After a fantastic 10 days in Vegas, the NBA Summer League came to a close yesterday. Over the next few days, I will give you my recap of each of the teams out there, along with other tidbits and conversations from my time out there.
Two teams finished undefeated out in Vegas, but each did it in very different ways. Let’s take a look at the Summer League Review for the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (5-0)
PPG – Gary Neal – 16.0
RPG Tyler Wilkerson – 6.6
APG – Curtis Jerrells – 4.4
Most Valuable Players – Gary Neal and Alonzo Gee
Most Improved Player – Curtis Jerrells
Biggest Surprise – Gary Neal
Summer League Review – The Spurs were easily the most impressive team to watch in Vegas. With possibly the fewest number of NBA players on their roster, this summer league squad looked like they had been playing together for a few years. Alonzo Gee had a great week – showing a quick first step and phenomenal leaping ability. I can recall very few instances where a defender stopped him one-on-one all week. He still worries a bit about making a spectacular play rather than the smart play, but he was a pleasure to watch and should be seen on the Spurs roster more often this season. Gary Neal needs to be signed immediately, if not by the Spurs, then by any team looking for a shooter with good range and the ability to shoot of the catch or dribble. Curtis Jerrells has shown remarkable improvement since his time at Baylor, showing good ability to run a half-court offense while also creating shots when needed. Daryl Watkins and Tyler Wilkerson both did admirable jobs down low against stronger and more talented competition. DeJuan Blair was in attendance but did not play.
Who to Look For This Season – Gee should receive some minutes this season, and expect both Jerrells and Neal to be in pre-season camp.
TORONTO RAPTORS (5-0)
PPG – DeMar DeRozan – 16.0
RPG Joey Dorsey – 9.8
APG – Curtis Stinson and Bobby Brown – 4.0
Most Valuable Player – DeMar DeRozan
Most Improved Player – Sonny Weems
Biggest Surprise – Ed Davis
Summer League Review – DeMar DeRozan looks like he is ready to make the leap in his second year to being one of those players that you need to worry about every night if you are the opposition. Last week, he showed an improved mid-range game, the ability to go strong to the basket, and more than a couple highlight dunks in transition. He still needs to improve his defense, especially positioning, but he is looking very good right now. Sonny Weems is still not much of a threat in the half-court offense, but in transition he does a great job filling the lanes and getting to the rim. Defensively, he has shown improvement, though he is still prone to silly fouls. Bobby Brown did a great job pacing the Toronto offense, both in transition and in half-court sets. He does a great job taking what the offense gives him, though I don’t think he would be much of a scorer at the NBA level. Ed Davis looked more like the freshman everyone raved about rather than the disappointing sophomore. He showed nice footwork in the post, good touch on his shots and did a great job on defense. He still needs to gets a little stronger and add some bulk, plus he needs to work on not trying to force all of his moves to the left side of the court. Joey Dorsey was a monster on defense and as a rebounder. While not in great shape, he used his body to force offensive players out of the lane and easily out-muscled bigger players on the glass.
Who to Look For This Season – Davis is looking more and more that he could be a viable long-term replacement for Chris Bosh. Solomon Alabi was a nice complement down low and can provide instant defensive help for the team. Look for Brown to get a shot as a backup point guard for the team, and Dorsey could provide some valuable minutes in the frontcourt.
Check back later today for Part 2, as I take a look at the Summer League had by the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers