LAS VEGAS — Monday in Las Vegas and nothing has slowed down — this is Vegas, baby.
There was a full slate of games at the NBA Summer League, and the effort was still there, with players trying to make teams, impress scouts, and put on a show. Here is some of what we saw (notes are from Kurt Helin and Sean Highkin).
• Lakers fans again filled the Thomas & Mack to see their young stars, but this time they booed them after a brutal first quarter — the Lakers had more turnovers than points (seven to five) and shot 2-of-17, trailing the Knicks by 15 after one. The Lakers got back into it and made it interesting in the end, but their Summer League team largely remains the Jordan Clarkson show. (KH)
The Lakers have potential but a long way to go, look for more on the Lakers tomorrow on PBT.
• Kings coach George Karl spoke with the media Monday and in between questions about if he and DeMarcus Cousins were going to hang out at Tao together in Vegas (or at least talk), he was asked about how former King Derrick Williams was going to fit with the Knicks, where he signed this summer.
“Derrick’s a young player, I don’t think people realize he’s only 24-years-old and I think he has a tremendous upside of learning,” Karl said. “I think he’s been caught between a four and three as what he is, but the triangle could be good for him. He has explosive athletic talent, he’s big, strong, he can run, he can score. We liked him, we would have liked him back on our roster, but it didn’t work out.” (KH)
• Speaking of young talent on the Knicks, I loved what I saw from Jerian Grant, the Knicks draft pick out of Notre Dame. He is a fantastic passer, he’s smart with the ball in transition, he’s got impressive court vision, plus he is patient with the ball. He is a leader on the court. He’s not going to be a star, but he can give the Knicks quality minutes this year. (KH)
• As for Kristaps Porzingis, he lived up to the scouting report — both good and bad. At times he looked raw, unsure of himself, and like the game was moving a little fast for him. Then he’d make a play — like putting the ball on the floor when a defender closed out on his corner three, driving to about 6 feet, drawing the foul and banking in the shot — where you also see the potential. He made some good passes and smart plays. He’s a project, but there is a world of potential there. (KH)
• George Karl also talked about the Kings’ No. 6 pick, Willie Cauley-Stein:
“Willie is a young athlete who could use a few days where our veterans are going to tell him how to play and what he’s got to do.” (KH)
• Things you will love in the regular season: The shimmy inRondae Hollis-Jefferson’s free throw stroke. (KH)
• There was a game-tying shot worth seeing from Cleveland’s Sir Dominic Pointer Monday (the defense on this play is vintage Summer League).
• Seth Curry has never been able to stick in theNBA, but put him in the free-flowing (read: like pick-up) games of Summer League and he can fill it up. Like a relative of his, he can use his dribble to create space, and he gets his shot off quickly. Monday he put up 20 points on the Nets, showed three-point range and he had a 53 true shooting percentage. (KH)
• One Nets’ note, Austin Hollins may be the coach’s son but he belongs. At the Summer League level, not sure beyond that, but the guy should get paid to play somewhere overseas. He had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting on Monday against the Pelicans. (KH)