The Daily Deal: July 16
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.
Monday didn't feature a whole lot of close games, but it did bring about a number of breakout performances from some of the NBA D-League's very best prospects, not to mention some other showings that came at the exact right time for players in need of a big night. And while the NBA D-League Select Team took its first loss of this Summer League, dropping 94-88 to Cleveland, it took a talent-packed Cavs team into the final two minutes of the game before stumbling over a 30-second stretch that decided the game.
1. JERRY SMITH -- GUARD -- NBA D-LEAGUE SELECT
Smith looked every bit like a player ready to patrol the perimeter in the NBA on Monday, leading all scorers in the Cleveland - NBA D-League Select matchup with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting (4-of-6 from behind the arc). He only had one assist, which has to count a little against a player attempting to prove he can run point in the NBA, but his scoring touch and five rebounds kept Select in the game.
2. JARRID FAMOUS -- FORWARD/CENTER -- MILWAUKEE BUCKS
Famous ransacked the NBA D-League at times during his 16-game 2011-12 season, including games like a 30-point, 15-rebound night against Rio Grande Valley or a 15-point, 20-board night against Dakota. But he also ran dry just as often, like a four-point, two-rebound masterpiece against Canton on Jan. 6. But the Famous he showed on Monday for the Bucks -- the one that picked up 13 points and 11 boards and registered a team-high plus-20 rating in 22 minutes -- should go a long way toward making scouts willfully forget his 3-point, 1.3-rebound average in Orlando Summer League.
3. DONALD SLOAN -- GUARD -- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
The first quarter of the Cavaliers' win on Monday belonged to Tyler Zeller. The rest of the game belonged to Sloan, who used his speed, explosion and strength to perfection while running the point for Cleveland. And when the Cavs needed a stop, then a run, to hold off the D-League Select Team late, Sloan was the catalyst. He finished with a team-high 19 points, tied with Zeller.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Keith Benson, Atlanta; Damian Saunders and Trey Gilder, Miami
After the San Antonio Spurs wrapped up their practice on Monday night, center Luke Zeller (an NBA D-League champ with the 2011-12 Austin Toros) stopped by Cox Pavilion to see how his brother, Tyler, was fairing against the NBA D-League Select Team. By that point, the younger Zeller had calmed down a little after stomping on virtually the entire Select Team (he had 10 points and two rebounds in the first eight minutes), but Luke still got a chance to see Tyler pull off a spin-and-scoop shot from the left side, all in one motion, that showed why the Cavs picked him so early.
Miami Heat 106, L.A. Lakers 56: This was a good day for Miami.
In addition to the fact that the Heat had built up a 30-point lead by the second quarter and ended up beating L.A. by 50 points in a game that saw every single player who entered the game for the Heat in positive figures in plus-minus and four of them at plus-30 or better, a bunch of NBA D-League alums made some noise.
Damian Saunders fell just a point shy of the team lead in scoring, racking up 13 points, four rebounds and two blocks in 17 minutes. Trey Gilder scored nine points with a team-high six boards and four assists. Meanwhile, alums Dexter Pittman, Terrel Harris and Mickell Gladness all broke into double-figures in scoring.
"No more cheese steaks. I think I had one right before I started my diet -- when I first got back to Philly I had one." - NBA D-League Select Team guard Mardy Collins on how he shed 20 pounds between the end of the NBA D-League season and now
MUST WATCH VIDEO
WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan glides to the hoop beyond the outstretched arm of Jeremy Wise. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)
ON THE HORIZON
1) The Chicago Bulls, with top forward Prospect Malcolm Thomas, take the floor for the first time in Vegas. The Bulls match up against the Celtics at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
2) After combining for 30 points on Monday, Cleveland's NBA D-League alum backcourt combo of Donald Sloan and T.J. Campbell will take on fellow alums DeShawn Sims, Marcus Landry, Charles Garcia and the Suns at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.
3) Ten former NBA D-Leaguers, including forward Eric Dawson and guard Cory Joseph, will suit up for San Antonio when the Spurs battle the Lakers at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. ET.