NBA Summer League 2012: Point Guards Who Have Stepped Up in Las Vegas
All players benefit from Summer League action, but Las Vegas is where prospective NBA point guards get the chance to hone their skills like never before.
The college ranks allow for in-game experience, but most teams don't offer the competition that NBA Summer League teams are able to.
Las Vegas is where point guards get their first shot at leading an offense that has at least some resemblance to one of NBA caliber.
Some have failed miserably. Others have failure in their future. But there are some who have impressed their respective teams and opponents less than a week into Las Vegas action.
Here are three point guards who have stepped up so far.
Scott Machado, Houston Rockets
Up until Wednesday, undrafted point guard Scott Machado had been solid, but he wasn't exactly stuffing the stat sheets. His first handful of games were adequate, but they weren't performances that make you take a second look at the box score.
Fast forward the Houston Rockets' game against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, and the box score tells an entirely different story.
The Iona product poured in 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting, going 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. Shooting 43 percent isn't anything to write home about, but Machado showed that he is capable of getting to the line at a consistent rate.
He also dished out six assists, had four steals and turned the ball over just one time in 34 minutes of play. If Machado can keep this up, plenty of teams will regret passing on him in the 2012 draft.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard hasn't just been one of the best point guards in the Las Vegas Summer League, he's been one of the best players in general.
In Lillard's first game in Vegas, he scored 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting against the New Orleans Hornets. He's clearly going to be a volume scorer in this league, but the Portland Trail Blazers aren't going to complain about it.
His second game saw more of the same. Lillard dropped 27 in that one, again on 9-of-21 shooting, but he went 5-of-10 from three-point land. He also pulled down five boards, handed out three assists and a pair of steals. His seven turnovers need to be taken down a bit, but a bit of carelessness is to be expected from a rookie point guard.
Lillard has shown he can get to the rim, but he also can shoot the three. Teams are going to have a hard time guarding him, especially given that he can pass effectively as well.
Josh Selby, Memphis Grizzlies
Josh Selby currently leads the Las Vegas Summer League in scoring through his first two games. Fluke or not, he's been one of the best players that we have seen thus far.
In the Memphis Grizzlies' opener against the New York Knicks, Selby scored 20 points on a brilliant 7-of-11 shooting performance that included a ridiculous 5-of-7 shooting effort from three. He did this all in 25 minutes while turning the ball over just a pair of times.
That wasn't good enough for Selby. In Game 2, Selby poured in the highest scoring total we've seen in the desert so far, racking up 35.
Which player will have the highest assist total this upcoming season?
He went 12-of-21 from the field and bested his three-point output from the first game by going 7-of-8 from three, including a couple from way downtown. Selby also had a whopping seven steals to complete the best performance in Summer League yet.
There's no way Selby can keep up this pace heading into the regular season, but it would be insane if he did. The former Kansas Jayhawk has shot 57 percent from the field and has been knocking down threes at an 80 percent clip.
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