By Maurice Brooks
Q & A
D.J. Augustin's only contribution for the Bobcats today was putting pen to pad to appease the fans and even without their prized rookie in the lineup they roughed up the Knicks by 32.
I briefly chatted with the point guard after the game.
TrueHoop: What's up D.J., I noticed you've sat out the past two games with left knee tendinitis. How do you feel?
Augustin: I feel good. I hit my knee in the first game and then I fell on it against the Warriors a couple of days later so I've just decided to rest it.
TrueHoop: Before the injury, how do you think you were playing?
Augustin: I think I did alright. I had to make some adjustments, but it wasn't really hard.
TrueHoop: Your three-game averages of 19.7 points and four rebounds are good, but critics can point to the fact that you only averaged 1.3 assists. What do you think is the reason your assists numbers were so low?
Augustin: Everybody is trying to get used to playing with each other. We were only playing together for four days.
TrueHoop: Are there any players who have caught your eye this week?
Augustin: I'm surprised with how many teams have a bunch of great players like Nate Robinson.
TrueHoop: What's your plan for the rest of the summer?
Augustin: I'm going to keep working hard so that I can be as prepared as possible for training camp.
Will Belinelli Bounce Back?
Last night against the Kings, summer league darling Marco Belinelli was terrible -- six points on 1-for-10 shooting with no rebounds.
The Warriors are taking the floor right now against the Raptors. I'll be interested to see if he has lost any confidence in his jumper.
The first quarter is in the books and Belinelli missed his only attempt.
Toronto's Joey Graham is putting in work once again, making 5-of-7 shots for 12 points.
I don't know if Golden State's Anthony Randolph drank a Red Bull during a timeout or what, but he is playing with more energy in the second period. He seems determined to get to the cup and he hit the boards so hard in one sequence that a fourth of the crowd applauded his effort.
Randolph's field-goal percentage is down (4-for-14), but he is making a living at the foul line where he is 12-for-14. Anthony Morrow is leading the Warriors with 21 points on a scorching 9-for-11.
Just like the real Warriors, Golden State's games are all entertaining. Heading into the last period, Belinelli only has six six points but he has handed out six assists.
John Lucas is doing a good job running the show for Toronto. He leads everyone with seven helpers.
Randolph and Belinelli wrapped up their summer league experiences in style. He had a monster game for the Warriors, who went 4-1. He finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Proof of how aggressive he was are the 18 trips to the line he earned, making 16. He misssed 12 of his 17 shots from the floor, but who is going to argue with those final numbers?
Belinelli was the primary ball handler for the Warriors at stretches and he didn't disappoint, notching 14 points, eight assists and three steals. He finished 4-for-14 and thrilled the crowd with a couple of long bombs.
Donte the Chucker
Houston's Donte Greene leads all players in Vegas in shot attempts with an average of 17.3 per game. Couple that with the fact he hasn't had an assist in three games and you feel fairly comfortable calling him a jacker. Like most players who rely on their jump shot, he is streaky. In the first half today, he has started 2-for-8 but you know that isn't going to keep him from shooting. The Rockets' coaching staff simply have to hope he catches fire.
Houston's Joey Dorsey, who is not playing today because of an ankle sprain, is walking very slowly with a limp.
We are six minutes into the third quarter and Greene has already had enough time to fire up six more shots -- 3-pointer (made), 3-pointer (made), 3-pointer (missed), layup (made), jumper (airball), jumper (airball).
As we start the fourth, Greene is 5-for-16, while Aaron Brooks is 1-for-10. Ew.
(Update: Greene finished 5-for-19 and Brooks went 3-for-15. On another note, Dorsey managed to get himself ejected.)
Despite being 7-feet tall, the Wizards' JaVale McGee was having trouble scoring from around the basket (0-3 from the floor, two points in 12 minutes of play), so he came up with a new game plan. The center decided to launch a triple from the top of the key area. The result? The ball fell short of the rim by three feet triggering laughter on the Washington sideline and earning McGee a seat on the bench where he received an earful from a coach.
Love Gets Hurt
Early in the third quarter, Minnesota's Kevin Love appeared to roll his ankle and was helped to the locker room. I'll try to get an official word. Before the injury, Love had 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Bucks' Joe Alexander is still searching for his jumper. He has missed five of his first six shots and has just four points, two boards and an assist midway through the third.
It turns out that Love has a sore right Achilles and will not return to the game.
Alexander's cold shooting continued after halftime -- he went 1-for-5 and finished with eight points.
Love, Mayo and Lopez To Be Teammates
Three of the top performers here in Vegas -- Memphis' O.J. Mayo, Phoenix's Robin Lopez and Memphis' Kevin Love -- were all picked to scrimmage against/get crushed by the U.S. Olympic team in practices next week.
Slow Day For MVP Candidates
First Love gets hurt, now Portland's Jerryd Bayless just had a quarter where he didn't attempt a free throw. Maybe Bayless is a little tired, but he doesn't appear to be playing with his usual fire. He missed both of his shots during his five first-quarter minutes.
Actually, the entire Portland team appears to be sleep. The Suns raced out to a 17-4 lead and haven't looked back, leading by 10 after one.
It's now late in the second quarter and although he is shooting more jumpers instead of driving to the hoop, Bayless is scoring. He's hit a couple of jumpers and has seven points. As I'm typing, he just shot an airball that was so short, I don't know if he'll be credited with a missed shot or a turnover for a bad pass.
Like all good players, Bayless apparently can turn it on and off at will. Right now he has it on. He erupted for 10 points in the third quarter -- mainly on jumpers -- and has four more points early in the fourth for a total of 23. The leading scorer in summer league is 9-for-18 from the field and Portland has a three-point lead.
There is no need to have a vote for MVP tomorrow because Bayless clinched it with his performance tonight. He went crazy in the fourth quarter scoring 17 of his team's 22 points. He drained short jumpers, long jumpers, runners and layups. He hit the game-winner with under 10 seconds left -- a floater in the lane.
His stat line reads like this: 36 points on 14-for-26 from the floor, 6-for-6 from the line, three boards, three steals and an assist.
King James Is Here
Sitting courtside for the last of today's seven games -- Cavaliers vs. Hornets -- is LeBron James. I wonder if he likes what he is seeing? The Cavs lead by five late in the first quarter.
- Maurice Brooks is an NBA editor for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.