Sunday, July 29, 2012

Las Vegas Summer League 2012 Awards

"It's just summer league.", said Geoff Petrie - Sacramento's Kings President of Basketball Operations. This was a couple years back in a brief conversation. His words should never be under-valued. NBA Summer League - while light years better in 2012 than it was in, say, 1988, is still largely made up of players who will NOT sniff an NBA roster. Nevertheless our love for basketball and curiosity for how players we've followed will fare in this organized setting is compelling enough for us to invest a significant amount of time in scouting the games. 

Each year of the Las Vegas Summer League - we do a "stat audit" after the dust has settled to see if what we thought we were seeing with the naked eye - matches what the numbers say. I justify the time and effort by simply wanting to be as informed as possible about all prospects. I continue to be a strong believer in being "data informed". When you can combine, serious observation (with note-taking), data, and a dash of common-sense - you become an educated scout. And sometimes the educated scout disagrees with the "herd". The "herd" in this instance is whatever was said, and repeated on "mass-media" websites such as NBA-TV,,, etc..., ...All you really need to know about what you are about to read is that we are not paid by any team, agent, or media outlet. We watched and took notes on games, and then followed up each day with a report on the most efficient players at each position. The final step of this evaluation was to review notes, and manually punch in the numbers for the 246 players that played at least 40 minutes. ...Our final thoughts - with all things considered are listed below. 

We thought Terrence Jones was terrific. 
Our MVP: Terrence Jones – Houston. …Jones averaged 18 points and eight rebounds on 50% FG, 76% FT, and 33% 3-pt. The Rockets were 4-1.  Jones’ efficiency was a ridiculously good .778 in five games. He started just two of the games.  He had more assists than turnovers, and finished third in points per minute, and fifth in rebounds per minute. 

Our First Team All Las Vegas Summer League:

PG: Josh Selby – Memphis. …Selby posted the highest efficiency rating (for those who played over 78 minutes) of the LVSL. He was officially named co-MVP (with Damian Lillard). Selby averaged 24 points per game on 55% FG, 89% FT. He made 27 threes on 64% 3-pt fg. I have a rule (for summer league or ANY league) that I can not choose a league most valuable player from a team with a losing record. Memphis went 2-3. 

SG: Damian Lillard – Portland. …Lillard averaged 26.5 points per game! He also had 5.3 assists, and four rebounds each contest. He showed the ability to play with a "pro's pace". He hit difficult shots with both hands while showing he understands how to run a team, and manage the clock. 

SF:  Adam Morrison – Clippers. …Morrison scored 20 points per game while snaring five rebounds each contest. He shot well: 55% FG, 61% 3-pt., 78% FT.  
PF: Malcolm Thomas – Bulls. …Thomas was a rebounding machine in Vegas. He averaged 12.4 boards to go with 11.4 points per game.  He shot 53% FG, and 78% FT.

C:  Donatas Motiejunas – Houston.  …Motiejunas scored 16 points and grabbed 7.8 rebounds per game. He shot 62% FG. The Rockets were 4-1.

Our Second Team All Las Vegas Summer League

PG: Dionte Christmas – Boston. …Christmas averaged 12 points, six rebounds, and four assists. His assist-to-turnover ratio was better than 3-to-1.  

Harris played smartly
SG: Terrel Harris – Miami. …Harris played ball at a high level in Las Vegas. He scored 15.5 ppg, and he was a thief – with 3.5 steals per game.  His assist-to-turnover ratio was over 4-to-1. He hit 17-19 free throws (89%). 

SF: Jordan Hamilton – Denver.  …Hamilton averaged 19.2 points, and 6.4 rebounds. He displayed playmaking skills with a 1.5-to-1 ast-to-turnover ratio.

PF: Markieff Morris – Phoenix. …Morris was a shade under “20 & 10”. He averaged 19.8 ppg, and 9.8 rpg in five games. He was 26 of 29 from the FT line (89.7%).  

