Adventures in Summer Leaguing, Volume II

Posted by Rob Mahoney on July 16, 2012 under Commentary, Recaps | 6 Comments to Read

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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.
  • @CoL_70

    We've got some good second-rounder selections that behave like second rounders; meanwhile Tyler Zeller (the one we drafted and traded away) is (small sample-sly) owning and showing he's a legit NBA player and quite NBA ready for his skillset.

    The good thing about this summer league is we're raising DoJo's stock at least a lil bit. I wish Roddy was also a part of this since I don't see them playing a prominent part in the mavs future (specially with Mayo) and would rather trade them away than lose them for free.

    I see James spending a lot of minutes in the d-league but wouldn't mind keeping him at least one season to check him out. Kaman and Brand (hopefully) won't be here next season and we could use a cheap 3rd-4th center.

    • campcamp

      i wouldn't put too much faith in the above analysis. Jae Crowder has a nice stroke. 1st rounder. Drew Gordon is smart. So many heavy hitters on the team, he decides to rebound. Bernard James is well rounded. Benchy. J. cunningham hasn't hit the court yet.

      The mavs have the best draft aside from the Blazers this year. This first round and second round nonsense is for ppl who don't look at stats.

      • Mike

        I watched Houston for thesecond time today. Their draft looks real good to me right now. Lamb is the real deal and may end up being the best player out of this draft when all is said and done. Can shoot lights out and can create his own shot. Montiejunas was technically last year, but he's a rookie and will be a very serviceable center and can really run the court. Terrance Jones looked ready today, and Royce White is a blast to watch!! GREAT passer for a big man. If he can earn a mid range jumper and get his free throws up over 70%, he's a very solid rotation guy. Add Jeremy Lin at PG and you've got a fun, up and coming young team.

  • Jeffrey Thompson

    I don't see the mavericks making the playoffs, however.  They've been trying desperate to get an semblance of talent, but have only managed to get even older and more worn pieces.  

    • Nick

      You don't know what you're talking about obviously. We have dropped about three years off our average player age, and on pretty much every statistical comparison we have improved. In fact, this team compares very favorably to our 2011 Championship roster. Collison and Mayo will be perfect fits running the pick and roll and kick with Dirk, Brand or Kaman. Mayo has averaged a better 3pt% than Terry the past four years. Brand and Kaman could either or both average a double-double with Dirk taking up half the frontcourt and drawing the better defender. Our worst player based on last year's efficiency (Dominique Jones) is now the stat leader in Summer League for crying out loud. We are a contender for a 3 or 4 seed on paper, and with the right chemistry and luck we can be a contender for a ring as one of the deepest teams in the league.

  • rquesada

    James is bench fodder, for the time being. Probably isn't too far from his ceiling, just another big body that won't work out. 

    Very interested in Crowder, but concerned about his speed and size matchup. Can he play the 3?

    Also, I'd be interested to get thoughts on the OJ Mayo pickup. Am I too optimistic in thinking he can be a better offensive threat than the now departed JET, especially on the pick-and-roll?