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Parker bounces back to show why he was No. 2 pick

POSTED: Jul 19, 2014 1:19 AM ET

By Scott Howard-Cooper


Jabari Parker collected 20 points and 15 rebounds to reclaim a spot on the Rookie Ladder.

— That was more like it, and not just the 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Friday against the Warriors at Thomas & Mack Center was the last summer-league game for Milwaukee's Jabari Parker and also the best, a display of the all-around game that helped make him the No. 2 pick, a chance to leave on a good note and a sign of the court presence of a prospect one season removed from high school. Especially the last part.

"I saw him be aggressive," said Sean Sweeney, the Bucks assistant coach running the team here. "I saw him not settle. That was one of the things we were emphasizing was trying to get to the paint and to work to get to the free-throw line. He didn't get some calls today, but he got a lot of shots around the rim. The other thing that was great was sometimes you get a big lead and things get ragged and things start to get out of control, but he was composed and showed maturity for [a 19 year old]. He showed a lot of maturity there, so that's always good."

Milwaukee has a future energized by Parker, an ownership change, plans for a new arena and Giannis Antetokounmpo coming off a promising rookie season, but there will be adversity. That made the five games in Vegas good prep for 2014-15 too, beyond the part about the young players getting in time together. It was Parker among the young players going from losing the first four games to taking a 24-point halftime lead Friday and then losing most of that, before hanging on for the 79-74 victory.

The good finish was actually a start in that case. The Bucks drafted Parker with the intention of playing him at power forward, mostly removing the lack of elite athleticism as an issue about whether he would be able to handle small forward, and he'll go to camp with a couple weeks experience of practices and games next to Antetokounmpo. That helps. Friday helps.

Rookie Ladder

1. NERLENS NOEL, 76ers (previous ranking: 1)

He sat out again Friday, against the D-League select team, but it would take a stunning development over the final seven games and three days to knock Noel from the top spot. That was Philadelphia's final game.

2. JARNELL STOKES, Grizzlies (2)

The second-round pick, No. 35 overall, finished Orlando averaging nine rebounds a game in 26 minutes, without ever playing more than 30 minutes. Though struggling with his shot at times, Stokes still scored 10, 16, 11 and 12 points in the limited time.

3. T.J. WARREN, Suns (3)

Warren had a rare bad game Friday, scoring nine points while making just three of 11 field goals and even three of seven free throws. But that was after 80 points in 92 minutes here.

4. DOUG McDERMOTT, Bulls (4)

He struggled Thursday, missing seven of 10 shots overall and five of six three-pointers while scoring 11 points. But that was after 31 points in 27 minutes against the Nuggets and 20 points in 26 minutes against the Timberwolves, with the Minnesota game also including six assists and five rebounds. The Bulls play again Saturday.

5. JAMES ENNIS, Heat (5)

A strained groin sidelined Ennis the final four games and most of a fifth. But by the time Miami's summer-league schedule ended Friday, after playing in Orlando and Vegas, Ennis had scored at least 17 points in four of five full games, while also contributing 5.5 rebounds in 22.2 minutes.

6. JORDAN ADAMS, Grizzlies (6)

Adams left Orlando on a bad note, by making just five of 13 shots and scoring 11 points against the 76ers, but that was after scoring at least 19 points in three of the four previous games. The Grizzlies are not playing in Las Vegas.

7. JORDAN McRAE, 76ers (7)

He did not play Friday -- rest, the 76ers said before heading off for months of rest -- but had a late charge up the rankings by averaging 21 points and shooting 50 percent in four games. Those 21 points were while playing 29.1 minutes per.

8. ELFRID PAYTON, Magic (9)

While the 1.75-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is a bad number for a point guard, Payton did a lot of other things well in Orlando. He shot 59.3 percent, added 5.2 rebounds from the backcourt in five games, and showed signs of the potential on defense.

9. JABARI PARKER, Bucks (not ranked)

That was some big finish of a Friday, getting 20 points and 15 rebounds against the Warriors in Milwaukee's finale and then reclaiming a Ladder spot after opening at No. 1 and tumbling all the way out. Averaging 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in all was a solid showing.

10. RUSS SMITH, Pelicans (nr)

Twenty-one points on Friday after 19, 14, six and 20 is a loud opening statement from the No. 47 pick drafted by Philadelphia and quickly traded to New Orleans. Smith also had at least eight assists twice and shot the ball well except for one game.

Dropped out: Jordan Clarkson (8), Gary Harris (10).