Lakers: The Lakers 2nd game showed improvements for many players, but it was against the Dallas’ “B” summer-league team. Most summer teams aren’t good; I can only imagine the dearth of talent on a summer “B” team. Without that disclaimer, let’s look at some players. Andrew Bynum had a much stronger 2nd game with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks. The blocks are key - if he can become a defensive presence in the next year or two that will help Kobe tremendously. Farmar’s defense and ball-handling continue to impress while his outside shooting continues to depress. The fight for the last roster spot between Wafer, Green and Pinnock will be an interesting one. After game one, Pinnock was in the lead with Green 2nd and Wafer last. Right now, I’d mark it as too close to tell. Wafer is by the most athletic of the 3. Pinnock has the best shot and is a strong defender. Green is the best rebounder, a good defender and can help initiate the offense. It’s going to be a good battle.
Cleveland: Shannon Brown could be a big upgrade in the future at the 2. He looks like a smooth scorer
Houston: John Lucas, next year’s starting PG? He sure is playing like it. 5 game averages: 23.4 ppg, 6.4 assists (against only 2.8 TO/game), 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
Portland: I’m excited to see Roy in the regular season. He’s playing like the best player of the draft.
Phoenix: Stoudamire’s comeback is in full-swing. To prove his manliness he commits 10 fouls, cementing himself as a Golden Madsen candidate. Former lottery pick Marciej Lampe had 19 points on 8-8 shooting vs Detroit. Could D’Antoni find another foreign gem?
Detroit: Jason Maxwell, who will be playing more minutes with Big Ben’s departure, is a beast. In only 26 minutes vs Phoenix, he commits 11 fouls, to take a lead in the race for the GM. Grabbing only 2 rebounds in that time is pretty pathetic though.
NY: Renaldo Balkman might be the 2nd best Knick at the summer league.
Boston: Rondo’s a keeper. He’s running the offense well and being extremely disruptive on defense. Gomes is continuing to build on a solid rookie season and has been their go-to guy in the half-court. Gerald Green put together a nice game with 23 points, 4 reb and 2 steals vs Toronto. Allan Ray also had his first good game versus the Raptors.
Clippers: Shaun Livingston has been a disappointment thus far. He’s rebounding well, but has 12 turnovers with only 3 assists in the two games.
Memphis: Hakim Warrick’s athleticism shouldn’t be allowed in summer league games. He can dunk on anyone here. What is interesting, however, is the development of his mid-range shot. He scored on a number of jumpers from 18 feet in, which will help him become a much more dangerous player.
New Jersey: Marcus Williams, playing with a chip on his shoulder, had a nice little debut if you consider 24 points and 12 assists nice. He shot 9-15 with a nice 4-5 from 3pt range. He followed it up with 16 and 9. Josh Boone was as expected, finishing down low and rebounding well, but not showing anything special.
Charlotte: Adam Morrison’s debut was nowhere as rosy as that of Marcus Williams. He scored 12 points, but only shot 3-14, not real hot. He made up for it in game 2 with 29 points on 8-17 shooting, including the game-winner. Morrison scored off-screens, off-drives and hitting wide-open Js. His offensive game can translate to summer league and I think it will to the NBA as well. Sean May has played well with 37 points 14 rebounds, 4 blocks and 8 steals over the 2 games.
Miami: Neither Mike Gansey or Kevin Pittsnoggle had much impact in either of the two Heat games. Earl Barron, however, is playing like a man possessed. The big boy hit the rebounds hard and showed a varied offensive game, both posting up and facing up for shots out to 18 ft.
Chicago: Tyrus Thomas’ debut: 10 points on 3-9 shooting, 4 rebounds and 0 blocks. Not so hot. Thabo Sefolosha’s debut: 16 points on 6-8 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals. Pretty hot. Former Kansas PG Aaron Miles’ 19 points on 4 shots to go along with 5 assists and 1 TO in 23 minutes? Very hot. Thomas’ 2nd game was much better with 17 points 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. Sefolosha again with 16 points on 8 shots. He also helped hold Morrison to only 4 points in the second half. In the 2nd game, Miles again was solid with 18 points 5 assists and 1 TO in 28 minutes. Miles looks likes he may make his way to the NBA finally, which is good because I always liked his game at Kansas.