Game 1: New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Hornets

Langston Galloway was the highlight of the day. The Knicks as a team have had some of the best energy here, which is mainly due to Thanasis Antetokounmpo who I talked about on Friday. Galloway has been his running mate in being loud on the bench and doing all the things you see the emphatic bench player do. He was ranked in the top 100 by a lot of sites for this upcoming draft so you look at that kind of guy to have a chance to make a roster. I don't really see that from this game, but he had a great moment to remember here in Vegas today.

Galloway only played 10 minutes on Friday missing all of his shots and did not play on Saturday. He responded today by scoring 17 points in the first half and the best part was the starters on the bench like Tim Hardaway Jr., Shane Larkin, and Cleanthony Early going bananas once Galloway got on a roll. It's always cool to see the best players on the team getting rowdy for some of the guys who don't get a chance to play much, and they were going insane after every make for Galloway. Kudos to Derek Fisher for keeping in Galloway for most of the second quarter. Bullets..

  • Noah Vonleh flashed some more of his offensive game today. He had a very pretty play when he attacked the basket from outside, did a dream shake, and hit a double-clutched jumper off the glass. It looks like his handle and body are ready to be a weapon in attacking from the perimeter, he just needs to start hitting that three now. He did not hit one in the two games I saw.
  • Cody Zeller played today after not doing so yesterday and he still looks to be a work in progress. The Hornets attempted to establish him early and he got out-manned and just looked very elementary in the way he was trying to work from the post. I'd take a guess and say that Vonleh is more likely to play alongside Big Al than Zeller, so that gives Zeller even more time to develop. I never saw any flashes for him today and considering the names on the Knicks side as far as bigs go that was not a good sign.
  • Shane Larkin was much better today. He was not forcing his offensive game and instead he was just running the sets and taking the openings when they were there. He's very composed when he finishes with contact or takes a jumper, which is important because of how much bounce he has which can lead some players to be out of control.
  • ASU alum Jordan Bachynski got some minutes, but it's important for bigs to have guards that will set them up and Bachynski lacked that in the Hornets second unit. I think he has a future as a backup center in this league but he was not granted many chances to show himself off.

Game 2: Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks

Yawn. Our second straight blowout of the day was between two teams that have not been that interesting to watch. Bruno Caboclo is an interesting prospect, but he's most certainly not in the "can't miss" realm like others. He's proven that he's a reliable three-point shooter and can play defense, but he's lost on the floor a lot and that will just take time. I think he's a lot closer than he was evaluated, but there's no question he's still a project.

  • I have yet to mention DeAndre Daniels and that's because he hasn't had much to show in Vegas. His shot hasn't been falling and he hasn't been having an impact all around the floor like he did at UConnn. To me it looks like the athleticism of this level might be too much for him. He needs to put on some muscle and then go from there.
  • Eric Griffin has been a fan favorite. Griffin is a high flyer who had the dunk of the season so far in the first day. He's one of the most bouncy players here and he's surprised me with how much of an impact he has across the floor besides just creating highlight reels through the air.
  • Bernard James has probably been the most impressive player from either team. He's a loooooong 6'10 center that has so much bulk and length that it makes up for the extra inch or two other centers have on him. He's a great rebounder and shot blocker who understands how to use his length without fouling. He's had opportunities in the post this weekend and I've seen enough to conclude that there is some potential there.
  • The crossover and scoring machine Ricky Ledo was at it once again. Ledo's shot selection is questionable at times but when he uses his quick handle to draw fouls and get to the line like he did today he can have a big impact on games. 5 assists in the first half showed that he was reading the defense well and trying to play a more complete game from him. This Ricky Ledo could turn out to be a very good pro.
  • C.J. Fair could never figure out the flow of the games this weekend. Fair was one of my favorite players in college who evolved into a very good player from his freshman season to his senior season at Syracuse. He did enough around the floor besides score and was versatile enough in scoring that you thought he had a future as an NBA player. He put Bruno Caboclo on a poster, but it didn't come together for him in Vegas so far. That obviously doesn't mean his career is over so keep an eye on him.
  • Yuki Togashi was a fan favorite once again. Togashi is only 5'7" so he sticks out to the crowd obviously. This was by far the loudest the arena was so far today, as they were begging for him to shoot and he went 0-2 from three. I've never been a fan of this as it sort of emasculates the player in my opinion. As our own Geoff Allen pointed out in the comments on Friday, Togashi is probably the best player in Japan at only 19. I think it sort of disrespects him as a basketball player like a lot of previous bench heroes before (Scalabrine, Burke etc.) but it gives the crowd some fun so sure I guess. Togashi did a good job running the offense and set some players up through his three games but never did much more than that.

