LAS VEGAS — There is a whole lot going on in Las Vegas… and we’re not just talking about the TAO nightclub. It’s Summer League and here is stuff from my notebook today (well, if I had a notebook, more stuff from my MacBook Air really)….
• The scouting report is out — Golden State overplayed Sacramento Kings rookie Ben McLemore’s right hand, shifted their defense on him and dared him to try and go left. He didn’t, even when he went left he tried to pull it back and move right to get his shot. The result was a 4-of-12 shooting night for the No. 7 pick.
“I don’t feel like they were,” McLemore said of the effort to push him left. “They was just trying to stop me from shooting. That’s what most teams going to do, so when I see that I’m going to drive to the hole, get into the lane, get to the line.”
When McLemore tried to drive the need to improve his handles showed — he lost the ball a couple times, once getting away with a carry before he was stripped in the pant. But Warriors coach Mike Malone wants him to keep driving.
“That was one of the things they said about him coming out of Kansas, that right now he’s a straight-line driver but he doesn’t have the great ability to break his man down off the dribble so along with his shot selection we’re going to work on his handle,” Malone said….
“He has to realize… that if your jump shot’s not going sometimes drive the ball, get to the foul line, get an easy one, see that ball go through the net and that will help you out for your next one.”
• Shabazz Muhammad is not shy on the court — he wants the rock every time down, his hands are up constantly asking for the ball. He’s got a scorer’s mentality and he works really hard off the ball to get open — these are good things. Clearly someone on the Minnesota staff talked to him about passing more so he was trying hard to show he can dish, which led to a few forced attempts, but he was trying.
• Andrew Goudelock had another big scoring night for the Bulls — 31 points on 10-of-13 shooting, 5-of-6 from three. He was made for Summer League.
• Otto Porter was held out of the Wizards practice and scrimmage against the Raptors with a tight hamstring. Nothing serious, but the Wizards are not taking any precautions.
Cassell said he is going to continue to experiment with Porter in the rotation in Summer League, because they are trying to see what kind of player they really have.
“(Tuesday) I might play him at the point some,” Cassell said, and nobody is sure if he is joking or not. “I’m telling you we just want to see, we want to see what he can do, see what he brings to our ball club. I tried him at the four a little bit the other day, I might play him at the four (Tuesday). We got to see what he can do and what he can’t do.”
• It was nice to see Robbie Hummel’s play well — 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting. The Timberwolves have his rights and he’s playing for them in Vegas (he was in Europe last season). He has bounced back from three major knee surgeries and looks like he could be a rotation player. He plays hard, knocks down looks and stays within himself.
• One guy turning a few heads is Wizards point guard Marquez Haynes, who played in Germany last year. He’s played well and a few teams are interested in at least inviting him to training camp.
• The Lakers look like a D’Antoni team even in Summer League — Robert Sacre in the paint and four shooters to space the floor around him. By the way, Sacre is the only guy on this Lakers SL team that will be on the team this fall (they picked up his option for next season).
• Gorgui Deng could lead the league in per minute foul rate next season. He’s a foul sponge.
• Here is Wizards Summer League coach Sam Cassell talking about Jan Vesely through a couple games (and some practices):
“Vesely can play the four or the five. I think he’s been solid but I’m expecting more…. His offense is getting a little bit better, but unfortunately you’ve got to play both ends of the court. He’s got to make the adjustments. He ain’t playing bad, but being his third year he’s got to play better. I’m expecting a little bit more.”
• Kendall Marshall struggled in the first half but during the Suns’ second half comeback he played solid ball. That’s an improvement from last season. Which should help his trade value.
• Also for the Suns, both Morris twins got a technical in the same game Monday. Their mother must be proud.
• Timberwolves Summer Leaguer Luke Sikma is a dead ringer for his father.