I don't usually focus on a single game in these posts (see below), but the Wizards-Mavericks game was really fun and a pretty good encapsulation of Summer League. There was the stuff that matters - John Wall continues to click with his teammates, JaVale McGee showed off some incredible moves in the post and along the baseline, Jeremy Lin should've been drafted, Dominique Jones can come in and defend NBA players right away, Cartier Martin and Lester Hudson are each making solid cases for themselves to make a roster either in Washington or elsewhere, JaVale McGee still needs to rebound better, etc. There also was the stuff that doesn't really matter - Rodrigue Beaubois scored zero points, John Wall shot 15 free throws (which won't happen again this year), JaVale McGee showed off some incredible moves in the post and along the baseline, Jerome Randle wore a white t-shirt under his black jersey, etc. Summer League!
Since most people visiting Ridiculous Upside are probably doing so as a way to see who's looking good and bad at Summer League in lieu of a recap of each game, Scott has
saddled me made the brilliant decision to bring back the lovely Monstars and Nonstars that we employed during the D-League playoffs. These are the three(-ish) best and non-best players of the day, again sticking with players you may not be familiar with. Hit the jump to see who they were.
- Jeremy Lin, G, Dallas Mavericks - Lin was fantastic in this game; by the end, the crowd who had come to watch John Wall was cheering for him just as much, if not more. He didn't shoot the best to start out, but he finished with 13 points on 12 shots, so okay overall, along with four rebounds. He also played fantastic defense. He did get called for six fouls, but he played tight, smothering D on both Wall and Cartier Martin. He also showed off his quick first step and creative finishes at the rim on multiple occasions. Lin has really made a good case for himself this week.
- Zabian Dowdell, PG, Phoenix Suns - This probably was Dowdell's best game of the week; even though he turned the ball over four times, he also had 18 points on 7-10 shooting and five assists. As with Lin, Dowdell has done well for himself this week; it may or may not be with Phoenix, but some team surely will snap him up for training camp, and he should do well in that setting, too.
- Mike Gansey, SG, D-League Select - Gansey had a rough second game but bounced back tonight in a huge way, hitting five of his seven three-pointers (and six of his 10 shots overall) and leading the D-League team with 17 points. A few players on the D-League Select team have struggled this year (see below), but Gansey has two excellent performances so far, and if he keeps it up would definitely deserve a training camp invite somewhere.
- Bonus Semi-Free Agent Honorable Mention: Cartier Martin, SF, Washington Wizards - Martin's waiting to hear on a qualifying offer from the Wizards after playing the last eight games of the season with them, but if he keeps playing like he did tonight he shouldn't have to wait long. Martin hit his first six shots and scored 15 points in the first half, finishing with 23 and four rebounds. Wall was finding Martin open all night, and Martin kept making his shots. He also played decent defense, as he usually does. Forget Adam Morrison (or, did I read this right? Rodney Carney?) and just sign Cartier Martin!
- Micah Downs, F, Milwaukee Bucks - Downs went undrafted out of Gonzaga last year, and tonight showed one of the reasons why. He's athletic and has some good tools that could make him a solid wing defender, but effort has been an issue in the past, and Downs doesn't have much in the way of a shot. He missed all six of his field goal attempts against Atlanta, three of which came from the outside, and came up with just two rebounds.
- J.R. Giddens, SG, Dallas Mavericks - I'll be honest, there was a point in this game when I realized I had forgotten Giddens was on the Dallas roster, that's how invisible he was. Giddens went 0-5 with three fouls and two turnovers, and his defense (or lack thereof) on Cartier Martin kept him on the bench for large stretches of the game. I like Giddens, but this was an off, off night.
- Bennet Davis, PF, D-League Select - Davis has is one of those D-League players who have had a rough year, which is unfortunate since he's improved so much since last Summer League. He finally showed some of his rebounding prowess tonight with six boards in 13 minutes, but he's having some problems on the scoring end. Davis shot just 2-7 for five points, after shooting 1-5 combined over the first two games. I like Davis's game, but he hasn't really shown it to the best of his abilities in Vegas this year.