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Jordan, Wright looking very solid
by Preetom Bhattacharya / July 14, 2008

Game 1: New Orleans 77 – Charlotte 75

A tough game to watch because of how sloppy it was (lots of fouls and turnovers), but it ultimately proved exciting, as Bobby Brown hit a winning jumper with under 30 seconds left in the game to put the Hornets ahead for good after coming back from behind. Brown finished with 20 points to lead the Hornets and notched 5 boards and 5 assists as well. Brown consistently penetrated, using his quickness to get into the paint and feed his teammates.

Studs: DJ Augustin continued his stellar play for the Bobcats, scoring 15 points to lead the Bobcats. As usual, he was the leader on the court for the team, showing Larry Brown, who was in attendance, that he can certainly be the floor general Brown covets. Hilton Armstrong significantly improved from his last performance, shooting a nice 4-8 from the field for his 14 points. He was also 6-8 from the charity stripe and grabbed 5rebouds; he hasn’t been “dominant,” as Byron Scott had hoped, but he may be able to do so bu the end of the week. Jermareo Davison had a solid game for the Bobcats, grabbing 9 rebounds to go with his 12 points.

Duds: Known as a shooter in college, Adam Haluska is not playing as well as he needs to. Haluska shot 1-7 from the field on Sunday, only scoring 4 points. Kyle Weaver is not doing a good job of capitalizing on the opportunity he’s getting with the Bobcats, scoring only 2 points and shooting 1-5 from the field. His defense has been ok so far, but it’s been known that he isn’t a solid shooter; the evidence from games shows he still isn’t.

Game 2: Golden State 95 – Dallas 86

It isn’t Summer League until you mention how great Marco Belinelli is as a scorer, as he stole the show with a nice 25-point performance. As expected, most his shots came from jumpers, but he did miss 6 of the 8 threes he tried. Belinelli has been running some point for the Warriors and doesn’t look completely comfortable, as he would prefer to be receiving passes rather than making them, but he looked much better when he’s dribbling the ball in today’s contest than in the last one. His game included a buzzer-beating three-pointer to go into halftime and this awkward but entertaining one-handed runner that he made while being fouled.

Studs: Brandan Wright is doing his thing here in Vegas. He’s been efficient and showed that again on Sunday, scoring 15 points on 7-10 shooting, grabbing seven boards, and even breaking up a pass to get a steal. That is the kind of activity the Warriors would like to see from him. James Singleton, formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers, played fantastic for the Mavs, leading the team with 17 points and 8 rebounds. If he keeps this up, he’ll find himself back on an NBA roster. Anthony Randolph shook an injury to his ankle, briefly leaving the game, but finished nicely with 11 points and 5 rebounds. The stats aren’t as great as the fact that he gutted out the game despite being hurt.

Duds: Although Gerald Green scored 15 points, he was 3-9 from the field and had three turnovers as well. The key for Green is to avoid staying outside on the perimeter all the time as he did early in this game; when he went to the basket, he got fouled and did well from the line, shooting 7-10. Green is in Vegas with some lofty expectations because he’s just so talented – he can really be something if he just plays smart for an entire game. He’s on his way. On a lesser scale, Shan Foster only took one shot for the Mavs in this game and had 4 turnovers; expectations aren’t as high for Shan, but he was drafted for his ability to shoot. You can’t hit a home run without swinging the bat just as you can’t show how good of a shooter you are without shooting.

Game 3: Los Angeles Lakers 85 – Memphis 76

The many Laker fans in the audience got to see two things they liked: OJ Mayo and a Laker victory. Mayo struggled in the first half, but turned it all around in the third quarter with a 10-point, 4-7 outburst in that frame. He finished the game leading the Grizzlies with 15 points on 6-13 shooting. But it was the balanced scoring of the Lakers that eventually led to a victory, as the Grizzlies may have been tired with this being their third game in three nights here in Vegas; this was their first loss.

Studs: Don’t look now, but Cedric Bozeman is having a nice Summer League for himself with his efficiency. He scored 12 points today but didn’t miss a shot (5-5), including a made three-pointer, and he also hit the boards for four of those. Someone’s got to like this kind of production from him, right? Javaris Crittenton played well as more of a point guard, setting up his teammates for his 3 assists; he also scored 9 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and shot 4-8 from the field. Coby Karl had an off-night shooting (4-13 from the field, 0-5 from three-point range), but he made up for it by getting to the basket and getting fouled; he finished with a team-leading 16 points, mostly coming from his 8-8 performance at the foul line.

Duds: After such a great debut, Darrell Arthur had a performance to forget – 3 points, 1 rebound, 9 fouls, 1-7 shooting. He just didn’t have it today, but he’ll surely turn it around when the Grizzlies play again on Monday.

Game 4: Detroit 75 – Los Angeles Clippers 66

Without Eric Gordon, the Clippers didn’t have a chance against what will likely be the best team in Summer League. Tonight, it was Aaron Afflalo stepping up for the Pistons, as Rodney Stuckey got a little bit less playing time. Afflalo finished with 25 points on 8-10 shooting; one of the things you have to like about Arron is that he doesn’t do things he doesn’t feel he can do well, so he didn’t take a single three-pointer. He got to the line nine times and knocked them all down. Now that’s production!

Studs: DeAndre Jordan looked very solid, notching a double-double with 15 points (on 5-6 from the field, 5-6 from the charity stripe) and 10 rebounds. He’s doing a really good job of playing with a high amount of energy, going after every ball that comes near him. Will Bynum had a nice game in lieu of Stuckey getting some rest, finishing with 10 points (4-7 shooting) and four assists in addition to providing great defense for the Pistons.

Duds: After playing well in Summer League, Al Thornton struggled in this game, shooting 4-18 from the field. He’s clearly better than everyone else on the court, but he’s got to be productive as well.

Preetom Bhattacharya is the Senior Newslines editor and has covered the NBA for HoopsWorld for three years

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