Las Vegas, Nevada
The basketball marathon that is the Las Vegas NBA Summer League is now past the half way point. Day 6 for me brought two new players to evaluate and a final look at the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards.
Here is how the action played out on Day 6.
Milwaukee Bucks: John Henson made a very strong showing on Day 6. He is just as skinny and tall as advertised but he was extremely active on both ends of the floor. The defense challenged him to shoot jumpers and he seemed content to oblige. He kind of uncoils his jumper with rotation that would make the earth’s axis jealous. That thing is spinning when he releases it but its not particularly accurate. He showed some promising footwork on the block with one very nimble up and under move. Henson showed an ability to score with either hand on the post when he wasn’t getting pushed off his spot. He had good defensive principles showing the right amount of help on pick and rolls and changing shots instead of trying to block everything. 20 points and 9 rebounds for Henson on Day 6.
Doron Lamb scored 12 points with 3 rebounds. He was content to let the offensive come to him as he shot the majority of his shots from the baseline. He didn’t show a particularly great ability or desire to beat his man off the dribble to get to the rim. But like I said he was patient and played within the flow of the offense. He is going to get hit a lot as he is not always balanced on his jumper. That will cause defenders to run into him often and potentially send Lamb to the line frequently. He struggled a bit on defense which could be a trend moving forward.
Larry Sanders still seems a bit mechanical on anything he does that is not a dunk or attempted block shot. I am just not a huge fan of his game.
Tobias Harris was the best player on the floor with 24 points and 12 rebounds. He is a good slashing forward with post up ability. If his feet are set he can hit jumpers with range out to three. He was best served staying within 16 feet or less but was impressive overall.
Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal scored 18 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. His jumper was short most of the day probably due to tired legs. When he drove to the basket he was golden showing the ability to beat his man off the dribble without the help of picks. Overall I found Beal to be just as good as advertised and he should help the Wizards immediately in the regular season.
Chicago Bulls: Jimmy Butler could vie for serious minutes off the Bulls bench if he can continue to play anywhere near the level he has at summer league thus far. Butler delivered 24 points and 7 rebounds showing the ability to get to the line with his aggressive drives to the basket. Butler connected on 11-12 free throws to boost his points total on Day 6. With Kyle Korver out of the picture in Chicago, Butler should slide into those minutes even though he isn’t the shooter Korver is. Two very impressive games for Butler so far.
Marquis Teague is currently the only healthy point guard on the Bulls roster. That doesn’t bode well for Chicago heading into the regular season. He had some success getting into the lane today but isn’t particularly adept at finishing over bigger defenders. Speaking of defense, he isn’t a good defender at all and if he can’t defend in summer league he will have major problems against NBA starters.
Houston Rockets: All of their rookies are good(Jones, White, Lamb, & Motiejunas) and have impressed me at some point during the week. Today Scott Machado played his best game with 20 points and 6 assists. Keep in mind it came against the defenseless Teague. Machado got a little shot happy when he realized Teague couldnt defend him but relaxed towards the end of the game to get others involved. He should make the Houston roster as a backup for Jeremy Lin.
Phoenix Suns: Kendall Marshall did nothing to sway me from my Jason Kidd comparison. Again that is today’s Jason Kidd. Marshall is a very reluctant shooter but has a good looking stroke as most lefties do. His stroke is usually off target unfortunately. I will say he has good size which allows him to see over the smaller point guards at summer league. He makes good passes into the post that put his guys in position to score and appears to be a natural leader on the floor. But his shot is just flat out awful, 1-10 from the floor for just 4 points and 5 assists on Day 6. It remains to be seen how much playing time he will get backing up Goran Dragic when the regular season begins.
This will conclude my daily recap coverage here at Vegas Summer League. I will be popping in on some of the more interesting games going forward and tweeting about the action that takes place. Follow me at @shawsports for instant updates from the games to come.
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