2012 NBA Summer League: Day 7
Toronto Raptors (2-3) 94 New York Knicks (0-4) 92
The Toronto Raptors finished their 2012 summer league with a 2-3 record, defeating the New York Knicks 94-92 in what turned into a tight game to open day 7 in COX Pavilion.
Toronto had five players in double digits, led by Ben Uzoh who had 16 points 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Only two players in Raptor history have recorded triple doubles. One is Vince Carter, and the other? Yes, it’s Ben Uzoh believe it or not. Uzoh is an athletic, low maintenance player with NBA experience. It won’t be surprising if he gets an invite to training camp on the back of his summer league performances.
Ed Davis put up 16 points 11 boards and 2 blocks in his 28 minutes. Davis was slow to start the game, with only 3 first half points but got going in the second half, with some nice touches in the post. Davis had a strong offensive rebound and was fouled with 11 seconds left, making both free throws to put the Raptors up 4.
Dayton product, Chris Wright entertained the crowd all game with his energy & athleticism, throwing down two impressive lobs on his way to 15 points 6 rebounds 2 assists and 2 steals. Devoe Joseph impressed in his 20 minutes of action, draining consecutive three’s in the third quarter. He had 15 points on 6/9 shooting.
#8 pick Terrence Ross was average today and had a disappointing end to his Summer League campaign. Ross went just 5 points and 4 rebounds (2/8fg) in 17 minutes of action before leaving the game midway through the third and not returning.
Chris Copeland led the Knicks once again with 17 points, going 3/3 from deep. After getting his way into the lane, he missed an easy lay in that would’ve tied the game. He also added 4 boards and 1 assist.
New Raptor Landry Fields sat courtside to watch his two favorite teams in action.
Portland Trailblazers (2-1) 84 Atlanta Hawks (2-3) 78
Damian Lillard led the Portland Trailblazers to an 84-78 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in the second game of day 7. Lillard finished with a game high 31 points, showing his explosive quickness throughout the game.
Sixth pick Lillard, again displayed his ability to get wherever he wants on the court. He was aggressive getting to the basket and went 8/8 from the free throw line. Lillard isn’t afraid of contact on drives and had mixed results today, getting blocked on two occasions and throwing up some wild shots. His best play came in the third quarter when he gave Keith Benson a serious facial. He finished the game with 31pts 3 rebounds 7 assists on 11/22 shooting, earning our player of the day for the second time.
40th pick Will Barton had a solid game at both ends of the floor, collecting 14 points and 5 boards. He threw down an angry dunk in the first quarter after not receiving a foul on the previous possession. Barton has been signed by the Blazers to a guaranteed deal.
Meyers Leonard was a force on the glass with the Hawks struggling to contend with his length. He had some nice moments during the game connecting on a difficult reverse lay-up and also rolled to the basket nicely to send down a lob from Lillard. Luke Babbitt posted 10 points 7 rebounds and 2 steals for Portland.
Second rounder Mike Scott recorded 14 points and 7 rebounds on 5/10 shooting. Scott has been solid in all games and is capable of banging inside and stepping out to make 20 footers. John Jenkins wasn’t spectacular going for 13 points 1 rebound and 1 assist. A few times this week he has successfully pulled out the Dirk Nowiztski-like one foot fade away.
Ekene Ibekwe had some good moments off the bench, mostly in the 2nd quarter. He made an impressive baseline move, finishing with a strong dunk & was active on defense collecting a nice block.
Ibekwe was involved in some summer league drama earlier in the week when he confronted Zoran Dragic following the unfortunate foul which put Nolan Smith in the hospital, telling Dragic he will seem him after the game. Houston rookie Royce White stepped in for his team mate and told Ibekwe "You 'll see me first". White later said that “I don’t think he wanted no part of me”.I wouldn’t either.
The Hawks complete their 2012 summer league schedule with a 2-3 record. Portland is back tomorrow to play the Denver Nuggets.
Sacramento Kings (2-3) 91 Boston Celtics (2-1) 82
It was a tale of two halves for rookie 5th overall pick Thomas Robinson of the Kings. Robinson went scoreless in the first half, struggling mightily to get the ball in the basket and appearing out of sorts. The second half he looked much more comfortable getting a bunch of quick buckets to finish with an impressive stat line with 15 points 6/14 and 16 boards.
Jared Sullinger's disappointing Summer League continues as he hit just 2-7 shots finishing with 6 points, though he did contribute 10 boards. Sullinger really struggles to score against length and athleticism and that won't get any easier when real games begin.
Dionte Christmas led the Celtics with 19 points. Craig Brackins had 14 and 3 off the bench.
Minnesota Timberwolves (2-1) 78 Cleveland Cavaliers (2-2) 65
Second year forward Derrick Williams led all scorers with 23 points. He was aggressive going to the basket drawing 16 trips to the line where he converted 11.
4th overall pick in 2011, Tristan Thompson had a solid game with 16 points on 7-10 shooting getting out on the break and converting on some athletic flushes.
Rookie Tyler Zeller struggled with 2 points on 1-7 shooting in just under 20 minutes. Fellow rookie Dion Waiters was a DNPCD. Samardo Samuels had 14 and 5 off the bench and has impressed with his sleeker body and energy all week.
Coby Karl was on fire from deep hitting 6 of his 7 three point attempts for 18 points.
