2013 NBA Las Vegas Summer League Finals: Warriors Win 91-77

The 2013 Las Vegas Summer League Champion Golden State Warriors

The 2013 Las Vegas Summer League Champion Golden State Warriors after their convincing 91-77 win over the Phoenix Suns

Guys like Ian Clark and Kent Bazemore are what Summer League ball is all about.

Ian Clark began his Summer League journey as an un-drafted roster invitee with the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League, and ended it as the Las Vegas Summer League Championship Game MVP. But Clark isn’t a stranger to success. During his collegiate career at Belmont University, he was twice selected as The Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and four times to the All-Conference First Team. The rule of thumb is that if you can shoot and are not a complete defensive liability, you have a spot in the NBA. After his 33-point performance going 7-10 from beyond the arc, the Trail Blazers, Jazz and Warriors have all expressed interest in Clark.

Kent Bazemore "499"

Kent Bazemore “499”

Last season, Kent Bazemore was ranked 499th out of the 500 players in ESPN’s 2012 player rankings. The only player he was ranked above was the always <choose your adjective>, Eddy Curry. The metaphorical chip on Bazemore’s shoulder now manifests itself in the form of a stitching on the tongue of his sneakers (see above), and serves as a constant reminder of the time The Experts ranked him behind the likes of Josh Harrellson (493rd), and a semi-retired, Brian Scalabrine (487th).

After leading the Warriors to the Summer League Championship, the un-drafted second-year guard from Old Dominion finished with averages of 18.4 points 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists, and made the Official LVSL All-Tournament Team. In my opinion, he’s well on his way to disproving his haters.

Also relevant to Bazemore – in an interview regarding his role on the Warriors in the upcoming season, Mark Jackson told a reporter that “there are five better perimeter players on our roster,” and included Toney Douglas. Ouch. I would agree with the first four, as they’re all past or future All-Stars (Curry, Thompson, Igoudala, Barnes), but come on man, not Toney Douglas. Ask any Knicks fan.

Bazemore’s future in the NBA may not be as a Warrior, but he’s shown that he has the ability to be a rotation-guy in this league.

TCT’s 2013 Las Vegas Summer League All-Tournament Team
(Note: Players must’ve played in at least 4 games)

MVP – Jonas Valanciunas: 4 GP / 18.8 PPG / 56.1% / 10.0 RPG

Looked bigger, stronger and more mobile than last season. Dominated every one-on-one matchup. His huge numbers were a good indication of his huge performances. Definitely the most impressive player in this tournament.

Cody Zeller: 4GP / 16.3 PPG / 52.0% FG / 9.3 RPG

Looking more like he could be the best prospect in the 2013 Rookie Class… His ability to stretch the floor with a mid-range jumper, and willingness to rebound prove that Zeller is NBA-Ready.

Mike Scott: 5 GP / 18.6 PPG / 46.2% FG / 6.2 RPG

Valuable on the pick-and-roll, Scott shot the ball well from mid-range and was able to take advantage of smaller defenders on the block. He was also spicy from the line, going 91.2% from the line in 34 attempts.

Kent Bazemore: 7 GP / 18.4 PPG / 44.0% FG / 4.6 RPG

Showed drastic improvement from last season, but I suppose it’s still The Summer League. Can he find a spot in Mark Jackson’s rotation, or will he have to get his chance somewhere else?

Austin Rivers: 5 GP / 18.2 PPG / 48.6% FG / 3.6 RPG

Showed that he can score in many ways (we knew this), and that he can be efficient while doing it (we didn’t know this).

TCT’s 2013 Las Vegas Summer League Honorable Mention Team

Marcus Morris: 7 GP / 14.3 PPG / 47.2% / 3.9 RPG

Deciding between Markieff and Marcus, I chose Marcus based on this move alone. Not many 6’9” guys have that move in their bag-o-tricks.

