Thabeet dud of the week?
STUDS: Roddy Beaubois broke out of his slump to finish the summer league strong, scoring 23 points on 9-12 shooting to go with five assists. Shan Foster was strong for Dallas, as well, scoring 14 points on 5-8 shooting and knocking down 3-5 from downtown.
James Harden basically carried a Thunder team that was without Russell Westbrook, who only played in the first game in Vegas after the team told him they’d seen enough. Today he had 22 points and four rebounds, which doesn’t sound all that stud-like, but given that the entire defense of the Mavs was focused on stopping him, it’s really quite good and was team-high for OKC.
DUDS: Luke Jackson was hoping to catch on with the Mavericks, but based on his summer league play that’s highly unlikely. He scored just seven points on 2-6 shooting today, which is indicative of his entire week in Vegas. Bryon Mullens was awful, with two points and two turnovers in 10 minutes, and Kyle Weaver was of absolutely no help to Harden, going 0-3 with three turnovers in 16 minutes.
STUDS: Brandon Costner is a player the Bulls have had their eyes on all week and he turned in another solid performance today, scoring a game-high 21 points. James Johnson had another solid outing with 20 points and six rebounds, though he also had seven fouls. Nikoloz Tskitishvili is kind of the blast from the past and today he looked like the player he was when he dominated the courts here at the Las Vegas Summer League. He scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds as easily NY’s best player today.
DUDS: Morris Almond has been good and has reportedly earned himself a camp invite. Today he got his numbers, netting 16 points, but he shot 5-14 from the field, 2-7 from three, and had six fouls and four turnovers. Tyrell Biggs had a chance to make his mark today, starting in place of Taj Gibson, but he didn’t make the most of his opportunity. Biggs had four points, four fouls and three rebounds in 14 minutes.
STUDS: Darren Collison has been one of the better players in Las Vegas this week, and today he had 18 points in 15 minutes of action today. Unfortunately he left with an injury towards the end of the second quarter and did not return. He might have been the third player this week to tie or break the SL scoring record.
With Collison out and Marcus Thornton sitting out the game due to an ankle injury, Julian Wright had easily his best game of the league. He scored 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting and even slammed home the game-clinching dunk with 6.8 seconds left in the game.
Gerald Henderson has really just been here to practice with the Wolves, since the Charlotte Bobcats didn’t field a team. Today, though, he logged 16 minutes and scored 12 points. The real stars for the Wolves, though, continued to be Jonny Flynn (24 pts, 4 asts) and Wayne Ellington (17 pts, 6-10 FG).
DUDS: Corey Brewer struggled to find his shot, going just 3-11 from the field, as did Oleksiy Pecherov (1-6). Jaycee Carroll had 16 points for the Hornets, but was just 6-17 from the field and missed all five of his threes.
STUDS: Sam Young led six Grizzlies in double-figures with 20 points and Goran Dragic had by far his best game of the summer league with 17 points. Marcus Williams had 11 points and nine assists for Memphis. Zabian Dowdell scored 14 points off the bench, joining Dragic as the lone bright spots for the Suns.
DUDS: Hasheem Thabeet’s name has been laminated under “Dud” throughout the proceedings in Las Vegas and today did nothing to change that. Sure, he had 10 points and seven rebounds, but he missed four dunks – three of them wide open – and failed to block a single shot. Robin Lopez was no better, going 0-4 from the field and grabbing just four rebounds. At least he blocked two shots. Still a dud. Earl Clark continued to struggle, as well, with just eight points on 4-12 shooting today.
STUDS: Blake Griffin may be a terrible free throw shooter, but he does absolutely everything else well. He recorded 19 points, 10 rebounds and five steals while converting just 5-10 from the foul line. Nick Young (19 pts) Javaris Crittenton (17 pts, 5 asts), and JaVale McGee (19 pts, 7 blocks) almost outscored the Clippers by themselves.
DUDS: Mike Taylor (1-8 FG, 6 fouls, 5 turns) and Dionte Christmas (0-3 in 15 minutes) were as bad as their Clipper counterparts were good.
STUDS: Jerryd Bayless and Pooh Jeter was absolutely unstoppable in this game. Bayless racked up 18 points and five assists, while Jeter amassed 19 points and four dimes. Jeff Pendergraph was solid with 14 and 10 for Portland and Dante Cunningham chipped in 14, as well. DeJuan Blair was San Antonio’s stud with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
DUDS: Bobby Jones has struggled here, and had just two points and four rebounds for Portland today. George Hill has been solid for the Spurs, but had a hard time with the Blazers’ backcourt duo. Hill had just six points, six fouls and four turnovers.
Game 7: D-League Select Team 90, Denver Nuggets 94
STUDS: Gary Forbes is really a special player. He didn’t get drafted into the NBA last summer so he’s been playing in Europe and the NBADL to try and find a way into the NBA. The D-League team has lost a couple of starters (Trey Johnson and Othyus Jeffers) to injury, but are still extremely competitive, now 2-2 on the week. Forbes had 16 points, while teammate Jasper Johnson (an extremely good shooter who looks like a post-only kind of guy) dropped in 21. Six of the eight D-League players scored in double-figures.
Ty Lawson had his second straight brilliant game for the Nuggets, scoring 21 points to go with five rebounds and three assists, while Ronald Dupree lead all scorers with 22. Coby Karl turned in another solid performance with 11 and nine, though the stats don’t come close to showing all he brings to the team.
DUDS: Curtis Stinson was the only D-League starter who didn’t play well, managing just five points on 2-10 shooting. Sonny Weems scored nine points, but shot just 3-15, and C.J. Giles went 2-8 from the field for five points (though he did block five shots).
That’s it from UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, where the NBA Summer League is all but in the books. One more day of action on Sunday and then the desert classic is over for another year.
Bill Ingram has been covering the NBA for twelve seasons and is Executive Editor for HOOPSWORLD.