The Portland Trail Blazers are your 2018 NBA Las Vegas Summer League Champions. I want Multnomah County just to drink that in for a minute.
Tuesday night’s Final was not a close one, with the Trail Blazers in control of the game for most of the time. Portland jumped out to an early 31-19 lead, and were led by KJ McDaniels, who eventually took home the championship game’s MVP honors.
On the other side of the floor, it was Summer League MVP Josh Hart who had been ejected in the fourth quarter. Portland’s largest lead was 24 points, and it was surely a frustrating night for the young Lakers Squad.
McDaniels led the way for Portland, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, and one assist on 57 percent shooting from the field. The Blazers had six players in double figures, and helped shut down LA from 3-point range, forcing them to shoot just 3-of-21 from deep.
Hart scored 12 points for the Lakers, and Los Angeles had just three players in double figures. As a team, LA shot 39 percent from the field during the 18-point loss.
This Summer League playoff win doesn’t quite make up for the 2000 Western Conference Finals between these two rivals, But Blazers fans have to be happy that their team at least got a sniff of a deep playoff run.
No doubt they will be partying on SE Division tonight.
The general consensus to the NBA’s suspensions – Brandon Ingram four games, Rajon Rondo three games, Chris Paul two games – for the Lakers-Rockets fight: Too lenient for the Lakers.
Even Ingram said he expected a harsher penalty.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Ingram started the incident by pushing James Harden, and then Ingram hostilely confronted a referee. Once Rondo and Paul began exchanging punches, Ingram came in swinging. Not long ago, Ingram would have received a longer suspension.
But under NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the league hasn’t cracked down as hard.
This comes down to a bigger question: Why does the NBA suspend players? Prohibiting good players from playing lowers the quality of the product on the court in future games. It’s at least somewhat self-sabotaging. To some degree suspensions are designed deterrents, though players often don’t consider the repercussions during heated moments. But suspensions are also about appeasing fans who want to see an orderly system that keeps players in check.
So, with so many people calling Ingram’s suspension too short, maybe the league failed here. On the other hand, the objections don’t rise to the level of outrage. Most people seem OK with Ingram’s suspension, even if they would have preferred longer.
I doubt Ingram – or any player, for that matter – feels emboldened to fight because he got suspended just four games. Silver has been more lenient because fighting has mostly disappeared from the league. If it became rampant again, David Stern-era penalties might return. That potential deterrent still hovers, and we’ll all move on fairly quickly from Ingram’s suspension while enjoying watching him play again soon.
So, this seems about right.
Rondo getting just three games for spitting on and punching Paul, though…
Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul got into it. Rondo’s girlfriend and Paul’s wife reportedly got into it.
And if that weren’t enough, Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis angrily challenged Paul during Saturday’s Lakers-Rockets fracas.
“California, show your teeth,” indeed.
Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose has already played two games better than he had all of last season. He scored 12 points with eight assists and no turnovers in a win over the Cavaliers on Friday then posted 28-5-5-2 against the Mavericks on Saturday.
But let’s not overreact to such a small –
Jace Frederick of the Pioneer Press:
If Tom Thibodeau is referring to a level of health Rose hasn’t had in several years and will never have again, that’s fine. Rose won MVP while healthy.
But if Thibodeau means just available to play without a limp, wow. His love of former Bulls extends even further than we realized.
Rose could help Minnesota in a limited role. He started to find a groove late last season, and he’s obviously starting strong this year. But this type of praise only prompts mocking.
Kris Dunn, the Bulls’ clear top point guard, has yet to play this season due the birth of his child. Even when he returns, Chicago’s other point guards – Cameron Payne, Ryan Arcidiacono, Tyler Ulis – are uninspiring, even as backups.
So, the Bulls added Shaquille Harrison, whom the Suns waived after agreeing to sign Jamal Crawford.
The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Shaquille Harrison.
In a preceding move, the Bulls waived center Omer Asik.
Harrison is a nice pickup, one of the better free agents available and someone who plays a position of need. The Bulls could use several swings at finding long-term point guards, and the 25-year-old Harrison is a potential fit.
Waiving Asik is an interesting move. Asik was injured, and this could end the 32-year-old’s career. But Chicago loses the ability to trade his contract. Just $3 million of Asik’s $11,977,527 2019-20 salary was guaranteed, which could have been useful in a salary-accepting trade.
Instead, Asik will count $11,286,516 against the cap this season and $3 million after that. The Bulls can either pay the entire $3 million next season or stretch it to $1 million each of the next three seasons. Stretching the money would indicate Chicago still plants to be aggressive in free agency next summer. Paying all it once would suggest a more patient rebuild.