Tuesday seems to be the point in the Las Vegas Summer League where things take shape. It marks the last day of round robin play, while simultaneously announcing the midway point of the action, and that brings a great deal of eyeballs. Let's see what transpired:
- Portland may have the best team in Las Vegas. The Blazers don't have the big names that a team like Cleveland can present, but Portland has three legitimate rotation players in Will Barton, Thomas Robinson and CJ McCollum, and real NBA players in Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland. As you likely saw in the recap from last night, they had no issue with the Hawks, but the opponent was largely insignificant, as they can really play.
- Doug McDermott is still doing work. "Dougie McBuckets" poured in 20 points on just 13 field goal attempts against the Timberwolves, and with the everlasting caveat of Summer League, he has had little trouble creating offense. It isn't a traditional skill set for this age of the NBA, but he will get his shots in bunches.
- Glenn Robinson III looks overmatched. The former Michigan forward was a trendy sleeper pick in the second round, but Minnesota hasn't gotten a great deal out of him in Las Vegas. Honestly, Robinson is a proven athlete/leaper with good size, but the skill set was never there in Ann Arbor, and it appears to be plaguing him through his short professional career.
- Remember when Rodney Hood went crazy on Monday? Well, he crashed back to Earth with a 1-for-9 shooting effort on Tuesday. However, the Jazz cruised to a nearly 20-point victory over the Rockets, and with the young core of Hood, Dante Exum and Trey Burke, I'd say Utah is in pretty good shape.
- We didn't see Nerlens Noel on Tuesday. Sigh. Let's hope he's available for the majority of the tournament.
- T.J. Warren can still really score. The former NC State forward, who happened to lead the ACC in scoring despite the mere existence of Jabari Parker, put up 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns on Tuesday, and Phoenix looks like one of the more terrifying squads in Las Vegas. There are still real concerns about whether Warren can make enough jump shots to sustain a big-time workload in the league, but his nose for the basket is undeniable.
- Shabazz Napier is struggling like few players in all of Summer League action, and things hot rock bottom with a 2-for-16 shooting performance on Tuesday. It is visibly apparent that Napier is pressing, and it is understandable, but as a player with real expectations to contribute immediately following a four-year college career, this isn't a good look.
- Lastly, the wing duo of Otto Porter and Glen Rice, Jr. continues to impress. The two players combined for 43 points on just 27 shots on Tuesday, and even with Paul Pierce set to replace Trevor Ariza in the lineup, the Wizards will be looking for ways to fill minutes. You can bet that both young guys will see extended time.
We are officially in the "dog days" of the Las Vegas Summer League, but there is still plenty of talent on the floor, and with that, a lot to follow. Stay tuned to Peachtree Hoops for all the latest.