The Las Vegas Summer League is a meal best consumed in buffet style — there is little order to the layering of flavors for the event, but one can nonetheless find plenty of tasty morsels, however disparate they may be. With that in mind, here is a closer look at a few of the notable prospects from Dallas’ first game in Vegas, assembled for you in the most edible form:
- The offense in Monday’s game still revolved around Dominique Jones, albeit in a very different way; having proved his point in the Mavs’ Summer League premiere by dropping 32 points on just 25 shots, Jones slid into a pattern of more altruistic shot creation in the follow-up. The assist totals don’t show it, but Jones consistently made plays for his teammates through his dribble penetration, and did well as a spot-up option when other Mavs drew additional defenders or got themselves into trouble. He didn’t necessarily strike a perfect balance between scoring and playmaking, but Jones inched closer to that equilibrium — a state that will be essential if he’s going to fill minutes in the season to come.
- Related: Jones is so quick and so strong that a euro step almost seems unfair.
- David Harrison certainly has the potential to be a nice player, but is distractingly emotive to both himself and observers. He reacts demonstratively to virtually every call that goes against him or the team, occasionally to the point where his teammates are forced to counsel him on-court. That’s not necessarily a problem beyond remedy, but it’s a turnoff in a competitive business with so many comparable talents.
- I’m having a problem definitively coming up with a reason why Chris Roberts should make an NBA roster relative to the many other deserving candidates, but at the same time he just does so many things right on the court. He can’t put the ball on the floor and doesn’t have much of a jumper, but you have to love the D, love the movement, and love the effort.
- The Jae Crowder Show continues. He’s a perfect second-round selection; Crowder doesn’t need the ball much at all, thrives on pure effort supplied by an inextinguishable generator, and will undoubtedly wind up in Dallas or elsewhere on an affordable multi-year deal. The Mavs would be wise to take advantage of the opportunity they’ve afforded themselves.
- Drew Gordon still hasn’t been able to showcase all that many skills, but we can confidently add an instinctive nose for the ball to his list of demonstrated talents. Gordon was chasing down boards and loose balls with an impressive vigor on Monday, and while what we’ve seen isn’t quite enough to justify a big-league roster spot, there’s ample evidence to warrant keeping an open mind.
- Bernard James: Not a bad draft selection, but despite coming in as one of the oldest — if not the oldest — rookie, he doesn’t quite look NBA-ready. His box-out technique and rebounding in general was much better in the second Summer League game than it was in the first, but as neither an immediately useful player nor a project, James is in a difficult space.