Jeffery Taylor: 4 GP / 20.3 PPG / 47.5% FG / 36.8% 3PT

We knew about his smooth shooting stroke, but we didn’t really know that he could finish at the rim like this.

Dennis Schroeder: 10.8 PPG / 34% FG / 5.8 APG 

He’ll be the most-exciting rookie to watch in 2013. I can see him breaking ankles with his handle, and threading the needle with his passes in the upcoming season for the Hawks.

C.J. McCollum: 5 GP / 21.0 PPG / 36.6% FG / 3.4 APG

Proved that he can score, and take most defenders one-on-one. Jury is still out on his court-vision, but he’ll have more weapons to dish to in the regular season for the Blazers.

Marquis Teague: 4 GP / 18.3 PPG / 44.0% FG / 4.8 APG

Showed poise, scoring ability, and leadership. Should run a tight ship for Chicago’s second unit.

Questions? Comments? Disagreements? Post one below or start a conversation on Twitter @gregmschwartz

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The 2013 Orlando Summer League Awards

Just as the OSL comes to a close, the Las Vegas Summer League begins – what a treat! The Thunder won the Orlando SL “Championship” today, but I don’t think that should have much of a correlation to the regular season… Or could it?

At any rate, here are the OSL awards from this week presented to you by The Corner Triple. To be considered, players must’ve played in at least 4 out of their team’s 5 games. Also, accolades are dually based on their statistical performance as well as how their intangibles (athleticism, vision, composure etc.) will translate to an actual NBA game.

All Orlando Summer League First-Team

C – Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond

Thanks to commenter Jake C, who reminded me that Drummond did play in 4/5 of his team’s games, I’ve added him to the All OSL First-Team over Mason Plumlee. Andre averaged 15.5 points and 14.8 rebounds, and shot 51.9% from the field. If he didn’t miss so many layups he would’ve been near 60%, and if he didn’t shot 33% from the line he would’ve had many more points. Taking it all into consideration, Drummond looks ready to take off.

PF/C – Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics

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K.O.

I’m not saying he’s going to be the next Dirk Nowitzki, but I do think he has a very unique skill set that resembles aspects of Dirk’s game. He’s not as smooth or quite as good of a shooter, but Kelly has proven that he can play. He averaged 18 points and 7.8 rebounds, and should have a great rookie campaign for the Celtics.

SF/PF – Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets

Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones is now ready to produce in the NBA. On the week, Jones averaged 15.8 points on 42.2% from the field, and 7 rebounds per game. If he decides to be as assertive for the Rockets in the regular season as he did this week, he will be one of the most important Rockets off the bench in 2013-14.

SG – Jeremy Lamb, Oklahoma City Thunder

Jeremy Lamb

Jeremy Lamb

Unrelated to his play, I’m pretty sure Lamb added some orange highlights to his hair (see above). This week, Lamb averaged a productive 18.8 points 4 rebounds, and shot 39.1% from the field. He had a dominant 32-point performance against the Sixers (seems like everyones best game was against Philly), and looked like a guy that will continue to improve throughout camp, and become offensive weapon for the Thunder.

PG – Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo

The Magic played Oladipo at point guard, and although it isn’t his natural position, he played it better than anyone else. Oladpio finished the week by averaging 19 points 5 assists and 3 steals per game. Against the Sixers – his best game – he dominated his matchup against Michael Carter-Williams by turning him over eight times, then hitting a game-winning step-back jumper with 4.4 seconds left to win by 1. Great week for Victor.

Honorable Mention

PF/C – Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn Nets

Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee

Mason edged out a few others for honorable mention by finishing with averages of 13.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. Under the tutelage of the veteran Nets front court, Mason will surely improve and be a productive NBA player. I don’t see him getting many minutes this season because the Nets are so stacked up front, but he’ll get in there when they’re trying to rest guys like Garnett.


