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Summer League: Studs & Duds, Day 9

At Day 9 of Las Vegas Summer League, there were eye opening performances and late-game dramatics. Here were the studs and duds.

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With the field down to eight teams vying for the 2014 Las Vegas NBA Summer League title, Day 9 featured some spirited competition, but none better than the triple-overtime classic between the Washington Wizards and the San Antonio Spurs.

(We are not, in fact, actually sure if a Summer League game can qualify as being a classic, but if you were on hand for the dramatic 95-94 Wizards victory, you would feel similarly).

Otto Porter stole the show and leads the studs of Day 9, while the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls joined the Spurs as teams who saw their championship hopes dashed.

Studs

Glen Rice, Jr. (Washington Wizards): Rice stole the show in Saturday night’s finale and not much more can be said about his performance in the Wizards’ 95-94 triple-overtime win over the Spurs. After missing two clutch free-throws in the waning seconds of the game’s second overtime, Rice drilled a corner three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to triple-overtime and ended up with 36 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the field. He was 6-for-10 from three-point territory and added 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals. It was by far the best performance we’ve seen here in Las Vegas.

Otto Porter (Washington Wizards): While Rice was fantastic, Porter was also part of the one-two punch that the Wizards utilized to escape Saturday night’s battle with the Spurs with a victory. Porter played well off of his teammates and managed to turn in an impressive 27-point, five-rebound, three-assist night. He played 35 effective minutes and showed why he belongs in the league.

Justin Brownlee (Charlotte Hornets): The former St. John’s product has opened some eyes in Las Vegas. He has shown good instincts as a big man, rarely getting lost on defense or missing rotations. We’d like to see his shooting percentage rise as well as his rebounding numbers, but he has good instincts and can score when given an opportunity. His team-high 16 points led his Hornets past the previously undefeated Knicks, who blew out his Hornets by 23 points just five days prior.

Cleanthony Early (New York Knicks): We could have easily gone with Tim Hardaway, Jr. in this spot, as Hardaway ended his summer league with the second-highest points per game average of 22.8, but we came into the summer knowing that Hardaway has the potential to be a starter in the NBA. It is Early who has taken the summer league by surprise. After slipping to the second round, we have noticed Early’s constant moving and communicating on the floor, and his 15-point, 10-rebound double-double, although coming in a loss, raises his already high stock.

Duds

Billy Baron (Chicago Bulls): In 23 minutes off the bench, Baron shot 1-for-11 from the field, failed to get to the free-throw line, turned the ball over twice and ended up with just three points. His Bulls lost to the Sacramento Kings by a final score of 80-61. We’ve seen better.

Darius Morris (San Antonio Spurs): After spending a few years with the Los Angeles Lakers, Darius Morris has bounced around a bit. He has found temporary homes with the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, but is in search of a permanent home. Unfortunately for him, there were at least a half-dozen players better than him in his team’s 95-94 triple-overtime loss to the Spurs. Morris was 0-for-6 from the field and finished scoreless in just 18 minutes.

Knicks’ Offense: Despite having quite a few NBA players on their roster, the Knicks were unable to get past the Charlotte Hornets, losing 82-79. After showing some impressive triangle offensive execution throughout the tournament, the Knicks relied heavily on screen-and-roll sets and played for themselves. They managed just 79 points and shot just 35 percent from the field.

Moke Hamilton is a Deputy Editor and Columnist for Basketball Insiders.

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