As much as we make summer league about the rookies, this year’s Vegas version was stocked with young “vets” whose play could be a sign of big things to come when the real games start. Nick Young, Anthony Randolph, Jason Thompson, even Adam Morrison and Marcus Williams all put in work, but when the VSL wrapped up yesterday, it was rookie Blake Griffin who was named MVP … Blake averaged 19 points and 10 boards in his five games with the JV Clippers, and in his finale put up 16 and eight in a matchup with older brother Taylor Griffin (4 pts, 6 rebs) and the Suns. We’re probably not going out on a limb saying that was the first and last game those two ever play where they’re across from each other in the starting lineup. It’ll be garbage time of Suns/Clips in the regular season before Blake and Taylor share the court again … JaVale McGee, who properly baptized Blake just the other day, put up 31 points, eight boards and four blocks against the Knicks. Jordan Hill had 21 points and seven boards … Is anyone in Memphis worried that both Sam Young and DeMarre Carroll have been consistently outplaying Hasheem Thabeet? Young and Carroll each scored 16 in a win over San Antonio, while Thabeet went for nine points (4-11 FG), five rebounds and eight fouls. True, it’s easier for a pure scorer like Young and a energy/hustle guy like Carroll to make an immediate impact in a setup like summer league, but Thabeet still looks like he has a ways to go … James Johnson and DeMarcus Nelson scored 18 apiece to lead the Bulls over the Wolves, who got 20 points from Corey Brewer and seven points, seven dimes, and a contest-worthy windmill from Jonny Flynn … Ty Lawson dropped 24 points, and undrafted rook C.J. Giles added 13 points, 10 boards and three blocks for the Nuggets against the Hornets, while Julian Wright scored 24 for N.O. … So who did the most for himself during summer league? You have to look at Marcus Williams. He was out of the League by the end of last season and had zero buzz around him as far as free agents go, but with the Grizzlies summer squad, the UConn product averaged 13 points, eight assists and only committed 11 total turnovers in five games. Whether it’s with Memphis or another team, Williams should find a home next season. (And yes, we remember when Williams was widely considered a better pro prospect than Rajon Rondo) … Chase Budinger and Joey Dorsey also deserve a nod here. With the Rockets trying to figure themselves out now that Yao and Ron Artest are gone, and having no idea what they’ll be able to get from T-Mac, Budinger and Dorsey made an early impression to get themselves spots in the rotation. Budinger shot the rock like he was at the Pop-A-Shot at Dave & Buster’s, hitting 68 percent from the field and SEVENTY-TWO percent from three. Dorsey pulled down almost 15 rebounds per game … So, seeing as we’re about to hit another dry spell of basketball, would anyone be opposed to this week’s Team USA mini-camp being put on TV kind of like how the NFL Network airs the Senior Bowl practices? … As far as the NBA big leagues, the Cavs signed Jamario Moon to an offer sheet, which we’re thinking the Heat won’t match. Miami should be pooling all the money they can to get some impact guys around D-Wade, and Moon doesn’t really fit that description. He’s a nice guy to have for highlights here and there, but he’s almost a lock to lose you a couple games with his 7th grade decision-making … Earl Watson agreed to a one-year deal with the Pacers, which also clears the way for Shaun Livingston to — if he stays healthy, of course — secure that backup PG spot to Russell Westbrook with the Thunder … Yesterday we posted the NBA.com Top 10 plays of the season, and the negative backlash against LeBron continues. Was the LeBron hype train partially responsible for LBJ’s game-winner against Orlando in the ECF being ranked the #1 play? Obviously. Was the play totally undeserving of the top spot? No. And to those who say it was a meaningless shot because the Cavs lost the series, but then say Brandon Roy‘s shot in the regular season should have been ranked higher — do you see the issue there? … This past weekend was a gold mine for basketball movies we randomly ran across on free TV. We caught Pistol: The Birth of a Legend (Pete Maravich biopic), White Men Can’t Jump (Did you know the guy who played Duck Johnson is Freeman Williams, who is coincidentally the NCAA’s second all-time leading scorer behind Pistol Pete?), and My Giant. OK, so Gheorghe Muresan‘s acting opus wasn’t exactly a basketball movie, but it was better than Crossover … We’re out like Foods That Start With The Letter “Q” …
Smack / Jul 20, 2009 / 6:05 am
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