NBA Summer League: Day 3
Denver Nuggets (3-0) 100 vs New York Knicks (0-1) 90
Day 3 of SL started with the Denver Nuggets defeating the New York Knicks 100-90 at Cox Pavilion. Denver built their win on a solid first half performance where they shot an incredible 60% from the floor. The injured Brian Butch was on the bench to support leader Ty Lawson and his strong supporting cast.
The former North Carolina standout finished with the impressive line of 28 points, 3 rebs, 7 assists and 5 steals on 10/16 shooting. Koby Karl got going early in the game and finished with 22 points (6/10FG) 7 rebounds 4 assists.
They received strong contributions from both Shane Edwards and Othello Hunter who continued their strong play in Vegas. Edwards scored his 15 points on just 7 shots while getting to the free throw line for 13 attempts. Opponents are also noticing his efforts on the defensive end as well. Hunter has improved with each game and is a solid finisher around the basket. He had his best game so far with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
New York’s 2010 Draft picks Andy Rautins & Landry Fields showed off some of their skills in their debuts. Rautins competed hard and stroked a few sweet long range shots, however he is a better shooter than his 11 points from 11 shots suggests. He was committed on defense and picked up 3 steals for his effort.
Fields is an energetic type of player who is handy on the break and around the basket. His performance would’ve come as a pleasant surprise to Knicks fans who may have questioned his selection at #39.
The Knicks 2009 draft pick Toney Douglas had a big night statistically with a line of 27 points (8/20FG), 6 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals. He will need to continue to show the coaching staff he can handle the PG duties. Douglas also connected on 5 three pointers.
Bill Walker got some solid results but was guilty of trying too hard to make things happen, forcing the issue on several occasions. As a result he went 1/6 from long range and committed 7 turnovers. He almost achieved the difficult feat of fouling out in a summer league, picking up 9 fouls. He finished the game with 14 points.
Portland Trail Blazers (1-0) 84 vs Houston Rockets (2-1) 67
The Portland Trailblazers came away with a convincing 84-67 win to open their 2010 Summer League. The play of former St. Mary’s star Patrick Mills was instrumental in building the Blazers advantage in the first half. Playing his first Summer League game after going down with an injury just prior to last years event, Mills provided strong point guard play for the Trailblazers. He would finish with 12 points 7 rebounds, 9 assists with only the 2 turnovers. He was also an aggressive defender, which at times caused Houston’s ball handlers some difficulty.
The game also saw Portland’s 2010 rookies, Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson, make their debuts. Although it was Babbitt who top scored for the Blazers with 13 points, Johnson’s performance was the more impressive. In particular, his defensive efforts on Rockets leading scorer Jermaine Taylor. The left handed Johnson totaled 8 points, 3rebs, 2 assists and 4 steals. His pressure limited Taylor to just 13 points (6/14FG) 7 rebounds and a poor 7 turnovers.
Houston’s 2009 second rounder Chase Budinger played better today with his shot improving, connecting on 4/7 three pointers. He finished with a game high 21 points on 6/16 shooting.
Once again, the play of Patrick Patterson was disappointing. After a strong debut, Patterson is still exercising sound overall shot selection however he doesn’t appear to have the legs in his shot like he did on opening day. It might be the case he is still adjusting to the unfamiliar physical demands of the NBA. He failed to even connect on a field goal today, going for 2 points (0/5FG) and 7 rebounds.
Luke Babbitt will never posses the athleticism of his opponent Budinger, however still has plenty of tools at his disposal to be a handy player. He had a respectable debut and is likely to improve in the coming games. He finished his first game top scoring for his team with 13 points 4 rebs, 2 assists & 2 steals.
Although the game was well out of reach, Kelvin Lewis sunk a near three quarter court heave on the full time buzzer.
Washington Wizards (1-0) 84 vs Golden State Warriors (1-2) 79
They were turning people away at the door as the Cox Pavilion was sold out for the Wall show for the third game of Day 3, which marked the much anticipated start of #1 pick John Wall’s NBA summer league career. The Kentucky product didn’t disappoint, guiding his team to an 84-79 victory to open their summer league.
Wall thrilled the crowd several times with his blistering speed on his way to a team high 24 points, 2 rebounds and 8 assists. He overcame a fairly slow start which saw him turn the ball over inside the first minute of play and having an early shot pinned against the backboard by Reggie Williams. Wall scored his first points as a Wizard with 4:30 left in the opening period.
Under the tutelage of summer league head coach Sam Cassell, Wall settled down and was more productive as the game progressed, however turnovers were a constant theme (8 TO’s). Wall was called for a couple of carrying violations and was lucky not to have been called for more. Aside from his obvious speed and prowess in transition, Wall also demonstrated he can run an effective pick & roll game, finding JaVale McGee on 3 lob passes which he forcefully threw down.
McGee put in one of his usual summer league performances, scoring, rebounding and being a force on the defensive end. He is said to have bulked up some in the off-season and will need that additional strength to become the player Washington hope he can be. He recorded 21 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The #23 pick Trevor Booker was overshadowed by the play of his front court teammate McGee but had a solid debut himself. Booker went a perfect 4/4 from the field for 9 points to go with his 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He will look to build on this performance tomorrow against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Warriors scoring leader Reggie Williams was once again on target, piling on a game high 34 points on 10/22 shooting (4/8 3fg).He also added 4 rebounds and 3 assist. He is in position to lead all scorers in this year’s summer league.
John Wall will be back in action tomorrow against Kentucky backcourt partner Eric Bledsoe.
Miami Heat (1-0) 77 vs. New Orleans Honets (1-1) 72
Kenny, Shavlik and Jon were the Miami Heats ‘Big 3’ today as they rolled into Vegas to snatch a last minute victory in their opening SL game. 2010 NCAA champion Jon Sheyer scored 5 points in the final minute to get the Miami Heat an exciting 77-72 win in the final game
With the Hornets up 1, Marcus Thornton managed to miss two free throws in the last minute. Shortly after, Sheyer found himself wide open for three which he swished. The Hornets couldn’t convert on their next possession and fouled Sheyer who then nailed both free throws. Kenny Hasbrouck took away any chance of a hornets win by making a steal with 8 seconds to go.
Hasbrouck’s scoring was impressive all game showing a variety of ways he can put the ball in the basket. He was confident shooting the long ball, displayed a mid range pull up game and the ability to finish at the rim. His leadership at the point was key to Miami’s success tonight.
Another former Duke Blue Devil Shavlik Randolph was busy all game, finishing with 18 points and 6 rebounds. He doesn’t shy away from contact and can get the shots he wants but does need to become a stronger finisher around the basket than what he showed today. A lot of his misses should have been converted.
The #32 pick in this years draft Dexter Pittman didn’t make a field goal but did finish with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 blocks. For someone 6”11 308, Pittman gets above the rim quicker than one might expect and he will also improve over the next 4 games.
The Hornets were missing Darren Collison, however the outcome may still have been in their favor had Thornton made his free throws late in the game. Thornton still put up a decent stat line (14pts 6rebs 2stl) but his misses were costly.
Quincy Pondexter shot poorly, managing only 9 points from 12 attempts.
Craig Brackins ran the floor well and got a dunk with 1:20 left to give his team a 3 point advantage. He did struggle with Pittman’s strength however failing to collect one rebound in 24 minutes. After making a three in his first game Brackins attempted four today (1/4 3fg) and didn’t draw iron on 2 of them. He finished 12pts 5 fouls and 3 turnovers.