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JetCityPersian

Vegas Summer League...

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Jet here,

Well, I just got done watching 3 out of 4 of the Summer league games on my computer. It was surprisingly good quality on the video and audio feed, and I even had some decent commentary thanks to the NBA League Pass guys. It was a good watch while I finished up my Friday's day of work at home, and then did a workout in my home gym/office/storage-room (need... house...). I'm considering buying NBA League Pass this year, it seems like a pretty smooth operation.

Anyway, on to the games. I missed the Philly/San Antonio game, won by the Sixers 65-61. The first one that I did catch was the Dallas/Seattle game. This was the Kevin Durant debut, of course, but the scrappy Mavericks stole the show. I was impressed with Maurice Ager first and foremost - this kid can really get up. Durant shot poorly for the game, only 5-17 from the field. Still, he dazzled with a variety of moves on the low-post and high-post. He also showed some range with a nice-looking three point stroke. I think he was a bit tight for his debut, and who can blame him? Durant may have shot a low percentage, but almost all of his shots were good looks. Make no mistake, this kid is going to be an absolute scoring machine. With Allen and Lewis both gone from Seattle now, I think we could see the highest scoring rookie since Allen Iverson. He should be the prohibitive favorite for Rookie of the Year going into '07-'08.

The second game that I caught was the Memphis Grizzlies versus the Chinese National Team. This Chinese team has played together for some time, so you'd think that this would be a blowout. Not so! The young Grizzlies have a wealth of impressive young athletes. Lowry, Kinsey, Anthony Johnson, Mike Conley (didn't start, but checked in late in the first quarter) were all very active. They terrorize ball handlers and then outrun the poor Chinese team on the break. It was very fun to watch.

However, the absolute standout in the Memphis/China game was Rudy Gay. This kid showed it all in his '07 Summer League debut. He stepped back and stroked jumpers. He spread out like an albatross and flew in for monster jams. And, he absolutely owned Yi Jianlian (who is an impressive young player himself) in the first half of this game. In the highlight of the game, Gay goes baseline and does a 180 degree turn underneath the rim to finish with a two-handed monster jam on Yi. With that 22 emblazoned on his back, I would have thought I was watching a young Clyde Drexler on that move. I think there's only a handful of athletes in the world that can make that move, and Gay made it look easy. This game provided us with perhaps a glimpse of *the* breakout player for the NBA 2007-2008 season (there was another candidate on display today as well.. keep reading). As for China, I thought that both Wang and Yi looked very solid. Yi has a nice touch on his jumper for a big man, and he has some quick moves on the baseline. I saw flashes of stardom for him, and Milwaukee was absolutely right on taking him with the 6th overall pick. Even if he shuns them, there's going to be a lot of suitors for Yi via trade if they decide to give up on wooing him to Milwaukee.

Finally, I got to watch Greg Oden's debut in the Trailblazers/Celtics game. This was the final match of the day, and possibly the most hyped. Oden looked a step slow in this game, but I believe that the Blazers were the most hampered by poor guard play. Sergio Rodriguez, the starting PG for the Portland Summer League team, was an absolute turnover machine. On defense, Rodriguez and Martell Webster were beaten badly by the Celtic guards on most possessions, forcing Oden to take fouls. Gerald Green looked good in the early part of the game, blowing past Webster on several possessions.

This was billed as the Oden show, but the guy who impressed the most on Portland was LaMarcus Aldridge. He was everywhere on both ends of the court, and he displayed a fantastic shooting touch from as far as 19 feet out. Portland has to be giddy after seeing this sort of play from Aldridge, who should be able to dominate offensively with Oden drawing attention in the low post. Like Gay, I think we could be seeing a preview of a huge breakout star in '07-'08. If Aldridge can hit his jumper as consistently as he displayed in this game, Blazer fans will forget about Zach Randolph in a matter of a few games. As for Oden, he needs to get over his sinus infection, settle down his nerves, and get some more help from his guards. I saw some glimpses of how dominant he can be. On one play, he nearly ripped down the hoop with a two-handed dunk. He'll be unstoppable when he gets the ball in close to the rim. On defense, he had a highlight block on Leon Powe where his hand seemed to be three feet above the rim...

