That’s it. Las Vegas Summer League is officially over for the Clippers. The Clips packed up and left Vegas for L.A. after a 91-80 loss to the Knicks on Friday afternoon. They finish summer league 1-4, not that it matters much. In fact, one could argue this was a successful summer league stint for the Clips. They have a legitimate battle for the third point guard spot with two guys who seem like they could both be NBA players and they got to show off a sneak peak of how they will implement Reggie Bullock into the offense next season. That’s all the good news they needed to see. Now, onto Last Call:
New York Knicks
Recap | Box score
Los Angeles Clippers
Tweet(s) of the Game
Really impressed with the courtside cameraman’s ability to remain completely still despite the ball bouncing right around him.
— Dylan Murphy (@DylanTMurphy) July 19, 2013
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The Not So Usual Suspects
The Portland Trail Blazers’ summer league roster features five players – all starters – that have guaranteed roster spots this upcoming season, a feat that is rather uncommon at summer league. The vast majority of the prospects here either went undrafted and have yet to play for an NBA team or have been floating around the NBA like freelancing writers, on minimum deals and 10-day contracts.
The Blazers, despite their apparent treasure house of talent, went 1-4 over the past week and were eliminated from the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns. The teams that Portland lost to – the Chicago Bulls, Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers – featured an abundance of players that are likely to be overseas or without employment come November. Naturally, these guys would be fighting for scraps in hopes of being noticed.
Now, I haven’t paid a diligent amount of attention to the Blazers’ summer league run, by any means. But intuition and today’s game tell me something we all know about human nature: the peril of security and comfort is a decrease in effort. Conversely, desperation induces a win-or-die attitude.
In Las Vegas, you just need the will to do what the other guy won’t.
– Seerat Sohi
I’m not apologizing to DeAndre Jordan or D.J. Foster. Nope. I’m apologizing to D.J. Stephens, the University of Memphis product currently playing for the Mavericks’ summer league team. Until Friday, Stephens had what was – in my mind – the best individual play of summer league, a ridiculously powerful, one-handed, putback slam against the Clippers, a dunk that could only be performed by someone with a 46-inch vertical.
Before today, if Stephens’ dunk wasn’t the best play of summer league, then maybe Kent Bazemore’s posterization of Jackie Carmichael was. It was a vicious, fast-break dunk in crunch time. It was a dunk in which Bazemore got so high that seemed like he had morphed into Clark Kent Bazemore. But sorry, Kent. And sorry, D.J. You guys have been surpassed. Thank Toure’ Murry and Jeremy Tyler for that, because anytime a guard can nutmeg a defender and follow it up with a behind-the-back pass for a violent finish at the rim, that takes the cake.