Most Interesting Player

C – Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert and his 9'7'' Standing Reach

Rudy Gobert and his 9’7” Standing Reach

I almost picked him over Mason Plumlee for no reason other than likability, but without further ado I present to you, Frenchman, Rudy Gobert. Rudy Gobert was probably my favorite non-Celtic player of the week. Usually, foreigners with absurd wingspans and huge hands come to the NBA as long-term projects, but not Rudy. Gobert averaged 5.4 points on 52.6% from the field, with 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, and should be an effective rim-protector by the middle of the season for the Jazz.

Most Surprising Player

SG/SF – Solomon Hill, Indiana Pacers

Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill was a guy who has flown under the radar until this week. One of the most efficient shooters in the OSL, Hill averaged 12 points 5.6 rebounds, shot 48.9% from the field, and 55.6% from three. That’s a pretty great week for an underdog looking for his first contract.

Most Disappointing Player

PG – Trey Burke, Utah Jazz

Trey Burke

Trey Burke

After a brutal week where he averaged just 8.8 points on 24.1% from the field, Trey Burke was very candid in his interview by saying, “It’s a matter of getting my feet under my shot… I’ve been flat. It’s not a matter of not losing confidence in my shot… I just need to get used to the speed of the game. I’m gonna continue to work.” Burke seems to have maintained his sanity, but has an uphill mental battle ahead of him.

Summer League Day 5 – “Orlando’s Penultimate Day”

The Las Vegas Summer League tips off today, and I couldn’t be more ready to watch new players. I have an active streak of watching at least 1 half of every game, and let me tell ya, I think I’ve … Continue reading

Summer League Day 4 – ‘The Olynyk Clinic Continues’

Jazz 98 (2-1) Nets (0-3) 69 – “Burke Sits, Kidd Loses Again”

Trey Burke

Trey Burke

Trey Burke didn’t play in today’s game, and midway through the second quarter he was shown sitting next to the Jazz coaching staff with a calamitous look on his face. In his place was Brazilian National, Raul Neto, who showed an elite-level handle and composure against ball-pressure (7 points and 3 assists 4 rebounds in 19 minutes). Neto hasn’t been allowed to practice with the Jazz at all because of FIBA rules, making his encouraging debut that much more impressive. Veterans, Jeremy Evans and Alec Burks paced the scoring for the Jazz by adding 15 and 14 points respectively.

Chris Wright led the way for the Nets with 20 points on 8-13 from the field, while Mason Plumlee put in a weak effort with 4 points 2 rebounds and a game-worst -27 +/-. It seemed that Mason was bothered by the size of Jazz center, Rudy Gobert, as he only took 4 shots in 25 minutes. Another struggling Net was second year guard, Tyshawn Taylor, who had 10 points on 5-13 shooting with 3 assists and 6 turnovers – not the kind of numbers Kidd is looking for from his potential backup point guard. For now, it appears as though C.J. Watson’s minutes are safe.

I’m not sure who I feel worse for at this point between Trey Burke and Jason Kidd.

Highlights

Thunder (4-0) 74 76ers (0-3) 62 – “Lamb, Licking His Chops”

Jeremy Lamb

Jeremy Lamb

Just when I thought Michael Carter-Williams was “figuring it out,” ironically, it appears as though opposing teams have figured him out. The Thunder defense give him space, and let him shoot himself into the ground as he went 3-16 from the field and 0-4 from behind the arc. He’s now shooting just 15-59 (25.4%) from the field this week. MCW must improve his shot or teams will continue to give him space and protect against his ability to penetrate into the lane. On the bright side for Philly, former Minnesota guard, Rodney Williams, showed off his athletic ability and finished the day with 12 points on 4-7 from the field.

For the Thunder, today was Jeremy Lamb’s breakout party as he poured in 32 points on 10-14 from the field. Despite his 8 turnovers, Lamb looked like a guy who could carry some of the scoring load in the regular season for the Thunder. After Reggie Jackson’s 35 point outburst, and Lamb’s 32 today, the Thunder should feel slightly better about letting Kevin Martin go to Minnesota.

