The San Antonio Spurs may have an off day today, but basketball never stops. Therefore, neither do I. I'll be at the Thomas & Mack Center and/or the Cox Pavilion all day today with hot takes on Tuesday's summer league action.
These are the games I'll be watching today (listed start times listed are STTOTTM)
3:00 PM: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Miami Heat
This game screams "meh" to me. Maybe it's because I saw Minnesota play Phoenix yesterday and had to leave at halftime because I was so bored. Maybe it's because the Heat don't have any star power. Maybe it's just because I'm some cynical blogger who can't appreciate what an awesome opportunity I have to even be writing this preview in a Las Vegas hotel room and be more optimistic. I don't know. I do look forward to seeing Shabazz Muhammed in a playing environment that doesn't have a whistle every 15 seconds of gametime. And maybe Travis Leslie of the Heat will throw down some sick dunks or something. I'd be happy with either of those two things happening.
Player to Watch: Shabazz Muhammed, Minnesota Timberwolves
I fell in love with Muhammed's game when he played in the Jordan Brand classic in high school. he was a great scorer, and tenacious rebounder in that game, and i thought he was going to be great. He had some trouble and controversey throughout his time at UCLA, so I'm not sure his time there paints an accurate picture of what he can be. Maybe he won't be a great player, but i think he can score the ball well for whatever team he plays for.
5:30 PM: Golden State Warriors vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Now this game I'm excited for. It allows me an opportunity to watch a full game featuring golden State, whose game versus the Kings I had to leave yesterday to go watch the Spurs play. I'm ecstatic to see their hellish defense on display again, and see if the Bucks' guards, who are NBA veterans, can handle it. For the Bucks, there are so many reasons to be excited. There's Dominique Jones, who has all but seasled a roster spot in Milwaukee. There's Nate Wolters, who is one of my favorite rookies in this year's class. There's Ish Smith, who still needs to be freed. This is everything I could dream for in a summer league match-up, which probably means that it will end up being the worst game of the day; for Murphy loves us one and all.
Player to Watch: Ish Smith, Milwaukee Bucks
He's quick as lightning, has the handle of an And 1 streetballer, and can't score to save his life. What's not to love? H's perfect for summer league. FREE ISH SMITH!
7:00 PM: Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Yet another game I'm amped for. This match-up features two great scoring guards in Andrew Goudelock and C.J. McCollum. Goudelock, an NBA veteran, is playing for the Bulls' summer league team, but really is auditioning for anyone in the league. He has an NBA game, and he'll get a ton of touches, so it should be fun. McCollum is locked-in on the blazers roster as a high draft pick, but is another outstanding scoring guard. I expect these two to go at each other all game long. And if dynamic scoring guard duels don't get you on the edge of your seat, there's always the unintntional comedy of Meyers Leonard's post game.
Player to Watch, Erik Murphy, Chicago Bulls
Murphy is a stretch-4 type of player, but he can also bang down low in the post a bit. He's a bit like the Lakers' Ryan Kelly, but, in my opinion, better.
9:00 PM: Denver Nuggets vs. Washington Wizards
Now, this is a solid nightcap. Both of these squads have rookies I'm extremely interested in. Denver has Erick Green, who was a great scorer in his time at Virginia Tech. early indications are that Green will struggle to get by defenders in the league, so I'm curious to see how he can be as a shooter-first, slasher-second. Otto Porter, Washington's first selection, and third overall pick in the draft, has struggled in the summer league so far. He hasn't been hitting shots, or done anything at the level expected of that high a pick. I don't think this at all affects how he'll play in the NBA, because when the regular season starts he'll have John Wall and Bradley Beal to play with. But, he's gotten a little bit of criticism and I want to see how he handles it. By the way, Denver also has San Antonio native, and Warren HS graduate, Ben Uzoh. So go watch and support him, if you feel like representing your city tonight.
Player to Watch: Glen Rice Jr., Washington Wizards
Rice had an interesting path to the league, as he was dismissed from Georgia Tech after a shooting incident at an Atlanta nightclub. After his dismissal, he went on to the NBA D-League and played with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He's a good shooter, and has a solid basketball IQ, not to mention great athleticism. He's a bit of an unknown to the mainstream NBA world, and summer league provides an opportunity for him to have a coming out party.
It should be another fun day of basketball, so I encourage you to watch with me. You can get the NBA Summer League Live at low price, and you can also follow me on twitter @EeyoreWolfDough, where I'll be tweeting about the action all day.