Game 3: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Nerlens Noel was superb. Noel is just about everything you could ever want out of a low post defender. He was the best one I saw in Vegas by a landslide and I think it will translate to his rookie year. Noel has spectacular instincts when it comes to poking for a strip, getting in the right position for a blocked shot, and blocking a passing lane. Noel had 4 blocks and 2 steals at the end of the third quarter and that's not counting all of the strips he had that didn't get taken and all of the shots that he altered significantly because of his closeouts. His agility and movement on the floor is great and that allows him to make these recoveries for himself or his teammates.

Offensively you can see where the potential is. It really is a question of "if" when it comes to him being a reliable post-up option, but he's got the feel for some of it so far. His bounce and length allows him to get a hook shot off, but it doesn't have that great of a success rate so far. His jumper is still a work in progress but it does look half decent in terms of both his misses and his makes. It's a KG like super high release that is pretty much unblockable. If he can bring consistency to it like KG did later in his career it would be a monster weapon. The area of his game that is both the most promising and the most troublesome is his work off the dribble. He has such a quick step that he can get by just about any center so when he faces up that's what he looks for. His ball handling is so sloppy and loose that it makes it really easy for other defenders to poke it away and it's something that has to be developed. He is such an athlete though that he can shake someone.

I'll mention this only once before I start a fire in the comments (this probably already will but that's the nature of the beast), I was all in on him over Len. The explosion and instincts of Noel defensively are so rare and I don't think Len will ever be able to touch him on that end. Len's face-up game is enticing and he shows some good instincts offensively, but I think Noel has shown enough offensively like I said so the difference is not as incredulous as it is on the other end. I wasn't a fan of it then and after seeing both in person my opinion hasn't changed. It's going to be really fun to see them over the next couple of years and of course I am rooting for Len to prove me wrong. I am more so hoping that both stay healthy enough so that we can have that legitimate discussion a couple of years down the road.

