What Happens In Vegas…
Summer is in full swing, and that means Summer League basketball. Thanks to NBA TV basketball junkies can catch some hoops in the month of July.
Devoid of the pomp and circumstance that goes along with the regular season, Summer League hoops has a throwback feel to it. There are no player introductions prior to tip-off. The coverage is not state of the art – the audio mix isn’t always optimal. Commentators and play-by-play guys don’t follow a script. To top it off, commercials are minimal and sideline interviews seem less intrusive. All of that makes for rather enjoyable viewing on a rainy day.
Watching Summer League games lends a deeper appreciation to the level of play in the NBA. These games are a mix of rookies and youngsters trying to earn a contract. Several minutes can tick off the clock before a semblance a half-court offense shows up.
Managed to catch a little of the Bulls / Oklahoma City game. Good to see DeMarcus Nelson on the floor for the Bulls. Nelson still works hard on his defense. He played limited minutes for Golden State last season. Here’s hoping the Duke alum finds a bench to ride for the season.
Word has it that Hasheem Thabeet is struggling in Sin City. No surprise there. But with time Hash should contribute in the NBA.
It’s all about location.
Prior to the NBA Draft, many thought DeJuan Blair would be a lottery pick – if not, at least in the middle of the first round. Draft day arrived. The first ten picks came, and Blair waited. The first round ended, and still Blair did not have a team. Not until the 37th pick (San Antonio) did Blair hear his name.
Blair may not have been a lottery pick, but he landed in a great location. While many youngsters will struggle on weak teams, Blair will have the chance to learn from a bunch of veterans and experience playoff basketball. Wonder if a Tim Duncan / Blair commercial with the gnomes is in the making.
The Spurs who looked a step slow the second-half of the season have rebuilt themselves into contenders. Adding Richard Jefferson prior to the draft gives the Spurs a perimeter presence they lacked when Manu Ginobili went down with an injury.
Jefferson should enjoy a return to the playoffs. It’s been a while since he helped the Nets get to the finals. Jefferson on the floor with Tony Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili should provide more than just a threat for the Los Angeles Lakers.
San Antonio also drafted Jack McClinton from Miami. Although he is unsigned as yet, McClinton is a three-point threat who, along with Roger Mason, can provide a complement to the Spurs offense.
Cleaning out the skeletons.
What a summer for Derrick Rose. He’s fended off more allegations than the Cambridge police department. First, we read about the bogus SAT scores. Then came the story about his high school grades. Now, Rose is dealing with a picture from high school that portrays a less-than flattering image.
What’s a guy to do? Rose is spending time in the gym working with the USA National team. Sporting News reports that Rose is taking 500-800 shots a day.
That’s one way to avoid the negative press.
Got some insights? Take a seat on the Pine and share some wisdom.