So here we are. We've had more then one interesting moment during the duration of this Summer League. Over 2 plus weeks of stupidity, hilarity, utterly bemusing and multiple appearances from a certain Juan ManBand(That joke is terrifically smart). So for one final time let us delve once more into the often times confusing and poorly punctuated Summer League Diary.
AND THE MVP OF THE SUMMER LEAGUE IS...........
Josh Selby. Now I understand how half of you are flipping out right now wondering how I could over look Damian Lillard but let me explain. When I started the whole narrowing down process I looked at 3 players. I looked at Selby, Lillard and finally Austin Daye. Now that last one may catch you off guard but Daye was easily one of the best players in Orlando. I mean every single game he contributed in whatever way he could. I mean he had a double double in his first game, his second he had 15 points while having 2 steals and 5 blocks and this pattern continues throughout his performances. The only reason and this shows up later with Lillard is the quality of player he played with. Daye played with Knight,English,Singler and Drummond. While he may have been a key part of that team but he was not the most valuable player. It was the same for Lillard. He played on one of the most stacked rosters at the Summer League and while he may have been the best player on that team he at the very least had good players backing him up. Which is a struggle at the very least for Josh Selby who quite frankly was carrying his team.
To put it in perspective how influential Selby was. He scored 27% of the entire Grizzlies point total. While you may say Selby just jacks it up but you can't argue the numbers he put up. 55% FG percentage to go along with the 64% 3 point field goal percentage. Not only that but he had more assists then turnovers along with an extremely impressive 2.4 steals a game. Listen anyone of those 3 guys I listed you can make solid case for them being the MVP but when you put me down to it I'm gonna stick with Selby.
ALL-SUMMER LEAGUE FIRST TEAM:
C: Dontas Montiejunas, Houston Rockets.
I think we all knew this was coming. THE DONTAE was easily one of the players of the Summer League. He was the first proper out and out center we saw. He ran the floor extremely well, he rebounded, he played defense and most importantly he can shoot the 3. Okay maybe that last one was more of an extra then a necessity but you throw that in with his advanced post game that he sported and you've got a really really talented prospect that hopefully Houston can build around for the future.
While it may seem like a complicated debate it was really hard to look anywhere else but Markieff Morris when it comes to the Power Forward position. While the Suns may not have been the best team Morris stood out by miles with his play. To put it in perspective Morris was only .2 away from having a 20 PPG, a 10 RPG, 1 SPG and 2 BPG. While he didn't exactly achieve those numbers his numbers from the Summer League proved to be rather spectacular. His 24 point 17 rebound and 6 block game will remain as one of the single most dominant performances by any one player over those 2 weeks.
SF: Austin Daye, Detroit Pistons
I hear the Kawhi Leonard, Harrison Barnes and Tobias Harris screams but let me explain why Daye is the best SF for the job. None of those 3 listed above played better defense then Daye. None of those guys listed contributed on the defensive end the way Daye did. I mean Leonard and Harris put up ridiculous scoring numbers but neither had massive success shooting the 3 but again when I look at Daye he was a competent enough scorer and rebounder to make him seem good but that defense was just what put him over the top.
If Klay had played all 5 games I would have most likely given in to him but he didn't and Beal was the most consistent of the Shooting Guards to play at the Summer League. I mean he sort of wins it by default due to John Jenkins not being able to carry his performance, Dion Waiters just plain not showing up and Jeremy Lamb not being able to do anything else but score. Don't get me wrong Beal was easily the best player on that idiotic Washington team. He was a great scorer who showed the ability to stroke it and go strong to the basket. His defense was all round impressive, not lights out but solid enough to not be a liability every time the other team came down the court.
PG: Josh Selby, Memphis Grizzlies
Because of all reason's stated above. Okay just so I don't look lazy and like I just cut corners with this little portion let me start off with saying this. I like my point guards pass first, score later. If I wasn't picking the best overall team and trying to construct a team to win I would have most likely picked either Kendall Marshall or Scott Machado(Who we will get to later).
ALL-SUMMER LEAGUE SECOND TEAM:
Really it's hard to pick any one big man that stood out in any certain way like THE DONTAE! did. Okay Meyers Leonard was average, Enes Kanter was average but consistent, Miles Plumlee isn't really a center, Festus Ezeli has no post game at all. I mean I suppose I could give it to Drummond.....oh crap I forgot about Zeller! Actually when I think about it, Zeller was probably a bit of all the guys listed above. He showed decent defense but his transition offense was tremendous. I mean he's got great hands and runs the floor terrifically and finishes so well. I mean he's got a sort of wily veteran vibe about him on the floor like he somehow manages to find ways to grabs boards, make defensive plays and get buckets on the offensive end.