  • Side note, I had to leave this one in the late third quarter. The arena has a policy that when the COX Pavilion is full if you leave your seat for any reason you lose it. For both food and bathroom reasons I had to call it quits then.
  • Andrew Wiggins had two of the best plays in Vegas but wasn't the standout in this one. His spin move leading to a two-handed slam was incredible to see and his blocked shot after that showed off how ridiculous his vertical truly is. A pull-up jumper he had later in the game showed his ability to read the defense past his initial defender and the height on his jumper is so hard to recover on.
  • Anthony Bennett looks to be a great scorer from the perimeter but I'm not sure where else his game can go. He is a lot quicker than I thought he would be both with the ball and making cuts back and forth. He really has a feel for how to react to a defender when he catches the ball on the outside, but he doesn't appear to recognize playmaking opportunities when he makes his moves for a pull-up jumper or to attack the rim. He's still forcing his jumpers too much but that appears to just be a summer league epidemic for numerous players. He's a great athlete as he has shown in transition the past couple of games, but I wonder how far this extends when he gets a true power forward on him. If he gets one that can keep up with him defensively and outmuscle him offensively (these guys are becoming more and more common) it's going to be a nightmare for him.
  • K.J. McDaniels was decent. I was all in on him after Orlando with the way his game looks. He's much more composed and smooth in his slashing than I thought he would be and with his athleticism you know he can finish. His defending extends all the way to steals and blocks besides locking someone up, which he did well on Wiggins tonight. His three-point stroke looks ready to go for me and I would not be surprised if he was in the Sixers rotation.
  • Jerami Grant was nowhere to be found. Grant was awful in the first two Orlando games before making a great recovery in the third one. He couldn't find a way into the game and failed to make an impact as a defender or an athlete like I thought he'd be able to do. He's going to take a while.
  • Jordan McRae is a name to keep an eye on for tomorrow. McRae is a bouncy scorer who can score in bunches while making impact plays in transition and on defense. He had a couple of blocks two days ago and four steals with a block today. He, along with McDaniels and Casper Ware will probably be playing in the NBA this season for Philly.
  • Casper Ware will be an interesting matchup for Tyler Ennis. Ware is a pesky and fast point. He really loses the flow of the offense sometimes but won't quit and is really tough on the floor. Ennis is going to have to keep a consistent effort on him defensively in order to win that battle.
  • Sean Kilpatrick tore it up on Saturday but never found a way into the game today. He is a volume shooter who gives full effort on both ends so watch out for him tomorrow.
  • One more thing I want to get out of the way, it's pretty ridiculous to use fouls as a barometer for anything from the summer league. The refs overcall just about everything in an effort I assume to "teach the players" but it just makes no sense. If you move well enough laterally to cut the offensive player off that's a foul, and so on and so forth. Aggressive defenders get mutilated like Gary Harris (7 on Saturday) and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (11 in two games). Noel had 7 today but that's because he embraces the contact inside.

Game 4: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Utah Jazz

The final game here was a treat and featured two of my favorite teams to watch throughout my stay in Vegas. Milwaukee has two can't miss guys in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, while the job that Dante Exum and Trey Burke do moving the ball for Utah is endlessly entertaining. Despite being a sloppy game like most, this one was fun to watch and featured a lot of these guys trading shots.

The one thing that stood out to me that almost made me explode in basketball nerdness was Antetokounmpo guarding Exum. It was fascinating to see Exum plot his attack against a guy who was long enough and quick enough to at least make it somewhat difficult for him to get to the rim. Antetokounmpo isn't a lockdown defender yet and still has some things to figure out there, but his athleticism and build get him so far already. We are very lucky as NBA fans to have these two ridiculously exciting players to watch on two very bad teams.

  • Rodney Hood wasn't hitting threes again until the second half when he hit approximately 400. He looked better defensively and attacking the basket today but that's not why he got drafted. If he shoots like he did in the second half then all is well.
  • Giannis had some great takes to the rim. The length for him is so unbelievable not only because of the way he can finish but it's also in how long his strides are. A defender can be in good position and then he just stretches his away around them somehow and gets inside. A powerful player like Jabari will help Giannis learn more about that aspect of offense as well as help improve his already pretty decent IQ.
  • I would have taken any bet on Jabari Parker having an explosive scoring game in one of these three affairs, but it never happened. I'm pretty sure it's just summer league, but Jabari was forcing things way too much. Suns fans saw how frustrated he got by Miles Plumlee's block and that just furthered the drive to shoot. His great basketball IQ and court vision had us all thinking that he would be able to find the open man, but in some of these situations it's just him and a defender he can't get by. He's way too satisfied with pull-up jumpers and although they go in a lot he needs to find a better way to go about scoring.
  • Johnny O' Bryant found his way into the starting lineup the past two games and he's been a force. He's a prototypical post player that has shown off some pretty decent range on his jumper as well. He was faced off against Rudy Gobert for some of this one and that did not stop him one bit in terms of going about his powerful inside game. I like.
  • Dante Exum hit a couple of jumpers tonight and that's where you start to get excited. He has shown off how incredible his handle and agility are already and with that he's always going to be able to create space. The question is if he can hit the jumper now so defenders can't just back off of him and dare him to shoot. It's an incredibly short sample size but it looked good so far.
  • Rudy Gobert keeps flirting between a big sequence of plays and just taking over a game. I already wrote about him before but he's among just about everyone here in that it'll be interesting to see if any of this translates to the regular season.

Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers Preview

Tomorrow the Suns play the Sixers at 5PM. For a preview of the Sixers you can check out what I wrote about them here. As far as the Suns go, I would love to see something like Warren at the 4 with a Curry and Ennis backcourt with the offense centered around those two. Noel did not play in any games the day after a previous one in Orlando so that's something to keep an eye on. K.J. McDaniels on Warren will be tremendous. There are only 3 games in each arena tomorrow so my post will be up around 7PM.

Suns center Alex Len won’t need surgery on his broken right pinky and will be in a splint for a month, according to Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou. When the splint comes off, Len...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Miles Plumlee’s block on fellow Dukie Jabari Parker on Sunday night wrapped up what was a telling game in his second outing of the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League. After an ugly first time out,...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Channing Frye is a big loss for the Phoenix Suns.

Channing Frye has been the source of much debate on Bright Side of the Sun. In fact, the 6-foot-11-inch power forward has somehow become perhaps the most polarizing player on the entire blog. Many people see him as a player who can easily be upgraded upon and whose importance to the team has been wildly overstated. Many others, like myself, see him as a key part of what the Suns have done in recent years whose impact went far beyond his raw statistics.

With Frye signing a four-year, $32 million deal with the Orlando Magic, the heated debates about him are likely to die down. However, I'd like to offer one final defense of Channing Frye, and in the process show what the Suns are going to have to replace with the Arizona native no longer in the Valley of the Sun.

The debates have seemingly split the Bright Side into two camps: one that believes that Frye is - to put it mildly - a net negative for the team and easily replaceable, while the other the believes he is a key piece to the team and beyond reproach.

While I place myself in the latter camp, I don't believe that is a fair characterization. Like all players, Channing Frye has his flaws and I'll gladly admit that. However, from my perspective, it seems like many of the attacks against him are of the same lazy, ignorant, stereotypical nature that are unfair and off-base. Therefore, I reject that position and defend Frye against those claims, perhaps making it seem like I think he's a great player. He's not.

But arguments like "spacing is overrated," and "he's soft," and "he can't rebound" and "he can't even post up a guard"  and "he's streaky" are constantly regurgitated as strikes against Frye's worth, and those frankly don't hold much water when you look closely at the situation.

Here's why.

"Spacing is Overrated"

Floor spacing through the threat of a 3-point shot is the number one asset Channing Frye brings to a team. You can say that is an overrated asset all you want, but that position simply isn't backed up in the numbers. If you really don't understand why it is so valuable, I really can't help you.

The Suns' system is all about Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe driving the lane and scoring in the paint. Per the SportVU numbers at NBA.com, the Suns are seventh in the NBA in points through drives. However, they are also third in the entire league in field goal percentage on drives behind only the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, two pretty decent teams you may have heard of.

The Suns' success with drives is due in large part to the massive talents of those doing the driving - namely, Dragic and Bledsoe. They're two of the best. However, part of the reason for their success is Frye's presence on the court. Every team in the league knows what Frye is capable of, and every defensive game plan tells its players that they can't leave Frye open. His mere presence draws a defender away from the basket and gives the two point guards that much more space to work with. It's a symbiotic relationship, and one that has worked very well for the Suns over the years, something Kirk Goldsberry pointed out in a midseason article for Grantland,.

Frye has a gravitational pull that forces bigs away from the rim, creating attacking corridors for Dragic, who excels at "turning the corner," attacking the basket, and making plays. In turn, Dragic's attacking abilities create wide-open looks for Frye or other perimeter shooters. This symbiosis is the heart of the Suns' offensive ecosystem, and it is by no means an accident.

Frye's positive impact is plain to see by looking at point differential via 82games.com.

In 2013-14, the Suns were +6.1 points with Frye on the floor (best among the regular rotation players with Shavlik Randolph and Leandro Barbosa as outliers), while they were -2.3 with him on the bench (second worst behind Dragic's -3.2). Frye's net differential was +8.2, second on the team behind Dragic's +8.6. Seven of the Suns' top 10 five-man line-ups include Frye, and the Suns were +145 with those 7 line-ups.

