Friday, the final day of the Impact Competitive Training Series, was a super casual little run that really didn’t offer much. The small crowd was silent.
Except where WNBA star Cappie Pondexter took it to Sebastian Telfair.
If you don’t know Pondexter, she is a two-time All WNBA first team guard now of the New York Liberty, and she is the 2007 WNBA finals MVP. She averaged 21.4 points per game last year and shot 43 percent from three. Her crossover is better than yours. And in the game Friday she and Telfair traded some plays. And Pondexter got the better or it.
Video: Highlights of the last day of Vegas Impact series
As we’ve been saying, the quality of basketball at the Impact Competitive Training Series in Las Vegas is not going to be confused with the NBA product. It has had all the defense of a pro-am game and in the end felt like Summer League — you saw some individuals you like but are careful not to read too much into all of it.
That said, in the absence of any NBA, it will do.
So here are the highlights from the last day, with plenty of John Wall and Josh Selby (who was one of those guys we liked out of this).
Jeremy Evans is one of my new favorite players to watch
I really missed NBA summer league in Las Vegas. I didn’t miss the oppressive heat of Vegas in July. I didn’t miss what is passed off as food at the Thomas and Mack.
But I missed finding players you didn’t know much about before and falling in love with their games. Finding good guys worth rooting for to do well.
Guys like Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz. He was at the Impact Competitive Training Series in Las Vegas the last couple weeks, which had the feel of Summer League in a lot of ways (including the lack of defense). Evans athleticism stood out — the man is a human pogo stick. He can leap out of the building and I don’t know many guys who can get a second jump off as quick or as high as him.
He was putting on a show (see the video below). The best part is, he is just a humble guy from Kentucky playing with a huge smile on his face the whole time.
“That’s just me, I’m always smiling,” Evans said. “I think it just comes from my game.”
He didn’t see a lot of time in Utah last season, but it’s a difficult fit. He is a natural athlete who ideally should be showcased in transition, but the Jazz are a very system oriented team. Plus, he should be a natural four and the Jazz have Paul Millsap eating up most of the minutes at that spot.
But man, is Evans fun to watch. What does he need to do to get more run in Slat Lake?
“Probably just my confidence, shooting the ball,” Evans said. “I can shoot the ball and I just don’t shoot, other guys are out there. I just try to do what I can to help the team.”
Seeing if Evans can break through is just one of the many reasons I want the NBA season to start. On time. Like now. But alas….
Impact series Day 7: Check out the hops on Iman Shumpert
Knicks fans are going to love Iman Shumpert. If you want to know why, just watch the video below — those are some serious hops.
He’s looked like a stud at the Impact Competitive Training Series (the “lockout league”) in Vegas. That, however, is a long way from fitting in and playing well in NBA games. The list of Summer League MVPs is a long list of “who’s that?” But the Georgia Tech rookie certainly has the athleticism to turn some heads.