Los Angeles Lakers (1-4) 75 Los Angeles Clippers (1-2) 69
Christian Eyenga and the LA Lakers saved their best summer league performance for last, ensuring they leave Vegas with at least one win. After an improvement last game, the Lakers went one further today beating the Clippers 75-69 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
After struggling in his first four games, shooting a terrible 31%, Eyenga was excellent today, going 10/15 from the field for his equal game-high 22 points. His shot selection was the best we’ve seen from him all week, making pull-up’s, backing his man down and also finishing strong at the rim. Eyenga was on early, making a long two in the opening minutes. He soon followed up with a play you’re bound to see on highlight reels, when he rose up and threw down a huge dunk on Marcus Hubbard. To the crowd’s amusement, a fan sang out the Sportscenter theme music letting Hubbard know he’ll be replayed on summer league highlight reels. In what turned out to be a horror couple of minutes for Hubbard, he was soon put on his backside after a Robert Sacre block at the other end. Eyenga followed up in the third with a nice baseline move and another one-handed throw down. Eyenga also added 2 rebounds and 2 steals.
Australian Julian Khazzouh got the start today after his solid bench minutes on Tuesday and didn’t disappoint. Khazzouh set the pace early for the Lakers, hitting 10 points in the first quarter. He would finish with 16 points (6/7FG 4/53FG) 6 rebounds 2 assists 1 steal and a block in 36 minutes.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with Khazzouh, he is one of the better players & an MVP candidate in the Australian National Basketball League. He is a skilled 6”10 26 year old who can score and block shots. He isn’t as athletic as others here in Vegas but has a strong understanding of the game and plays within himself. NBA scouts have been looking at him for a while now and he didn’t do his NBA aspirations any harm today. Like Jeremy Lin did in the 2010 summer league against John Wall, it’s always great to see players make the most of their opportunities.
After going 9/9 on Tuesday, Darius Morris reverted to his poor shooting, going 3/13 today for 11 points. He ran the team well and showed good leadership however and pushed a triple double, going for 11 points 8 rebounds and 9 assists (4TO’s).
Sacre had a solid game himself, going for 7 points 8 boards 2 assists 2 steals and 3 blocks. Sacre can only improve and has a great motor which is not something you can teach. Reeves Nelson wasn’t a threat offensively, looking a touch hesitant at times, however he is a tough player who pulled down 11 rebounds to go with 7 points (2/2 FG 3/4FT).
Summer league legend, Adam Morrison was dangerous offensively for the Clippers top scoring with 22 points on 8/13 shooting. He threatened to catch fire in the second quarter, sinking consecutive baskets off the dribble. Antoine Wright also made some nice plays on his way to 13 points and 5 rebounds.
The Clippers return on Saturday to take on the Chicago Bulls.
Milwaukee Bucks (2-1) 77 D-League Select (1-2) 68
The Bucks took care of business against the D-Leaguers with a 9 point win.
Tobias Harris continues to be one of the most impressive players in SL. His scoring ability and skill level is extremely advanced considering his age. Harris was the game's leading scorer once again 21 pts (9/16). He shows the ability to score in a variety of ways including creating shots off the dribble and also has the athleticism to finish with finesse or authority at the rim. He still has some room for improvement though as he had 7 turnovers and has struggled shooting from 3.
Rookie John Henson was solid with 15 and 8 and also made use of his length with 4 blocks. His body looks a little soft, but he uses length more than braun to succeed.
Shooting guard Terrance Kinsey also impressed with 14 points.
D-Leaguer Kenny Hayes broke out with a 15 point game in defeat.
Charlotte Bobcats (4-0) 99 Denver Nuggets (1-3) 86
The Charlotte Bobcats kept their record perfect tonight with a 99-86 win over the Denver Nuggets, with six players hitting double figures. Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 19 points 4 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Nuggets lost star Kenneth Faried in the second quarter after he took a shot to the face contesting a rebound. He was down for a few minutes before being taken off the court to receive some stitches. He didn’t return, playing \only 11 minutes of the game for 8 points and 1 rebound.
Barring some miraculous event Walker will end up leading summer league in assists, heading into the game averaging 6.3. He shot well today going 8/13 for his 19 points. As we saw in his final year at UConn, he posses a certain swagger that you don’t often see in young players and his enthusiasm is contagious.
In contrast to Charlottes previous game, Jeff Taylor found his stroke tonight, connecting on 6/14 shots for his 16 points. He sent down a nice lob from Walker early in the second half. Big man Byron Mullens came back down to earth tonight after his stellar 33 point outing last game. Mullens shot a miserable 2/12 from the floor for 7 points. He also committed 5 turnovers.
After a down game, Bismack Biyombo played much better tonight, finishing with 12 points 7 boards and 3 blocks on 6/7 shooting. Biyombo will need time to get it together, not having grown up around basketball but will eventually be a solid pro.
Jordan Hamilton continues to show why he is one of the best players in Vegas this year, picking up 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists on 9/16 shooting. His confidence seemingly grows by the day and he looks ready to assume a greater role for the Nuggets next season.
Gani Lawal isn’t the most talented of players but works just as hard as anyone on the court. He had his best game of the summer so far with 15 points and 5 boards.
Evan Fournier continues to impress, producing his highest scoring output of the summer. He had 18 2 rebounds and 4 assists on 6/13 shooting. Fournier has yet to turn 20 and told NBAdraft.net that he is still learning the American game but overall has been happy with his progress so far.
Fournier and the Nuggets complete their summer league schedule tomorrow against the Portland Trailblazers.