Highlights

Rockets (3-0) 85 Celtics (2-2) 78 – “The Olynyk Clinic Continues”

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Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones had 17 points and grabbed 6 rebounds as the Rockets continued their winning ways against the Olynyk Clinic, and the Celtics. Despite going 3-12 from the field, Jones was 10-14 from the line, and showed his ability to handle the ball and get into the lane. After trading both Royce White and Thomas Robinson this week, the Rockets must feel confident enough for Jones and Donatas Montiejunas to serve as suitable backups for the 3/4 positions.

Unsurprisingly or surprising – whichever you like – Kelly Olynyk once again dominated offensively, by adding 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. He’s now 31/54 (57.4%) from the field this week. Tony Mitchell had his first stinker of the week going 1-9 from the field and missing all four of his three-point attempts in 19 minutes of action, but I still feel good about his chances to be a Celtic come November. I also like Phil Pressy’s  (6 points 10 assists) chances to make the C’s roster, as he clearly has the offensive instincts to be an NBA point guard.

Lastly, Celtics second-round pick Colton Iverson, pulled down 8 rebounds in 18 minutes of action, but continued to be absent on offense. He has a chance to make the team based solely on his rebounding ability, and he doesn’t show much upside anywhere else. I still can’t figure out why the Celtics traded up to get him…

Highlights

Summer League Day 3 – Wrap-up

Celtics 76 Pacers 74 – “K.O.”

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K.O.

The Kelly Olynyk show continues, and he has earned a nickname, K.O. – I like it. K.O. added another 21 points and 9 boards, and is arguably the most polished big man in the 2013 Orlando Summer League – rookie or not. His one-footers à la Dirk Nowitzki, ability to use his body to shield himself from shot blockers in the paint low, and guard-like passing instincts in the paint make me anxious to see what he’ll be capable of with an NBA roster surrounding him.

Another guy for the C’s who is making noise is the reigning 2013 NBDL Rookie of the Year  out of Alabama, Tony Mitchell. He’s got the size at 6’6” and the horizontal athleticism to guard the NBA 2, and has been putting up great numbers for the Celtics thus far – he tossed in another 15 points today.

While Miles Plumlee took a step backward from his previous two games (9 points 7 rebounds), the Pacers got another encouraging performance from Solomon Hill (15 points 4 rebounds 3 steals). Also notable is Jonny Flynn‘s reappearance in the NBA scene. After his rookie campaign where he averaged 13.5 PPG in 81 starts for the T’Wolves, I’m confused as to where his talent went.

P.S. – I am actively rooting against Fab Melo, and was pumped when he took a jump hook, and airballed it.

Thunder 79 Pistons 74 – “A Thunderous 4th Quarter”

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Reggie Jackson

Perhaps the most exciting game this week featured an Orlando Summer League record 35 point outburst from second year guard out of Boston College, Reggie Jackson. He scored 23 in the fourth quarter, and was lighting it up in every way possible. Peyton Siva (12 points 7 assists 1 turnover) and Kim English were helpless, and the OKC bench was erupting with every bucket. Unfortunately, Jackson’s performance overshadowed a breakout game from Pistons rookie, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who ended with 19 points on 6-13 from the field and 4-10 from three, and added in a violent dunk. I think KCP will be a game-to-game streaky shooter, but will always give you his steady athletic defensive intensity.

Rockets 85 Jazz 71 – “Burke Struggles Again”

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Trey Burke

Trey Burke didn’t play any better today as he continues to struggle shooting the rock (11 points, 5-15 FGM-A), and taking care of the rock (5 assists 4 turnovers). After hitting a three on Utah’s first possession, his next two possessions were a bad brick on wide open three, and a pocket picking by Patrick Beverley. I remain unconcerned as it is just two games. Unrelated to Burke – I really like the Frenchman Center, Rudy Gobert, and not just for his 9’7” inch standing reach, but also because I think he has a good defensive understanding, and could make a impact off the bench for the young Jazz.

