Friday, July 18, 2014

Kevin Jones oustanding on Las Vegas Summer League day six.

Jones has face-up game. 
The D-League Select Team boasted the most efficient player on a winning team during play Wednesday at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Kevin Jones was that man. He came off the bench to score 19 points (8-11 FG, 2-2 3-pt. FG, 1-1 FT), and grab six rebounds in 21 minutes. The D League "Selectors" (as well call them) beat the Denver Nuggets summer squad 87-75. Jones, 24, is limited athletically but he can shoot face up shots as a BIG. 

Most efficient center on a winning team: Kyrylo Fesenko, Minnesota. ...Fesenko got loose for 17 points (7-9 FG, 3-6 FT), eight boards, and two blocked shots.  The 27 year-old Ukrainian has been out of the NBA since October 2012. 

Most efficient small forward on a winning team: Kyle Anderson, San Antonio. ...Anderson only played 20 minutes in the Spurs 100-71 blowout win over Milwaukee. Anderson scored 14 points (4-9 FG, 2-4 3-pt, FG, 4-4 FT) to go with three rebounds, and two assists. Anderson was the 30th and last player taken in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft. 

Most efficient shooting guard on a winning team: Shabazz Muhammad, Minnesota. ...Muhammad scored 16 points (4-12 FG, 8-9 FT), grabbed nine rebounds, and had two steals in the Timberwolves 86-77 victory over Phoenix. Muhammad was the 14th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of UCLA. 

Most efficient point guard on a winning team: Tyler Johnson, Miami. ...The truth is, the most efficient point guard on a winning team was just "solid". It was a poor day for PG efficiency Wednesday. Johnson scored eight points (4-7 FG), dished five assists and did so without a turnover in 27 minutes. As previously stated, we think ALL NBA teams should be considering Tyler Johnson as a player for development. He has good size, NBA athleticism, and he has shown enough of a feel for the game in summer league play (both Orlando and Las Vegas), to warrant a long look. 

Seven more stars

Keith Benson - Clippers. ...The most efficient player overall Wednesday was Keith Benson. He came off the Clippers bench to score 18 points (7-8 FG 4-4 FT), pull six rebounds, and block four shots in 21 minutes. Benson played most recently in Belarus. He was the 48th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. In our opinion, Benson is better right now at age 25 than some BIGs presently employed in the NBA. 

Elijah Millsap - Philadelphia. ...Millsap was used as a reserve shooting guard Wednesday, injecting energy into a 85-63 Sixers rout of the Lakers summer team. Millsap had SEVEN steals on the day, combined with 19 points (5-7 FG, 9-12 FT) in 24 minutes. ...Millsap is 26 years old. 

Gal Mekel - Dallas. ...Mekel poured in 17 points (5-7 FG, 1-2 3-pt. FG, 6-9 FT), grabbed five boards, and had six assists (two turnovers) in 29 minutes. His Dallas team lost to Charlotte 82-81 on a Roberto Nelson buzzer beater. 

Drew Gordon - Philadelphia. ...Gordon scored eight points (4-9 FG) and gathered ten rebounds in just 20 minutes Wednesday. Gordon most recently played professionally in Italy. 

T.J. Warren - Phoenix. ...Warren can flat-out score. Wednesday he went for 26 points (11-18 FG, 4-6 FT) in 29 minutes. Warren was the 14th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft after wining ACC Player of the Year honors at N.C. State. 

Donatas Motiejunas - Houston. ...Motiejunas is playing center now. He scored 18 points (7-10 FG, 1-3 3-pt. FG, 3-5 FT) and pulled in seven boards in 25 minutes. Houston beat Toronto 93-77. ...Certainly there is a HUGE gap between Summer League competition at the FIVE, and real NBA competition at center. That said, Motiejunas has looked good. He scores near the hoop using either hand well, and he also displays a feel for the game with his vision and passing ability. He is a unique player. 

Gorgui Dieng - Minnesota. ...Dieng scored 13 points (6-13 FG, 1-2 FT) and grabbed 19 rebounds in 35 minutes. Dieng came on strong at the end of his rookie season. He finished the 2013-14 NBA regular season as the 16th ranked center in efficiency per minute. We think he should be starting full-time somewhere. 

Notes: ...It was a kick to watch veteran legendary NBA referee Joey Crawford be 'kissed-up to" by virtually every NBA person that passed his way. Crawford was seated on an asile, jotting notes on future NBA refs as they worked the game. ...Three players were in "negative" efficiency territory Wednesday: Ricky Ledo, Kendall Marshall, and Brandon Davies. This is the second time in the Vegas Summer League that Davies has had a "minus" efficiency rating. That is not good. ...We watched Aaron Craft give Dennis Schroder fits Wednesday in the Hawks / Warriors game. Atlanta won 68-65 but Craft almost brought the Warriors to a come-from-behind win with his inspirational play off the bench. Craft is beyond tenacious on defense. He is downright pesky. He challenges every motion of his opponent. He makes plays that do not show up in the boxscore (such as pressuring the opposing PG into a pass to his center who promptly, palms the ball and commits a turnover). I think NBA teams should seriously consider Craft, if for nothing else, specific defensive assignments when an opposing point guard is "getting off". 


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