July 16, 2008
Summer, summer, summertime / Time to sit back and unwind ...
Britt Robson, On The Ball: "Biggest satisfaction: Kevin Love's effort on defense. You've probably read by now that Love picked up four fouls in the first seven minutes. But most of that was simply the shock of his first NBA splash in the pool, which creates a different intensity, even at this minor level, than practicing against your own teammates. But then he settled down and committed only two more in the next 23+ minutes. Rotations don't seem second-nature to him yet, and his hops are ordinary. But the willpower is glowing, causing him to rotate hard and decisively in the paint, especially in the second half when the Wolves beefed up their D. He also has the grit to camp out in the low block for offensive rebounds, but it remains to be seen if that is just the mediocre level of competition or whether he has the knack for getting position."
Lang Whitaker, SLAM: "Chris Mullin appears to have extended an open invite to anyone who can dribble for the Warriors summer league team, and 15 dudes showed up. All of them (except Belinelli) played some college ball, and it seems like half the ACC and SEC are repped. I get a feeling these guys thought, 'Hey, it’s the Warriors! Anyone can score, I’ll get a lot of shots…I’ve got a great chance of impressing the staff and actually making the team!' But the reality is that Don Nelson is probably on a beach somewhere in Hawaii, and if asked about the chances of any of these guys to make the team he’d snap, 'I crap bigger than most of these guys!'"
Clips Nation: "The good news isn't exactly news. More than anything else about the Clippers, the summer league confirms that Al Thornton is a solid, productive pro. He's showing all of the things that we knew from watching him in second half of the season, a great ability to manufacture his own shot, good rebounding and physical play for an SF, good size and durability. It's obvious that he's going to take advantage of his opportunities, and with Baron Davis at the helm and Corey Maggette (and Ruben Patterson) gone, he's going to get even more of them than before. DeAndre Jordan also qualifies under good news, bolstered by a nice 10/10 line in the third game. He's obviously young and very much a project, but his size and agility out on the court should assure him the final big man roster spot, and he can take his time stepping into a larger role as the season goes on and in years to follow."
Ben Couch, NBA.com: "Corey Brewer continued to frustrate, making great moves to free himself, but being so out of control he repeatedly bricked shots at the finish — from jumper to runner to layup. His final line of 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists was undermined by four turnovers and a 5-for-18 shooting performance. I might have heard the term "Drunken Dribbler" tossed around at some point today. I'm not sayin ... I'm just sayin."
Doug Smith, Toronto Star: "A lot of concern about Rod Benson out there and why he hasn’t played a minute for Toronto’s summer league team. He had a bit of a sprained knee that kept him out of the first two games and he might be able to go tomorrow when they play again. But don’t get too excited. Spies in Vegas tell me the Raptors really aren’t that high on him, even if they were looking to fill their 13th roster spot with a big, which they aren’t. He’s a good blogger, though. (/shakes fist angrily at Doug Smith.)
Blazers, Behind The Beat: [Wally Szczerbiak's dad, the U.S. representative of the Spanish ACB League] had very high praise for [Rudy] Fernandez, repeatedly calling him "an exceptional athlete." "He is a very athletic kid, very good with the alley oop, and a very good shooter,'' Szczerbiak said. "He has worked on a step-back move, and he can get to the rim pretty much on a straight line. I haven't seen him be the type of driver who changes direction. But he has very good range — I don't see him having a problem with the NBA three-point range. And he's a competitor. He really plays hard to win. He is smart on the defensive end as far as drawing charges. He would get a lot of calls because of his reputation, but he earned that reputation.'' Some have been tempted to compare Fernandez to San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, but Blazers guard Sergio Rodriguez has always said Fernandez reminds him more of Sacramento's Kevin Martin. Szczerbiak said he disagrees with the Ginobili comparison, but likes Rodriguez's take on Martin."
KnickerBlogger.net: (Not really summer league talk but ...) "... it appears the Knicks see [Anthony Roberson] as an end-of-the-bench shooter in the mold of an Eddie House. In that sense I have no specific issue with the signing on its own merits. As pointed out in a previous post, Roberson’s a shoot first (second and third) guard. His low assist rate (8%) and high usage rate (21.4%) make it a stretch to refer to him as a combo guard ... Recalling his play at the University of Florida (on the same team as David Lee) I am reminded of the old Nike Basketball ad with Gary Payton and Jason Kidd where the pair show up at a boy’s house to confiscate his basketball because he refuses to share it. After dusting the ball for prints and finding only the boy’s, Payton says, "You ain’t even lettin’ the ground touch the ball!" That's Roberson’s game–pure gunner."
Anonymous e-mail Spencenter: "So I'm in Vegas right now working at a conference at the Wynn. Guess who else is here? 190 of your favorite basketball players! Thanks to the Vegas Summer League AND the Olympic team practicing, the Wynn is the place to be if you are an NBA fan. I've been here one day (and been working the entire time) but in my brief foray into the hallways I've already seen Walt Frazier — he looks old. We made eye contact. His eyes said, "I'm old." This morning, however, I saw Bryan Conlangelo and Mike D'Antoni talking in the hallway. What could they be talking about? Kapono to the Knicks? Lee to the Raptors? All the hotties working at the Wynn? THIS, however, is a direct quote from Colangelo (obtained as I was walking by them as slowly as possible): "... and sometimes I wake up in the morning and I'm like, 'am I fired yet?'"