Thoughts on Las Vegas Summer League Day 4

Three Up, Three Down

UP — Cody Zeller, Bobcats: Another day, another good performance from the fourth overall pick. Zeller scored 18 points to go with 10 rebounds in the Bobcats' win over the Knicks on Monday. Zeller has put together two very strong performances at Summer League and seems especially fitted for that bench role behind Al Jefferson. Bismack Biyombo also had 11 rebounds and he seems to mesh well with the defensive-minded center next to him. This is a very good sign for Charlotte.


DOWN — Dion Waiters, Cavaliers: Three games in, and we are still waiting to see if Dion Waiters can dominate the Summer League. Waiters scored plenty again, but did so inefficiently while struggling to keep his teammates involved as the de facto point guard. Waiters scored 16 points, but was 5 for 16 from the floor and committed five turnovers against just two assists. With the experience and talent Waiters has, we expected a lot more.

UP — Marcus Morris, Suns: Playing with his brother again might be a big boost for Marcus Morris when the regular season starts. Monday, it was a big boost when he had his moment to shine. Morris made the game-winning basket and then played impeccable defense on Shabazz Muhammad on the final possession to give Phoenix a two-point win. Morris scored 22 points to go with six rebounds.


DOWN — Reggie Bullock, Clippers: Bullock is having a tough time matching his opening day performance for the Clippers. Bullock shot 5 for 16 from the floor and just 2 of 8 from beyond the arc as the Clippers fell to the cross-town Lakers and struggled offensively in this one. I guess we are now seeing why Bullock went so late in the first round.

UP — Aron Baynes, Spurs: Baynes saw little time for the Spurs last year after coming over from New Zealand. But San Antonio likes the young big man and he should stick around again. Monday, he showed a reason why as he and Nando De Colo took over the game. Baynes scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the way for San Antonio in the win. De Colo also had 19 as the Spurs continue to mine young players and bring them comfortably into their organization.

DOWN — Shabazz Muhammad, Timberwolves: Muhammad continues to struggle some with his shot and asserting himself at Summer League. And then he had the indignity of giving up possession on the final play of the game too. Muhammad shot just 3 of 9 from the floor and scored eight points. And, unfortunately right now, Muhammad is not contributing much when he is not scoring.

Summer League Power Rankings
1. Bulls (2-0, 12 points)                     2. Bucks (2-0, 12 points)
3. Suns (2-0, 11 points)                     4. Bobcats (2-1, 14 points)
5. Spurs (2-1, 12 points)                    6. D-League Select (2-0, 10 points)
7. Pelicans (2-1, 11 points)               8. Warriors (2-0, 11.5 points)
9. Heat (1-1, 6 points)                        10. Raptors (1-1, 8 points)
11. Cavaliers (2-1, 13.5 points)        12. Hawks (1-2, 9 points)
13. Mavericks (1-1, 7 points)            14. Lakers (2-1, 13 points)
15. Timberwolves (0-2, 3.5 points) 16. Clippers (1-2, 8 points)
17. Trail Blazers (0-2, 2.5 points)    18. Knicks (1-2, 8 points)
19. Kings (0-2, 3 points)                    20. Nuggets (0-2, 2 points)
21. Grizzlies (0-2, 2.5 points)            22. Wizards (0-2, 2.5 points)

Chicago Bulls 93, Denver Nuggets 81

Let there be no doubt anymore that Andrew Goudelock can play with the ball in his hands and a primary scoring role. At least when he is at any level aside from the NBA. The young guard has had trouble breaking through into the Association, but the D-League MVP put up another scoring display at Summer League that is sure to give him another chance. Goudelock scored 31 points on 10-for-13 shooting, leading an offensive barrage from the Bulls. Marquis Teague had seven assists and Malcolm Thomas pulled down 22 rebounds. Tom Thibodeau surely did not like Chicago giving up 13-for-25 shooting from beyond the arc, but a lot of players on this Bulls roster (Erik Murphy added 18 points as a stretch-4) continue to impress. Evan Fournier had 20 points and Luke Harangody added 17 for the Nuggets.

San Antonio Spurs 96, Atlanta Hawks 87

Somehow, Ohio State guard DeShaun Thomas slipped to the 57th pick in the Draft. Right into the Spurs' hands. Right where he can be used perfectly and to the best ofh is abilities. Because San Antonio definitely does not need any more strong, selfless defenders who can score, right? Thomas scored 17 points and continued to shine for a veteran-laden San Antonio team. He and Nando de Colo helped hold off the Hawks in the end. De Colo scored 19 points to go with eight assists. Aron Baynes had 19 points and 15 rebounds. These guys obviously took advantage of the experience from last year in the run to the Finals. Mike Scott had 27 points for Atlanta.

Golden State Warriors 80, Sacramento Kings 66

Draymond Green and Kent Bazemore have experience playing with the main team to draw on as they take control of this Summer League team. That is what they had to use as Golden State won despite a 38.5 percent shooting performance. Green had 18 points, including 8-for-8 shooting from the foul line, and Bazemore had 15 points and five assists. Kings first-round pick Ben McLemore continued to struggle, making just 4 of his 12 shots and only one of his seven 3-pointers. He turned the ball over four times.

Los Angeles Lakers 77, Los Angeles Clippers 65

Marcus Landry scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Lakers to a 12-point win in a game that saw both teams struggle to make shots. The Lakers had three other players get into double figures. The Clippers got 12 points from Reggie Bullock and 11 points from DaJuan Summers.

Phoenix Suns 91, Minnesota Timberwolves 89

In the finish of the day, Marcus Morris blocked Shabazz Muhammad's game-winning jumper shortly after he hit his own go-ahead jumper as the Suns completed a 24-point comeback in the second half. Morris scored 22 points and his brother Markieff scored 18 points to lead the Suns. Robbie Hummel led Minnesota with 18 points and seven rebounds. The Timberwolves shot 49.2 percent from the field and dominated the game until Phoenix made its run.

New Orleans Pelicans 66, Cleveland Cavaliers 62

Several players for the Pelicans have turned heads with gaudy stat lines. But a little closer look reveals some problems. Brian Roberts scored 11 points, but shot 5 for 15 to get there. Austin Rivers scored 13 points but was 5 for 12 and committed five fouls. Lance Thomas had 14 points and 11 rebounds in a solid performance. Dion Waiters had his struggles too. He once again scored 16 points, but shot 5 for 16 and had only two assists against five turnovers for the Cavaliers.

Charlotte Bobcats 84, New York Knicks 71

If only Summer League performances counted for anything. Then the Bobcats might really be cooking something. For the time being, these are just nice performances that bode well for the immediate future. Charlotte got 20 points from Jeffrey Taylor, another solid performance from the second-year player. Cody Zeller added 18 points and 10 rebounds, continuing to mesh well with Bismack Biyombo next to him. The Knicks were just 3 for 13 from beyond the arc and shot 34.6 percent. C.J. Leslie scored 15 points to lead the Knicks.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily