The Vegas Summer League Review continues with a look at the Bulls, Pistons, Bucks, Grizzlies and Timberwolves. Two of these teams were really bad - can you guess which ones? (Here's a hint - the Grizzlies and the Timberwolves).
PPG – John Lucas III – 18.3
RPG Trent Plaisted – 9.0
APG – John Lucas III – 2.7
Most Valuable Player – Samardo Samuels
Most Improved Player – John Lucas III
Biggest Surprise – Samardo Samuels
Summer League Review – Samardo Samuels was out to prove a point this week, and did he ever. Everything people expected to see out of him at
Who to Look For This Season – Samuels should make the team with a decent showing in pre-season camp. Ogilvie, Bouldin and Almond will either be in the D-League or overseas for the year. Lucas is a tough call, he has a ton of heart, but just doesn’t seem quick enough to play the point in the NBA.
PPG – DeJuan Summers – 15.8
RPG Greg Monroe – 8.0
APG – Edgar Sosa – 2.8
Most Valuable Player – Austin Daye
Most Improved Player – DeJuan Summers
Biggest Surprise – Edgar Sosa
Summer League Review – While I was anticipating the debuts of Greg Monroe and Terrico White, it was the 2nd year players who stole the show for the Pistons. DeJuan Summers, Austin Daye, and Jonas Jerebko all have shown great improvement over the last year. Daye has become a threat inside and out, and his court vision has improved greatly. He still needs to work on getting stronger, though he is not as weak as he looks. Summers has become a more consistent perimeter shooter and has improved his defense, especially off the ball. Jerebko was probably the most polished of the three last year, though his rate of improvement is not as great.
Who to Look For This Season – Summers has a real shot at moving ahead of Jerebko on the depth chart this fall, while Daye should become more of an impact player in Year 2.
PPG – Larry Sanders – 14.0
RPG Larry Sanders – 8.4
APG – Dominic James – 3.5
Most Valuable Player – Larry Sanders
Most Improved Player – Tiny Gallon
Biggest Surprise – Deron
Summer League Review – While the results could have been better for the Bucks, there was still plenty for them to be happy about during the week. Larry Sanders showed why he may be one of the most NBA-ready rookies this season. He showed he could play both inside and out, though he needs to improve his ballhandling a bit. He showed good range on his jumper and did a good job on the boards. Tiny Gallon steadily improved as the week went on. By the end of the week, Gallon was playing hard, showed some strong moves to the basket and was grabbing a lot of tough rebounds. Conditioning will still be an issue for him, but he can provide valuable minutes during the season. Deron Washington did a great job getting into the lane and finishing, and played much better defense than when I last watched him. Dominic James made a case as to why he should be in the NBA, though I am not sure he has the size and strength for it. Micah Downs had a so-so week, doing a little bit of everything on the offensive end, though his defense leaves a lot to be desired. His footwork was a bit slow. Sean Williams looked good in limited minutes, playing tough defense and showing nice agility around the rim. Darington Hobson did not play due to a groin injury.
Who to Look For This Season – Sanders should play a lot of minutes immediately for the Bucks, while Gallon should be good for 10-15 solid minutes a game. I think
PPG – Sam Young – 19.4
RPG Hasheem Thabeet – 8.6
APG – Greivis Vasquez – 4.0
Most Valuable Player – Sam Young
Most Improved Player – Hasheem Thabeet
Biggest Surprise – Greivis Vasquez
Summer League Review – The Grizzlies did not look good in Vegas, especially when you consider that their starting 5 all played in the NBA last season. OJ Mayo cannot be a NBA-level point guard. That was quite clear in Vegas where his decision-making was poor, his instincts were off, and his passes were all over the place. Luckily, he only played in 2 games and was spared further humiliation. Sam Young was the best player by default, having been one of the few Grizzlies to play more than 1 good game. He still does much of his scoring around the basket, but has yet to adjust to playing out on the perimeter. He does still have the best head fake in all of basketball though. DeMarre Carroll has not improved at all since college, and really didn’t show much in Vegas. I liked some of the improvements I saw in Hasheem Thabeet, especially how he raised his aggressiveness level around the basket on offense. He did a good job on the boards, but still needs to get stronger to have an impact. Greivis Vasquez got off to a decent start in his Grizzlies career, showing great playmaking abilities and some good hustle. He also showed his propensity towards silly turnovers. Jeff Adrien continued to be one of my favorite players this summer with some very tough play in the lane.
Who to Look For This Season – The person we really need to look for is Xavier Henry. The Grizzlies will need him to make a run at a .500 record again this season.
PPG – Wayne Ellington – 15.8
RPG Patrick O’Bryant – 7.0
APG – Jeremy Pargo – 4.2
Most Valuable Player – Wayne Ellington
Most Improved Player – Wayne Ellington
Biggest Surprise – Wayne Ellington
Summer League Review – As you can see from the awards above, there was very little for the Timberwolves to get excited about other than Wayne Ellington. Ellington showed that he has gotten much better working one-on-one, though his long-range shot wasn’t working for him. Defensively, he still has some issues, especially closing on shooters. Lazar Hayward had a decent first showing as a Timberwolf, showing decent range on his perimeter shot and playing tough defense, though he still needs to adjust to the speed of the NBA game. Wesley Johnson looked good in the one game he played before he was shut down, and Jonny Flynn didn’t play at all. Though it would have been fun to see them play together, it may have been a smart move keeping them off the floor. Jeremy Pargo was the primary point guard for the week and seemed to show the effects of playing back to back summer leagues. He didn’t show the motor he had last week playing for the Bobcats. Patrick O’Bryant did an admirable job manning the middle, though he hasn’t improved much since he came into the league. Cedric Simmons was another player who I had high hopes for after a good week in
Who to Look For This Season – The trio of Flynn, Ellington and Johnson should provide some exciting moments this upcoming season.
More to come tonight with the Rockets, Mavericks (don’t be surprised if I am the only one critical of Jeremy Lin), Nuggets, and Hornets.