That's a wrap. I think we're going to see better performances from both Kevin Durant and Greg Oden before the Summer League season is up, especially Durant. He'll loosen up and score over 30 points - probably in his next game. Virtually all of his looks were good, and he'll get them at will. Gay and Aldridge will emerge as the All-Stars of the Summer League in Vegas, and could be NBA All-Stars very soon as well.

- Jet out

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only saw that memphis/china game. yi looked very fluid out there and had an idea how to attack his opponent. hes got a nice little step back and fadeway. but he was a complete non-factor on the other end, getting abused on the boards and having multiple guys dunk on his yam. that one by gay, spin move on the baseline up and under dunk with yi's hand in the rim. that was NASTY.

gay looked more confident out there, didnt really notice if hes improved his ball-skills, but his shot looked more feathery. i think he could have a josh smith type season if he gets the minutes. contributions acorss the board, hopefully that 3 pt touch he flashed today was not a fluke. i got him pegged for maybe the 8th round.

thats pretty pathetic that a national team got taken out by one of the worst NBA team's summer league team. they got a long way to go if they wanna have a decent showing at the olympics. their guardplay was horrible.

mike conley looked like he belonged, very smooth kid who lets the game develop. he looks like a future tony parker with better playmaking skills. i like the way he finishes around the rim.

i'd love to see the griz go with a double PG lineup, lowry's a little pitbull. the chinese guards suck, but lowry had something to do with that. if the grizz can add a varejao type to do the dirty work for pau i think they could at least be competitive.

conley jr, m.miller (very underrated player), gay, varejao, gasol with lowry, warrick, kinsey off the bench is decent. they just need at least another shooter and a shot blocker ( no, i didnt consider s.swift at all)

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belinelli is SICK. i thought that dude was gonna be a surefire lotto pick after i seen him play in international competition. he only dropped cuz he had just an OK yr in europe this last yr. the kid has a pro game and a sweet stroke. he really knows how to shoot coming off screens, which is a dying art i nthe NBA.

GS deciding to trade JR is looking even better now. marco can really play. hes not just a shooter/scorer neither, he can make plays and is a solid athlete.

BTW, i saw nelly scouting yi yesterday too. what do you think GS would have to give up to get yi?

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belinelli's final line

37 Points, on 14-20/ 5-7 3PT/ 5-7 FTs/ 5 Rebounds/ 2 Assists/ 1 Steal.

he couldve easily scored 40+ but his teammates went for theirs in the 4th quarter. he had 31 by the end of the 3rd quarter, then they stopped passing to him.

his range is tremendous. i wouldve easily taken him over guys like thad young, nick young, al thornton and stuckey.

hopefully the influx of euros wont be stifled, the NBA needs more players like him, rudy fernandez and juan carlos navarro. they just know how to play the game and are extremely skilled. im sick of all these run n jump athletes in the NBA who play like a bunch of retards. they really kill the game for me sometimes.

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belinelli is SICK. i thought that dude was gonna be a surefire lotto pick after i seen him play in international competition. he only dropped cuz he had just an OK yr in europe this last yr. the kid has a pro game and a sweet stroke. he really knows how to shoot coming off screens, which is a dying art i nthe NBA.

GS deciding to trade JR is looking even better now. marco can really play. hes not just a shooter/scorer neither, he can make plays and is a solid athlete.

BTW, i saw nelly scouting yi yesterday too. what do you think GS would have to give up to get yi?

Unfortunately, I was not able to watch the Warriors game earlier today. Belinelli looks like he had a fantastic game. I see that he's money from downtown. I wish I could have seen the action. I wonder if this is the steal of the first round?

For GS to get Yi, they'd have to fill a need for MIL... I wonder what that is. I doubt they want to part with Brandan Wright, but that would probably get it done. I know they've been trying to get it done with Al Harrington (good god, can he stick more than a year with any team??), but the Bucks are having none of that. MIL also needs a point guard... I don't think they want to deal Ellis, and he's not a pure point guard anyway. I'm not sure what would get it done if Wright is off the table. Maybe if the Bucks were interested in O'Bryant? Not sure GS is ready to give up on him, yet.

