I think it's great that all of the Summer League games are available in one form or another for live viewing, I really do. However, not all of the games are being shown live on NBA TV, which is what I have, and a variety of circumstances mean I didn't shell out the money to watch games online. What that means is that I still haven't seen the Spurs play, though that changes today.
Why are the Spurs so special? First, they're chock full of interesting young players. Second, many of those interesting young players spent time with the Spurs' D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros. Without engaging in too much hyperbole, I think it's safe to say that the 2010-2011 season will represent a significant gauge of San Antonio's progress in using the Toros as part of their player development program. Malik Hairston (not at Summer League) was regularly assigned to the Toros and could be ready to assume a larger role with the Spurs. Alonzo Gee was the Toros' first-round pick in last year's D-League draft, and also looks ready to contribute in the NBA (Gee received two call-ups last season, one with the Washington Wizards and another with the Spurs). Center Dwayne Jones was called-up by the Phoenix Suns at the end of last season, and Marcus Williams played for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando Summer League. The Spurs will need to help the Toros re-stock this year, and will do it with a new coach after Quin Snyder was hired as a player development assistant by the Phildelphia 76ers.
There's a third reason I'm interested to watch this Spurs squad, that that's because I've seen my share of Toros games here in Austin, and am pretty familiar with the players who have come through. So this is my traditionally long-winded way of saying that I'm glad the Spurs are finally playing on TV at a time more reasonable than 5 am.
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. - Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs
Lakers Free Agent to Watch: Gerald Green
I've somehow gone this entire time without mentioning Green, who's trying (again) to get his NBA on track (again). He's done alright overall after a poor first game, though he's turning the ball over more than you'd like to see. Green is a fun player to watch, and he deserves a shot at an NBA bench, I'm just not sure it'll be with the Lakers.
Spurs Free Agent to Watch: Eric Dawson
I don't think Dawson will go to training camp anywhere; he's basically here because he's a Toro (same goes for Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson). Still, there are elements of Dawson's game that I like, and while he's undersized at center he has played decent defense there. I'm interested to see for myself how he's doing at this level of the competition, but at least so far the numbers say "not great." I do have this update from Scott via Twitter, regarding Dawson's game yesterday: "should've watched today. No idea what box looked like, but I liked him more than darryl watkins!"
6 p.m. - Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns
Warriors Free Agent to Watch: Kasib Powell
Powell has played a lot better in the last two games than he did in the first two, and it's good to see. He can score in a few different ways and rebound a bit, and I can't help but think that he'd be a pretty good bench option for Golden State with three of their forwards being traded to New York for David Lee.
Suns Free Agent to Watch: Scottie Reynolds
Reynolds has played well in the last two games after missing the first two to injury. He focused on scoring against , with 16 points in, but yesterday he showed his other skills with nine assists and 40 percent outside shooting. One more good performance in the Suns' final game could have several NBA teams knocking on Reynolds' door.
8 p.m. - Washington Wizards vs. Dallas Mavericks
Wizards Free Agent to Watch: Sun Yue
After being hyped as the next great 6'7" left-handed Chinese point guard hope, Sun is trying to make his mark as a small forward. The reports haven't been great, with some folks saying he's not really doing much off the ball, just kind of standing in the corner and watching. He's definitely not shooting well, just 1-6 over two games. He does have three blocks though, showing his ability to take advantage of his size. I really had no expectations for Sun coming into Summer League, but I'd still like to see more.
Mavericks Free Agent to Watch: Mouhammed Faye
Faye has been the Mavericks' team's best rebounder this week, averaging a little over eight per game and grabbing 11 boards in Monday's game. He's also providing energy on defense and hasn't made too many mistakes. His offense still needs work, though, and he could stand to bulk up a bit. The Two Man Game's Rob Mahoney thinks Faye is headed for the Mavs' new direct D-League affiliate in Frisco.
8:30 p.m. - Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Hawks Free Agent to Watch: Trey Gilder
It's no secret around these parts that I really like Gilder, and he's been playing well so far. He had 11 points on four shots in the last game thanks to his ability to pick up free throws, and has been helping out in a variety of other box score areas. I probably won't be able to watch this one personally but I'd like to see how his outside shot looks at this point. Gilder made the Grizzlies' roster out of training camp last season, and he's the kind of athletic, versatile forward the Hawks seem to like.
Bucks Free Agent to Watch: Deron Washington
I'm not a huge Washington fan, as I had to watch him make D-League games uglier and uglier last year by just running into the lane over and over hoping to get fouled (it usually worked). He can play multiple positions, sort of, anywhere from an undersized PF to a shooting guard who can't shoot. Seriously, though, he's a tough player and a decent rebounder, two qualities the Bucks tend to favor.
10 p.m. - Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Clippers Free Agent to Watch: Sofoklis Schortsanitis
Schortsanitis, who got the nickname "Greek Shaq" several years ago for being a.) Greek and b.) fat, had a terrible first game but followed it up with a pretty decent effort, five points, five rebounds and two blocks in 15 and a half minutes. He's still a bit on the heavy side but moves pretty well for it, some team just needs to invest heavily in his conditioning if they want his services.
Trail Blazers Free Agent to Watch: Joe Krabbenhoft
Krabbenhoft hasn't played much, averaging just six minutes a game over the first two contests, but he's also averaging two rebounds in those six minutes, which is pretty good and pretty reflective of Krabbenhoft's ability. I'm assuming Portland will ramp down their roster players' minutes, as most teams are doing, which could lead to more minutes for Krabbenhoft and more of a chance to show off the rest of his skills.
10:30 p.m. - D-League Select vs. Memphis Grizzlies
D-League Player to Watch: Kurt Looby
Looby's defensive skills are much farther along than his offensive skills, as his taking just two shots over the first two games shows, and he's averaging seven rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 21 and a half minutes. The D-League team will need a good effort from Looby if they want to get their first win, as he'll be matched up against Hasheem Thabeet. When they played against one another in the D-League this past season, Scott wrote this ("they" meaning Looby and his backup): "they're both big and weren't afraid of Thabeet, leading Thabeet to not play with much heart when it came to cleaning the glass." I'm interested to see if that holds true again.
Grizzlies Free Agent to Watch: Dinma Odiakosa
The Grizzlies had their eye on Odiakosa before the draft, and Scott wrote a post about him back in June. In it, he said, "I can also tell you that he looks to have an NBA body and that he's worked out in Chicago with world renowned trainer Tim Grover. From what I can tell in the above video he looked a lot better than D-Leaguer Latavious Williams (hopefully he had higher points than those shown) and judging from the following comments from the Grizzlies' Director of Player Personnel Tony Barone (Sr.), I'm not alone." (followed by a Barone quote which you can read by clicking on that link) The next Latavious Williams? Sign me up.