Day 2 of the Vegas Summer League was much like Day 1…non-competitive games that still showed who is ready to contribute now to a NBA roster and those who may be bagging groceries soon.
No disrespect to those who bag groceries, its just not what these fine young gentleman of the Vegas summer league hope to be doing in their immediate future.
Here is what I saw while my backside became sore from watching hours and hours of basketball.
Game 1: Memphis Grizzlies at New York Knicks
Grizzlies: Memphis has a special one in Tony Wroten. The 25th overall pick made a splash in his debut with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. He proved to be unselfish and adept at knowing when to attack vs passing. He was able to finish with contact and remained poised while pressured. Unfortunately although he remained poised when pressured, his average dribbling skills were displayed as a result. He can use some work on his ball handling but I loved his nose for the ball mentality when rebounding.
Josh Selby was also solid for the Grizzlies scoring 20 points with 5 made triples. Selby did little else but was disruptive on defense to the over-matched Knicks guards.
Matt Janning in his second summer league stint showed his ability to be a knock down shooter scoring 13 points on 4-6 from the floor. He can shoot but can he defend? His effort is there but he lacks the physical skills needed to stick on a roster.
Knicks: Nothing much of note from the Knicks camp today but James White did make his debut. White dished out 7 assists accompanied by 1-4 shooting. Honestly White was unselfish to a fault especially on a roster with little talent. He flat out disappeared at times which had me scouring the floor to see if he was still in the game…sadly most of the time he was. Just running up and down the floor getting exercise I presume.
Game 2: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets:
Warriors: GSW has been the most enjoyable team to watch in the two days out in Vegas. Charles Jenkins bounced back from lackluster game one and exploded for 24 points. Everything was working for him offensively drives to the baskets as well as his mid-range shot.
Klay Thompson struggled with his shot despite a hot start. What was good to see was how he stopped forcing threes and attempted to take the ball to the rim once he saw his shot wasn’t falling. 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists were his totals on just 5-14 from the floor.
Harrison Barnes also struggled with his shot (5-17) but displayed a motor on defense I was unsure he had. He hustled and scraped his way to 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. Many of his steals came as he stuck his hand into the passing lanes harassing the opposition as they attempted to cross half court.
Nuggets: Jordan Hamilton had a spectacular first half scoring 14 of his 18 points in the opening 20 minutes. He had a rim rocking driving dunk that drew a favorable crowd response with multiple jumpers to compliment his athletic ability. He was able to shoot from three with a nice release but its concerning how he vanished in the second half.
Kenneth Faried had moments where he showed why he is nicknamed the “Manimal”. One defensive sequence has me still shaking my head at how he got up in the air to block two consecutive Warrior attempts. Unfortunately he is still very unpolished offensively and is most effective if he can catch and finish at the basket. Denver tried to make him a passer at the top of the key early in the game and that turned out disastrously. 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks capped Faried’s stat line. He left the game limping but I was unable to determine what his injury was.
Game 3: Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings:
Lakers: Robert Sacre showed some signs of life notching a double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He missed some easy ones and doesn’t have a whole lot of lift but has nice touch on his jumper if unmolested.
Darius Morris scored 17 and Andrew Goudelock scored 11 but neither were impressive combining for 8-29 shooting and 1-10 from three. This Lakers team is bad.
Kings: Thomas Robinson again finished with a nice line (14 points and 12 rebounds) but was not the best player on the court or on Sacramento for that matter. He is having trouble getting his shot off against bigger defenders and was embarrassed by Lakers’ center Greg Somogyi on one sequence where his shot was blocked twice. T-Rob was frustrated but kept going hard which is a good sign.
Josh Akognon from Cal State Fullerton put on a shooting display scoring 25 points on 10-16 from the floor. He did what he wanted draining 4 triples and also penetrated with ease on drives to the rim. His performance was the most eye opening on Day 2.
Game 4: Houston Rockets at Washington Wizards:
In all fairness I was unable to stay for the entire contest but here is what I saw.
Royce White is having a lot of trouble staying interested and playing under control. Dontas Motiejunas was figured out pretty quickly scoring just 1 point after his 25 point outburst on Day 1. Jeremy Lamb (26 points) has great form on his jumper and he was unafraid of Bradley Beal who is supposed to be an above average defender. Terrence Jones (16 points and 5 rebounds) is very smooth and agile. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started over White in their next game.
Wizards: Beal didn’t do much before I left but I am encouraged by his willingness to defend. The Wizards were clearly trying to play through him early on but he doesn’t have the ability to break his man down at will at the NBA level…yet.
Seven games are on the slate for Day 3 which include the debuts of Dion Waiters, Kendall Marshall, and Austin Rivers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports for instant analysis on all of Day 3′s action.
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