NBA Summer League Style
By Maurice Brooks
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LAS VEGAS, July 12, 2007 -- I donít know why Iím telling you this, but I once failed a science test in 12th grade even though my teacher allowed the entire class to use our text books.

You see, sometimes even though the right answer is staring you in the face, it takes a while for you to find it.

Maybe that is why even though I have been in Las Vegas since July 4, I didnít decide to write an NBA Summer League presented by adidas version of Race to the MVP until three this morning. This is something I should have thought about doing days ago.

I mean seriously, talk about a no-brainer. I ranked the players during the NBA regular season. Iím currently ranking the players during the WNBA season.

Line of the Week
Marcus Banks, Suns
vs. Cavaliers, July 9
42 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
13-for-19 FG, 4-for-5 3-pointers

I am going to be bouncing back and fourth between Cox Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV for 10 days, watching 21 teams play 55 games.

Hello, McFly.

There will be an official MVP chosen for the summer league on Sunday. Iím simply going to do my part today to start swaying the selection committee. Iíll also write an end-of-the-tournament version of R2MVP on Monday.

For strictly entertainment purposes, here are the NBA Summer League player rankings through July 11.

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    Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings
    1. Marco Belinelli, Warriors
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    25.0 2.0 2.3 1.7 0.0 .500
    The sweet-shooting swingman is the leagueís third leading scorer and his Warriors have also won two of three games.

    2. Louis Wiliams, Sixers
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    25.2 5.4 5.0 1.6 0.0 .485
    It is tough to argue against Williams, who was a stat-sheet stuffer for Philadelphia, which ended the tournament with a 3-2 mark.

    3. Rodney Stuckey, Pistons
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    19.3 4.0 2.7 1.7 0.0 .487
    Detroit has played three games and when the final horn sounded in each, they walked off the court as winners. Stuckey has been better than advertised.

    4. Jose Juan Barea, Mavericks
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    16.3 2.3 4.7 0.7 0.0 .567
    He has been a pest to all three teams that Dallas has played -- and defeated -- so far in the summer league. The assist numbers are expected, but the points are a pleasant surprise.

    5. Craig Smith, Timberwolves
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    23.0 5.5 1.0 0.5 2.0 .636
    The powerful forward has emerged as Minnesotaís go-to player. He has been virtually unstoppable in the paint.

    6. Jason Maxiell, Pistons
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    19.0 6.3 1.0 0.3 1.3 .553
    Stuckey has been the man for Detroit on the perimeter, while Maxiell has handled all of the dirty work in the paint.

    7. Kelenna Azubuike, Warriors
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    21.0 6.0 2.5 0.5 0.0 .467
    I had Azubuikeís teammate, Pierre Pierce, penciled in at this spot until I took a closer look at the numbers. Azubuike has been outstanding.

    8. Alando Tucker, Suns
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    21.0 2.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 .536
    Judging by what Iíve seen in two games, Tucker would be a legit Rookie of the Year candidate on any other team. Unfortunately, he wonít get enough burn on the Suns to win it during the regular season.

    9. Rudy Gay, Grizzlies
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    16.0 8.5 2.0 2.0 0.0 .370
    In his summer league debut, he was the best player on the floor. In Memphis' second game, he made up for a subpar shooting performance by grabbing 11 rebounds.

    10. Francisco Garcia, Kings
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    20.5 3.0 3.5 1.5 0.5 .429
    Garcia is putting up quality stats and the Kings are winning games. That is a nice combo.

    11. Al Thornton, Clippers
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    20.5 7.5 1.0 0.0 1.0 .387
    I know the Clippers are winless but donít blame Thornton who has shouldered the load.

    12. Leon Powe, Celtics
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    16.3 8.7 0.7 0.3 0.0 .615
    He did his thing in two games and the Celtics got Wís; he was so-so in their other outing and Boston got a L.

    13. Rodney Carney, Sixers
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    17.6 2.6 1.0 0.6 1.0 .431
    On the east coast, Philadelphia fans are jumping for joy over the play of Williams and Carney, who was a force over the final three games.

    14. LaMarcus Aldridge, Blazers
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    21.1 11.0 0.5 0.0 3.0 .586
    His numbers merit him being higher on the list. The fact that he missed one game because of injury and Portland was winless with him in the lineup means he doesnít.

    15. Jelani McCoy, Nuggets
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG%
    13.0 13.0 1.0 0.5 2.5 .923
    Donít look now but the rugged McCoy is leading the league in rebounds while averaging a double-double. He has made 12-of-13 shots from the field.

    Close But No Cigar (summer league averages)
    16. Pierre Pierce (Warriors): 18.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.3 APG
    17. Aaron Brooks (Rockets): 21.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 8.0 APG
    18. Marcus Banks (Suns): 42.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 APG
    19. Shannon Brown (Cavaliers): 19.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 3.3 APG
    20. Wang Zhizhi (Team China): 17.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.0 APG

    Running the Floor

    Oden
    Before the start of the NBA Summer League, if I would have said I was putting together a list ranking the players in Las Vegas and that Portlandís Greg Oden and Seattleís Kevin Durant wouldnít be on it, you would have thought I was crazy. After checking out the order of my selections, there is a chance that you may still feel that way.
    Team China Basketball finished the summer league with a record of 1-4, while the Sixers went 3-2 before heading off to the Utah. The Rocky Mountain Revue is scheduled to be held from July 13-20 with the Hawks, Bulls, Mavs, Sixers, Spurs, Sonics and Jazz participating.