With reports emerging that Seth Curry is angling for a guaranteed contract, the Golden State Warriors — both his former team and his older brother's current team — did everything in their power to make him look undeserving.
Through the first 25 minutes of the game the Warriors held Curry to just three points on 1-for-10 shooting by using Aaron Craft to hound him on the ball and often face guarding him off the ball. It wasn't until the final five minutes of the third quarter when Curry exploded for 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including a few plays that looked like the was trying to emulate the ball handling of his brother, Stephen Curry.
Once Curry got that confidence, he didn't lose it and it became contagious as Curry started to find shots while his teammates put together quite the highlight reel of dunks with Victor Rudd and Khem Birch doing a considerable amount of the damage as the Pelicans ended up winning 100-91 to eliminate the Warriors from summer league championship contention.
But the more directly Warriors story there, if you need it, is the defensive play of Craft, whose defensive presence might have been made even more clear by his absence: Curry scored the majority of those 11 third quarter points immediately after Craft went to the bench. It's an almost perfect example of a guy just annoying a guy into a submission and stripping him of his confidence.
On the bright side, Kevon Looney continued to show why Warriors fans are so excited about his potential. He started off the game going 1-for-4 in quite possibly the least harmful way possible, grabbing an offensive rebound and trying to tap it in on consecutive tries before scoring. He made a beautiful pass from the elbow to a backdoor cutter early that showed an awareness, basketball IQ, and passing touch that some guards at summer league simply don't have.
Then he just dumped all of his athleticism on the Pelicans' heads with a beautiful pump fake, dribble through the key, and two-handed slam.
Looney with the SLAM! https://t.co/p3qbJERSXU— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) July 19, 2015
People will continue trying to find comparisons for him — Kevin Durant, Brandan Wright, Tristan Thompson (with a jump shot) or Noah Vonleh? — but this guy has a really unique skill set that seems to make almost any comparison feel limiting even at their loftiest in that no comparison seems to honor all that he can do. I suppose that's a generous way of saying that right now it's really unclear which of his many attributes will actually define him once he starts getting regular time with a NBA organization — offensive rebounding is quite clearly his biggest strength right now, but with his slight frame and 6'9" stature he seems to offer far more promise as more of a perimeter player.
Kevon Looney posted his first double-double of Summer League, tallying 13 points and 11 boards in the Warriors' final game this summer.— GSWStats (@gswstats) July 19, 2015
For now, Looney looks like he'll need some seasoning in Santa Cruz just to work out his game as a NBA player and Warriors fans should have no problem with that: despite summer league commentator Isiah Thomas' ravings about the need to replace David Lee
in the rotation on the bench, Looney stands to get a lot more playing time and develop his game in the D-League.
While Seth Curry and Aaron Craft are examples of players that have elevated their NBA profiles with the help of the D-League, Dominique Sutton might be another to keep an eye on even if he ends up with someone other than Golden State/Santa Cruz. Sutton led all scorers with 23 points and his physicality and constant effort will have to draw some NBA interest. I would say his stats don't do his impact or style of play justice, but his seven rebounds and seven free throw attempts go a long way to describing what kind of aggression he plays with: he's relentless and it's hard to imagine teams not wanting to give him a look in training camp.
@NateP_SBN He was known as Santa Cruz's Draymond Green...just an absolutely physical beast.— Sea Dubs Central (@SeaDubsCentral) July 19, 2015
@NateP_SBN I asked Hill if he thought Sutton was an NBA player, he said "Yes, he just needs an opportunity," that's not lip service.— Sea Dubs Central (@SeaDubsCentral) July 19, 2015
With the loss, the Warriors' time in Vegas has come to an end but Looney has given us plenty to look forward to this season whether it be with Santa Cruz this season or the NBA squad in the future.