After two whirlwind days in Las
Vegas where I watched about eight basketball games, I'm back home in time for a quick pre
-weekend recap. Here's what I saw yesterday...
might have the weakest Summer League team in history. Sitting Adam Morrison yesterday, they didn't have one player I'd ever heard of or probably ever will hear of. I guess this is what happens when you win a title with a deep team, because no agent wants his client wasting his time trying out for a team he has no chance of making.
...Joey Dorsey - playing for the Rockets - is a beast. He collected 20 rebounds in yesterday's game. But take that with a grain of salt because he was going up against the Lakers
...The Warriors have a burgeoning swingman
problem. Anthony Morrow (pictured above) scored an NBA Summer League record 47 points to go along with zero
assists while Stephen Curry looked visibly frustrated. Just wait until Monta
Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette and
Acie Law want their shots, too. The Warriors are going to be a complete mess next season.
...Kevin Durant and Rudy Gay scored major points with me. Durant sat on the bench along with the Thunder's Summer League team and was the first one off the bench to congratulate and high-five all the players at every game break. Gay basically did the same thing with the Grizzlies Summer League squad. Also, having seen Durant and Gay close up in person, these guys seem taller than they look on TV. And as you look at the 6'3" to 6'5" shooting guards that litter Summer League rosters, you can only think of how they'll get eaten alive by the likes of Durant and Gay.
...Denver Stiffs 2008 Draft pick recommendation D.J. White looked damn good for the Thunder. White is a legitimate 6'9", has super long arms and a nice touch around the rim. Don't be surprised if he plays some minutes for the Thunder next season.
...Bad knees or not, DeJuan
Blair is the real deal. He's wide, knows his angles around the rim and is good at creating space in the paint. Only White gave Blair trouble as Blair went for 20 against the Thunder. I know the consensus here is that we're glad the Nuggets got paid handsomely for the pick that could have been Blair, but I still think he could have been the K-Mart/Nene
insurance we badly need.
...Speaking of real deals, Blake Griffin is going to do some serious damage in the NBA (as long as he doesn't succomb
to the Clippers injury curse). Griffin still needs to develop a consistent bank shot, but he plays with controlled aggression typically unseen in a rookie. On his way to 18 points and 15 rebounds, Griffin had a left-handed, one-handed slam off a teammate's missed shot and over two or three Grizzlies. It was incredible.
...As if you needed further proof that Summer League stats can be very misleading, according to the Summer League program former Nikoloz Tskitishvili
was the entire tournament's leading scorer
in 2004 with 25.7 ppg
. I actually saw Skita
in the lobby of the Venetian but didn't say anything to him.
Unfortunately, no more Summer League for me. This was a last minute trip but I'll definitely be back next year (after I recoup my gambling losses, of course).