Here to stay
Fans also got their first glimpse at Atlanta's Marvin Williams, the No. 2 pick this year. Williams showed his age – just 19 – at times during the week, but also displayed plenty of potential. Another couple of Tar Heels made their presence felt. Raymond Felton and Sean May proved they are winners and led the Bobcats to a tournament-best 4-2 record.
While Vegas had star-studded spectators such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony or Baron Davis, few notable faces were in the stands in Salt Lake City. Dominique Wilkins, Andrei Kirilenko, Gregg Popovich and Avery Johnson were in attendance, though.
Despite the lack of teams, the Rocky Mountain Revue was once again a success. Sure, there were a lot of missed layups and plenty of fouls. But the fans were still treated to a lot of fancy passes and high-flying dunks – thanks to Josh Smith, mainly.
Here is a recap of the week's events:
Charlotte Bobcats (4-2)
The North Carolina dynamic duo of Raymond Felton and Sean May continued the winning streak in Utah. May led the Revue in scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.2) while displaying his great shooting touch. He was named MVP of the tournament – and deservedly so.
As usual, Felton looked very poised running the point. His 5.2 apg average was the best in the Revue, and he quickly earned the confidence of his coaching staff and teammates. Matt Carroll shot the lights out all week long and seems like he could be an important player for the Bobcats this season. Second-year guard Bernard Robinson had a few encouraging performances. A player to watch out for.
San Antonio Spurs (3-2)
Hometown favorite Britton Johnsen was easily the best player in the Revue the first three days. In his first two games, Johnsen averaged 20 ppg. But streaky shooting along with his inability to go to the basket consistently reminded everyone why he is in and out of the league all the time. Anyway, his performance in Salt Lake City should be enough to earn him a place in training camp somewhere this fall.
Andre Barrett was one of the best guard in the Revue. The 5-10 dynamo, who spent last season with three NBA teams, displayed exceptional point guard skills that should land him a roster spot on an NBA squad. Melvin Sanders was a nice surprise, finishing the tournament as the fourth leading scorer (15.6 ppg). After playing for the Dakota Wizards of the CBA, Sanders exhibited his athleticism and his ability to finish strong in transition.
Atlanta Hawks (3-3)
Just as ESPN analysts said in last month's draft, Atlanta got a steal in the second round with Salim Stoudamire. Say what you want about his attitude and his lack of size, but the bottom line is he can shoot the ball. Stoudamire's shooting performance may have made a lot of GMs question their decisions – especially after he dropped 39 points in 25 minutes in the Hawks' finale against the Bobcats.
Marvin Williams showed a tendency to disappear during games. He was one of the disappointments of the Revue, averaging a modest 8.2 ppg and 4.2 rpg. His good attitude and potential are keeping the Atlanta staff optimistic, though.
After developing a reputation for being passive, Boris Diaw looked a lot more aggressive in Utah. He shot the ball well and without hesitation. Atlanta's decision to use him as a point guard was a little surprising. 21 turnovers versus 15 assists. That should put an end to the experiment.
Josh Childress was one of the best all-around performers at the Revue. His name appeared amongst the league leaders in almost every statistical category. Josh Smith wowed the crowd with blocks and several monster dunks. He also had the crowd laughing a bit with his casual demeanor on the court. There were many times when Smith would just lightly jog during games, displaying a very questionable attitude.
Utah Jazz (3-3)
While Deron Williams struggled at times, he showed enough promising moments that will leave the Jazz faithful with some assurance leaving the Revue. Williams always played hard and within the Jazz system. Jerry Sloan will be thrilled to have him.
Kris Humphries was consistent all week. His toughness around the basket and ability to hit the open 15-footer will enable him to play a larger role this season. Rookie Robert Whaley could compete with Humphries for minutes at the power forward spot. He averaged a solid 8.4 ppg and 5.0 rpg.
Utah's other rookie, high schooler CJ Miles, looked impressive at times, but he will have to put on some weight before he can make an impact in the NBA.
Former Utah State forward Spencer Nelson was probably the most popular player during the tournament. Friends, family and Utah State fans cheered every time he touched the ball. Nelson's rebounding and solid play may have impressed the Jazz. Don't be surprised if Nelson is in a Jazz uni during training camp.
Seattle SuperSonics (3-3)
Second-year big man Robert Swift was good on the boards, but was a non-factor on the offensive end. The Sonics' first-round pick from France, Johan Petro, has a long way to go before he can contribute. His size and raw talent are intriguing, but whether he will be a bust or not remains to be seen.
One of the bright spots for the Sonics' summer-league team was veteran point guard Mateen Cleaves. After playing sparingly for a number of NBA teams over his five-year career, Cleaves' stellar performance at the Revue proves he still belongs in the league. He has great leadership qualities that make up for his average talent.
Dallas Mavericks (1-4)
Russian giant Pavel Podkolzin was able to get some burn after spending last season on the injured list. Podkolzin is far from a finished product, but he surprised a lot of people with his ability to finish plays.
NBA veteran Felipe Lopez looked pretty good on the offensive end and averaged 13 ppg. The former prep superstar is trying to regain a spot in the league after a devastating knee injury. The Mavericks also got some surprising contributions from Didier Ilunga-Mbenga, who led the tournament in blocked shots at 2.6 bpg, and free agent David Logan, who finished first in steals with a 2.2 spg average.
GERALD NARCISO'S ALL-ROCKY MOUNTAIN REVUE TEAM
G Raymond Felton, Charlotte
G Andre Barrett, San Antonio
Gerald Narciso is the Opinion Editor at Salt Lake Community College's Globe Newspaper. He currently does work for Utah Sports Magazine and the Salt Lake Tribune
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