Morrow explodes for 47
STUDS: There’s a debate brewing about how good DeMar DeRozan can actually be once the regular season starts—not because he isn’t talented, but because of how few minutes that could be available for him in that Toronto backcourt. He had another strong showing this afternoon, putting up 20 points and hauling down 6 rebounds (and only 1 turnover in 32 minutes), but with the additions of Jarrett Jack and Hedo Turkoglu there’s no certainty he’ll get the playing time or touches he needs to do this sort of thing on a grander scale. Eventually, though, there’s no doubt he’s going to be very good. It’ll just be about getting steady growth and an opportunity.
Quincy Douby was also very good for Toronto, dishing out 7 assists to go with 17 points. He’s been somebody we’ve watched all week and just love more and more every time we see him.
For Milwaukee, scoring sensation Jodie Meeks dropped a 29-point bomb on the Raptors, even though his Bucks lost their only game of the Summer League. Say what you want about this kid, but filling up the bucket is not something he’s ever going to struggle with.
DUDS: It was not Amir Johnson’s best performance this afternoon, snagging only 5 rebounds and taking only 3 shots in almost 29 minutes of floor time. Brandon Jennings also struggled, specifically in the second half, but he’s been so good over the course of this whole summer league that it’s not easy to call him a “dud.” Milwaukee’s done with this summer league play and between Johnson, Meeks, Jennings, and Joe Alexander, there have been some very bright spots for the Bucks this week.
STUDS: Sam Hinkie, VP of Basketball Operations for the Houston Rockets, told Joey Dorsey before the game that he’d better get 20 rebounds, and on the last possession of the game Dorsey pulled down number twenty and Hinkie just cracked up. He loved it, and did everyone else in the gym. Twenty boards is a lot, and with 11 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks, he was without question the star of the game. Great day for the kid with the broadest shoulders since Dwight Howard.
Chase Budinger chipped in 25 on 7-for-9 shooting for the Rockets, who absolutely blasted the Lakers, who were without Adam Morrison today due to the flu.
DUDS: Most of the Lakers squad was invariably unimpressive. Ben McCauley posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards, but that was pretty easily the top performance of the squad. Nobody was truly horrible, but nobody stood out either. It must be hard for those guys knowing that none of them have a shot at the team. Morrison obviously will be back, but this Lakers group has been pretty blasé all week.
STUDS: So the other day Anthony Randolph ties the Summer League scoring record with 42 points, then he sits out on Thursday and his teammate Anthony Morrow explodes for 47, including 7-for-9 from deep. He really didn’t give Randolph much time to enjoy that little record, did he? And anyway, wasn’t Stephen Curry supposed to be the one we’d see score a million points in these games? What happens when he gets hot, too? No doubt about it, the Warriors have some serious talent on their roster. The trick is going to be finding time and shots for the lot of ‘em.
Second-round pick Marcus Thornton filled it up for New Orleans again, too. This kid’s just got a knack for scoring the ball, and he’s going to make a lot of teams look silly for passing on him. Today he finished with 21 points but missed six free-throws. He’s got to sink those, not like it would’ve made much difference with how Morrow was shooting the rock today.
DUDS: It has absolutely not been Julian Wright’s week here. He’s just looked absolutely awful and added another clunker today, scoring 4 points on 2-for-10 shooting. One rebound, two assists, thirty minutes. This was easily his worst game of the week, but he really never has shot well, and he certainly hasn’t been rebounding either. One has to wonder, what exactly does he do?
STUDS: DeJuan Blair really hasn’t played much this summer league before tonight, but in 28 minutes of action on Thursday evening he scored a team-high 20 points and hauled down 5 rebounds. Those are particularly outstanding numbers, but watching him you can very easily see why he’d be given a three-year deal from the Spurs. Even when he was not in the game he sat right next to the coaches, chatting them up all game, trying to learn everything he could. This guy is really into the game and is going to be a fantastic pro.
George Hill scored 20 and dished out 9 for San Antonio, and Serge Ibaka was very active today for Oklahoma City, scoring 15 points and hauling down 8 rebounds. He and Byron Mullens looked pretty imposing together in the lane, but Ibaka had the better game by a whole lot.
DUDS: Shaun Livingston was absolutely brutal, making only 2 of his 9 shots. It’s not even like he was missing wide-open looks, either. Most of them were really bad forced shots, one of which missed the rim by four feet easily. We’re rooting for the guy just like everybody else, but a performance like that can’t do much for his stock.
STUDS: What’s starting to happen here is that teams know what they’ve got in the guys who have been dominating, so some of the lesser known guys are getting more minutes to showcase what they can do. Teams want to see if there are any gems out here, so we’re seeing less and less of guys who mean something.
As a result, Tarence Kinsey was the game-high scorer with 20 points, and even that’s a little deceitful because 16 of those came off free-throws. Beyond him, there wasn’t really anybody else notable in this one.
DUDS: Roddy Beaubois has been one of the nicest surprises in Summer League up to this point, but tonight he was not as effective as he has been. He did get a contusion on his leg at the end of the previous game, but regardless he should’ve been able to manage better than 4 points on 2-for-14 shooting. Add those four points to his one assist and you’ve equaled his number of turnovers. For the most he’s been a really nice little prospect this week, but tonight he looked about as bad as anyone can look.
STUDS: Blake Griffin was electrifying tonight. Alley-oops, intense blocks, tip-dunks—everything you’d want in an exciting basketball game, and the crowd was really into it. Griffin ended the final game of the day with 18 points and 15 rebounds, and just about every one of those points was exciting. It can’t be said enough—this kid is the real deal and probably the most impressive overall player here.
Marcus Williams dropped in 22 points for the Grizzlies and DeMarre Carroll chipped in 16, which was enough to fuel the Grizzlies to a stomping of the Clippers. As good as Griffin was, it didn’t mean much in terms of the win/loss column.
DUDS: This has become something of a theme for the “Duds” portion of this space, but Hasheem Thabeet is not playing well. He’s not even playing anything approaching well. Tonight was another statistical nightmare—7 points, 3 rebounds, and zero blocks compared to 5 turnovers and 7 fouls—and that’s not unusual at all for this year’s second overall pick. He’s got a long way to go in order to be a dominant defensive player, because without that he won’t be in this league long. Severely disappointing yet again, and arguably the biggest dud of the week.
Joel Brigham is a senior writer for HOOPSWORLD, covering the Chicago Bulls and the NBA Summer League.