NBA Summer League 2012: Previewing the Weekend's Marquee Matchups
The 2012 NBA Summer League wraps up this weekend in Las Vegas, where there are several entertaining matchups that basketball die-hards would be foolish to miss.
Portland Trail Blazers lottery pick Damian Lillard has emerged as the top rookie in Vegas this July, making mincemeat of opposing defenses with his scoring touch.
See who else will put their talents on display this weekend as the Summer League winds down.
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers, Friday, July 20, 6:00 p.m. ET
Will Damian Lillard be the best rookie point guard in 2012?
A Northwest Division rivalry will be renewed on Friday, when the Nuggets and Trail Blazers meet up in Las Vegas. Portland is led by rookie point guard Damian Lillard, who has been far and away the most impressive newcomer during Summer League play.
Lillard is averaging 26 points per game, more than any other rookie draft pick, and shows excellent promise as a scoring floor general at the next level.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets are led by second-year player Jordan Hamilton, who is scoring 19 points per game for Denver on 50 percent shooting from the field. The matchup between Lillard and Hamilton is sure to excite, as both players can score from anywhere on the floor.
Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs, Saturday, July 21, 6:00 p.m. ET
Bitter Western Conference rivals, Dallas and San Antonio will face off on Saturday in a matchup that features two potent scorers in the Mavericks' Dominique Jones and the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard. Both players are averaging 21.7 and 25 points per game respectively, and have led their teams to fast Summer League starts.
Look for Leonard to continue his dominance, as his experience during San Antonio's deep postseason run last spring has clearly prepared him for a little summer ball. Jones, on the other hand, is playing to prove himself capable to potentially take on a role with the Mavs similar to that of Leonard's in San Antonio.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday, July 22, 8:00 p.m. ET
In the 2012 Summer League finale, a scorching Josh Selby will lead the Grizzlies into a matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. As of Thursday, Selby was leading all players in scoring, averaging 27.5 points per game. Even more impressive, Selby is doing it on better than 59 percent shooting from the field.
Fans tuning in to Sunday's matchup will be in for a treat, as the Timberwolves' Wes Johnson will go head-to-head with Selby. Johnson is averaging 20 points per game, and has become the centerpiece of Minnesota's Summer League offense.
The future of the NBA will on display this weekend, and the presentation is highlighted by these three epic showdowns.
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