This has been a trend with Frye. In 2011-12, his on-court differential was +4.8 (best on the team) and off-court was -5.9 (second behind Steve Nash's -7.7). His net differential was +10.7 (second best behind Nash's +12.0). It was more of the same in 2010-11, where his on-court differential was +1.9, his off-court differential was -5.8 and his net differential was +7.7, all second behind only Nash on the team.

The fact of the matter is the Suns have been better with Channing Frye on the court. You can say that's more about who he is playing with than anything he is doing, but Frye is the one common denominator and to assume he has little to do with it is reaching; Occam's razor says Frye is valuable.

Don't take my word for it. Former Sun and a long-time teammate of Frye, Jared Dudley, follows me on Twitter (humble brag) and while I was tweeting about the Suns' offseason Dudley direct messaged me, saying "No Frye though? Spacing won't be the same." This is a man who has benefited first hand from the Frye spacing and played alongside him for years. He knows Frye's value.

"He's soft"

People often comment about how Frye is too weak inside and some think any player (Alec Brown, John Leuer, insert favorite random stretch four here) can replace him.

First of all, this is 2014. NBA big men don't all have to be back-to-the-basket, old school post players. The fact that Frye does most of his damage outside the paint is not a check mark against him. Where it matters - on the defensive end - Frye does just fine.

Per MySynergySports.com, opponents shot 45 percent against Frye in the post and scored 0.83 points per possession, ranked a respectable 115th of all qualifying NBA players. He only fouled 8.5 percent of the time, while forcing a turnover 15.2 percent of the time. He fared even better against roll men in the pick-and-roll, as opponents shot just 39.5 percent against him and scored just 0.83 points per possession, good for a rank of 37th overall. Frye's interior defense is good enough to get it done.

"He can't rebound"

Frye's total rebound numbers have been very underwhelming for a starting big man in the NBA. However, Frye holds his own on the glass better than his raw totals would lead you to believe. Frye has been an average-to-solid defensive rebounder, where it is truly important. It's his offensive rebounding that brings his total number down so much. That's where being a stand-still 3-point shooter hurts him. Frye pops to the 3-point line or spots up at the top of the key and on the wings, and his lack of foot speed means he rarely gets involved in offensive rebound chances.

His defensive rebounding percentage was down to 16 this year, but he was playing next to a guy who chases after every board in Plumlee (24.4 percent defensive rebound rate) and there's that whole coming back after a year of inactivity thing as well.

In 2010-11 and 2011-12 he was over 20 percent on the defensive glass. That's better than guys like Markieff Morris, Ryan Anderson, David West, Roy Hibbert, Serge Ibaka and Taj Gibson. His career defensive rebound rate is at 18.9 percent which, while not among the league's best, isn't as bad as the total rebound number indicates.

There aren't many players who can shoot it as well as Frye does yet also hold his own defensively and on the glass. There's a reason guys like Luke Zeller can be the "best shooter in the world in practice" yet not even make an NBA roster.

"He can't even post up a guard"

Many lament Frye's lack of versatility, saying all he can do is shoot 3-pointers. However, his third most common play type (behind spotting up and pick-and-roll/pop) is posting up, something he did 95 times in 82 games last year per Synergy. Frye shot 48.9 percent in the post and scored 0.95 points per possession, ranked 34th overall.

Frye is not a guy who you can dump it down to in the post against anyone and expect to get a quality look. He isn't Al Jefferson or Tim Duncan or Zach Randolph. However, when he gets a perimeter player switched onto him - something that is pretty common with the Suns' pick-and-rolls - Frye is more than capable of posting up and scoring if the situation calls for it.

"He's streaky"

I can't really argue this one, sadly. Shocking development here, but a jump shooter is streaky.

Here are his 3-point shooting percentages by month this past season: 20.0, 41.1, 42.9, 42.1, 32.9, 28.6, 31.7. That's pretty consistent, actually, until you get to his post All-Star break slump. He shot 37.0 percent from three overall.

