With the second day of the Las Vegas Summer League tournament underway, the cream is starting to rise to the top. On Thursday, some of the exciting young talents and incoming rookies were on display, putting on a show in the Sin City.
Below, we'll take a look at the results, summer league standings and break down some of the highlights from the day's action.
|New Orleans Pelicans vs. Charlotte Hornets||Hornets win, 104-75||P.J. Hairston (21 points)|
|Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves||Kings win, 100-86||Shabazz Muhammad (24 points)|
|Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs||Spurs win, 86-77||Austin Daye (20 points)|
|Portland Trail Blazers vs. Atlanta Hawks||Hawks win, 88-65||Bobby Brown (20 points)|
|Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets|
|Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat|
|Chicago Bulls vs.Philadelphia 76ers|
|New York Knicks vs. NBA D-League Select|
|New York Knicks||3||0|
|San Antonio Spurs||4||1|
|Portland Trail Blazers||2||2|
|New Orleans Pelicans||2||2|
|NBA D-League Select||2||2|
|Golden State Warriors||2||2|
|Los Angeles Lakers||1||3|
|Los Angeles Clippers||1||3|
For the tournament bracket, be sure to check out NBA.com.
Atlanta Hawks 88, Portland Trail Blazers 65
Bobby Brown was feeling it for Portland, but it wasn't enough to get by Adreian Payne and the Hawks.
While Brown went off for 20 points, hitting three of four from beyond the arc, Payne (19 points, three rebounds), Stephen Holt (15 points, five rebounds), Mike Muscala (14 points, seven rebounds) and Trevor Releford (13 points, four rebounds, four assists) were too much to overcome.
The Hawks also let Portland know they would be bringing the defense early, as Payne swatted this early shot attempt.
Later, Walter Tavares would start the team on the break with this nasty rejection:
It was a rough evening for the Trail Blazers, but they were also without several players in this one, including Keith Appling and Thomas Robinson, so they also had a thin bench to call upon. The Hawks, on the other hand, were simply firing on all cylinders.
San Antonio Spurs 86, Utah Jazz 77
It turns out the veterans on the Spurs aren't the only ones who know their way around an elimination tournament.
The Summer League version of the NBA champions advanced to the next round on Thursday themselves, beating the Jazz behind a big gamee from Austin Daye (20 points) and a balanced offense behind him, as six players scored eight points or more and five were in double-digits.
The one disappointment in the game for San Antonio was exciting young rookie Kyle Anderson, who scored just eight points and had a single assist.
The following transition bucket from the Spurs was not a disappointment, however.
It was the tale of two stat lines for Utah's heralded young rookies, as Rodney Hood had himself a game (19 points, five rebounds) but Dante Exum did not (five points, two assists). Meanwhile, Trey Burke had a solid game (12 points, three assists, though he made just one of his six three-point attempts), including this nifty little move.
But as is the case more often than not in the NBA, the Spurs balance was too much for Utah to overcome.
Sacramento Kings 100, Minnesota Timberwolves 86
Shabazz Muhammad led all scorers with 24 points, but it wasn't enough for the Timberwolves to get past the Kings.
The Kings countered Muhammad's big game with a well-balanced attack, highlighted by Ben McLemore (22 points, six rebounds, four assists), Quincy Acy (15 points, seven rebounds), Ray McCallum (13 points, five assists) and MarShon Brooks (19 points).
Acy also threw down a big-boy slam, one of the highlights of the game.
Rookie Zach LaVine had a solid game for the Wolves, meanwhile, scoring 16 points while dishing four assists and nabbing four rebounds. Glenn Robinson III wasn't as good, finishing with just eight points.
LaVine also put on quite the show before the game.
LaVine could certainly make the Wolves a fun team to watch next year, especially if Andrew Wiggins heads to Minnesota due to a Kevin Love trade, as Ian Kenyon of Bleacher Report noted:
Rubio running the break with Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins wouldn't win many games this year but it may be League Pass worthy.— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) July 17, 2014
We probably shouldn't count our chickens before they hatch, of course. But a backcourt featuring Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine sure looks like it could be fun to watch for years to come.
Charlotte Hornets 104, New Orleans Pelicans 75
The Pelicans never had an answer for P.J. Hairston, Josh Davis or Cody Zeller.
Hairston scored a game-high 21 points and finished 4-of-9 from beyond the arc, while Davis finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points and nabbing 12 rebounds. Zeller was hardly chopped liver himself, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds as the Hornets blew out the Pelicans.
He also provided one of the top moments of the game, throwing down the following slam in transition:
Not to be outdone, Hairston had a dunk of his own:
Russ Smith and Courtney Fells impressed for New Orleans, scoring 19 points apiece. Patric Young was generally less impressive, failing to score a single point in 19 minutes and pulling down just four rebounds. He did have a nasty block, however.
While the Hornets cruised, ninth overall pick Noah Vonleh had a bumpy game. In 17 minutes, he was 3-of-11 from the floor, finishing with just six points and five rebounds. Vonleh was always a raw prospect with huge upside, but Hornets fans will want to see a bigger output from him than that.
Meanwhile, Zeller gave a better all-around performance than he offered earlier in the summer league. Already having missed two games due to his brother's wedding, Zeller offered mixed results in Monday's game against the New York Knicks.
With Josh McRoberts departing via free agency, the Hornets may need Zeller to be their starting 4 this season. And that means he'll need to step up, as Patrick Ewing told Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:
The Hornets are signing Marvin Williams to have a veteran option at power forward. But Zeller’s development obviously is a high priority, all the more so now with McRoberts’ departure.
Ewing said, "He has to continue to rebound and block shots—he’s 7-feet tall. He needs a go-to move. The things a normal (pro) basketball player needs to have."
And the timetable for all this?
"He has time," Ewing said. “Hopefully not too long."
On Thursday, at least, he showed a more well-rounded game.