For the Rockets, I think Terrence Jones is ready to take his game to the next level. He’s noticeably added mass to his upper-body, and seems much more confident than he did a year ago. He scored just 6 points today – not as good as his 25 he put up in game one – but something tells me he’s ready to break out. There should be some fun battles in practice between he and newly added, Thomas Robinson, his main competitor for minutes.

Heat 94 Magic 80 – “Steady Victor, but No Victory”

NBA: Orlando Magic-Press Conference

Victor Oladipo

In general, I don’t like to take much stock in the outcomes of these games, but this Magic should’ve won this game as they have better players. Victor Oladipo had a game-high 22, and was effective from three going 2-2 and at the line going 12-14. I really like that the Magic are playing Olapido at point guard as it’s allowing him to work on his ball handling, and assert himself as a leader. Neither Harkless (-22 +/-) nor Nicholson (-20 +/-) looked great, but they’ll probably play better tomorrow.

For the Heat, second-round pick out of Long Beach State, James Ennis, continues to be a steady performe as he had a team-high 19 points along with 6 rebounds. Other than possibly Ennis, I don’t think anyone on this roster will make the regular season roster – although I think they should sign D.J. Stephens for gimmicky reasons  – he’s 6’5” and can kiss the rim! Give me a reason they shouldn’t sign him?!

Summer league Day 2 – Wrap-up

Thunder 79 Magic 78

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Andrew Nicholson

In the battle of the unrelated Lambs, Doron finished with an efficient 16 points for the Magic on 4-9 (FGM-A) and 2-4 (3PM-A), while Jeremy shot an inefficient 4-16 (FGM-A) and a cold 1-9 (3PM-A) to finish with 11 for the Thunder. Doron 1 / Jeremy 0.

Andrew Nicholson, the sleepiest looking player in the NBA since T-Mac, starred for Orlando in this game with some Hakeem Olajuwon shimmy shakes, and drop steps, leading to a game-high 19 points. Olapido was bothered by the quicker and smaller defender, Reggie Jackson (he also had a big time flush on Mo Harkless), but got to the line and finished with 12. For the Thunder, Daniel Orton looks trimmer and moved really well yesterday, finishing with 9 points and 7 rebounds in just 16 minutes. Lastly, Grant Jerrett continued to prove his hot shooting touch from the outside, going 4-8 from beyond the arc, putting up 14 points.

Pacers 96 76ers 75

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Miles Plumlee

Philly’s roster is pretty weak, but it’s allowing the Sixers staff to get a really good look at MCW, and Khalif Wyatt. MCW was attacking, but probably too much as he shot just 4-20 from the field and finished with 13 points. MCW cannot shot, and bricked several shots off the dribble. However, he took care of the ball much better yesterday, and didn’t turn the ball over once. Khalif Wyatt is making a strong push to make this Sixers team after pouring in a game-high 25 points.

For the Pacers, Solomon Hill who had 22 points on 4-5 from 3-point land, opened some eyes for the first time yesterday. He lost about 15 pounds since his days at Arizona, and looked fleet-a-foot. Miles Plumlee is an awkward athlete, but an effective body that can finish down low, and can block shots. Plumlee finished with 16 points on 7-13 from the field, and 4 blocks.

Celtics 93 Pistons 63

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Olynyk Clinic

The announcers continue to butcher Kelly Olynyk‘s name, often calling him Kyle, but it never really phased him. He only played 21 minutes, but finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds in a game that was never close. He continues to be the most dynamic player in this Summer League, however, I wish Andre Drummond played to see how Kelly would fare against a serious big-bodied big man.

For the Pistons, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope airballed 2 three-pointers, and just hasn’t found his rhythm yet. Slava Kravtsov had 9 points 8 rebounds and 2 memorable stuffs – they were both on Fab Melo at the rim. Other notable performances were Darius Johnson-Odom with 22 points, and Phil Pressy with 12 points and 4 assists.

