Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
Austin Daye has been playmaker extraordinaire for Detroit. On the Pistons' first possession Saturday, he whipped a sharp pass from the perimeter to Trent Plaisted underneath for an easy two. On his team's second sequence, he took his man straight off the dribble to the rack for a layup. A minute later, on a pop-out, Daye nailed a silky 3-pointer. A few possessions later, he flew in from the weak side for an offensive rebound and a vicious putback slam. And that was only the first eight minutes. For all the talk about Daye lacking an NBA body, it's hard not to draw the comparison to another lanky, versatile Pistons small forward who's done well for himself in the league.
DaJuan Summers: Picked up where he left off Friday. After posting 24 points on 18 possessions along with seven rebounds Friday, Summers again worked his inside-out game for the Pistons on Saturday to the tune of 19 points and six rebounds. Summers executes that inside-out game with smarts. He recognizes mismatches in the halfcourt. Against a slower defender, he drives to the hole. Faced up against a shorter guy, he'll get separation and launch a jumper.
Anthony Randolph should have a Summer League exemption. It's really not even fair to the rest of the competition: 24 points on 10-of-13 from the field, 11 boards, five blocks. We saw him finish with his right, run the break in transition coast to coast, post, shoot from the perimeter. It was the full Randolph canvas on Saturday, and he's far and away the best talent here over the first two days.
David Thorpe on the process that combo guards like Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry will have to endure to make the transition to point guard: "Some guys have the gift, but there are 30 starting point guards in the NBA and not all of them have it. Chris Paul and Steve Nash do. But Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups aren't great passers, yet they're great point guards. It took Chauncey four teams to figure out how to play point. Will Evans figure it out? Possibly. But that's up to him, his willingness to learn, and also the organization. You can teach it, but you have to put strategies and structures in place to make that happen. You can't let him run free at the expense of learning how to run the team. That's on the team and the coaching staff."
On a day when the Mavs inked future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd to a three-year deal, the best point guard in Las Vegas was Dallas rookie Roddy Beaubois. He dazzled, scoring 34 points on 12-of-21 shooting from the field (7-of-12 from 3-point range), recorded eight assists against only two turnovers. "He brings us a different dimension," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. "We don't have this kind of angular speed, or supreme-type athlete at the point guard position right now. So he gives us a different look." Carlisle was cautious in his praise. It's only Beaubois' second NBA game, and he still has to learn how to play an NBA brand of defense. "When you come from a mid-league in Europe to the NBA, you have to ratchet up your level of awareness," Carlisle said.
Personal highlight of the day: I happened to have iTunes open on my laptop before the first game. David Brody, who works for the Summer League and has been at the controls for music in the Cox Pavilion, informed me that my playlists were showing up under the shared list in his iTunes. He offered to let me put together a playlist for the day to be played during warmups and timeouts. Of course, I happily obliged. Featured artists included Eric B. & Rakim, Z-Trip, James Brown, Le Tigre, De La Soul, and Daft Punk.