Vegas Summer League rolled on into day three, with more teams joining in the fun. A packed house got their first look at John Wall, but even more importantly, they got to see Demetris Nichols play almost 22 minutes in a blowout (okay, so it wasn't a packed house at that point). They also got to see that nifty Reyshawn Terry shot.
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.
- Ekene Ibekwe, PF, Portland Trail Blazers - I was intrigued with Ibekwe coming into Summer League, though I wasn't sure he'd be able to show his potential. He did just that against the Rockets, playing like a bundle of energy and scoring 10 points on 4-5 shooting, grabbing eight boards and blocking five shots, all in under 20 minutes. His defense occasionally strayed into "just trying for the block" territory, but he obviously was pretty good at that.
- Basically most of the Denver Nuggets - seriously, for the second year in a row the Nuggets are basically fielding the second D-League Select Team. That's not totally true now, as they have Ty Lawson and some non D-Leaguer free agents, but at any rate their free agents are basically running things. To wit:
- Coby Karl, SG - Karl did a little bit of everything; he hit 3-5 three-pointers on his way to 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds, picked up four assists and two steals, and blocked a shot. I've already said this, but if Karl doesn't make an NBA roster this year I'm going to be really, really mad.
- Othello Hunter, PF/C - Playing center in Brian Butch's absence, Hunter came through with a nicely efficient performance, scoring 19 points on 10 shots. He also had seven rebounds and two blocks. He's not an NBA center, but if Hunter keeps putting up numbers and showing off post moves he'll get a chance to show he can play power forward, at least.
- Shane Edwards, SF - Edwards has been balling this week, using his athleticism to get to the rim and pick up rebounds. He had six of them against the Knicks' team, three each on the offensive and defensive ends, and scored 15 points on seven shots.
- Blake Ahearn, PG, Houston Rockets - This is tough, because Ahearn can play and deserves a shot at the back-end of some team's guard rotation, but he's not doing much to justify it so far this week. He played seven minutes against Portland, and while he had two assists and generally looked okay running the offense, he also missed all three of his shots. That brings him to just 2-14 in the last three games, including 2-11 from outside. Three-pointers are kind of his stock in trade (that and free throws), so that definitely hurts.
- Will Blalock, PG, Golden State Warriors - Blalock is another PG who probably could fill in at the back of a guard rotation, but given that he's spent the last few years recovering from a stroke (yes, really), he may not get there before his prime passes by. Games like he had against the Wizards won't help either, as he shot 0-4 with three fouls in 18 minutes, and with just one assist. He's not much of a shooter so running an offense is what he has to offer, and Golden State has enough decent offensive players that he should be able to collect more than one assist in essentially half a game.
- Kyle Hines, SF, New Orleans Hornets - Hines hasn't been terrible, but for every he does well he seems to give something back to the other team. Take this game against Miami as an example. Grabbed four rebounds, shot 1-5. Blocked two shots, had three of his own shots blocked. It's a bit of a reach to call him a "nonstar," because as I said he's done some things well, but his shooting in particular is on the wrong side of 30 percent, and it's not like Darren Collison isn't setting guys up.