Rookie Notes -- Summer League, Part 1
Posted Jul 15 2007 12:49PM
Summer League: Marco Belinelli Highlights Summer League Recap: Warriors-Hornets Summer League: Aaron Brooks Scores 28 Summer League: Jarvaris Crittenton Highlights Haier Play of the Day: Javaris Crittenton Summer League: Spencer Hawes Highlights Summer League: Coby Karl Highlights Summer League: Rodney Stuckey Highlights Alando Tucker Scores 29 Thaddeus Young Scores 20
SECAUCUS, NJ, July 13, 2007 -- Doing our due diligence, the Rookie Report has been watching a lot of summer league basketball... which can be pretty painful at times. As you probably know, it can get sloppy, as the teams aren't exactly cohesive on the floor.
Most of them haven't played together before and, of course, guys are sometimes looking out for themselves as they try to earn an invite to camp in October. Forty turnovers in a game is not an uncommon occurrence.
But it's our first look at the new rookie class. And there is some quality play amongst all the turnovers and bricks. So, with a few days of action left to go in Las Vegas, one day left in Orlando and the Rocky Mountain Revue starting today, here's some notes on the rookies we've watched so far, in the order they were drafted, with their stats so far.
It's an incomplete list, as we haven't watched every game, but we'll have more thoughts (and we'll answer some mail as well) next week.
And once the Rocky Mountain Revue is complete, we'll have a new set of Rookie Rankings for you.
Greg Oden, POR9.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.00 BPG, .600 FG%, .125 FT% in 2 games
You're probably aware that Oden's Summer League experience was cut short by a bout with tonsillitis. And we're not going to look too deeply into his struggles in Vegas, but here are a couple of thoughts:
His offensive game isn't very smooth, but he'll still draw extra defenders in the post and he's fairly unstoppable when he gets the ball close to the basket.
He's going to block a lot of shots, but foul trouble could be a serious problem. He committed a total of 18 fouls in his two games, mostly going for blocks or putting his arms into the shooter's body as they went up.
Kevin Durant, SEA18.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG .250 FG%, .300 3P% in 2 games
In his first game (against Dallas), Durant got most of his points in the post, where he was usually guarded by smaller defenders (like Maurice Ager), and he had a full array of post moves. But on the perimeter, he seemed a bit off. His form on his jumper never seemed right. Sometimes, his feet weren't set, and sometimes, he wasn't square to the basket.
In his second game (against New York), Durant was swallowed whole by Renaldo Balkman and the Knicks' defense, shooting 4-for-19. That's gonna happen sometimes, but what worries the Report is that he didn't find other ways to contribute. Watching the game, you often forgot that he was on the floor.
Mike Conley Jr., MEM11.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.30 SPG, .500 FG% in 3 games
Conley will draw a lot of holding fouls up top with his quickness. It's almost impossible to keep him in front of you.
He's able to get to the rim fairly easily, and he's a pretty good finisher. He knows how to use his body to create an angle for a shot.
His jumper definitely needs some work.
He has quick hands on D, but obviously, he'll have trouble defending bigger guards.
Jeff Green, SEA8.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, .333 FG%, .167 3P% in 3 games
Green definitely looked rusty in his first game. His shot was off and he committed a few clumsy turnovers on the perimeter.
He definitely looked more comfortable in the Sonics' second game (against New York), with the highlight being a dunk over Nate Robinson.
He doesn't have the quickest feet, but he's a solid defender otherwise.
Yi Jianlian, MIL12.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 1.40 BPG, .255 FG% in 5 games
Yi's got an array of offensive moves, and he's very smooth. But he's not that strong, and like Durant, the Knicks' defense completely took him out of his game.
His size and athleticism allows him to grab some boards and block some shots.
Spencer Hawes, SAC16.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 0.67 BPG, .436 FG% in 3 games
Hawes has a nice set of post moves that end in takes to the basket or jump hooks. Sometimes though, he forces the action a bit and should be kicking the ball out if he doesn't have the space to operate.
He also has run into trouble when he tries to handle the ball away from the basket, and he probably shouldn't be shooting any threes at this point.
Thaddeus Young, PHI12.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.40 SPG, .433 FG%, .600 3P% in 5 games
Offensively, Young is a jack of all trades and master of none. His jumper needs work. But you can see signs that, with time and work, he can be a complete offensive player.
His best skill at this point is probably his rebounding. He can get up and, with strong hands, snatch the ball out of the air.
Rodney Stuckey, DET19.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.20 SPG, .472 FG% in 4 games
The Report can definitely see the Dwyane Wade comparisons. Stuckey is a strong combo guard who can barrel his way to the cup (absorbing contact along the way) or stick the J if you play off him. He isn't quite as quick or explosive as Wade is though.
Nick Young, WAS15.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.50 SPG, .367 FG% in 2 games
The Report has only watched Young's first game, where he struggled with his shot. Still, he's a smooth, multifaceted offensive player. And he seemed to have a stronger game against Detroit.
Sean Williams, NJN9.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.40 BPG, .516 FG% in 5 games
Williams hadn't played in six months, so there was bound to be a little rust. But he hasn't exactly had a lot of touches either, and he seems to also have periods where he disappears. Still, he improved as the week went on.
He's got one turnaround move in the post that he goes to a lot, and he executes it pretty well, but otherwise, he's pretty raw offensively.
Marco Belinelli, GSW25.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.67 SPG, .500 FG%, .667 3P% in 3 games
The Report is not afraid to admit when its wrong. Belinelli can ball. He can get to the tin. He has no problem shooting from NBA range and he's got a quick release. He should be in the Golden State rotation from the start.
Jason Smith, PHI8.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.40 BPG, .405 FG% in 5 games
Smith is a good shooter for a seven-footer, but he doesn't keep himself to the perimeter. He led the Sixers in rebounding and he had a couple of nice blocks as well.
Daequan Cook, MIA11.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.75 SPG, .311 FG%, .444 3P% in 4 games
Cook was really struggling with his shot until going 8-for-16 in a win over Indiana on Thursday. So far, he's shooting .444 from beyond the arc and .222 inside it.
Jared Dudley, CHA12.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.50 SPG, .552 FG%, .600 3P% in 4 games
Dudley had probably the best game of any rookie in Orlando so far when he put up 17 points, nine boards, six assists and two steals in a win over the Magic on Wednesday. He followed that up with a double-double (16 points and 10 boards) on Thursday.
The Report caught a few minutes of the Thursday game, and we were impressed to see Dudley working in the low block on the offensive end, and then covering a guard on defense. The Bobcats' staff has to like his versatility.
Wilson Chandler, NYK11.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.33 SPG, .519 FG%, .375 3P% in 3 games
From what the Report has seen, Chandler looks like a solid skilled, do-it-all small forward. We just wonder if there's any playing time available for him this season.
Aaron Brooks, HOU24.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, .469 FG%, .500 3P% in 2 games
Brooks may just be the NBA Summer League MVP at this point, as he's fourth in the league in scoring and first in assists.
Summer League is made for scoring point guards, and Aaron Brooks is just that. In just two games, he has scored from everywhere on the floor, and he's also been creating opportunities for his teammates.
Arron Afflalo, DET16.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, .469 FG%, .500 3P% in 2 games
Afflalo struggled with his shot in the one game the Report watched, but he's got a solid overall offensive game.