis Grizzlies 74
Mike Schmidt


Steve Burtt Jr., 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 6/11 FG

Burtt lacks the ideal size for a shooting guard in the NBA, but has really displayed some nice scoring tools throughout the week. Though not the most efficient scorer, he moves well off of screens and can create for himself off the dribble as well. From long range, he also shows a nice shooting stroke through his three pointers weren't falling today. Physically, he has a slim build and isn't the most explosive athlete on the court. Burtt can only be described as average on the defensive end as well. He has very nice scoring tools, but doesn't appear to be a great prospect for the NBA.

-O.J. Mayo struggled a bit from the field on his way to 20 points, and still looks to have trouble getting to the rim off the dribble. He'll be a very good scorer at the NBA level, but he needs to work on drawing more free throw attempts.

Los Angeles Clippers

DeAndre Jordan, 6 points 5 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3/3 FG

Jordan had another solid showing today, particularly on the defensive end. With his athleticism and amazing standing reach, Jordan seems to have improved defensively since the start of the summer league. He blocked 5 shots today, and has started reacting more quickly with his help-side rotations. The big still appears to be quite raw on the offensive end of the floor, but has good enough hands to be a target for an easy dish from a penetrating guard. He has been working to develop a hook shot as well, but it will be a while before this shot translates to the NBA. Jordan may never develop into the star that many people pegged him as, but the rookie looks to have a very promising career as a rotation big at the least.

-Nick Fazekas continues his very steady play on offense despite poor physical tools. He appears to be very comfortable facing NBA big men, and will probably last on the Clippers roster this season.

-Al Thornton had another great game and can be labeled as one of the best players here this week. His physical abilities were on full display today, and he has a very nice long range stroke as well.

Game Six: Houston Rockets: 73, Cleveland Cavaliers 72
Matt Williams


Maarty Leunen: 17 Points, 5-9 FG, 3-5 3FG, 4-5 FT, 5 Rebounds, 2 Turnovers

Leunen showcased what he can bring to the table as an NBA role-player today. His shot was on for the first time in a while, and he took full advantage, knocking down catch and shoot jumpers from all over the place. The young forward doesn’t force anything, opting to wait for an open opportunity. He did get to the rim on one occasion today, but that probably isn’t something he’s going to be able to do consistently on the NBA level. On his one drive, he tossed up a weak floater, showing that he simply isn’t used to finding himself in this position. In the post, Leunen did a good job of using fakes to get contact and go to the line, where he’s very consistent. While he’s not an NBA level athlete, Leunen just might be able to become a nice NBA role player down the road.

Donte Greene: 17 Points, 4-17 FG, 3-8 3FG, 6-6 FT, 5 Rebounds, 2 Steals, 2 Turnovers

The young forward looked to build on his 40 point performance from a day ago today with mixed results. Greene knocked down quite a few looks from the perimeter, but he was obviously trying to get himself going throughout the course of the game to no avail. He does a great job creating space for himself, but that wasn’t enough for him to shoot well from the field today. He showed the ability to get to the rim consistently against Cleveland’s power forward, and did a good job taking contact and going to the line. Greene had a poor game today, but it is tough to fault him for being aggressive after how well he played yesterday. Outside of scoring, the former Syracuse player did a nice job playing passing lanes, but didn’t do much rebounding or playmaking considering the number of opportunities he had. Today was a reminder of why Greene was picked where he was. He’s got awesome potential, but his consistency and fundamentals still have a long way to go.

-Joey Dorsey ended his holdout and made a cameo today. He dominated the glass, grabbing 14 boards and effectively collecting all the rebounds Mike Harris had last game. Dorsey had his customary dunk and putback, but got a little overzealous as a ball handler. He played within himself out of his six turnovers, and should be more efficient during his next contest.


J.J. Hickson: 18 Points, 7-15 FG, 4-8 FT, 6 Rebounds, 1 Block, 3 Turnovers

The rookie power forward had a nice follow up to his tremendous debut. His line for the game is very misleading, as he had essentially no plays called for him and didn’t receive almost any post up opportunities. This was quite a surprise considering how often he was isolated in the post last game. Hickson did a very nice job today taking advantage of his opportunities. He showed a willingness to take on contact and was once again efficient at the rim, finishing most of the good looks he got. The former NC State player showed nice high-low passing ability, something that will be valuable to him in Cleveland due to the glut of other post players they have the fight for position inside. Defensively, Hickson did a nice job on Joey Dorsey, but let him grab a few offensive rebounds. It will take him some time to adapt to boxing out bigger players, but he should be a good rebounder with time and experience. It will be interesting to see how Cleveland utilizes Hickson not only in their next game, but throughout the rest of the week.

-Clay Tucker had another good game, as did Jawad Williams. Neither play is an NBA level scorer, but both have the touch from the outside to do well in this setting and on lower levels.

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