Sunday, July 20, 2014
Las Vegas Summer League, Day 10 grades
By Fred Katz
Donatas Motiejunas' moves helped lift Houston into Monday's LVSL final against the Kings.
Here are seven notable performances from Day 10 at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas:
Noah Vonleh, Charlotte Hornets | Grade: C Vonleh finished his time in Vegas on a down note, shooting just 2-for-12 from the field. Sunday, he was bricking from all over, rimming out a few looks in the paint and finding metal on his 12-footers, the shots he’s supposed to make. But it wasn’t all bad for the rookie forward. Nine offensive boards helped keep his team far closer than it should’ve been in a game during which the Hornets shot less than 36 percent from the field.
P.J. Hairston, Charlotte Hornets | Grade: C-plus When Hairston wants to shoot, you’re not stopping him from doing it. That goes for the defenses he faces on a per-game basis. It also goes for his teammates. The rookie chucked it up 24 times Sunday, some good shots, some bad shots, some OK shots. But really, that’s all he provided: shots. Creating offense for yourself is clearly a valuable skill, and Hairston’s gaudy 27 points look good to the naked eye, but an inefficient scoring game without much else to complement it didn’t help the Hornets in their loss to Houston.
Donatas Motiejunas, Houston Rockets | Grade: A-minus Sunday didn’t exactly turn Donatas into Dunkin’ Donuts, but we did see the craftier side of his game: postups, right-handed hook shots, smooth jumpers. The offensive arsenal looked totally clean. In a way, Donuts looks too good even to be participating in summer league. The 13 boards he added only helped him on the way to one of his best Vegas performances.
Isaiah Canaan, Houston Rockets | Grade: B The Rockets love their undersized, gunner point guards, and Canaan fits perfectly into that category. He always has had the ability and confidence to dribble down the court and pull up from anywhere -- and that’s still completely true, as Canaan showed multiple times against the Hornets. He’s still the guy who hit seven straight 3-pointers against Austin Peay. Sunday, though, he commanded the floor impressively, even while totaling just one assist. Canaan used to look to pull up when dribbling around screens. Against Charlotte, he split pick-and-rolls and made the defense move effectively.
Nik Stauskas, Sacramento Kings | Grade: C-minus Stauskas has hit a bit of a wall over his past few games, struggling to create off the dribble and generally missing opportunities to facilitate for his teammates. Sunday he had his worst shooting night in Vegas, generally settling for jumpers, which tended to fall short of the rim. A kid who excelled off the dribble at Michigan, though, should consider this type of performance more flukish than anything else.
Eric Moreland, Sacramento Kings | Grade: A-minus Moreland does not stop rebounding. Seriously, he is absolutely relentless. After 12 more boards against the Kings, the Oregon State alum upped his average to 16.5 rebounds per 36 minutes at summer league. The big man plays some defense, too. Three more blocks Sunday gave him 13 during five games in Vegas, and the guy is not even averaging 20 minutes a night.
Glen Rice Jr., Washington Wizards | Grade: B-minus You can’t perfect your Michael Jordan impersonation every day. Apparently, Rice now realizes that. He may have followed up his 36-point thrashing of the Spurs with another 24-point performance (extending his 20-point-games streak to six), but Rice was missing from all over the floor, chucking and clanking enough to total eight missed shots from long range. The Wizards won on the backs of Rice and Otto Porter on Saturday. They lost their first and only summer league game Sunday because they couldn’t replicate the dominant production from the previous evening.