Heat 93 Nets 86

Smooching the rim

D.J. Stephens

D.J. Stephens, phonetically pronounced ‘STEF-fans,’ the man with the 46-inch vert who can kiss the rim made his debut for the Heat, and that’s all I really cared to watch in this game. DJ finished with 1 point. Tough debut. Scotty Hopson, the guard out of Tennessee, played really well both inside and out, finishing with a team high 22 point effort for the Heat.

Mason Plumlee starred for the Nets with a perfect 8-8 from the field, and 23 points. He was very active, had a few nice slams, and looks like a solid pickup for the Nets who can use a guy like him coming off the bench.

On to day three…

Summer League Day 1: ‘5 Players and 1 Coach To Watch’

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Yesterday was the opening tip at the 2013 Orlando Summer League, and thus the commencement of the 2013-14 NBA season – at least for me and other overly-observent NBA enthusiasts. The chaos of first-round picks striving to live up to lofty expectations, oversees journeymen trying to ‘take their talents’ back to the states, and un-drafted free agents just looking to sneak onto the end of an NBA bench are three reasons that the NBA Summer Leagues a series of turbulent tryouts.

After watching at least one full half of each game, the most exciting team was the Pistons. On the other end of the spectrum, the least interesting, least compelling product was put together by the Miami Heat. It seems as though they are following the old motto, if it aint broke, don’t fix it. But enough about the teams, these are fictitious rosters filled with ’97 Camrys with the occasional Ferrari or Maserati mixed in, and I would much rather focus on the five most intriguing player stories, and one compelling coach story of day 1 in Orlando.

1. Kelly Olynyk/Fab Melo – “Oh, The Juxtaposition”

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Olynyk Clinic

Let’s start off by admitting that there wasn’t one man on this planet who expected this good of a debut from the long-haired Torontonian. We all knew Kaveman Kelly was skilled, smart (finished his degree in Accounting from Gonzaga in three years), and a future Boston cult-athlete, but we didn’t know his first stat line would read 25 and 7 on 9-12.

He used his body well down low, went 2-4 from three, put the ball on the deck and finished with his left, made polished post moves – I could go on and on. Dare I mention early comparisons to Dirk? Obviously, I’m getting ahead of myself, but if Kelly keeps this up Danny Ainge will look like a genius. Unfortunately, if he does become a 15 and 7 guy in his rookie season as he very well could be, the Celtics might not be bad enough to be in the running for Andrew Wiggins – a Cadmean Victory. Here’s the full video of Kelly’s debut – Kelly’s Debut.

Although he’s not a rookie, I need to vent about Fab Melo. He’s really, really lost out there. His clueless defensive positioning, disconcerting shot selection, and soft disposition below the rim make his 9 point 8 rebound 0 turnover stat line a poor indication of his actual performance. He was bailed out twice on two phantom foul calls. One was a contested turnaround 15-footer early in the shot clock that he banked in, fell down and got a call, and the second was a weak take below the rim where he was cleanly swatted by Mo Harkless who is 6’8” – Fab is 7’0”. Lastly, he made a perplexing pass that wasn’t directed toward anyone on his team, but happened to hit the back of Kyle O’Quinn of the Magic, and redirected straight out of bounds.

Fab was practically applying for his pink sheet, but was continually getting bailed out by the refs, and ended with a decent stat line. Enough about Fab and his ironic name. I’d be shocked if he made an NBA roster at any point this season.

2. Andre Drummond – “The Next Shaq?”

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Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond is a physically dominating force who is just now beginning to use his body. Yesterday, he had 12 points, 16 boards (7 offensive), 5 steals, 6 blocks and one of the meanest rim rejections I’ve ever seen (can’t find a video). I used to question his motor and willingness to improve, but after yesterday I have no doubts about the possibility for him to be very, very good.

