Incidentally, "coast to coast" is a pretty good way to describe some of the highlights Bazemore and Lee generated at Rucker Park in Harlem. As you might suspect, there wasn't a whole lot of defense on display.
Golden State's All-Star big man appears to have recovered from offseason surgery to repair a torn hip flexor. In just a couple of months, Lee has gone from looking like he could hardly walk to throwing down a handful of alley-oop jams.
Remember, he was hobbling around in agony as recently as April.
It's safe to say he's feeling better.
As for Bazemore, it seems the second-year player has gotten over his own injury as well. Bazemore didn't tweak an ankle or sprain a knee, but he was blatantly robbed of the Las Vegas Summer League MVP award in July. That was an affront that must have hurt just as much as Lee's ripped-up hip flexor.
For the record, I thought Bazemore deserved the Summer League MVP— Brian Geltzeiler (@hoopscritic) July 23, 2013
If Bazemore throws down a dunk on Jonas Valanciunas' head at some point during the regular season, we'll all know why.
Anyway, back to the highlights.
Lee leads things off with a nifty over-the-shoulder dime, showing off the passing skill that made him a key part of the Dubs' offensive attack in 2012-13. He later offered up one of his patented lefty hooks from the left block, a move he utilized approximately 10,000 times last season (rough estimate). Clearly, the guys in purple didn't devote enough time to pregame film study.
Everybody knows Lee wants to turn right shoulder. Come on, fellas!
The rest of Lee's highlights consisted of breakaway jams, a couple of which showed off his ability to finish right-handed.
Bazemore threw in a couple of slick turnaround jumpers that showed off his length. With a 6'11" wingspan, if he perfects that shot, there won't be a guard in the league who can block it.
The summer's breakout star also tossed in a two-handed jam off of a lob and showcased his vastly improved ball-handling skills.
Just keep these highlights in mind for now. If Bazemore gets a chance to play this year, he's going to turn some heads with his ridiculous on-ball defense and stunning growth as a pick-and-roll ball-handler. You heard it here first.
The only tragedy in all of this is that if Bazemore turns into a rotation player, we'll have to go without his A-plus arsenal of celebrations.
I suspect most Warriors fans are willing to make that sacrifice if it means Bazemore takes a major step forward in his development.
As a team, the Warriors have been hitting home runs left and right this summer. They'll go into the 2013-14 season with loads of expectations, thanks to the acquisition of Andre Iguodala, a ton of organic growth throughout the roster and, to a lesser extent, the preservation of their undefeated streak in summer league play.
The highlight-laden game that Lee and Bazemore dominated at Rucker should serve as a good precursor to the regular season. Marked by head-turning plays, tons of excitement and a crowd that couldn't get enough, New York looked a lot like Oakland for a minute there.