Las Vegas Summer League Day 7: Studs, Duds
Day 7 of the Las Vegas Summer League is in the books, and we’re going to take another look at some of the studs and duds for the day. Here they are for Thursday, July 19:
Damien Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers – Clearly the star of the day, Lillard dropped 31 points on 11-for-22 shooting from the field, but the highlight of his day was a nasty dunk on Atlanta’s Keith Benson. That got the Cox Pavilion crowd pretty excited about the proceedings, and Lillard’s fine performance—which included 7 assists—helped fuel the Blazers to an 84-78 win. Fellow rookie Meyers Leonard chipped in 9 points and 13 rebounds, as well, looking strong in the post and very good on the offensive glass.
Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings – Considering Robinson made the Duds list for Day 6, it was nice to see him turn it around with 15 points and 16 boards on Thursday. He got some easy shots around the basket, but still only shot 6-for-14, which is a little disconcerting considering the competition. He was a double-double machine in college, and this was a nice step in seeing some of that ability translate over in his transition to the NBA, though it would be nice to see those flashes with a little more consistency.
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves – While Williams didn’t shoot great from the field (6-for-14), he did score a game-high 23 points, including a ridiculous 11 free throws. Williams says he’s down to 233 pounds (and still losing weight) thanks to his having trained with the same trainer who slimmed down Kevin Love, and that’s obviously had a positive impact on his game. The way he dunked the ball today, he’s definitely feeling lighter on his feet than last season.
Christian Eyenga, L.A. Lakers – He dunked, he hit shots, and he pushed his team to a win in this last Summer League game for the Lakers this year. That’s a good game for the wildly athletic Christian Eyenga, who scored 22 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field. He looked great, and with play like that he could get some more burn with the Lakers’ second unit this year.
Tobias Harris, Milwaukee Bucks – Tobias Harris put in a heck of a game, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, but let the record show that it did come against the D-League Select team. Still, that stat line was one of the best of the day, and combined with John Henson’s 15 points and 8 boards, the Bucks frontcourt had a pretty good night.
Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors – Ross has had his shining moments in Summer League so far, but his game against the Knicks on Thursday wasn’t one of them. He played only 17 minutes in the Raps’ final game of the week, but in that time he shot only 2-for-8 for a measly 5 points. At least his team won, thanks in large part to Ben Uzoh’s team-high 16 points.
Fab Melo, Boston Celtics – To be fair, Melo left the game in the third quarter after injuring his hand on Thomas Robinson during a strong post move by the Sacramento rookie, but his 13 minutes of playing time were not productive, as he didn’t score at all and really only showed up in the score book with a block, a foul, and a few rebounds.
Hilton Armstrong, L.A. Clippers – The Clippers signing Ryan Hollins didn’t boost Armstrong’s chances of getting a spot on the team, but Hilton really didn’t help his case on Thursday by putting up a 4-point, 6-rebound effort for L.A.’s Summer League team. He played all last season with a team in France after spending his first several years of professional ball with NBA teams, and with numbers like that it’s going to be hard to convince teams to get him back into the league.
Check back tomorrow for plenty more of the latest from Summer League. Just because the week is winding down doesn’t mean we’re done keeping you on top of everything that’s going on out there. There are plenty of more studs and duds to come.