NBA 2010 Las Vegas Summer League: Day 6 Preview

Welcome to beyond the midway point of Vegas Summer League, time for some teams to start heading home.    That means it's not far from Summer League being over, which is always sad.  Sunrise, sunset, etc.  It's also nowhere near being over, though, as some teams have just gotten started.  There's plenty more to learn, which I say because I'm probably one of the few people who thinks these games mean something.  Maybe not all of the stats carry over, but the good players should act like it, and high numbers of fouls and turnovers can be indications of trouble ahead.

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. Houston Rockets


Denver Free Agent to Watch: Coby Karl

If you take Nugget second-year veteran Ty Lawson as a given, Karl has pretty much been the best thing about the Nuggets' Summer League team.  Did you know that he's leading the team in rebounding?  That's as a 6'5" guard, mind you.  He's also second on the squad in assists per game and tied for second in assists.  Even when he struggles, Karl finds ways to contribute.  This is Denver's last game, so it's your last chance to see Karl make his case for a training camp invite; make no mistake, he deserves one.

Houston Free Agent to Watch: Gary Forbes

Forbes is shooting just 20 percent over two games, but as ESPN's David Thorpe tweeted, "If he's not an NBA player, I'll quit tweeting forever."  Forbes has played three positions in the D-League, though he's probably best suited for shooting guard where he can use his size to his advantage.  He can handle the ball a bit (since one of those positions was point guard) and is a decent rebounder for his size, and with another year or two could work himself into NBA readiness.

6 p.m. - New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors


Knicks Free Agent to Watch: Leo Lyons

I'm operating under the assumption that the Knicks are rotating their bench players, since they have so many and Lyons played their first game but not the second.  He's pretty good on offense, as evidenced by his eight points on three shots in game two, and he also had four rebounds in 22 minutes, which is decent.  Unfortunately, he also had five fouls and three turnovers, but if he can keep those in check he could intrigue some NBA teams.

Raptors Free Agent to Watch: Cheikh Samb

Samb hasn't played all that well, and Toronto isn't really in the market for his services anymore after drafting Ed Davis and Solomon Alabi, but Samb's still a good shotblocker and general tall person.  He has five rebounds in 13 total minutes over the first two games, which is very good.  He has more fouls than one would like, but he still has talent and could play himself into a training camp invite with more good defensive showings.

6:30 p.m. - Atlanta Hawks vs. San Antonio Spurs


Hawks Free Agent to Watch: Richard Hendrix

Hendrix came off the bench in the first game, though he played more minutes than starting center Randolph Morris because, well, he's good.  He has some NBA bench experience with Golden State, and Hendrix is an efficient scorer and excellent rebounder.  He also was active on defense against Memphis, picking up three steals and two blocks.

Spurs Free Agent to Watch: Darryl Watkins

Watkins has made three different NBA rosters over the last three years, though he hasn't really played at any stop.  He's showed his rebounding ability in Orlando (with the Pacers' roster) and here so far, though he hasn't blocked any shots, which is surprising since that's normally his bread and butter.  I don't think the Spurs are looking for immediate frontcourt help after signing Tiago Splitter and re-signing Matt Bonner, but with Dwayne Jones called-up at the end of last season they could be in the market for a big man in Austin, which Watkins may or may not be up for.

8 p.m. - LA Clippers vs. Chicago Bulls


Clippers Free Agent to Watch: Nik Caner-Medley

Caner-Medley has carved out a career as a pretty good Euroleague forward, and for the second year in a row he's playing well for the Clippers' Summer League team.  He tied for the team-high with 17 points against the Wizards, and while his rebounding was okay, it could be better.  It especially could be better against the Bulls, who don't have the best roster in Vegas.

Bulls Free Agent to Watch: John Lucas III

As with Caner-Medley, Lucas is likely headed back to Europe when this week is over, and he's more of a scorer than a true point guard at this point in his career, but he showed in the first game that he's a good one.  15 points in 22 and a half minutes, along with three assists.  He's definitely undersized, hence the European/D-League...ian career he's had up to this point, but he can shoot and he's really quick.

8:30 p.m. - Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Phoenix Suns


Cavaliers Free Agent to Watch: Pooh Jeter

I really liked Jeter at last year's Summer League when he played for Portland, but I'm a bit afraid that he's gotten profiled as a strictly Euroleague player.  Jeter can run an offense, though, and finds ways to score despite his 5'11" frame.  Both skills were on display yesterday, as he had 17 points on 10 shots and seven assists with zero turnovers in 34 minutes.  Rashad McCants may get a few more minutes tonight (as opposed to the, uh, zero he got last night), but I expect Jeter to play at a high level all week.  The guy just knows how to play the point guard position.

Suns Free Agent to Watch: Matt Janning

Like me about a week ago, Bright Side of the Sun's Seth Pollack was skeptical of Janning before he started playing.  Janning, however, has a great feel for the game, is a pretty good rebounder for his position and is more athletic than you'd expect.  He had 15 points and seven boards in the last game, and the Suns reportedly like him as do the Celtics (for whom he played in Orlando) and 76ers.  Janning is one of the players who has made the most of his time in Summer League, and is a player to watch not just today, but potentially until the regular season as well.

10 p.m. - Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves


Kings Free Agent to Watch: Dionte Christmas

Christmas got a Summer League/training camp invite with Philadelphia last year, which I assumed was because he was local for them.  He's scrappy, and is a decent defender though his shot selection is questionable and he's a bit streaky, and while I'm not unsurprised that he's re-surfaced at Summer League I'm expecting to go back to Europe.  He didn't contribute much in his first game, but it's not outside his abilities to come through with a big performance in this setting.

Timberwolves Free Agent to Watch: Jeremy Pargo

Minnesota doesn't really need more guards at this point, but Pargo's been doing okay throughout Summer League.  While in Orlando he balanced good games (10 points and eight assists in 20 minutes) with bad (seven points on 3-11 shooting), and he was pretty good in the first Vegas game.  That is, if you look past his having more turnovers than assists to his 12 points on nine shots.  As I said, Pargo's pretty much playing for a training camp invite from not-Minnesota at this point, and if he gets his turnovers down it could be within reach.

10:30 p.m. - Detroit Pistons vs. Miami Heat


Pistons Free Agent to Watch: Mac Koshwal

I know I picked Koshwal just the other day, but he has a kind-of-amazing-for-Summer-League 24 rebounds over three games.  He has more fouls (15) than field goal attempts (12), but he's been respectable everywhere else.  For all of the roster players Detroit has in the frontcourt (Daye, Jerebko, Monroe, Summer), Koshwal is outrebounding them all.

Heat Free Agent to Watch: Shavlik Randolph

I'm not the world's biggest Randolph fan, but he's currently second on the team in scoring average and first in rebounding average.  He can contribute to an NBA team, I suppose, though he's not shooting all that well and is fouling more than a veteran playing in Summer League probably should.  At this point, pretty much any NBA free agent playing for Miami's Summer League team is a candidate to be invited to training camp, and Randolph is doing pretty well for himself so far.

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