Despite being eliminated from the NBA’s Summer League tournament following a loss to the Brooklyn Nets yesterday, Denver’s summer basketball tour continues tonight in a consolation match up with the New Orleans Pelicans. Malik Beasley had another strong showing yesterday, shooting 4 for 6 from three for 20 points, while Torrey Craig also contributed 14 points for the Nuggets. Both teams are 1-4 in Las Vegas, with the Pelicans most recently taking a close loss to the San Antonio Spurs, and both teams will look to finish off the summer with a bang.
Who: New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets
Where: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada
When: 6:00 pm MT
How to watch: ESPN 3
Rival blog: The Bird Writes
|PG||Monte Morris||Quinn Cook||Pelicans|
|SG||Malik Beasley||Axel Toupane||Nuggets|
|SF||Torrey Craig||James Young||Nuggets|
|PF||Tyler Lydon||Jalen Jones||Pelicans|
|C||Robert Carter Jr||Cheick Diallo||Even|
What to watch for
Anything, anything from Tyler Lydon. There’s no getting around it, Lydon has struggled immensely so far in Las Vegas. In five games, he’s averaging just 2.4 points and it certainly seems like his confidence has dwindled fast. Yesterday he was scoreless in 12 minutes (though he did grab three rebounds) and didn’t even make it off the bench in the second half. With each game he’s taking fewer and fewer field goal attempts, culminating in just one against the Nets. It’s tough going from being the man in college to a new team with new schemes and new players, but in a developmental league like this, you have to shoot the ball, even if your shot isn’t falling at first. It’d be great to see him break out here, get some mojo going and hit some buckets.
Other players fighting for roster spots. Aside from Lydon, there are a handful of guys that are still seriously gunning for a spot. Monte Morris and Nikola Radicevic have been fighting at point guard, with Morris taking an edge for the time being. Robert Carter Jr. has had a strong, consistent showing so far in summer league, and most recently Torrey Craig has emerged as a strong talent. There aren’t many roster spots available, so it will be interesting to see who will impress coaches the most in today’s game.
Old friends. Fun note- former Nugget Axel Toupane is on the Pelicans and he’s had a pretty decent Summer League thus far. He’s been playing 25 minutes per game and averages 7.4 points per game and is shooting 50% from three. Good to see him playing well and hopefully he continues that into the regular season.