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Vegas Summer League Wrap-Up

Posted By Warren Shaw On Jul 23 2012 @ 3:16 am In NBA | No Comments

Ten days of NBA Summer League action concluded on Sunday with 3 final games and the announcement of the an All-Summer League team.

The All-Summer League team is highlighted by the Co-MVP selections of  Memphis Grizzlies guard, Josh Selby, and Portland Trailblazers rookie guard, Damian Lillard.

Selby averaged 24.2 points while shooting a blistering 56% from the floor in 5 games of action. He turned a lot of heads in Vegas with his shooting and overall confidence in his shot especially from three-point range. Entering Sunday’s final game Selby was shooting 70% from beyond the arc. That’s just crazy! He should be looking at a nice increase in minutes heading into next season for Memphis.

Lilliard has become a lot of people’s early favorite for Rookie of the Year by averaging 26.5 points, 5.3 assists, and 4 rebounds. When he was drafted on June 28 I tweeted [1] the exact same sentiment. Lillard was better than advertised showing an ability to finish in traffic as well as hit from range. I think he will take more of a facilitator role when the real season starts in November but he did a fine job out in Vegas getting his teammates involved.

The rest of the All-Summer League team is as follows:

Malcolm Thomas – Chicago Bulls – 11.4 points and 12.4 rebounds. Led all participants in rebounding and reminded me a little of Taj Gibson. Not sure he will have much of role with the Bulls in the regular season but he had an impressive showing in Vegas.

Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards – 17.6 points and 4.6 rebounds. His jumper isn’t as “money” as advertised but he won’t be as much of a feature guy come the regular season. He shot just 41% from the field in Vegas but was great when he went to the basket.

Tobias Harris – Milwaukee Bucks – 20.8 points and 7 rebounds. He was probably one of the biggest surprises with his aggressive offensive play. He excelled on post-ups, drives, and mid-range jumpers. If the Bucks lose Carlos Delfino, Harris would be in line for more minutes in the regular season.

John Henson – Milwaukee Bucks – 18.3 points and 6.8 rebounds. Henson showed he had more to his offensive game than he did at UNC. He scored in the post with either hand and was an effective rebounder at both ends. The Bucks front court is deep but Henson should get some burn.

Jeremy Lamb – Houston Rockets – 20 points and 4.4 rebounds. Lamb has a great release and should contribute immediately off the Rockets bench next season.

Dominique Jones – Dallas Mavericks – 16.4 points, 5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds. Great all-around game  but his scoring ability doesn’t seem to translate well to the regular NBA game.  He keeps working hard though and this could be the year he sees a few minutes off the Mavericks bench.

Cory Joseph – San Antonio Spurs – 17 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.4 rebounds. Joseph will vie for back-up minutes at both guard positions but is stuck behind the likes of Manu Ginobli, Gary Neal and Danny Green. Impressive showing in Vegas though.

Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls – 20.8 points and 6.5 rebounds. Butler was a lot like Tobias Harris with his play in Summer League. His jumper was a little more reliable and I liked his on the ball defense. Clearly playing for Coach Thibodeau has paid off.

Kemba Walker – Charlotte Bobcats – 15.8 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.6 rebounds. Walker is looking to bounce back after an up and down rookie campaign. He didn’t seem much better than he did in the regular season and his solid numbers were a clear result of watered down competition in Vegas. The back-court is crowded with diminutive guards but he should receive the same compliment of minutes he had last season for what its worth.

Donatas Motiejunas – Houston Rockets – 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds. D-Mo shot 62% from the field and caught everybody off guard with his activity and efficiency. He does everything pretty well with the exception of blocking shots. He could be the opening night center for the Rockets especially if the Bulls match the offer sheet to Omer Asik.

Jae Crowder – Dallas Mavericks – 16.6 points and 5.4 rebounds. Crowder had some nice moments but I am not in favor of his selection on this team. He has a good high release on his jumper but isn’t terribly efficient. He should fill out the roster in Dallas but I wouldn’t look for him to do much more than that.

Other notables from the Vegas Summer League include:

Thomas Robinson-Sacramento Kings – 13 points and 9.8 rebounds. I expected more from him but overall numbers were still solid. He struggled with his shot the majority of the week which was very concerning. I’d like to see him play closer to the basket and pick up a few garbage points off of offensive rebounds going forward.

Harrison Barnes- Golden State Warriors – 16.8 points and 5.6 rebounds. He showed more to me than Crowder did and he should have a nice rookie season in the Bay area.

Adam Morrison- L.A. Clippers – 20 points and 5 rebounds. It was a great showing for Morrison in Vegas. He could be the next Steve Novak for somebody next season. Although it may not sound like much, for Morrison that would mean the world.

Markieff Morris- Phoenix Suns – 19.8 points and 9.8 rebounds. I am still not sure if he is 3 or 4 but it didn’t matter in Vegas. He was fairly dominant against the lesser competition.

Terrence Jones- Houston Rockets – 18.2 point and 8.6 rebounds. Jones was completely overshadowed by Anthony Davis at Kentucky but made a name for himself in Vegas. I had no idea how smooth he was for a big man his size. Unfortunately he is part of core that is about 6 deep at forward in Houston.

A few others put up notable numbers but didn’t make the cut for inefficiency or lack of games played. Overall the Vegas Summer League provided plenty of highlights and insight into the bright future of the NBA. With a record 24 teams in attendance this year the event could grow even larger next summer.

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