However, he still has some holes offensely. He was pre-programming his offensive moves rather than reacting to his defender, and he can’t shoot free throws. He was 2-9 from the line, and doesn’t have a pretty stroke/natural rotation so I’m not sure how much he can actually improve. It doesn’t seem like he’ll improve much on his percentage from last season (37.1%), and it’ll be tough for Cheeks to play him late in games . Overall, Drummond has the physical tools to dominate inside, but still needs to figure out how to read his defender… and shoot free throws.

3. Michael Carter-Williams – “Deception in the Box Score”

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Michael Carter-Williams

If you are a Sixer fan looking at the ESPN bottom line, you must be pumped to see what Michael Carter-Williams did yesterday. However, upon further review his performance was more complicated than 26 points 8 assists and 7 Rebounds showing on the bottom line.

He played a lot, had the ball a lot, and did a lot – good and bad. The Good: 26 PTS / 10-11 FT / 8 AST / 7 REB. The Bad:  8-23 FGM-A / 0-6 3PM-A / 9 TO. At times he showed the ability to use his expansive ‘passing angles’ as a tall guard, and other times looked uncomfortable bringing the ball up with a smaller defender. The 76ers will be watching him closely to see if today’s Jekyll and Hyde performance will be a trend, or if MCW can find a consistent rhythm to his game.

4. Trey Burke – “Can Heart Outweigh Size?”

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Trey Burke

T-Burke’s first game as a pro should make Jazz fans a little bit nervous. He didn’t finish anything at the rim, bricked almost every shot (1-12 FGA-M) including a puzzling attempt from about 4 feet beyond the arc early in the shot clock, and didn’t attack his defenders and try to get into the lane. I’d be a little worried about Trey given his inability to score on Myck Kabongo, and even more worried about his utter disappearance with a bigger guy like Scotty Hopson (6’5”) on him.

He showed very little emotion/swagger, didn’t explode off ball screens as he did in college, and just didn’t seem like the Trey we all watched in this year’s NCAA tournament. Salt Lake City should be worried, but alas, it is only one game. Let’s go back to this Trey, and not the one we saw yesterday.

5. Peyton Siva – “A Winner’s Mentality”

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Peyton Siva

What Peyton Siva lacks in height, he more than makes up for in experience and leadership. He quarterbacked the 2013 National Champion Louisville Cardinals, which is something both his teammates and opponents will naturally respect.

In yesterday’s game, Siva didn’t look to shoot much (0-2 FGA-M), but that’s not really his game. In a game with 45 turnovers Siva had just 1, which should be attributed to Viacheslav Kravtsov (took me a while to sound out that one too), who cut to the hoop anticipating a shot by Siva.

With the timely departure of Jose Calderon Siva will be able to step in right behind Brandon Knight, and allow Stuckey to play off the ball more. Ultimately, he’s a proven winner that will get minutes on a team that should contend for a 4 or 5 seed – possibly higher – in the east. With the addition of Josh Smith, and rising young stars in Greg Monroe, and the aforementioned Drummond and Knight, watch out for the Pistons.

5a. Jason Kidd & Lawrence Frank – “The Crutch”

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Law Frank and J-Kidd

First off, it makes sense as to why Jason Kidd hired Lawrence Frank from a resume standpoint, but definitely awkward from a relationship standpoint. Kidd played for Frank for five years, and now Frank is working under Kidd. Weird.

Also, I’m not really sure what Jason Kidd did today as coach of the Brooklyn Nets. He was sitting down most of the time, didn’t draw up plays in the huddle and got a technical foul on a play where his player was fouled… and the refs called it. In the third quarter I finally realized why Jason Kidd wasn’t doing anything, and it’s because Lawrence Frank was doing everything. Whether it was drawing up the plays or the in-game coaching, Frank looked like, well, the Head Coach of the Nets.

The real winner in this whole deal is Kidd. Although he boasts the title of Head Coach, we all know Lawrence will be doing most of the heavy lifting here. Well played, Jason.

Can’t wait for day 2…