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McGee comes up big
by Yannis Koutroupis / July 20, 2009

JaVale McGee - Steve KylerGAME 1: Washington Wizards 89, New York Knicks 84

STUDS: This game belonged to JaVale McGee, who looks ready to really step up in a big way for the Wizards in his second year. McGee scored 31 points, grabbed eight boards, and blocked four shots in the most impressive performance of the final day.

While struggling to defend McGee, Knicks’ rookie Jordan Hill didn’t have a bad game himself with 21 points and seven rebounds. He showed the athleticism and scoring ability that has him poised to be one of the more productive rookies in the league next season. Tyrese Rice (17 points), Morris Almond (14 points and seven rebounds), Nikoloz Tskitishvili (12 points and eight rebounds) made a strong final push to be invited to training camp.

DUDS: With Nick Young and Andray Blatche sitting out Javaris Crittenton had a chance to showcase his full arsenal but instead settled for a mediocre night with 11 points on 3-9 shooting along with a modest three assists. Dominic McGuire (six points and five rebounds) did not perform as well as the Wizards were hoping for him to at this point either. Former Piston Alex Acker failed to standout as well, missing all but one of his eight attempts. He did dish out five assists though.

GAME 2: Chicago Bulls 93, Minnesota Timberwolves 85

STUDS: The Bulls had five players in double-figures, led by James Johnson’s 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Johnson’s versatility has been on full display throughout the past nine days and he should be a vital part of the Bulls’ attack next season. DeMarcus Nelson, Taurean Green, Luke Zeller, and Anthony Roberson were the other four Bulls in double-figures.

Corey Brewer’s jump shot finally found its way to Vegas in time for him to log a confidence building 20 point performance. He was the only Wolves player to really play well.

DUDS: Jonny Flynn was up and down throughout most of his time in Vegas, finishing on a low note Sunday with seven points and four turnovers. He did dish out seven assists, but we did not see Flynn at his best by any means. His best friend Paul Harris got some extended run to show what he could do and he struggled as well, going 1-4 in 20 minutes of action.

Brandon Costner didn’t save his best showing for last either, only scoring nine points and grabbing five rebounds while being plagued with fouls. Prior to Sunday though Costner did himself a lot of good and should really benefit from the way he performed throughout the entirety of the camp.

GAME 3: Memphis Grizzlies 76, San Antonio Spurs 75

STUDS: Even with a deceiving last name Sam Young once again proved that he’s one of the steals of the 2009 draft, scoring 16 points and pulling down five rebounds. DeMarre Carroll also continued to look like a great pickup, matching Young’s point and rebound total while also collecting three steals.

For the Spurs Ian Mahinmi showed the promise that convinced them to invest a first round pick in him back in 2005. Mahinmi made eight trips to the stripe, rejected four shots, and was a force on the boards with nine.

DUDS: George Hill, Malik Hairston, and Jack McClinton are three players that the Spurs have a lot of hope for, but they really struggled against the Grizzlies shooting just 9-29 from the field. On the bright side, McClinton’s four makes led to his highest scoring output of the camp.

Hasheem Thabeet basically became a permanent fixture on the duds list in Vegas and didn’t do anything to change that against the Spurs. He managed to pick up eight fouls, which were only surpassed by his point total with nine. However, he was just 4-11 from the field and only blocked two shots. The Grizzlies are hoping for much better come training camp.

GAME 4: Denver Nuggets 107, New Orleans Hornets 105

STUDS: Ty Lawson finally looked like he did when he was leading North Carolina to a national championship just a few months ago, scoring 24 points and dishing out four assists. Sonny Weems also excelled, scoring a game-high 24 points in this triple-overtime affair. CJ Giles (13 points and six rebounds) also played well along with Coby Karl (19 points), who hit the game-winning free throws.

Julian Wright picked up the slack offensively for Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton with 24 points. He also gathered seven rebounds and dished out three assists while turning the ball over just once. Capitalizing the most on the absence of Thornton was Jaycee Carroll, logging 22 points and eight rebounds.

DUDS: The experienced Ronald Dupree didn’t provide the kind of presence that you would expect him to in this type of setting, scoring just eight points on 3-8 shooting. Derrick Byars was given some extra run, but foul trouble kept him from doing anything more other than scoring just three points.

GAME 5: NBA D-League Select 74, Portland Trail Blazers 73

STUDS: Dante Cunningham arrived in Las Vegas with more doubters than believers but that has changed dramatically now that the camp has concluded. Cunningham was once again solid even in defeat, scoring 16 points and hauling in seven rebounds. David Moss matched his 16 points while Thomas Gardner came off the bench to provide 15 of his own.

Jasper Johnson led the D-League with 16 points, connecting on all three of his attempts from beyond the arc. Gary Forbes (10 points), Will Frisby (15 points), and Curtis Stinson (13 points) joined Johnson in double-figures.

DUDS: Bobby Jones and Pooh Jeter really struggled shooting the ball, only coming up with one made field goal between the two of them. Jones contributed very little else, while Jeter did finish with eight assists.

GAME 6: Phoenix Suns 87, Los Angeles Clippers 70

STUDS: The Clippers may have done more losing than winning in Las Vegas but there’s no doubting that they got a game-changer in Blake Griffin. Griffin was once again dominant, scoring 16 points while pulling down eight rebounds and handing out four dimes. While Nik Caner-Medley may not be in the NBA next season he did make himself some money, finishing up with 13 points and 10 boards.

Goran Dragic finished up with his best showing yet, netting 21 points with seven assists. Earl Clark also bounced back with 16 points.

DUDS: One of the biggest mysteries of this year’s summer league will be what happened to the Robin Lopez we saw in his opener. Lopez did have 13 points on 6-11 shooting from the field but he only grabbed four rebounds and does not look ready to be a starting center at all. Dionte Christmas’ NBA aspirations continued to take a big hit as he was just 1-4 from the field while turning it over three times.

Yannis Koutroupis is a radio co-host/producer for ESPN Corpus Christi and covers the San Antonio Spurs and NCAA basketball for HOOPSWORLD.