NBA Summer League: Day 7
Player of the Day:
Doug McDermott, Chicago: His outside shot has not been falling as consistently as one might expect, yet he is still finding a way to keep the “Dougie McBuckets” moniker alive. After the #1 seed Raptors came out to a 27-12 lead after the 1st quarter, McDermott willed the Bulls to a major comeback in this close fought contest. He did so with drives, great footwork and an unmistakable competitive fire, refreshing for a Summer League contest. Finishing with 28 points, he also chipped in 8 rebounds, 6 of which were offensive. His effort and IQ are things that will more than likely give him an increased role for the Bulls next season.
Lucas Nogueira, Toronto: “Bebe” is still a work in progress and this game shows that things seem to be headed in the right direction. A couple of his baskets came at crucial moments for the Raptors down the stretch. His effort and focus on defense were probably better here than any other game thus far, as he finished with 16 rebounds and 3 blocks. Also chipping in with 4 assists, his work here is getting noticed by the coaching staff and will go a long way in shaping his future with the Raptors.
Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver: While Mudiay has really impressed with his overall performance in Las Vegas, this game kind of sent him crashing down to earth. After a pretty decent start to the game, he really struggled to create and was stifled by Atlanta’s team defense. It was also pretty easy to tell that he was not confident when given room for his shot, something that he will absolutely need to gain to keep defenses honest. He finished with 8 points on 4-9 FG with no trips to the foul line. The more staggering number was his only having 1 assist to 7 turnovers in the 82-73 loss. He gets to the line at an incredibly high rate and has a lot of potential, he will just need to shake this rough performance off going into Denver’s match-up with Washington.
Justin Anderson, Dallas: Anderson added to his solid summer resume with a big time performance in Dallas’ 104-88 win over the seasoned veterans on the D-League Select team. Finishing with 23 points, he nailed 4-6 from long distance and 8-8 from the stripe. He appears to be a man among boys at times and looks comfortable going with the flow, which should suit him well moving forward.
Kristaps Porzingis, New York: One of the more major attractions out here has been Porzingis, as everyone was interested to see how he would respond to the large “boos” he heard during draft day. Early results have been quite positive, as while he definitely needs to add some strength, he has been aggressive and displays a solid skillset. He can run the floor, has great touch on his shot and even managed to grab a steal and finish on a fast break. He finished with 12 points on only 3-10 shooting, a three pointer and a couple of dunks. He definitely knows how to play and while the jury is out as to whether he was the right pick, there is a lot to like from what he has shown here.
Devin Booker, Phoenix: Booker was everything Phoenix expected in this one, with an efficient game in which he netted 19 points on 7-13 FG (3-5 3PT). He is lethal on the corner 3 and even while being the youngest player in Vegas, seems mature beyond his years. He really helps spread the floor for players such as TJ Warren and Archie Goodwin to take advantage of the space.
Terry Rozier, Boston: It was evident in this game that Rozier has great potential in creating offensive opportunities. He finished with 19 points, including a couple of dagger jumpers to give the Celtics a 91-85 win over the Trail Blazers. With Marcus Smart dislocating some fingers on his right hand early in this one, it should give Rozier more of an opportunity as a primary ball handler. Still, the C’s brass has to be happy with the evident improvement in his jump shot.
Rashad Vaughn, Milwaukee: Vaughn still managed to up his scoring average, finishing with 17 points, though they did come on just 6-17 FG. People out here still seem to like what they have seen, as he has potential as a shooter and room to add more facets to his offensive skillset. The Bucks have had a lot of confidence leaning on him and while this game was a blowout, his efforts in Vegas have largely been positive.
Jerian Grant, New York: The “other” Knicks first round pick, which they acquired in a trade, has been solid as well. Grant finished with 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, albeit in a blowout loss to the Warriors. He has had some more difficulty finishing at the rim, which is to be expected, yet seems ready to come in and give positive contribution.
