LAS VEGAS — A look at top performers from Day 4 in Las Vegas:
John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
Collins continued a string of impressive showings with 15 points and 11 rebounds against the Bulls. He’s now shooting nearly 60 percent from the field this summer while averaging a double-double. Against the Bulls, he was particularly aggressive near the rim against first-round pick Lauri Markkanen (who missed 12 of his 13 shots in the game, including 0-for-10 on 3-pointers). Hard to know what he’ll do against real competition, but Collins could see decent minutes this season with the departure of Dwight Howard.
Troy Williams, Houston Rockets
The Rockets surrendered a young, athletic wing player this summer in Sam Dekker but perhaps will replace him with Williams, who’s making a strong impression in Las Vegas. His latest was a 27-point, six-rebound effort against the Suns. But what made it more impressive: This came against Josh Jackson, the Suns’ lottery pick who’s recognized as a solid defender. Williams played only 30 games last season as a Rockets rookie, a victim of depth. Yet, after a summer of major moves, Houston will look to elevate someone such as Williams into the end of the rotation.
Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers
There are some players who, quite honestly, don’t need to prove themselves against summer league competition. And such a player is perhaps Harrell, who had decent stretches last season with the Rockets. But he’s now a Clipper and therefore LA wants to see what it’s getting. Well, Harrell was good for 21 points in 26 minutes against the Bucks and essentially had his way in the paint, missing only three times in 13 attempts. It’s an encouraging sign for the Clippers, who received Harrell (and other goods) in the Chris Paul trade.
Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns
Jackson remained among the elite in Vegas with another strong performance, this time getting 20 points with six rebounds against the Rockets. Yes, he did have his hands full with Troy Williams, but Jackson also flashed his solid movement, quickness and in a surprise, 3-point shooting (2 of 4). He also played 33 minutes in a tight game, proof that Phoenix has no issues giving Jackson reps here in Las Vegas, an indicator that the Suns feel he’s ready for extended minutes in the regular season.
Archie Goodwin, Brooklyn Nets
He’s at the crossroads of a young career, and his sense of urgency was evident when Goodwin managed a well-rounded game against the Pelicans. The guard had 18 points and eight assists in just 20 minutes and made the most of his night. However, the former Phoenix Sun is battling a numbers game at point guard with the Nets, who now have D’Angelo Russell to go with Jeremy Lin. How he performs the rest of the summer could give him momentum going into fall camp … if he makes it there.
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