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For GS to get Yi, they'd have to fill a need for MIL... I wonder what that is. I doubt they want to part with Brandan Wright, but that would probably get it done. I know they've been trying to get it done with Al Harrington (good god, can he stick more than a year with any team??), but the Bucks are having none of that. MIL also needs a point guard... I don't think they want to deal Ellis, and he's not a pure point guard anyway. I'm not sure what would get it done if Wright is off the table. Maybe if the Bucks were interested in O'Bryant? Not sure GS is ready to give up on him, yet.

on the contrary, i dont think GS would have a problem parting with either ellis or o' bryant. rumors are that ellis is turning out to be really immature and is pissing off the warriors brass with some of his off-court antics. plus i think nelly would absolutely LOVE belinelli and would play him over ellis. o'bryant just straight up sucks. i know he's a project and everything but i saw this guy in college and he never impressed me. hes just a huge guy with a soft touch. i mean, this is the same guy who almost quit basketball altogether cuz nobody was interested in him, then 2 yrs later hes a lotto pick? crazy. besides, he's not nelly's guy, POB was the old regime's pick. he doesnt fit in nelly's system in any way, shape or form.

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Aldridge is much more taylored for the PF position and should be poised for a breakout. Durant is a great player, but he needs help in Seattle, the double teams will start quickly if they don't find another scoring option, and that would put a damper on his alleged "record setting rookie scoring campaign. I watched both these guys in college and they will both be good very soon.

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Belinelli heating up again. This guy has the quickest release I've seen in a long time. He might be as quick as Ray already. GS should try to move Ellis if it can get them Yi. This guy looks for real to me.

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Belinelli heating up again. This guy has the quickest release I've seen in a long time. He might be as quick as Ray already. GS should try to move Ellis if it can get them Yi. This guy looks for real to me.

bad shooting night, but when he's on, he can get hot as a pistol. he showed that he can get his shot off in a number of ways. off the dribble, spotting up, coming off screens, etc. he's got enough ball skills to take his man to the hoop. he even played some PG in europe.

ROY will most likely go to durant but i think belinelli could be runner up.

JET, since you're in the pacific northwest im sure you've seen at least a little bit of rodney stuckey. caught a glimpse of him today and i was very impressed. hes got great balance, body control, power and he was pretty damn efficient. i think the comparisons to a poor man's d-wade are correct. hes got a similar game and body type. maybe he could be what dajuan wagner was suppose to be.

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bad shooting night, but when he's on, he can get hot as a pistol. he showed that he can get his shot off in a number of ways. off the dribble, spotting up, coming off screens, etc. he's got enough ball skills to take his man to the hoop. he even played some PG in europe.

ROY will most likely go to durant but i think belinelli could be runner up.

JET, since you're in the pacific northwest im sure you've seen at least a little bit of rodney stuckey. caught a glimpse of him today and i was very impressed. hes got great balance, body control, power and he was pretty damn efficient. i think the comparisons to a poor man's d-wade are correct. hes got a similar game and body type. maybe he could be what dajuan wagner was suppose to be.

Yeah, I think he's a phenomenal scorer and Detroit seemed to have him pegged as their guy all the way. I didn't get a chance to see the game today, but it looks like he did his thing. I just think he's got the tools to be a lights out scorer and I'll be interested to see how they use him. He's a lot different than Hamilton with the way he attacks the lane. I wonder what his arrival means for Murray in Detroit - I know they'd like to develop Stuckey, and Murray basically fills the same role. My gut says that "Flip" will be gone if they can find a deal.

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oh man... I just watched the Seattle/Knicks game and Durant had one stinker. Okay, the kid can drain free throws, but he has to learn how to get his teammates involved. He was a black hole out there today. 4/19 shooting - ick. 1 rebound? Actually, I'm pretty sure I saw him corral at least 3 rebounds, but still...

Tough summer league for Durant so far. He got shut down by Balkman today.

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i just had to reiterate. RODNEY STUCKEY IS SICK!! out of all the summer leaguers at LV, he's been the most impressive. the kid is poised and fearless. he's neither a PG nor a SG, hes just a playmaker that knows the game. i've been impressed by his feel for the game and court/game awareness. he doesnt force much unless he senses that his team needs a bucket.

he doesnt quite have the size or wingspan of d-wade but i see alot of flash in stuckey, just in a smaller package.

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