Las Vegas Summer League Day 8: Studs, Duds
Day 8 of the Las Vegas Summer League is complete! Here are the studs and duds for Friday July 20:
Josh Selby - One of the most impressive players in Vegas has been Josh Selby of the Memphis Grizzlies. He poured in 32 points against the Charlotte Bobcats with seven threes in 11 attempts. He’s been doing it all week and Selby may make the Grizzlies forget about O.J. Mayo relatively quickly. Selby is scoring guard but at 6’2″, he may not be the perfect fit next to Mike Conley – but the Grizzlies have size inside so lack of height may not be a true problem.
Damian Lillard – While Selby may have had the most explosive day, Lillard may be the favorite for league MVP. The Portland Trail Blazers have a steal in Damian, who had 23 points and seven assists against the Denver Nuggets. He’s a capable scorer and as he develops, his pick and roll game will improve . . . especially with LaMarcus Aldridge. Lillard’s athleticism should translate well to the NBA.
Will Barton – The Blazers got a great performance out of Lillard’s teammate, rookie Will Barton, who had 21 points on 8-11 shooting to go with nine rebounds. Barton, at 6’6″, started at small forward and showed that the Blazers have drafted some talent (along with big-man Meyers Leonard).
Cleveland Frontcourt – The Cavaliers stomped the New York Knicks 98-64 and while they didn’t put in many minutes, the duo of Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller were impressive. Thompson, playing in his first summer league after last year’s lockout, scored 13 points on 5-7 shooting in just over 12 minutes. Rookie Zeller had 12 while hitting four of seven shots, for 12 in just 12 1/2 minutes. Luke Harangody was strong off the bench with 12 points on 5-7 shooting in 17 1/2 minutes. The regular season version of the Cavaliers is heavily reliant on the youth movement with both Thompson and Zeller integral parts of the team’s future.
Harrison Barnes – While it wasn’t his best performance in Las Vegas (with stand-out Klay Thompson sitting this one out), Barnes was still strong with 20 points and nine boards. Barnes played almost 37 minutes and shot 7-16. He also had two steals and no turnovers (but no assists). If there was any doubt that Barnes is a top talent in this draft, his play throughout summer league has been very reassuring to the Golden State Warriors.
Kendall Marshall – The Phoenix Suns guard had a difficult night against the D-League Select team, scoring 10 points on just 4-14 shooting (missing all five three-point attempts). Marshall had six assists but also three turnovers. Arguably the D-League players have more experience and Marshall is just getting his feet wet but he still doesn’t look comfortable on the floor (something he would admit postgame). Fortunately for Kendall, the Suns just inked Goran Dragic to start so that Marshall isn’t asked to do too much too soon.
Festus Ezeli - Golden State Warriors first-round pick (30th) Festus Ezeli had a tough game, going scoreless in 16 minutes. He missed all four shots, pulled in just two boards while turning the ball over three times and committing four fouls. On the positive side, Ezeli had three blocks in brief minutes and on the Warriors, he’ll be asked to come in behind Andrew Bogut to provide defense and toughness off the bench. As a primary big, Ezeli didn’t look up to the task on Friday.
Cory Joseph – The San Antonio Spurs point guard had a tough time against the Miami HEAT defense with 10 turnovers against his five assists. He also missed all three of his three-point attempts. The Spurs took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter until Miami exploded for 28 while holding the Spurs to just 14. Joseph, going into his second year, is being brought along slowly by San Antonio who naturally relies on Tony Parker along with Gary Neal and Patty Mills at the point.
Marquis Teague – A very tough shooting-night for Chicago Bulls guard Marquis Teague. He missed 14 of 18 shots against the Golden State Warriors and finished with a +/- of 11 in 30 minutes in a nine-point loss. Teague just wasn’t on his game, dishing just one assist with three turnovers. The Bulls need help at the point with Derrick Rose recovering from a knee injury but Friday’s game showed he has a long way to go still.
Leon Powe – The former Boston Celtics (and NBA champion) Leon Powe played just over 11 minutes and scored a single point with the Chicago Bulls in their 66-57 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Powe missed all three of his shots and collected just one rebound. Leon has been trying to work his way back into the NBA after a devastating knee injury.