The Denver Nuggets ended their summer league play with five games in five nights - they lost tonight to the Grizzlies 91-84. Jordan Hamilton was the team's leading scoring, but didn't not play this evening - coach's decision. This is not uncommon as a lot of guys got a night off or more during this stint.
Evan Fournier played just eight minutes and didn't score any points, 0-2 shooting, but recorded 1 steal and 1 block. His next venture will be playing for the French National team in the Euro-championships in September. Fournier tossed his shoes to the fans in the stands after today's game.
Quincy Miller started the game, but didn't start the second half. He did play in the third quarter and played a total of 13 minutes and scored all 6 of his points in the first quarter on 2-6 shooting - he also grabbed 6 rebounds. Erick Green came off the bench again and played well. His showing after the first couple games was great and hopes are that he'll get a contract with the team. The Nuggets have until September to tender him an offer. Green scored 12 points on 5-11 shooting to go along with 2 assists.
C.J. Harris played very well for the Nuggets after moving into a starting role the past three games. He can shoot lights out and was 5-8 against the Grizzlies (3-4 from deep) for 13 points. It would be awesome to see him get offered a training camp invite, but with Ty Lawson and Andre Miller already on the team, rumors that a guy like Nate Robinson could be on the team's radar, and Erick Green waiting in the wings - I'm not sure that the Nuggets would be the best fit for Harris if ... especially if another team comes calling. I'll be rooting for him to catch on somewhere.
Travis Releford didn't quite get the chance to showcase his game, but he played well when given time. He played 16 minutes tonight and scored 2 points on 1-2 shooting to go along with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. He has great size for a shooting guard, quick hands on defense, good instincts, high IQ, and nice range - NBA three-point range. Releford has a deal in place in Belgium, but he's hopeful to catch on and get a training camp invite. He's another guy I'll be rooting for to make it.
Luke Harangody was able to play extended minutes for the Nuggets throughout the summer league and showed he can put up points. He struggled on the defensive end, but he is a hustler and put up 17 points on 5-11 shooting. The Nuggets are absolutely loaded at the power forward spot, so I don't see a roster spot being available for him - but his name is back on the NBA radar I would think for a team in search of a bruising big with some skills.
Darius Johnson-Odom is another interesting player - he showed he can score and is a very aggressive player. He is tough and brings a certain no nonsense attitude. Again, with the Nuggets pretty loaded at the point guard spot, he could get an invite to training camp, but it might be in his best interest to see what other NBA destinations could be out there.
The three big men for the Nuggets in: Rich Howell, Kyle Barone, and O.D. Anosike had ups-and-downs with the team. Howell did not play against the Grizzlies and did not have the kind of performances that I was hoping to see out of a guy with a big NBA body that could be a force in the paint. He does struggle with athleticism and height and may need more seasoning before an NBA team comes calling. Barone played hard, but his smaller frame got pushed around against big guys like Jonas Valanciunas. He is a skilled big, so Barone could get a training camp invite from a team. Anosike didn't rebound like I thought he would and had trouble scoring inside. Like Howell, he'll need some seasoning too.
It was an interesting summer league and I watched a ton of basketball this past week. It was a ton of fun being here in Vegas again, but I'll be happy to be home. I have a few more pieces that will be coming in the next couple of days.
Like Jordan Hamilton told me after the game - I'll see you guys in Denver.
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