Easily one of the single most under-rated player to play at this years summer league for a reason. I mean I was sorely tempted to make the Tar Heel combo of Zeller and Henson but Davis was just too good over the Summer League to leave out. I mean he rebounded so well and carried the Raptors front court offensive on many a occasion during the Summer League. Only thing that separates him from Henson is his ability to hit the boards stronger and more consistently.
SF: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Okay no Harrison Barnes here sorry. Leonard carried that Spurs team through the two games he played. I mean he has great ball handling ability which I don't think quite a few people were expecting and he just has a certain grittyness and toughness that stands out with him. I mean it's like watching MKG go to work again. He just has that work mentality that he'll fight for everything and outwork his competition.
SG: Jeremy Lamb, Houston Rockets
Let me first off say that again if this was my team to build then I would have picked Terrance Ross because I love his athleticism and is overall game is more rounded shall we say then Lamb. But Lamb is the best SG left and that cannot be ignored. I just look at Lamb now and think ''Okay so you're Kevin Martin's replacement....what can you do better then him?''. For starters I think Lamb has the potential to be a much better defender due his insane wingspan. I think he's a better inside scorer then Martin due to his ability and that floater(Get ready to see that floater every time he get's into the lane). The real issue is if he can be a more passing shooting guard that spreads the ball around instead of becoming a ball hog and trying to win the game by himself.
PG: Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers
Again, what do I need to say that I have not already stated when it comes to Lillard? He's a scoring machine that carried that Blazers teams at times. When we look back at two or three years at this draft class I will fall of my chair with surprise if Lillard is not the consensus best Point Guard from this class.
SUMMER LEAGUE 6TH MAN IS.......
Kent Bazemore. Finally a GSW get's an award. Okay there were quite a few people that could have gotten this award. 76ers Justin Holiday, GSW's Draymond Green, Rockets Terrance Jones and Scott Machado but Bazemore was unreal off the bench. For a start the man was quite frankly a defensive SG the likes of which I have not seen for a while. Not only that but he shot the ball exceptionally well and just opitomise what a 6th man does. He comes off the bench and influences the game and Bazemore did that better then anybody else.
WINNERS AND LOSERS OF SUMMER LEAGUE(HOW MUCH AM I BETTING THAT IN YOUR HEAD YOU THINK I'M YELLING AS YOU READ THIS)
Okay you may have one of the most dis-jointed teams with one of the sneaky best coaches but do not fret Bucks fans because you have some very talented big men on their way to help you start to figure out just what the hell it is you want to figure out. Tobias Harris was a very pleasant player that showed he has some potential going forward. But the real star was John Henson who I have a giant basketball man-crush on. I will still maintain to this day that if you offered me Thomas Robinson or John Henson at number 7 on draft night I would have taken Henson because of the potential he carries with him in his stick frame body. I mean he's Anthony Davis but not living in the mansion that the unibrow is living it. Also watch out for lengthy big man Larry Sanders who averaged 3 blocks over his appearances in the summer league.
They have a really REALLY hard working team. I mean they still suck but hell they may have just struck gold with MKG on an big scale. He's a winner and Kemba Walker is also a winner and these guys need to win like they need air and quite frankly I think MJ knows this and wants these two guys to lead this team. I mean they should have gotten Davis and rebuilt their franchise behind a franchise caliber player but MKG could possibly be even better then Davis in the long run in terms of what that team will play and act like.
They were big winners. While there was no one player that stood out they all showed that they could outwork and out play anyone that they game up against. It's also good to see that the talent that's coming in right now wants to win and win now.
This is now an all encompassing statement whatever the time of year when regarding the Knicks.
Regardless of having what looked like a very talented squad led by Bradley Beal heading into the Summer League they were once again foiled by not only Kung Fu Treachery(If you've never seen Black Dynamite I highly suggest you do so right now. Seriously stop reading this and go watch it on netflix or something. Hell i'll even stop writing just so you won't miss anything) and sheer stupidity that we have become used to when discussing matters that relate to the Wizards. Well it was really two players that manged to single-handedly sink the Wizards battleship. First we have Chris ''2 Bars'' Singleton and Jan ''THE DUNKING NINJA'' Vesely. Now I think it's been established what Vesely can and cannot do. He can dunk. He cannot play the game of basketball at an NBA level. As for Singleton I gave him the nickname of ''2 Bars'' because that's what i've concluded his two hands to be. 2 Bars of Soap.
It all sort of went south very quickly for the Kings over the Summer League. Thomas Robinson has the single reddest belly of all the players at the Summer League because he belly-flopped HARD. This left the Kings having to rely on the shooting of Jimmer Fredette.......yeah how'd you think that went. The Kings struggled throughout the week however they do now have the rest of the off-season to figure things out.
(I apologise quite a bit for the lateness of this article but other shenanigans had to be attended to. Anyway It was huge fun not only watching the Summer League but writing about it and putting it up here. Hoped you enjoyed reading them as much as i enjoyed writing them and as always have a nice day)