2013 Las Vegas Summer League: What to watch on Day 4
The 2013 Las Vegas Summer League is here, and we've got the players and teams to watch for on Day 3. What are the developing story lines?
Day 3 of the Vegas Summer League didn't disappoint in giving NBA fans plenty of interesting tidbits to talk about. The D-League Select team is undefeated at 2-0 after beating the Minnesota Timberwolves ' team on Friday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Iman Shumpert missed the New York Knicks ' second game and Tim Hardaway Jr. played only a few minutes after hurting his wrist, but the Knicks' still managed a win over the Washington Wizards .
Cody Zeller of the Charlotte Hornets had a big game with 21 points and 13 rebounds. The loaded Portland Trail Blazers team couldn't find a way to win for a second straight game by losing to the Los Angeles Lakers ' squad. And Jonas Valanciunas gave Toronto Raptors fans more to cheer about with another dominating performance by dropping 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the team's victory.
What should you watch for in the seven games on Day 4 of the Las Vegas Summer League? Here are the story lines for each game.
4pm ET -- New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Bobcats
Cody Zeller could face a lot of length against the Knicks. Zeller has had a very nice start to his summer campaign. He's averaging 14.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in 31 minutes. He's made a very respectable 47.5 percent of his shots too. As mentioned above, Zeller had a huge game against the Dallas Mavericks ' team with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Against the Knicks though, Zeller will be facing more of the kind of length and athleticism the NBA will have to offer in the regular season.
Terrence Jennings has been incredibly active on defense in his first two games. His 6'10" frame and 7'2.5" wingspan will provide a much tougher obstacle for Zeller to get shots off against. The same goes for Jerome Jordan and his 7'6" wingspan that goes along with his 7'0.5" height. Jennings shows the promise of making an NBA squad and Jordan has been there before, so they could provide a consistent roadblock for Zeller's momentum this week.
6pm ET -- Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
The protection of Jeff Withey. The former Kansas shot blocker made his debut on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks and managed to grab five rebounds and block a shot in his 17 minutes on the floor. With Robin Lopez gone, only Greg Stiemsma and Jason Smith stand in the way of Withey seeing time on the floor as a rim protector with the second unit. Withey's chance to earn those minutes doesn't just start in training camp and preseason. Showing he can turn shots away and alter attempts in the lane even in an environment like summer league can go a long way to showing he's up for the task of helping Monty Williams' team control the interior.
6:30pm ET -- Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns
Archie Goodwin’s aggressive play is good for a rebuilding team. While C.J. McCollum was scoring with ease in the first game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns, the No. 29 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft Archie Goodwin was helping his Suns close out the game with a strong showing. Goodwin attacked the basket and showed a shooting stroke that looked more confident and comfortable than what we saw at Kentucky. Most importantly, we saw him being incredibly aggressive in the way he attacked a loaded Blazers team. The Suns are going to be pretty bad this season, but seeing young guys like Archie Goodwin fearlessly attack opposing defenses could help set a good tone for the rebuilding process. That kind of attitude can be infectious on a young squad.
8pm ET -- Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Maalik Wayns vs. Jerome Randle for a point guard battle. Jonny Flynn is no longer with the Clippers' summer league team and Derrick Low has seen just one minute of action so far in two games. The Clippers' possibly third point guard position is currently a battle between Maalik Wayns, who saw valuable brief time with the Clippers last season, and Jerome Randle, who spent time playing in the Ukraine, Belgium, and China last year. Wayns has more NBA experience, but Randle could be a much easier player to integrate because he's so good at controlling the pace of a game. Even though they're teammates, they're both fighting for attention.
8:30pm ET -- Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors
Kent Bazemore vs. Ben McLemore . Kent Bazemore of the Golden State Warriors is roughly 6'4" with shoes on. Ben McLemore was one of the best prospects in all of college basketball last season and has an incredible ability to score the ball. McLemore and Bazemore should find plenty of moments matched up against each other on Monday, and that will test both players. Bazemore has to learn how to face talented scorers like we assume McLemore will be in the NBA. And with his 6'11.5" wingspan, Bazemore certainly has the length to make life hell for the Kansas product. We should get plenty of glimpses at how both players deal with their respective tough situations in this matchup during Monday's showdown.
10pm ET -- San Antonio Spurs vs. Atlanta Hawks
Are we looking at the Hawks second unit? We've all been wowed by the combination of Lucas Nogueira and Dennis Schroder in the first two games of the Hawks' summer. But we've also had significant looks at Mike Scott (who hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in Atlanta's victory on Sunday) and John Jenkins (one of the best shooters around). Most teams roll about nine guys deep in the regular season, and while they're plenty young, these four Hawks' role players appear poised enough to contribute in the near future for this franchise. While you rarely see straight line changes in basketball like you might in hockey, this young group could really grow together quickly and find themselves being trusted by Mike Budenholzer to play short stretches without veteran supervision.
10:30pm ET -- Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets
Tony Snell vs. Evan Fournier . Evan Fournier had a rough start to the summer season with 10 points on 11 shots, three turnovers and zero assists in his first summer league game in 2013. 20th pick in the 2013 draft Tony Snell struggled in his debut with seven points on nine shots and two turnovers, although he did manage to snag three steals. Both guys could play significant roles for their respective teams this coming season and seeing them go against each other Monday night could finish off Game 4 with some pretty great basketball.
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