Let's compare those numbers to Ryan Anderson's relatively healthy 2012-13 numbers, as Anderson is the player most compared to Frye.His numbers are: 20.0, 45.5, 37.2, 38.5, 39.4, 35.2, 30.4. Anderson shot 38,2 percent from three.

Shooters are going to be somewhat inconsistent from game to game, but that's because it's really hard to be a knock-down shooter in the NBA. However, those numbers tend to show consistency in larger sample sizes, and even with his slump Frye was still one of the premier shooting big men in the league.

The following are from the SportVU numbers on NBA.com.

In catch-and-shoot situations, Frye's 5.0 3-point attempts per game is second among big men (behind 22 games of Ryan Anderson) and fifth overall. In makes, he's third in big men behind Anderson and Kevin Love and eighth overall at 1.9 per game.

In percentage (38.1), he was seventh among big men behind Spencer Hawes, Anthony Tolliver (obligatory sign Tolliver comment here), Anderson, Dirk Nowitzki, Love and Mirza Teletovic. Again, this is taking into account Frye's numbers post All-Star break/hitting the wall.

In total catch-and-shoot points, he was second in big men behind only Nowitzki and fourth overall with 562 points. On a per game basis, he was seventh overall, but he was second in players that saw less than 30 minutes per game (he played 28.3 per).

Frye is one of the very best jump-shooting big men in the league, and he is not going to be easily replaced unless you can acquire Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Love or Ryan Anderson.

Final Argument

I've spent 1700 words on Frye, and I haven't even touched on his biggest contribution other than spacing - the pick-and-pop.

Per Synergy, Frye scored 1.18 points per possession as the roll man in the pick-and-roll, which includes both roll and pop numbers. That was ranked 17th overall. He shot 48 percent overall as the roll/pop man and 46.1 percent from 3-point range.

On February 28th of last season, NBA.com's John Schumann wrote a post for the Hangtime Blog about the best pick-and-rolls in the league, and the Suns featured prominently at the top.

Suns_p_r_ppp_medium

Per Schumann, at that point Dragic and Frye was the best two-man game in the league with at least 100 pick-and-roll possessions.

Suns_p_r_best_tandem_medium

For those that still doubt Frye's importance to the team - and to Goran Dragic's Most Improved Player an All-NBA Third Team season - Dragic ran nearly the same number of pick-and-rolls with Plumlee yet the Suns only scored 1.03 points per possession, which is the league average. Per Schumann, Dragic only passed to Plumlee 25 percent of the time while he found Frye 48 percent of the time.

Due in large part to Frye's effectiveness, Dragic was the most efficient pick-and-roll ball-handler among the 46 starting point guards and other high usage wing players.

Dragic_best_p_r_handler_medium

Dragic to Frye was one of the deadliest weapons in the NBA last season, and Dragic has said himself how important Frye was in that Grantland piece by Goldsberry (go read the whole thing).

This year, when we play pick-and-roll, Channing stretches the floor, so I have room to operate. I can get inside the paint and make other plays for him and everybody else. He just gives us that spacing, and especially for me and Eric, he makes things much easier, because nobody can rotate from him.?

The Suns were one of the worst shooting teams in the league during 2012-13 while Frye was forced to sit out, and his return was one of the biggest factors in the team's improved play.

Channing Frye has been a humongous part of the Phoenix Suns over the last few years. It was probably the right call to let him sign in Orlando; Orlando can afford to pay him $8 million per year while the Suns - with an eye towards upgrading the team and not merely maintaining the status quo - likely could not.

The Suns have had a good offseason. The acquisition of Isaiah Thomas addressed the team's biggest need in a back-up point guard and health insurance for Eric Bledsoe. Bringing P.J. Tucker back on the wing was a key move, and T.J. Warren looks to be a good pick-up from the draft.

However, the Suns have yet to address the loss of Frye. Neither of the Morris twins can bring what Channing Frye brought and what I spelled out in this post. The Suns are either going to have to acquire one of the other premier stretch forwards such as Kevin Love or Ryan Anderson, or they're going to have to adjust the system.

