On the court there was some good action with five games on the dockett
including the two games that I had a chance to watch. Wizards vs.
Knicks and Warriors vs. Cavs.
Wizards vs. Knicks.
The Knicks have one of the better teams here in vegas. They have both
small and big players that are very talented and a nice collection of
Nate Robinson had another terrific game and he has proven that he is
the real deal. He had 19 points and ran the team very well. He was not
credited with an assist, but he had at least four that I remember. I
think the official scorer may have been sleeping. I am calling right
now that Nate will enter and win the dunk contest this year.
Bruno Sundov finally awoke from his slumber and had a decent
performance. The guy has great size and is fairly athletic. He is
basically automatic from the outside but he just has no motivation. He
shys away from contact and is a terrible rebounder and defender. He
looked a bit more motivated than usual today and was able to go 4-7
from the field in 19 minutes.
David Lee is a very impressive player. He is a terrific athlete and
uses his superior athleticism to absolutely dominate the offense and
defensive boards. He is Mr. put-back for the summer league, constantly
getting offensive rebounds and dunking them home. He has good
fundamentals and can handle it a little. He is quick enough to guard
threes or fours and is a heady player that rarely makes mistakes.
Channing Frye, Trevor Ariza and Rueben Douglas had off-games for the NY
squad but they still managed to hold off the Wizards 80 to 71
The best player for Washington was high school draftee Andray Blatche.
Blatche was much better than I expected and is going to be a very good
player in the league. He is a highly skilled player that doesn’t fit
the mold of a typical PF. His game is similar to Lamar Odom or Kevin
Garnett but he is a bit taller than Odom and a bit smaller than
Garnett. A unique talent for sure. He has a very smooth jump shot out
to the NBA three point line and an excellent handle for a big man. He
was easily the best player on a heavily overmatched Wizard squad.
Peter John Ramos is a huge 7’3 Puerto Rican Center that is not a stiff
but also not as good as he could be. This is a huge man, well over 300
lbs and not nearly as plodding or mechanical as say Pavel Podkolzin.
Ramos had a nice baseline spin move and finished with a reverse dunk.
He needs to improve his defense and rebounding and he is not the most
coordinated man in the world, but he runs the floor ok and can catch
Donnell Taylor had a tough night and still managed to put up decent
numbers. He is an athletic slashing combo guard that shows some
promise. His night began badly as he was benched after the second
possession of the game along with starting PG Gerald Fitch for not
getting back in transition. He came back in the game half way through
the first and was stripped by Trevor Ariza. He then made an unbelivalbe
recovery and caught Ariza from behind to block his shot. He was able to
work himself to the free throw line five times and converted 7 of his
10 attempts. I wasn’t overly impressed with his game, but he showed
some promise and might be worth another look.
The nightcap was a contest between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavs.
I use the word contest loosely, but the two teams did play a game and
David Graves fans were treated to a long look at their hero. This team
was poorly constructed and without major scoring contributions from
Andris Biedrins, Ike Diogu or Monta Ellis they have absolutely no
chance of winning any games. There was a total lack of rebounding by
anybody including Taft and Diogu who both played well, but need to do a
much better job on controlling defensive rebounds.
I guess the only David Graves fans are the Warriors summer league
coaching staff who played the 6’6 unathletic and unskilled SF for the
majority of the second half. The starting linuep was changed so that
Monta Ellis could start at PG while European combo guard Damir
Miljkovic started at the two and immediately came out of the game never
to be seen again. The frontcourt was the same with Zarko Cabarkapa, Ike
Diogu and Andris Biedrins.
They hung in the game for a quarter before the doors started to fall
off and then they really never had a prayer in the second half outside
of one brief stretch of defensive energy late in the third quarter.
Despite the poor team performance there was some nice individual
performances by the key young pieces.
Monta Ellis was brilliant yet again. Outside of Mickael Pietrus he is
currently the Warriors best defensive player. He goes over the top of
screens and absolutely hounds his opponents. He frustrated a much
bigger player in Luke Jackson with his pestering defense all night. He
is not above diving for loose balls at one point, he hurdled himself
into the floor seats and took out an entire section of chairs. His
offensive game was much more subdued as he was consciously trying to
get teammates involved and take better shots, but he can still get a
shot up any time he wants. He had some pretty bad turnovers but every
time he turns it over he runs down and plays tough defense rather than
hanging his head.
Fantaftic! Chris Taft was solid again and got more minutes this time
due to the extremely poor play of Andris Biedrins. Taft badly outplayed
Andris and earned most of the second half minutes at Center. He had
several nice offensive post moves and his go to move appears to be an
unstoppable baby hook shot across the middle of the lane. He plays very
good defense and gets good rebounding position. He has shown no signs
of having a bad work ethic to this point. There was one time when he
tried to get cute with a putback attempt and coach Ellie yelled at him
to “Dunk The Damn Ball”. The next possesion he threw down a savage two
handed jam but was whistled for a push off, but it was nice to see him
accept the challenge.
Zarko was up to the challenge tonight and had a brilliant game. He is
still not hitting his outside shot, but he was the teams best Point
guard tonight setting up his teammates for easy scores and getting
himself to the rim with nifty fakes and ball handling. He earned
several trips to the line and was a positive factor on offense. His
defense was still very bad and I am not sure he can guard anybody at
The Beast was never unleashed tonight but Ike was solid. He had a few
nice post moves and some tough rebounds but he never took over the game
like he did for a stretch yesterday. He draws a lot of attention in the
post when he gets the ball and he is going to have to learn to find the
open man a little better. He will bennefit greatly from playing with a
real PG. It’s almost not fair to judge these big guys with the stiffs
they have playing with them. Ike needs to do a better job of getting
defensive rebounds because absolutely nobody else on the team outside
of chris taft can get a rebound.
Andris was dreadfull tonight and didn’t get many minutes as a result of
his poor performance. It wasn’t a lack of effort for the kid, he came
out with great energy and had quick and decisive moves, but it’s like
the opponent knows exactly where he is trying to go every time. He had
like four of his shots blocked inside and simply missed at least four
others. He can’t get anything going offensively and on defense it’s
just an endless string of whistles. To me he really just looks akward
on the court and I am not sure why he can’t seem to get anything going.
Ross and Marigney who didn’t play in the first game saw there first
action of the summer but were not factors in the outcome. I am not
going to comment on anybody else because there is absolutely no chance
of any of these scrubs making any team in the league let alone the
Warriors. I would say except for Jawad Williams, but he was awfull
tonight and I am not sure he will play in the league now either.
Two Cavs of Note were Euro Rookie Martynis Andriuskivicus and undrafted
Maryland PG John Gilchrest. Gilchrest looked pretty good and all I can
say about Marty is thank god the Warriors were smart enough to steer
clear of this guy. He is basically a seven foot five stick figure with
average small forward skills. He will never be able to play the post in