Las Vegas Summer League Day 10: Studs, Duds
The Las Vegas Summer League came to a close Sunday after 60 games played over 10 games. With a record 24 teams participating, the NBA gave a glimpse of some of its newest, brightest prospects. Who stood out and who struggled in the final day of play?
Adam Morrison, Los Angeles Clippers – Morrison wants back in the NBA so badly that he’s not only playing for the Clippers in Las Vegas but he opened the summer in Orlando on the Brooklyn Nets roster. Prior to Sunday’s game, Adam averaged 18.5 points per game while shooting 53.7% from the field and 60% from three. In the finale against Boston Celtics, Morrison opened the first quarter with 12 points (a trio of threes without a miss) to give LA a seven-point lead. Morrison finished with 26 points on 9-15 shooting in the Clippers 92-77 win over Boston.
John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks – Henson hit his first eight shots in the opener Sunday, scoring 16 points in just 16 minutes. By halftime, Milwaukee was up over the Chicago Bulls by 17 (54-37). Henson’s outside shot was dropping which made him a real problem for the Bulls, who also had to try to deal with Henson in the paint. John has good length and mobility. Through summer he’s been an offensive force and while he didn’t rebound especially well on Sunday, his team was shooting so well there weren’t a lot of boards to collect (at least on the offensive glass). Before Sunday, John averaged 19 points and 8.7 boards a game. The Bucks wouldn’t really need him in the second half so his 16 points and single board shouldn’t be discounted, Henson put the Bucks up early.
A Bunch of Bucks – It wasn’t just Henson, Milwaukee had a great showing from a number of players. Jarrid Famous hit all six of his shot attempts for 13 points with eight boards in just 15 1/2 minutes. Stefhon Hannah hit six of nine for 14 points with five assists. Another strong game from Tobias Harris with 18 points on 7-13 shooting. Doron Lamb notched 16 on 6-11 shooting. Milwaukee was on fire across the board – from nearly every player on the roster.
Talor Battle, Los Angeles Clippers – With Eric Bledsoe sitting out the last couple of games, the Clippers have turned to Penn State guard Battle to run the team. Against the Celtics he was rock solid with 17 points and seven assists while shooting 6-9 from the field. It was his second strong outing in a row, although his 15-point, four-assist effort against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night ended in defeat (77-74). Considering he got an average of just six minutes a game the first two games of Summer League, he showed he’s a capable guard when given the opportunity.
NBA Summer League 2012 All-Stars – Looking back, outside of just Day 10, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Josh Selby of the Memphis Grizzlies. Lillard was easily the best rookie and Selby may quickly make the Grizzlies forget about losing O.J. Mayo.
Additionally the league announced their All-Star list which includes Malcolm Thomas (Chicago Bulls), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Tobias Harris (Milwaukee Bucks), Jeremy Lamb (Houston Rockets), Dominique Jones (Dallas Mavericks), Cory Joseph (San Antonio Spurs), Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), Dontas Montiejunas (Houston Rockets), Jae Crowder (Dallas Mavericks), Henson, Lillard and Selby.
HOOPSWORLD’s honorable mention . . . Adam Morrison.
Marquis Teague, Chicago Bulls – Teague and the Bulls were blasted by the Milwaukee Bucks 113-68. Marquis played almost 20 minutes and scored just six points on 3-11 shooting. He dished three assists with just a turnover but couldn’t really help his team out of the mess Milwaukee was delivering. Teague was taken 29th in the 2012 NBA Draft and has the chance to learn behind Derrick Rose, once Rose is healthy, but he doesn’t look ready for a major role initially as a rookie. Chicago is expected to bring in Kirk Hinrich which should relieve some of the pressure on Teague to advance more quickly than he’s able.
The Chicago Bulls – It really was an awful showing for Chicago, allowing 65.3% from the field while shooting 34.6% – and losing the rebounding battle 41-34. No, Jimmy Butler didn’t play for Chicago but this was an end-of-the-week-mail-in-game.
Dionte Christmas, Boston Celtics – Christmas had a great week in Vegas. He didn’t do much against the Clippers on Sunday (six points in almost 19 minutes) but the reason he’s on this list is a positive. His play all week has raised expectations. Averaging 16.3 points per game while shooting 50% from the field and 47.1% from the field, Dionte will certainly get a camp invite somewhere (if not with the Celtics). If he can play near the level he did in Vegas, he’ll have a real chance to earn a regular season NBA roster spot.
Jared Sullinger & Fab Melo, Boston Celtics – Neither Sullinger nor Melo could stem the tide against the Clippers. Sullinger scored a respectable 13 points on 5-10 shooting – Melo had six points and three blocks. The duo combined for just five boards (only one for Sullinger). Admittedly it was a difficult game with Los Angeles pouring in 13 three-point shots (on 22 attempts) but Boston couldn’t turn the game into an inside-out affair and the Clippers ran away with it.
Note: The Minnesota Timberwolves/Memphis Grizzlies was scheduled against a specific flight back home. Any potential studs and/or duds from the final game may be missing from this list.