Yesterday was a big day for the NBA, as the Orlando Summer League entered it's fourth day and teams- what? What's that? Something else happened? Oh, right. Actually, I was borderline forced to watch the whole spectacle last night because NBA TV stopped showing the final game in order to talk about LeBron James - a good hour before his decision was announced. So that was fun.
Anyway, as I expected, some of the more veteran NBA players in attendance got a little more rest, and some of the free agents had already left for Vegas. There were still some quality performances, though, and 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.
This list is a bit closer to three apiece. Hit the jump to see who was ballin'.
- Rod Benson, C, Utah Jazz - Not to brag, guys, but I totally called this. Benson played a little under 13 minutes, and in that time scored 12 point on 5-8 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and had two assists. He also was active on defense, going to work not just on the big men but forcing penetrating guards farther under the basket and altering shots. He also used his body well on offense and generally looked really good out there. Meanwhile Steve Smith repeated some of the knocks on Benson that haven't been true for two years. I believe the kids say "smh."
- Donell Taylor, G, Orlando Magic - Not to brag guys, but I totally called this, too (I'm not linking it again, it's the same link). Taylor had his best game of the week, scoring 18 points on 11 shots with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and just one turnover. This is a lot closer to his D-League performance, and while he won't put up those numbers in the NBA, they're indicative of his versatility.
- Mustafa Shakur, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder - Shakur finally got some extended playing time, starting and playing 29 and a half minutes while James Harden and Eric Maynor sat. Shakur made the most of his opportunity, scoring 21 points on 6-10 shooting, with five rebounds, five assists, five steals and a block, along with just one turnover. After the game he mentioned talking to OKC assistant Maurice Cheeks about what he should be doing as a point guard, so it's good to see that he's both getting close instruction and taking it to heart.
- Bonus Second Round Pick Mention: Derrick Brown, Charlotte Bobcats - Brown has semi-quietly looked really good this week. He's been flying around the court on both ends and showing off his athleticism. Against the 76ers' team he scored 16 points on nine shots to go with eight rebounds and three blocks, all of those game-highs.
- Yaroslav Korolev, PF, Orlando Magic - You know, when this week started I thought there was an outside chance that Korolev could have a good showing, grabbing rebounds and hitting shots and looking like the next Oleksiy Pecherov (and before you laugh, Pech was an excellent rebounder when he tried). That...hasn't happened. Korolev missed five of his six shots in a little under 20 minutes, including missing four of five three-pointers. He did grab four rebounds, but he's now 5-16 from the field. Eebf.
- Adam Koch, PF, Indiana Pacers - Koch got DNPs for two straight days, and yeah, he looked a bit rusty. 1-6 shooting overall, and his first shot was a three-pointer. That he airballed. He had three assists in a little over 17 minutes, which is a nice bonus from a big man, but he also had just two rebounds, which isn't going to get it done when you're not getting a lot of playing time and trying to justify more.
- Marcus Landry, G/F, Indiana Pacers - I'm not sure if Indiana's coaches gave Landry the green light or if he gave it to himself, but he put up 11 shots in 17 minutes, for nine points. The real problem was his outside shooting, as he went 1-6 from outside. He's now 3-13 in that department over the last four games. He grabbed five rebounds against the Celtics team (maybe that's why he was shooting so much? to show them what they lost?), but he's not really around to board, he's there to score. And that hasn't gone as well.