Channing Frye is a big loss, and this Suns fan, for one, will miss him greatly. As will the Suns unless they have a plan B in the works.

Cue Ryan McDonough.

The Phoenix Suns like point guards and they like playing point guards together. So it wasn't a surprise when point guards Tyler Ennis and Seth Curry took the floor together in crunch time of a summer league barn burner.

The story in the Suns win over the Bucks was the great combo play of Tyler Ennis and Seth Curry in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over the Bucks. Summer coach Mike Longabardi said after the first game that he should have played the two together against the Warriors and then, guess what, he did play them together against the Bucks. That's the kind of honesty and followthrough you like to see from your coach.

"That was a great combination, it worked very well for us. Seth, actually, was on fire but I think Tyler did a great job executing pick and roll offense, getting in the lane, making the right plays at the right time and we made some shots. And to me, the biggest difference was last night we didn't make a three and tonight we made 11 so that's huge," Longabardi said.

For his part, Curry proved his knowledge of the NBA interview cliche routine: "It felt good. I got some good looks. I just tried to get open and my teammates found me. Coach drew up some good plays for me so I felt good. I felt like anything I threw up was going to go in."

Well done. Any professional basketball player named "Seth" has a place in my heart.

My big observation of the game was Alec Brown. I'm not the least bit worried about his poor shooting which Longabardi chalked up to nerves and jitters. I thought his defensive rotations were solid even if he was physically overmatched to the point where I thought he was shaking his head in amazement at the freakish athleticism and size of Giannis Antetokounmpo. But who can blame him?

That might lead to Brown being destined for a long career in the D-league but then again there was this comparison made by his coach to a recently departed hero:

"He's a seven-footer who can shoot a three. I mean, I like that. I'm not being sarcastic. It is a high release. It's a tough one. You see when we're out there, Miles (Plumlee) rolls to the rim it's almost, I don't want to say like Channing (Frye) but there's some similarities there because if you hug Alec than Miles is going to get a layup. If you come in and pull in on the roll then Alec is going to get an open shot."

Here's some more quotes to chew on with your lunch:

Longabardi

On Alec Brown

"Really good. Last night, I just thought he was nervous to be honest with you. I shouldn't say nervous, he probably had the jitters. I told him and the coaches told him, you're a 40 percent three-point shooter, don't hesitate to shoot. Tonight, he made a free throw early which is always good for a shooter to get that one easy one to get your rhythm going so that was good."

On Dionte Christmas

"I was a little concerned about him offensively against Giannis because he's so long and he is just so disruptive that I just told him we need you on defense now, let's try and stay away from Giannis as much as we can because he just disrupts everything. But he (Christmas) did make some key plays. He made some threes, he drove the ball. He did a really, really good job."

On the game

"These guys played hard, man. You've got to give them all the credit. They really played balls out. I don't know if i can say that."

T.J. Warren should be fine. Was held out the rest of the game as a precaution.

Seth Curry

"I might be in a little bit better shape (having played last week in Orlando) and I was in the rhythm of going up and down playing in actual game. But it's different playing in Orlando than playing in front of a real crowd like this. That's four games in four days so I'm kind of worn out right now."

"Anytime you step on the court, especially in summer league, you are playing for all 30 teams in the league. Everybody can see what you're doing and nobody has my rights or anything like that so just going out there trying to complete and show what I can do."

"I'm experienced playing four years in college and then playing in the D-league learning the NBA game. I think it gives me a little bit of an advantage getting up and down knowing the style of play and the pace of the game and things like that."

"I think that's one of my biggest weapons I can bring to a team. Handling the ball most of the game and then going in there with Tyler towards the end of the game and play off the ball and spread the court. I feel like that's one of my advantages that I can bring."

"He's (Ennis) is a solid point guard. He's a good leader. Runs the team. Doesn't make too many mistakes. He's always composed even though he's so young."

I will leave all the "lesser brother" jokes to you folks in the comments.

Page 13 of 1366

13

Sponsored Ads