Las Vegas, Nevada
Day one of the Las Vegas Summer League began on Friday with 4 games at the UNLV Cox Pavilion. The games were not all that exciting competitively but did provide teams (and fans) a look at the young talent the league has to offer.
Here is a brief synopsis of what we saw from the rookies and other notable players on day one.
Game 1: Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards
Hawks: The 23rd pick in this year’s draft, John Jenkins, was impressive especially early on. His jumper was fluid showing great range connecting on 4-5 from three. He slowed down a little when Bradley Beal guarded him but overall was impressive with 19 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds.
Center, Keith Benson, was also a factor for the Hawks scoring 19 points on 9-12 from the floor.
Wizards: Guard Bradley Beal lived up to the hype of being the 3rd overall pick in the draft by scoring 22 points. He was able to get his shot off rather easily but excelled on drives to the basket where he got fouled multiple times. He impressed me with his defensive capability blocking two shots and making life difficult for Jenkins. I see why people think he is a Ray Allen/Dwayne Wade combination.
Chris Singelton had a strong 2nd half to finish with 20 points and 8 rebounds. He had some surprising success going to the basket which opened up his mid-range jumper some.
Jan Vesely committed the maximum 10 fouls and finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds. He showed the athleticism he has been heralded for but missed 3 dunks he should have layed up instead.
Game 2: Houston Rockets at Toronto Raptors
Rockets: Donatas Motiejunas (D-Mo) was the biggest surprise of the day. He was phenomenal in every facet of the game on his way 25 points and 9 rebounds. D-Mo hit two 3′s, showed great lateral movement defensively, took charges, set solid screens, and just hustled like nobody else on day one.
Terrence Jones showed a feathery touch on his left-handed jumper and baby hooks to finish with 17 points and 9 rebounds. He proved to have better handles than you would expect for a man his size. He also dove for a few loose balls and out-played his fellow rookie teammate Royce White.
White showed his ability to be a great passing big man but was not engaged in the game otherwise. His body language was poor after a couple calls he deemed questionable. Day 1 was a disappointment for White.
Jeremy Lamb played like he was NBA ready for the Rockets scoring 16 points. Lamb showed his ability to score on floaters, mid-range jumpers, and even from three. Confidence seems to be his best attribute.
Raptors: Terrence Ross was the best player for the Raptors showing superb athletic ability. Ross poured in 21 points hitting from three as well as making two eye popping dunks. The kid can play and he certainly doesn’t lack confidence.
Ed Davis showed off a jumper that looks improved but stayed on the outside offensively despite being 6’10. He is still not heavy enough to bang inside but grabbed 8 rebounds in addition to scoring 18 points.
Game 3: Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers
Warriors: Harrison Barnes looked like he had something to prove scoring 23 points on 8-13 from the floor. He banged out four 3′s and looked very comfortable shooting it from NBA distance. He and Klay Thompson played off each other like old pros looking for one another and taking turns offensively. Thompson (24 points with 6 threes) just seemed extremely secure in his ability to shoot whether he was open or covered. He also moved well on defense seemingly more confident is his physical ability at that end of the floor.
Draymond Green impressed me with his high releasing jumper and no fear approach to rebounding. Green contributed 9 points and 9 rebounds also showing a nice passing touch on entry passes into the post for his teammates. The Warriors might have stolen one with Green.
Lakers: Every single Laker was awful. Andrew Goudelocke was a man on an island scoring 14 points on 5-15 shooting. He is smaller than I thought but crafty in getting his shot off…and he got off many of them.
Game 4: Sacramento Kings at Charlotte Bobcats
Kings: Sacramento was pretty bad in this game and Thomas Robinson was a semi bright spot. He scored 19 points and grabbed 5 rebounds but he also shot 9-15 from the line while committing 8 turnovers. I am not sure why he was playing off guard helping the ill-equipped Jimmer Fredette bring the ball up on the press. Robinson handled the ball fairly well in the open court, all things considered, but its not the strength of his game.
Fredette was awful and was hounded by the Bobcats’ Kemba Walker. Jimmer seem unengaged managing just 7 points on 2-11 from the floor.
Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist probably had the best overall showing in day one. 18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals were his totals. MKG slashed to the basket and finished with contact on multiple occasions. If he gets a running start, opposing bigs might be surprised at his ability to rise. He also drained a three which caused one GM to cringe and say “If he hits that consistently, the league is in trouble”. Fantastic showing from MKG.
Jeffrey Taylor was a pleasant surprise shooting an efficient 7-10 to score 17 points. He drilled 3-4 from downtown and reminded me a bit of Klay Thompson as a rookie.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com