Bobby Portis, Chicago: Portis played only 21 minutes in the Bulls win over the Raptors, finishing with 9 points on 3-11 FG. He still managed to score a couple three pointers and brought energy on the defensive end. Safe to say, Chicago has been quite happy with what they have seen from this potential first round steal.
RJ Hunter, Boston: Hunter really seemed to struggle with the physicality in this game, finishing only 1-8 from the field. He still managed to get to the line and finished with 9 points and 4 assists.
Kevon Looney, Golden State: This was probably Looney’s most efficient game to date in his early Summer League run, as he finished with 11 points (5-6 FG) and 9 rebounds in 21 minutes. He has not been moving as fluidly as one might expect and can still get caught out of position at times. At the 30th pick, however, he is a worthwhile bet for the reigning NBA champions.
It looks like TJ Warren is probably ready for an increased role going into his 2nd season. Although not everyone who dominates Summer League necessarily carries this on to the NBA regular season, Warren is a really tough offensive match-up who can probably create a niche for himself. He led the charge for Phoenix in their 106-80 walloping of Milwaukee with 23 points on 9-15 FG and 5-6 FT.
James Michael McAdoo seems to really be trying to make a push for some spot minutes with Golden State, as he had 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Warriors charge in a big 76-54 win over the Knicks. He looks physically imposing against Summer League competition. He needs to show a bit more range and it is uncertain how he will fare against top flight NBA PF’s.
While both Jeremy Tyler and Dwight Powell were great for the Mavericks once again, another player rallying for a training camp invite is Maalik Wayns. The former Villanova PG is an absolute pest in on-ball defense and finished with 22 points in the Mavs win over D-League Select.
The player who stood out the most on D-League Select was Justin Dentmon, as he did his best to try and keep them close to Dallas. He finished with 31 points on 8-13 FG (6-10 3PT) and hit all nine of his free throw attempts. Dentmon was the 2012 D-League MVP and has played internationally, while even playing a handful of games in the NBA. Tough, scrappy veteran who is doing his best to get a camp invite.
“Slo-Mo” Kyle Anderson has been one of the stars in Vegas, as his ball skills and size make him a really difficult match-up for players fighting to make NBA rosters. He led the Spurs to a tight 74-71 victory over the Brooklyn nets, finishing with 25 points and 8 rebounds.
The scoring leader in Las Vegas to this point is Seth Curry, as he is averaging 25.2 ppg for the Pelicans. Washington was another team who had a tough time slowing Curry down, as he finished with 26 points on a variety of jumpers. Definitely doing his best job to prove that he deserves a roster spot, as he just seems to torch this level of competition.
Everyone in Atlanta’s starting line-up finished with double figures, as they seem to be one of the more balanced teams here on both ends of the floor. Brandon Ashley gave a great effort being inserted into the starting line-up, as he had an efficient 18 points to go with 8 rebounds. Stephen Holt gave a great effort as well, finishing with 17 points and really giving the Denver guards all they could handle in the Hawks 82-73 win.
It was a tough loss for the Raptors, who really were hoping to give their young players a boost and capture the Summer League title. Coaches still really like what they have seen from young Bruno Caboclo and this year’s 2nd round pick Norman Powell, who both finished with 15 points against Chicago. Caboclo’s improvement is evident and his physical attributes along with his fluidity give him a chance to be a very intriguing combo forward. Powell’s defensive intensity is top notch and his play here earned him a 2-year deal with the Raps.
The Blazers did come up short, but it was another really strong effort from Noah Vonleh. He had 13 of his 20 points in the 4th quarter, hitting all three of his 3-point attempts in the quarter as well. He was helped by surprise performer RaShad James, as the Reno Big Horns product also finished with 20 points, a few coming on spectacular dunks. James does not seem to be a classic point guard, but his energy in this one really gave Portland a shot. Ultimately, Terry Rozier’s clutch performance helped the Celtics pull this one out and they also were helped by 2nd round pick Jordan Mickey, who finished with a double-double (13/11).