The Daily Deal: July 13
Each day, NBADLeague.com will be in Las Vegas to cover all of the Summer League action, focusing on the top NBA D-League alums that are trying to make an impact on their respective teams in order to earn a spot on an NBA roster.
The first day of the Las Vegas Summer League is in the books. In our first installment of the Daily Deal, let's take a look at what transpired inside of COX Pavilion.
TOP 5 PERFORMERS
1. KEITH BENSON -- CENTER/FORWARD -- ATLANTA HAWKS
Benson got the start at center and he played like a seasoned pro. The 6-foot-11Oakland product scored 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting and also grabbed six rebounds in under 20 minutes while not committing a foul. Benson was matched up again Washington's Jan Veseley, an NBA fixture, for much of the game and it is that kind of matchup, Benson says, that motivates him. Benson got a GATORADE Call-Up from the Golden State Warriors last season and with more performances like this, he will be back in the NBA soon.
2. BRAD WANAMAKER -- GUARD -- ATLANTA HAWKS
Wanamker had a strong finish to the 2011-12 NBA D-League season as he was a key part to Austin's championship run. Atlanta gave him a chance on its Summer League team and he responded immediately. The Pittsburgh product got the start at guard and he scored 13 points and added six assists in 23 minutes. He mostly played the point, something he has shown the ability to do, and he was mostly matched up against Washington's Shelvin Mack, who played a full season with the Wizards last year.
3. PAUL CARTER -- FORWARD -- ATLANTA HAWKS
Not one of the most well-known NBA Prospects coming into the Summer League, Carter had a solid showing for the Hawks on Friday. He had six points and registered four rebounds in under 10 minutes of action. He also provided the COX Pavilion fans a highlight dunk, which you can see below.
4. ELIJAH MILLSAP -- GUARD -- ATLANTA HAWKS
Millsap is smooth on the offensive end and he showed that off in flashes on Friday. In 14 minutes, the 6-foot-6 guard scored six points on 2-for-3 shooting and pulled down three rebounds. Atlanta has a lot of talented guards on its Summer League roster, but Millsap's offensive prowess may yet be able to shine through.
5. HAMADY N'DIAYE -- CENTER -- CHARLOTTE BOBCATS
N'Diaye is the only non-Hawks player to crack the top five today. A hulking presence in the paint, N'diaye had four points and two rebounds in under five minutes of play. It'll be interesting to see if he gets more reps as the week progresses.
"That felt good," Benson said of the sequence. "I was just trying to run the floor hard and my teammates were good passers so they made it happen."
Houston 93, Toronto 81: The only non-blowout of the game was the Rockets versus the Raptors in the second game of the afternoon. While Houston pulled away in the fourth quarter, this contest was tight throughout. All in all, there were 11 lead changes and the game was tied 12 times. For Houston, Donatas Motiejunas led all scorers with 25 points .
As far as NBA D-League alums that had an impact in this game, Houston guard Courtney Fortson got the start, but he scored only two points on 1-for-7 shooting in 21 minutes. His teammate, forward Greg Smith, had two points and two rebounds in 13 minutes.
"We've been beating each other up for about a week and a half, so we were just talking going into the day, lets go out there and beat up on somebody a little bit, but at the same time have some fun and that's what we did." - Brad Wanamaker after Atlanta's 102-82 win over Washington.
MUST WATCH VIDEO
WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Keith Benson sends home a slam against the Wizards. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)