The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin. Summer League is less about wins and losses and more about trying to determine what players can contribute on the NBA level.
- With 7:03 left in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks held a 70-56 lead. The Warriors proceeded to go on a 23-6 run to close out the game, including a game winning basket with just under 10 seconds left. Dallas played a controlled game from the opening tip, and slowly built up a solid lead, despite the loss of Jae Crowder and D.J. Stephens to injuries. However, the Mavericks got complacent and sloppy as the game wound down, committing five turnovers while taking rushed shots. Both Gal Mekel and Ricky Ledo played great games up until the 7:03 mark in the 4th; the combo was responsible for four of the five Dallas turnovers and shot 1-for-7 down the stretch.
- Forward Jackie Carmichael posted a fantastic line of 12 points, seven rebounds, and seven blocks, many of which were right at the rim. Unfortunately, Kent Bazemore dunked over Carmichael in what may well be the dunk of summer league. It also drastically changed the momentum in favor of the Warriors. After five games, I hope a general manager gives Carmichael a shot. He plays very hard and his defensive timing is really impressive. Each game of summer league he’s shown a different aspect to his game; last night it was rebounding and hustle, tonight it was defensive timing. He also has a great little “show-and-go” post move he uses to create just a little bit of space needed in order to get a shot off.
- The poor play down the stretch for both Ledo and Mekel should not discount their first three quarter’s worth of contributions. There will be questions about whether or not Mekel has the speed to play point in the NBA, but I very much enjoy how he uses his solid ball handling to probe defenses to see what they’re willing to give up. Because he’s so willing to pass, defenses seem shocked when he puts up a 10 foot floater; more often than not, defenders don’t even jump to try to block it. I’d like to see him keep his pivot foot down once he’s picked up his dribble (he’s been called for a large number of travels in Summer League) but offensively his guidance generally keeps the Dallas offense flowing. Ricky Ledo (12 points, six rebounds) has a great deal to learn about basketball, but there are signs he could be a very good all around player. While his offense is what gets everyone talking (his jump shot, when he takes it, has similarities to that of Kevin Durant), his rebounding effort is outstanding. He’s listed as a shooting guard, but with the NBA trending ever smaller, I assume he’ll get opportunities to play small forward as well. Though he’s had lapses, his hustle on defense will eventually pay off as he learns schemes and team defense concepts. At the moment, the future is bright for both Mekel and Ledo.
Be sure to check out TMG’s Bryan Gutierrez as he contributes to ESPN Dallas during LSVL.
Kirk is a member of the Two Man Game family. Follow him on Twitter @KirkSeriousFace for ranting about Dallas basketball, TV, movies, video games, and his dog.