I feel we are one athletic big man away from making the next step - Timmeh's 5th ring! If we are unable to find the right F/C from our current summer league roster, we might as well take a peak at some of the performing bigs from other training camps. In view of that, I'm posting some excerpts from team sites with regards to their respective summer league campaigns. Perhaps if these players don't make their respective rosters, PATFO might as well snag them.
Other team sites are not as detailed as PTR in terms of their game recaps, which made me realize (again!) how lucky I am to be a Spurs fan. I'm just posting the excerpts, together with their links so that you can follow the article if you want to read the whole story.
(Note: Bowles is same 6'10" guy I've been lobbying for months for the Spurs to consider.)
- Two bigs stood out - Lance Thomas, who is also likely to make the team again, and the 23 year old Denzel Bowles. Bowles finished with 16 points (12 shots) and 12 rebounds and generally made his presence felt on both ends. It's just a game in, but he has to be on the early shortlist with Dyson, Roberts, and Thomas to get a training camp invite. Bowles was actually one of Draft Express' "trending prospects" last year, after he finished his college year at James Madison (transferring there from Texas A&M).
- Denzel Bowles wasn't quite able to provide an encore of his Sunday performance, though Brian Roberts put in 11 points again on 7 shots. Those two are still my early leaders to progress to training camp.
- Lance Thomas (22 points on 10/10 FTs) is my favorite guy on this roster. Pure energy on both ends, skilled enough offensively to make some moves, disruptive defensively, and constantly in the ears of every one of his teammates. The ceiling for him next year is stepping into Gustavo Ayon's vacated role.
Here's an excerpt from an interesting read by Kevin Pelton from basketballprospectus.com
Izzet Turkyilmaz, Denver - During Turkyilmaz's first stint on the floor, it wasn't entirely clear why the Nuggets would waste a pick on a rail-thin 7-footer who looked lost. Quickly, Turkyilmaz gained confidence and started dribbling the basketball and attempting passes behind his head. He also showed three-point range. Turkyilmaz should not come over until he's added a considerable amount of strength, but there might be something here.
Draymond Green, Golden State - Coming off the bench, Green played a key role for what might be the best team in the NBA Summer League. Green shot the ball with NBA three range and effectively went up in traffic to collect rebounds against much bigger opponents. The Warriors used Green as a four, which is probably his best position defensively but will cause some issues in terms of help defense because of his limited stature.
Donatas Motiejunas, Houston - Motiejunas provided a nice reminder of the danger of small sample size with his two performances over the first two days in Vegas. After dominating Toronto with 25 points and nine rebounds in his impressive debut, Motiejunas was a non-factor against Washington on Saturday, finishing with one point and missing all five of his shot attempts. Motiejunas' activity will serve him well in the NBA, in conjunction with his size. He's also skilled in the post. Still, expect the kind of inconsistency we saw during the summer to continue into his rookie season.
Thomas Robinson, Sacramento - Robinson struggled with his shooting, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who watched him against teams with length (like North Carolina) at Kansas. Learning to neutralize shot blockers will be Robinson's biggest adjustment. It's unclear whether the amount of time he spent on the perimeter was a response to this issue, or how the Kings want him to play, envisioning a high-low combination with DeMarcus Cousins. In terms of rebounding and defense, Robinson is ready to contribute now.
Here's another one from Jonathan Gault of behindthebasket.com
Atlanta shot very well (54% FG as a team), led by 2011 second-rounder Keith Benson and former Pitt Panther Brad Wanamaker, who combined to go 14-for-18 from the field for 32 points. Benson was +25 in the contest (despite the fact that Benson played the fewest minutes – 19 – of any Hawks’ starter) and his inside scoring coupled with 2012 first-rounder John Jenkins’ outside stroke (4-for-5 on threes) led Atlanta to an easy victory. Wanamaker also added six assists, the day’s second-highest total.
The biggest story in this one, and indeed, in the entire first day of the Las Vegas Summer League, was the play of Donatas Motiejunas, the Raptors’ 21-year-old 7-foot center, who was better than advertised in his first action with an NBA club. The #20 pick a year ago by Minnesota, the Rockets acquired Motiejunas’ rights in the Jonny Flynn trade. D-Mo, as he was dubbed by Rockets’ head coach Kevin McHale, had 25 points and 9 rebounds (both the top marks of the day) in just 25 minutes, and also registered 2 steals in helping Houston to the victory. Though his shooting numbers are unsustainable (11-for-13 from the field, including 2-for-2 on threes), he showed everything you could ask for from a player his size and will definitely bear watching for the rest of summer league and beyond. The only place where Motiejunas struggled was the free throw line, where he was just 1-for-5 against Toronto.
For the Kings, Thomas Robinson was a beast on the low block, bulling his way to 19 points and 15 free throw attempts. Though he’ll be unhappy with his six FT misses, it’s nice to see Robinson’s penchant for getting to the line (he ranked 12th in the NCAA in attempts last season) continue against slightly better competition. Hassan Whiteside put together a nice line of 7 points (3-for-5 FG) and 8 rebounds in 18 minutes of play.