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Mudiay Looks Good but Summer League Blazers Fall to Suns

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Even with a veteran-laden lineup, Portland finishes 2-2 in Summer League opening-round play.

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Portland Tralblazers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Phoenix Suns 79-70 in the final game in this preliminary round of Summer League. The Blazers lost their second straight Summer League game, dropping them to 2-2 for the round.

The third quarter was an interesting one, as the Blazers came out firing, going on a 12-0 run to start the quarter, before immediately surrendering an 18-2 run from the Suns, a run that would see the Blazers lose their lead and not regain it for the rest of the game.

The Young Guys

The Blazers brought two rookies to Summer League, as well as second year player CJ Elleby. With both Elleby and Greg Brown III under contract for the upcoming season, and Trenton Watford being signed to a two-way deal, the three of them were a main focus.

CJ Elleby

There’s not a whole lot of positives from Elleby, which is not a good look when he is one of the only guys with NBA experience playing for Portland. As a second-year player, Elleby was expected to contribute, but instead he struggled greatly. He finished with 6 points on 3 of 7 from the field, and missing all three of his three point attempts. He finished with a 0:3 assist to turnover ratio, very poor for a guy thought to be an above average facilitator. He tacked on 4 fouls, and looked lost at times on defense on the way.

Greg Brown III

Brown finished with 2 points on 1 of 4 shooting from the field. While it was easy to forget Brown was on the floor for stretches, every time he appeared, he seemed to be doing something amazing. Finishing with 3 blocks and 6 rebounds is promising. He will be asked to be making plays around the margins rather than scoring in a significant way.

Trendon Watford

Watford started and made an impact in the game. He finished with 9 points, shooting 2 of 5 from the field, and tacked on 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. He looked very good in his role, and played well. The only possible cause for concern was his 5 fouls in just 24 minutes. Since he will have time to work on his discipline in the G-League, that isn’t too concerning.

The Veterans

With Kenneth Faried’s injury, the Blazers only had two players that are way older than the majority of Summer League, rather than their normal three.

Michael Beasley

Beasley played about how one would expect a former number two overall draft pick to play. He scored 14 points on 6 of 10 from the field and 2 of 5 from three. He also showed that he is still willing to do the dirty work required to earn a spot on a roster, as he finished with 5 rebound and 2 steals.

Emmanuel Mudiay

Mudiay showed off his playmaking prowess in this one, finishing with 11 assists to supplement his 13 points. He made winning plays throughout the game, going against the grain with only 2 turnovers. The rest of the Blazers finished with 5 total assists and 11 turnovers. His shooting from three left a bit to be desired, only 1 for 5, but this was his best overall showing of the preliminary round.

Antonio Blakeney and Kobi Simmons chipped in 10 points each, and played well in their roles.

Box Score

What’s Next

This year’s Summer League boasts a different set up than previous years, as the top two teams will face off in a championship game, whereas the other 28 teams will play in consolation games. The Blazers’ 2-2 finish isn’t good enough to secure a spot in the championship game, and as such will have a consolation game on either August 16th or 17th.