For 36 minutes, the NBA D-League Select Team was rolling over its NBA competition. But in a flash, their double-digit lead disappeared thanks to some tenacious full-court pressure from secound-rounder Russ Smith and the hot shooting of the Pelicans' Summer League invitees.
In the end, the nine NBA D-League all-stars who suited up were left hanging their heads at the opportunity that slipped out of their grasp. Here's who stood out in what was a strong showing before it unraveled:
Lockett has all the characteristics of an ideal glue guy: He's unselfish, doesn't care about his numbers and doesn't force the issue on either end of the floor. He filled in whatever gaps needed filling in the 2014 Select Team's first game, compiling 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. The former Marquette Golden Eagle is a prime candidate to rise up the ranks thanks to his Select Team experience.
If Ebanks' first outing in Vegas is any indication, he's looking to prove a point this offseason. The former Armor forward was the best player on the floor until the fourth quarter, once again displaying NBA talent that he's yet to channel consistently enough to return to the league. He thrived in his comfortable stretch-4 role, which could intrigue a team that views him more as a floor-spacing big than a traditional small forward.
Mitchell's final numbers, spoiled by a few forced shots, sometimes don't tell the true story of his impact on the game. Despite his 4-for-12 showing, he energized the squad off the bench, hounding the Pelicans on the perimeter and getting out on the fastbreak. Expect T-Mitch to leave his mark on at least a game or two in Vegas before it's all said and done.