NBA 2010 Vegas Summer League: Day 5 Preview

Who's ready for more basketball?  I know I am.  Seven more games on the docket today, including the last two teams who have yet to play, Cleveland and Chicago.  It's a lot to take in, keeping in mind that most pictures we're getting of players are on the impressionistic side.  Both good games and bad should be taken with the sodium-intensive food of your choice, though also with the knowledge that for many of these players, this is their best shot at impressing NBA teams and earning training camp invitations.  (And yes, if you've been watching this far into Summer League, you know all this already.)

The majority of these games will be shown on NBA TV (I know not all of them will be live, but I don't know if they'll be showing the non-live ones later or what), and those that don't have access to NBA TV can watch all of the Summer League games online for $14.95 either live or on demand.  The "what to watch for" notes are after the jump (all times are Eastern).

4 p.m. - Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls


Nuggets Free Agent to Watch: Romel Beck

While he hasn't played much (nine minutes over two games), Beck is a talented scorer, and with just two games left the Nuggets could decide they want a longer look at what he can do.  I will repeat that Beck is a talented scorer, with the caveat that scoring is pretty much all he does.  Tall and wiry, Beck excels in isolation situations and has gotten better at playing off the ball.  His rebounding improved a little bit this past season, but it's still not really as good as a 6'8" guy should accomplish.  He's a career 45.7 percent three-point shooter in the D-League, so he'll get a few more NBA looks, but he's also 28 so his window's closing.

Bulls Free Agent to Watch: Derrick Byars

Byars played for the Bulls last year and actually made the team out of training camp but was cut before the regular season started.  He went to Germany rather than go back to the D-League, and he was decent there.  Byars is a pretty solid scorer and while he's not a great defensive player, he puts forth effort on that end.  Depending on whether the Magic match Chicago's offer to J.J. Redick, Byars could have a chance to get another contract with the Bulls.

6 p.m. - Cleveland Cavaliers vs. D-League Select


Cavaliers Free Agent to Watch: David Monds

Mond was solid in the D-League two years ago, was solid for the Lakers' Summer League team last year, then went to Greece where he put up, say it with me now, solid numbers.  Well, they weren't great, but they were alright for how much playing time he got.  Minds is an efficient scorer overall and a decent rebounder.  He's likely headed back to Europe, but I also hear Cleveland suddenly has a roster spot open.

D-League Player to Watch: Mike Gansey

I pretty much have to list Gansey (again, disclosure: he wrote for us last year) after his performance yesterday.  He was lights out off the bench, and I'm betting he does well again.

6:30 p.m. - Houston Rockets vs. Toronto Raptors


Rockets Free Agent to Watch: Alexander Johnson

Johnson has looked pretty good over two games for Houston, though he hasn't gotten a ton of playing time behind Jordan Hill and Patrick Patterson.  He's been getting to the free-throw line fairly often, which is a big part of his game, and rebounding pretty well.  If the Rockets decide to sit Hill or Patterson (or both), Johnson could get a greater chance to show what he can do.

Raptors Free Agent to Watch: James Mays

Like Johnson, Mays is playing behind a couple of big men who are guaranteed roster spots.  Mays' game is a little less polished than Johnson's is, but he's an athletic scorer and rebounder who could impress some teams if given a chance; consider that he had three rebounds and two assists in seven minutes of the first game.  If Johnson and Mays are matched up against one another, there could be some fun times.

8 p.m. - Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies


Bucks Free Agent to Watch: DeMarcus Nelson

Nelson has pretty steadily gotten further away from the NBA after being signed by the Warriors as an undrafted free agent in 2008.  He started the opening night for them, but was eventually released and went to the D-League.  He was called-up by the Bulls right before the season ended, but spent last year (and part of 2009) in Europe.  He's decent, though not much of a shooter.  Instead, he can handle the ball a bit (Nelson was a shooting guard in college but moved to the point since) and gets to the rim pretty easily.  With Luke Ridnour expected to sign elsewhere, Milwaukee could be in the market for a backup point (or combo) guard, and shooting deficiencies aside Nelson could do pretty well for Scott Skiles.

Grizzlies Free Agent to Watch: Chris McCray

McCray played in the D-League after going undrafted in 2006, spent a few years in Europe and returned to the D-League this past season.  He's a decent perimeter defender, but he was abysmal on the offensive end for Sioux Falls.  20 percent three-point shooting, 40 percent shooting overall-abysmal.  He's done better in the past, so maybe he just had an off-year.

8:30 p.m. - Sacramento Kings vs. LA Lakers


Kings Free Agent to Watch: Tyrese Rice

Rice is pretty much just a scoring guard, even though he nominally plays the point.  He can make a decent career in Europe with that profile, and that's probably in the cards, but while he's been playing in Summer League he's been doing well.  He's scoring a lot more efficiently than he did in college, and if he suddenly decides to start passing the ball an NBA team or two could become interested.

Lakers Free Agent to Watch: D.J. Strawberry

Strawberry is third on the team in scoring, behind new draftees Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter.  The downside is that he's averaging four turnovers a game thus far, and he's shot just 1-5 from outside.  He's played well overall, though, and improved his point guard skills a bit in the D-League this past season (though clearly still has some work to do)., though he still profiles as a defensive, slashing SG.

10 p.m. - Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Hornets


Trail Blazers Free Agent to Watch: Reyshawn Terry

Terry could be classified as an NBA washout, and he's spent the last few seasons in Europe, from whence he'll likely returned.  His outside shooting has all but disappeared since college, apparently, but he's still decently athletic and can rebound a bit.  He had 10 points and four boards in 11 minutes in Portland's first game, a solid (if not more than solid) performance on which to build.

Hornets Free Agent to Watch: Aubrey Coleman

Coleman has put up decent numbers so far, 11 points and five rebounds in 26 total minutes over two games.  It's been clear why he's a borderline NBA prospect, though, as he's not a great passer and sometimes has questionable shot selection.  Neither Darren Collison or Marcus Thornton will be playing in any more Summer League games, though, so Coleman should get more playing time and more chances to show what he can do.

10:30 p.m. - Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat


Warriors Free Agent to Watch: Kim Tillie

I know next to nothing about Tillie, but he's played well the last two games so he's probably worth watching more closely.  He's French, and played at (the University of) Utah for the past four years.  He hustles, and he handles the ball pretty well for a 6'9" guy, and he's decently athletic but not really obviously so.  I'll be interested to see what happens to him if he continues to put up solid performances in Vegas.

Heat Free Agent to Watch: Garret Siler

Like several other teams playing today, there's not much room in the frontcourt for free agents, but Siler's a good one.  He has some nice post moves and good hands, and while he didn't do a whole lot in Orlando while playing for the Jazz, he's an efficient scorer.  Siler's biggest issue up until this point has been, well, being a bit too big, but in drafting Dexter Pittman the Heat have signaled they're willing to work with players on their conditioning, and that roster will need at least a few more minimum-salaried players on it.

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