C:  Bernard James – Dallas. James was as advertised defensively. He blocked 2.6 shots per game, and grabbed nine rebounds per game. He scored ten ppg – on 60% FG.  

Top five players per position by efficiency. …78 minutes played minimum.      

Point Guards
Shooting Guards
Small Forwards
Power Forwards
Josh Selby .982
Terrel Harris .686
Terrence Jones .778
Malcolm Thomas .734
Donatas Motiejunas .740
Dionte Christmas .629
Coby Karl .655
Adam Morrison .607
Markieff Morris .712
Bernard James .702
Damian Lillard .626
Jordan Hamilton .579
Jimmy Butler .563
Samardo Samuels .692
Keith Benson .661
Dominique Jones .556
Jeremy Lamb .534
Tobias Harris .557
Ed Davis .650
Tyler Zeller .655
Aaron Miles .554
Kent Bazemore .524
Drew Viney .539
Denzel Bowles .630
John Henson .592

They did well with the minutes they were given. This is a list of the top seven efficiency ratings of those who played between 40-77 minutes.

Akognon: scoring machine!
Josh Akognon – SAC .982 (Akognon was a scoring machine in his 55 minutes. He scored 58 points and averaged 19 a game off the bench.)
Nolan Smith – POR .780
Luke Harangody – CLE .778
Klay Thompson – GSW .763
Talor Battle – LAC .671
Jarrid Famous – MIL .646
Dexter Pittman – MIA .645

They didn’t play wellThis is a list of the five lowest efficiency ratings of guys that played at least 78 minutes…

Marquis Teague – CHI .095
Ramone Moore – CHI .103
Antoine Wright – LAC .148
Darius Johnson-Odom – LAL .152
Chris Smith – NYK .165

Scorers …This a list of the top-eight in points per minute (78 minutes minimum).

Josh Selby – MEM .883 ppm
Damian Lillard – POR .809 ppm
Terrence Jones – HOU .722 ppm
Jeremy Lamb – HOU .685 ppm
Wes Johnson – MIN .683 ppm
Adam Morrison – LAC .667 ppm
Donatas Motiejunas – HOU .663 ppm
Markieff Morris – PHX .647 ppm

Rebounders …This is a list of the top-eight in rebounds per minute (78 minutes minimum).

Malcolm Thomas – CHI .446 rpm
Denzel Bowles – NO .407 rpm
Bernard James – DAL .344 rpm
Ed Davis – TOR .343 rpm
Terrence Jones – HOU .341 rpm
Eric Dawson – SA .333 rpm
Thomas Robinson – SAC .331 rpm
Samardo Samuels – CLE .327 rpm 

Karl was virtually mistake free.
Ball-Handlers / Decision Makers  …This is a list of the top-eight assist-to-turnover ratios (78 minutes minimum)

Coby Karl – MIN 7.5 to 1
Marcus Hubbard – LAC 7 to 1
Kemba Walker – CHA 5.8 to 1
Zoran Dragic – HOU 5 to 1
Terrel Harris – MIA 4.5 to 1
Aaron Miles – MIL 4 to 1
Jordan Taylor – ATL 3.5 to 1
Dionte Christmas – BOS 3.33 to 1

They get to the line! …This is a list of the top-eight in free throw attempts per minute (78 minutes minimum)

Derrick Williams - MIN .389
Ed Davis – TOR .292
Jimmer Fredette – SAC .278
Jimmy Butler – CHI .275
Thomas Robinson – SAC .264
Samardo Samuels – CLE .250
Norris Cole – MIA .242
Bradley Beal – WA .235

Rim Protectors / Defenders …This is a list of the top-eight in blocked shots per minute (78 minutes minimum)

Bernard James – DAL .10
Festus Ezeli – GSW .10
Keith Benson – ATL .09
Henry Sims – CHI .09
Hilton Armstrong – LAC .09
Bismack Biyombo – CHA .09
Kent Bazemore – GSW .09
Mitchell Watt – MEM .08

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