Blog Entry

Summer League winners and losers: rookies

Posted on: July 19, 2010 7:40 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2010 8:18 pm
Posted by Matt Moore

The prospects have gone home, the lights are turned off and the court's been rolled up. Summer League in Vegas is over. Here's a look at the rookies that brought the Thunder and those who had their parades rained on.

Bright Light: John freaking Wall.
Wall was pretty much everything fans, scouts, and media expected. There were downsides, don't get me wrong. After a strong debut, shooting wise, he returned to the clank fest he showed in college, finishing with a 38% mark from the field. He had some turnovers, which is pretty normal for a rook. But the rest? Ye Gods. One of the more surprising elements of Wall's game was his change of direction. Wall's reverse, pull-up leaner, and floater were all on-target. The combination of his vision and speed, which were the most hyped parts of Wall's game, were brutally efficient. Perhaps most surprising of Wall's week was his development in intangibles. Even with a Summer League roster of fringe players, this was Wall's team. When Wall exploded to the rack and hammered home a dunk in traffic, JaVale McGee acted like he'd just posterized Dwight Howard. There are things to work on, but Wall was the biggest winner from Summer League.

Black Hole: Xavier Henry . He's more of a non-existent star. Henry was held out of Summer League play due to a contract dispute, despite the existence of the rookie pay scale, specifically meant to prevent this. Part of the blame is certainly on the Grizzlies, but Vasquez was playing without contract, so you have to wonder: Did Henry hurt his learning curve by not joining his teammates in Vegas?

Bright Light: DeMarcus Cousins' first three games. Cousins was the player who looked like he simply couldn't be handled physically. He was dominant on the glass, finished off of offensive rebounds, and showed the most versatile set of post moves of any big in the SL. He had his emotions in check and played to his potential. He managed this against good young bigs, including Greg Monroe (who was a bright light in his own right). It would have been a great week for Cousins if it weren't for...

Black Hole: DeMarcus Cousins' last two games . And then everything came crashing back down. Cousins' final two games were a combination of emotional implosion and inefficient play. He got into it with the refs, pouted, moped, and could not buy a bucket. It certainly seemed like Cousins' hit the wall. Which is not a good sign after a handful of games, with the grind of the NBA regular season coming. Cousins may end up becoming one of those polarizing players in the league if this trend continues.

Bright Light: Larry Sanders. The Bucks are going to have a fleet of capable, talented power forwards this season. Sanders was one of the most impressive rookies in Vegas, playing solid defense, showing off a well-balanced frame, and looking very much like a versatile offensive option. Sanders' mid-range game was considerably better than expected. He showed nice tough with the ball and again, is a mountain in terms of size. He needs to work on his spacing and defensive awareness, but it was a very impressive showing.


Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2010 4:24 pm

Summer League winners and losers: rookies

Agreed.  Only 4 players reviewed?  Did the author hit 'send' prematurely?

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2010 11:31 am

Summer League winners and losers: rookies

Wow, this article actually sucked in my opinion.  When I opened it I was under the impression i was going to read about several players to include low end guys.  Did Matt Moore put any real research into this or was he just wanting to get in a quick article.  It made me wonder what he actually did during this per diem time, or maybe it wasn't per diem.  Either way he may have been trying to rub elbows too much and left at least me the fan wanting more information or more reviews.

I am not in a user friendly area to watch summer games but was hoping to hear about more than 4 guys.  I do get some info other places and mayhap I will maintain that regard.  I apologize Mr. Moore if I hurt your feelings, but take this as a lesson learned and provide more details in the future.  There were somewhere near 64 rookies that could have been playing and then some extra invites...

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