The Golden State Warriors enter the inaugural Las Vegas Summer League tournament as the top seed and begin play tonight at 7:30 against the Dallas Mavericks.
And just before that game, the D-League Select team - featuring Santa Cruz Warriors players Mickell Gladness and Stefhon Hannah - will play former Santa Cruz player Chris Johnson and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The full schedule below.
Vegas summer league schedule for Thursday, July 18
1 p.m. (NBA TV) - #7 Cleveland Cavs vs. #10 San Antonio Spurs
1:30 p.m. - #8 LA Lakers vs. #9 Milwaukee Bucks
3 (NBA TV) - #3 Toronto Raptors vs. #22 Denver Nuggets
3:30 - #5 Charlotte Bobcats vs. #21 Memphis Grizzlies
5 (NBA TV) - #3 Phoenix Suns vs. #19 Portland Trail Blazers
5:30 - #4 NBA D-League Select vs. #13 Minnesota Timberwolves
7 (NBA TV) - #2 Chicago Bulls vs. #18 Miami Heat
7:30 - #1 Golden State Warriors vs. #16 Dallas Mavericks
Background on the Mavericks
You can check out our friends at Mavs Moneyball for more, but the player that might have generated the biggest buzz from the Mavs has been Gal Mekel as described by Alan Smithee after the Mavs' loss to D-League Select the other day.
Gal Mekel stole the show early, and even if he didn't keep up the blistering pace he started at, it's hard not to leave impressed with him. During the game I tweeted that he reminded me a little of Greivis Vasquez, and I think, like Vasquez, Mekel's size, patience, and instincts will allow him to continue to produce against better competition.
It will be interesting to watch him go up against a player like Scott Machado who has said that he's looking to work on his defense in addition to his shooting touch this summer.
Another guy to watch might be Jae Crowder who is entering his second year. Andrew Tobolowski has a little bit on him thus far.
2) Jae Crowder is Hard to Judge. On the one hand, Jae has scored pretty well. On the other hand, the only shot we currently know for sure he can get in the NBA is three-pointers and he has continued to be offensive to god and man from that distance. He's also remained a pretty bad rebounder for somebody with his size and rebounding chops. If the shots he seems to have added to his arsenal are still gettable against NBA defenders, he could have a better year, but if they aren't, it will remain ugly.
Although the Mavericks might not be the toughest challenge the Warriors end up facing this summer league, one of the interesting things for a team with the top seed in this tournament is that they're in good position to eventually play some of the top teams in the tournament and really put their defense to the test.
I offered a few Warriors-related links earlier and feel free to use this as your game thread.