Friday, July 08, 2005

Vegas Summer League

The new fan favorite
I'm a big believer in the idea that the NBA needs to put a team in Las Vegas as soon as possible. But since it is not going to happen in the immediate future, I will have to take comfort in the fact that the city is hosting a sweet 16-team summer league. Given that I am obsessed with the NBA and eager to see how some of the recent draft picks are working out, I thought I would investigate. Read on to find out who is hot and who is stinking up the strip through the first three days of action.


Adam Hoff said...

Here is a report on some of the players putting up important numbers so far.

The Stars:
1. Nate Robinson. The Knicks might have finally hit a home run getting this guy in the Q-Thomas trade. In fact, I'd rather have Nate Dogg than an insurance policy for Richardson's back (which is what this pick took the place of in the deal). Through two games he's averaging 22 points a night with boards, assists, and steals. Plus, he scored six points in the final 41 seconds last night to pull out a win against Orlando.
2. Chris Paul. One game, one steady stream of highlights. The word is that he dazzled the crowd with some unbelievable crossovers. He finished with 21 bones on 8-13 shooting (3-5 from deep) to go with 5 boards and 4 assists.
3. Young Blazers. The Blazers have only played one game so far, but they had three guys put on a show. Travis Outlaw looks like the real deal at small forward. Not only did he finish last year in strong fashion, he went for 32 points on 12-17 shooting against the Knicks on Wednesday. Sebastion Telfair committed 5 turnovers and went 6-15 from the floor, but he overcame that with an 18/9/10 near triple double. To top it off, Martell Webster went 9-15 from the field en route to 21 points and 5 boards.
4. Gerald Green. He had 14 points in 19 minutes and capped it with a show-stopping dunk over two Clippers. Thanks to Green, the C's led 23-6 after the first quarter.

The Grizzled Vets:
1. Marquis Daniels. He had a rough second year, but looks to be back on track, kicking off the summer league action with a typical Daniels game - 16 points, 7 boards, and 4 assists.
2. Kevin Martin. Apparently, he's upset that Francisco Garcia is in town to take his job. He went for 19 and 9 against the Suns.
3. Blake Stepp. Maybe he's found a home in shooting-starved Cleveland. I suggested that they snag Kyle Korver in free agency, but perhaps Stepp can hit those threes for much cheaper. He went for 16 points and hit 4 of 5 three's to hold of Paul and the Hornets.

Comeback Trail:
1. Tyus Edney. We have a Tyus Edney sighting! The former (as in a long time ago) UCLA point guard went 6-for-6 on his way to 13 points for the Nuggets in their route of the Nets. Too bad Denever already has Earl Boykins.
2. Josh Powell. I always liked this guy at NC State and wondered what happened to him. Call it The Lawrence Moten Question (for sweet college players that disappear). Powell is on the Mavs' summer roster and he threw up an impressive 19 and 12 in the first game.
3. DJ Mbenga. Nope, he's not the dude spinning trance music down at Drais (a well-known after hours club in Vegas). This guy is from the Congo and appears to have been on an NBA roster last year. It's a mystery. The point is that he's also playing for Dallas and that he threw up 15 points, 8 boards, and 5 blocks (compared to Channing Frye's averages of 15 points, 4 rebounds, and .5 blocks).

Keep An Eye On:
1. Andray Blatche. The youngster got off to a good start for Washington with 10 points, 5 boards, 4 assists, and 2 blocks.
2. Eddie Basden. I was shocked when this defensive stopper failed to get drafted. The Bulls did a great job of getting him onto their summer league roster and he responded with 13 points, 7 boards, and terrific defense.
3. Mario Austin. The former Mississippi State star is also in Bulls camp after his horrible experience overseas (as seen on Outside the Lines). He had 12 points and 6-10 shooting and could be a nice addition to the roster.

The Bad:
1. Leandro Barbosa. He should be dicing this league up with his two years of experience, but he threw up an awful 4-16 shooting night to open things up. Maybe Phoenix should have kept Nate, huh?
2. Dijon Thompson. 3 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist ... in 43 minutes!
3. Antoine Wright. My man is 8-29 from the field so far, including 0-6 from three. Yikes.
4. Luke Jackson. Like Barbosa, he's got some experience. Like Barbosa, he shanked early and often, going 3-15 from the floor.
5. Devin Harris. It looks like the Mavs blew it when they took this guy at #5 last year. He's got quick hands, but he's a turnover machine. 4 of them against 3 assists against the rifraff New Jersey guarded him with.

Be sure to weigh in with thoughts and opinions and we'll keep you informed of all the action in Vegas.

Adam Hoff said...


My boy Alex Acker went for 16 points (6-11 FG, 2-4 on threes) and four boards in his debut.

In the "Shouldn't be in summer league" category, we've got Dwight Howard throwing up 24 and 7 and JR Smith pouring in 30 in yesterday's action.

DJ Mbenga blocked four more shots.

The young Blazers are just killing people. Outlaw went for 19 and 12 with 3 blocks, Telfair posted 23 and 10, and Webster had 15 as Portland cruised to a 17 point win against the Warriors.

Ike Diogu debuted with 16 and 8 and Monta Ellis showed that he's not shy by going 4-16 from the field.

Eddie Basden and Chris Paul both had terrific games once again.

Jason Maxiell completely outplayed Darko: 16/5/1 block for Maxiell, 7/5/3 turnovers for Darko.

You have to love the Vegas Summer League.

Branden Higa said...

You know what i would love even more... If I was actually in Vegas right now watching the games by day and getting my gamble on at night.

BTW, what was the Vegas line on LA winning a 7th?

Anonymous said...

Nate Robinson had another big game yesterday. The Suns are really going to regret trading him.

Jeff Dritz said...

My favorite line from the summer league so far was put up by Channing Frye vs. the Nets yesterday:

16 pts, 11 rebs, 10 fouls, 6 TOs.