Today is Day 3 of the NBA Las Vegas Summer League, folks! I can't cover all of the games, because they run two games at a time. But, I can tell you the games I have choosen to go to, and the reasons behind why I picked them.
(Start times listed are Central Time.)
3:30 PM: Los Angeles Clippers vs. D-League Select Team
After having watched the Hawks/Clippers game on Day 1 of summer league, I must admit that I've developed a bit of a crush for both teams. For Atlanta, it was because of their intriguing rookies, Lucas Nogueira and Dennis Schröder. For the Clippers, it was a number of reasons. There's Reggie Bullock, who played fantastically in that first game, scoring 18 points on 8-15 shooting. Samardo Samuels and DaJuan Summers were also great, getting 15 points a piece. The Clippers' ball movement was exceptional for a summer league squad, and reminded me a bit of the Spurs style of ball, whipping it all around the arc until someone nails a three. As far as the D-League select team goes, I'm legitimately curious as to who they are and what they can do. I'm not very familiar with any of their styles of play, and would really like to become more familiar.
Player to watch: Reggie Bullock, Los Angeles Clippers.
Let's see if he can keep up his hot start.
5:30 PM: Portland Trailblazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
I think I'm more excited for this game than any other non-Spurs game tomorrow. During the pre-draft process, I fell in love with C.J. McCollum's game, and I can't wait to watch him live. He's very similar to his teammate, Damian Lillard, and all I can hope for is that they get some minutes together to work their magic. The Lakers have anther rookie, Ryan Kelly, whom I'm interested in watching. Kelly has a chance to become another in the recent string of good stretch-4s to come into the league recently. Summer league provides a lot of opportunity to watch these guys, because of how much pick-and-pop is run with them. (Hi, DeShaun Thomas.) Also, the Lakers have Josh Selby, who was the standout player of last year's summer league.
Player to Watch: Josh Selby, Los Angeles Lakers.
JOSH SELBY SUMMER LEAGUE. JOSH SELBY SUMMER LEAGUE. JOSH SELBY SUMMER LEAGUE. JOSH SELBY SUMMER LEAGUE.
7:00 PM: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
I have no idea if anyone in Las Vegas establishes odds for who will win the summer league tournament, but personally, I'd have to favor the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have Dion Waiters, who really heated up at the end of last year. Tyler Zeller wasn't great in his rookie year, but he also wasn't terrible, so he should be far ahead of the competition here. Kenny Kadji is also a very skilled player who might have been taken in the first round in this year's draft if he weren't already 25 years old. To be completely honest, I'm not that excited about the Grizzlies' summer league squad, but, Tony Wroten is probably good enough to help Memphis grit and grind to a competitive game.
Player to Watch: Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers.
Summer league courts are his canvas, the ball is his brush, and he is sure to bless us with some beautiful pieces of art this weekend.
9:30 PM: San Antonio Spurs vs. Toronto Raptors
For the Spurs, I'm interested to see how well DeShaun Thomas' offensive production keeps up. Also, I'm curious if he will continue to be a purely pick-and-pop player, or if he will have opportunities to score in some other fashion. Ryan Richards is another player I'll be paying attention to. His first game left a lot to be desired, and I'd like to see if that jumper of his will start to fall. All I really want from the Raptors is more Jonas Valanciunas. He's a budding young center, who has loads and loads of potential, and I want him to get the ball on the block every single play. If they mixed in some dunks from Terrence Ross, I wouldn't be mad at that, either.
Player to Watch: Holllis Thompson, San Antonio Spurs.
I said it in my recap of the Spurs' first summer game. Thomas piques my interest a bit. He's not very flashy, or even a scorer. But he makes the right plays, and that has a lot of value.