Anthony Morrow. Anthony Randolph. Von Wafer. Marco Belinelli. Those were the names being whispered in the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas after Moses Moody scored 20 points in the first half of the Golden State Warriors’ Summer League opening game against the New York Knicks. These were some of the greatest scoring performances that NBA Summer League had ever seen, and for three quarters, Moody was right there with those legends. But ultimately, even his 34 points and 15-17 performance from the free throw line wasn’t enough to stop the fast-breaking, dunking Knicks, as the Warriors lost 101-88.
Morrow has the record with 47 points in a Summer League game, while Randolph scored 42 in 2009, and Von Wafer and Marcus Banks also had 42 in 2007. Belinelli went for 37 points in 2007, and so did Ike Diogu in 2005. The Warriors really dominate this list of Summer League scorers, which is not coincidentally an era where they were really mediocre in the actual NBA season.
But Moody went to the hoop constantly, wowing his supporters courtside, including Draymond Green, who lobbied the referees continuously from his courtside seat. Fellow sophomore Jonathan Kuminga, just back from the Congo, started slowly, and even changed his shoes after a scoreless first half, ultimately finishing with four points, three assists, and two steals. And newly signed Mac McClung lived up to his mixtape hype, nailing all three of his three-pointers and pulling off a stunning hesitation move to the hoop that had Obi Toppin up on the sidelines pleading for a traveling call. McClung also kept whizzing passes directly into the seats opposite the Warriors’ bench, nailing the same guy twice.
The Knicks were led by Quentin Grimes’ 24 points, but ultimately, it was fast breaks and inside scoring that did it for them, who should really go by the “New York, New York Knicks” during Summer League. James Dolan could probably get some free roller coaster rides out of it. Newly-extended center Jericho Sims had 16 points, ten rebounds, and two blocks, and two-way player Feron Hunt had 17 points and seven steals, as the Summer Dubs tried to match the big team’s casualness with the ball.
The interesting wrinkle for the Warriors was how much they had Kuminga and second-rounder Gui Santos handle the ball. It took a toll on Kuminga’s scoring to be sure, as he took more outside shots as opposed to his usual slashing to the time, but it’s a good sign that the Warriors’ coaches think he’s capable of running point. He had five turnovers, but this is the time to try this stuff out, before the games actually count. Plus, he only just got back from the Congo, so the jet lag is probably severe. Clearly the Warriors also believe this for for the Brazilian Santos, who may be coming to Santa Cruz this year to refine his skills more.
Neither James Wiseman nor Patrick Baldwin Jr. played in this game, and really, only one center took the floor, Santa Cruz regular Selom Mawugbe. Two-way guy Quinndary Weatherspoon had nine points on nine shots, but the Warriors know what they have in him already. They’re not riding their starters or regular season players too hard. Meanwhile the Knicks have to play Grimes and Sims big minutes now, because Coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t putting them in during the regular season, if Thibs’ track record with youngsters is any indication.
The Warriors play again Sunday night against the Spurs.