Ahhhh...wins are always nice, and 2-3 is not a bad record for Summer League considering our injuries.
This game was a good demonstration of our strengths as a team. We played smart, we hustled, we were unselfish, we got back in transition, and we took/made shots we were capable of making. In the face of a couple of stars scoring big we kept our heads and prevailed because of good team play.
It was also a demonstration of some of our weaknesses. We got outrebounded badly, which has happened throughout Summer League. Our individual defense was lacking at times and our rotations weren't quite quick enough to compensate.
Nevertheless we shot a little better than the opposition, we ran a little harder, we played a little better, and it was enough. That's going to be the pattern for the year, not just the summer.
--Joel Freeland clearly had his best outing of Summer League. It wasn't just the resounding dunk or the 6-13 shooting, it was the way he was moving his feet, fighting for position, and expending energy out there. If he improves as much from this season to next as he did from last season to this we might have something.
--Martell Webster did what we've been begging him to do...get open position, look for his shot, and bang it down. He scored 16 and hit 4-7 from distance. He also tried pretty hard on defense.
-I think Sergio had his most active game of the summer also. His 1-3 shooting line didn't show all he did. He really ran the team and set up some nice plays. He had 7 assists to 3 turnovers which isn't that bad. (Check out Aaron Brooks' turnover line if you want a comparison of what can happen here.) I liked the Senor Sensationale tonight.
--Zendon Hamilton really shows how you can score on people just by being smart about your position, hustling, and making the basic play. He won't make the main squad but he's been a mainstay this summer. Our more heralded guys could take a clue from his ABC basketball.
--Mike Barrett really complimented Stefano Mancinelli on his play and you saw why tonight. The guy isn't the quickest or best built but he has great instincts, great hands, decent drive, and a real concept of how to play the game. I don't know if he ever makes the NBA either but it's nice watching him when he's on his game.
--Josh McRoberts had a frustrating shooting game but he had a couple of nice passes and rebounds. I'll be interested to see what he's like if he's back here next summer.
--Taurean Green had his worst game of Summer League. He was hesitating for some reason on his shot...and this after that brilliant performance last night too. It hurt him all over. But everyone's entitled to a game like that, eh?
--Petteri Koponen seemed to have soaked up Taurean's lost confidence. He hit a couple of shots out there that were just deadly. I love the mid-range jumpers on the Europeans. I wish Martell had that in his arsenal as well. Again there's no way Koponen makes the big squad but it was nice to see him get a moment or two.
That's it for the Las Vegas portion of Summer League folks. Tomorrow is a travel day for me so expect a full review of the League and all the Blazer players on Tuesday. It's been fun!