Three Up, Three Down
UP — Josh Akognon, Mavericks: Akognon has been on the cusp of making the NBA regularly throughout his short career. He seems to always be one of those final cuts in late October. So another strong Summer League is a must for him. As it always is. His first game turned out to be a good one. He scored 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting and 3 of 6 3-pointers. Akognon will get more opportunity now with Shane Larkin hurt.
DOWN — Shabazz Muhammad, Timberwolves: This time last year, Shabazz Muhammad was in line to be the top overall pick. that time has come and gone thanks to a disappointing year at UCLA. He scored seven points on 4-for-7 shooting in 24 minutes. Maybe Muhammad is being eased into things, but I would have though Muhammad would have had a more featured role coming out of the gate.
UP – Andrew Goudelock, Bulls: Last year's D-League MVP continued to show what a fantastic scorer he can be. Teaming up with Marquis Teague, Goudelock had an incredible strong performance to propel the Bulls to a win. Goudelock scored 26 points on 9-for-15 shooting, including making on three of his five 3-pointers in the win.
DOWN — Allen Crabbe, Blazers: At one point, Crabbe was projected to be a first round pick. He slipped far into the second round and caught on with the Trail Blazers. Summer League would be a chance to prove he had first round talent. Through one game, not so much. Crabbe made only 2 of his 7 shots in about 20 minutes off the bench. Seems like he is becoming an also-ran and affirming why he dropped so far.
UP — John Henson, Bucks: Henson's rookie year was limited, it seemed to put backs and dunks and staying out of the way while trying to be more of a presence on defense. He may not have been able to do much more in his first Summer League game, but his impact defensively looks to be a bit bigger. Henson is becoming a nice player to have around the basket. Henson scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Bucks, impressing with his work around the basket on both ends.
DOWN — Quincy Acy, Raptors: Acy played the entire season with the Raptors last year and had a chance to really show he belonged on the roster for the new-look team this fall. One game in, and Acy still has some work to do. Particularly on his jump shot. Acy scored nine points but was 4 for 11 from the floor to get there. He led the team with seven rebounds, but rebounding is not going to help Toronto much considering his size. Once Jonas Valanciunas cooled off, Acy was the guy Toronto leaned on and he did not deliver.
Summer League Power Rankings
1. Clippers (1-0, 5 points) 2. Bulls (1-0, 6 points)
3. Pelicans (1-0, 5 points) 4. Suns (1-0, 5.5 points)
5. Heat (1-0, 5 points) 6. Bucks (1-0, 6 points)
7. Hawks (0-1, 2 points) 8. Spurs (1-0, 5 points)
9. Bobcats (0-1, 2 points) 10. D-League Select (1-0, 5 points)
11. Mavericks (1-0, 5 points) 12. Warriors (1-0, 5.5 points)
13. Cavaliers (1-0, 6 points) 14. Knicks (0-1, 2 points)
15. Raptors (0-1, 2 points) 16. Timberwolves (0-1, 2 points)
17. Trail Blazers (0-1, 1.5 points) 18. Nuggets (0-1, 1 point)
19. Kings (0-1, 2 points) 20. Grizzlies (0-1, 1 point)
21. Lakers (0-1, 1 point) 22. Wizards (0-1, 1.5 points)
Miami Heat 81, Toronto Raptors 72
It is pretty impressive that the Heat are even playing in Las Vegas right now. Many of the same players were in Orlando earlier for a week of games and the Heat coaches had them playing extremely hard. So maybe a slow start in which Jonas Valanciunas scored the majority of his 23 points was to be expected. The Heat thought came back extremely strong with D.J. Kennedy and James Nunnaly scoring 16 points each. Kennedy has turned heads both in Vegas and in Orlando with extreme athleticism and drive on defense. Something the Heat always like.
Milwaukee Bucks 88, Denver Nuggets 74
John Henson had an up-and-down year for the Bucks last year. If his Summer League debut is any indication, the second year player from North Carolina has made some very large strides. Henson dominated the inside, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a victory. Henson was extremely active and motivated to play — half the battle to put up big numbers in Summer League. The Nuggets got 11 points from Ben Uzoh but struggled offensively, shooting just 35 percent from the floor.
Phoenix Suns 82, Portland Trail Blazers 69
The Suns may have won the game, but the story remains the Trail Blazers' ability to mine mid-major conferences for talent. They appear to have found another one. Lehigh's C.J. McCollum, Portland's first round pick, scored 22 points on 9-for-19 shooting in his Summer League debut. McCollum still has a long way to go to share point guard duties with Damian Lillard (he committed four turnovers Saturday to four assists), but a strong showing from him should have his organization confident in him. The Suns got 18 points from Markieff Morris and rookie Archie Goodwin added 13.
Chicago Bulls 81, Memphis Grizzlies 67
D-League MVP Andrew Goudelock can score. Everyone knew that. And he did it again in his Summer League opener. Goudelock scored 26 points to lead the Bulls, teaming up very nicely with second-year point guard Marquis Teague (12 points, 7 assists) throughout the contest. The Bulls were the first team to find their offensive footing in this slow game. The Grizzlies never got going, shooting 35 percent from the floor. The lone bright spot was Tony Wroten scoring 18 points and looking confident particularly in the second half as he worked his way to the basket.
D-League Select 83, Minnesota Timberwolves 81
Shabazz Muhammad had a slow debut in the Summer League against the group of D-League All Stars. The Wolves' first round selection scored seven points on 3-for-7 shooting. The UCLA product still has development to go to get where the Wolves want him to be. The experiment with him and Gorgui Dieng will continue. Stefhon Hannah scored 23 second-half points to lead the D-League Select to the win.
Dallas Mavericks 76, Sacramento Kings 73
Ben McLemore struggled in his pro debut, making just four of his 23 shots and only one of his 11 3-point attempts. McLemore, known for his efficiency in college did not deliver on that in his first game. Hopefully it is just him working out the kinks or something to that effect. Second round pick Ray McCallum did not fare much better, shooting 3 for 11 from the floor. Not a good start for Sacramento's rookies. Josh Akogon scored 22 points to lead the Mavericks in the win. Israeli guard Gal Mekel filled in for the injured Shane Larkin to score 14 points and dish out four assists.
Golden State Warriors 56, Washington Wizards 52
If you were able to get through all of this game, congratulations. This turned out to be the lowest scoring Summer League game ever. Now THAT is saying something. Kent Bazemore scored 21 points and Draymond Green scored 15 points to lead the Warriors. Experience meant something, I guess. And the Warriors won despite shooting 25.9 percent from the floor. Ouch. Chris Singleton scored 13 points to lead the Wizards.