As the summer comes to an end, the NBA Las Vegas Summer League begins to heat up. It’s the place where recent draft picks and current fringe LiAngelo ended the game with only 10 points, but NBA players can get some valuable minutes to showcase why they deserve a coveted spot on an NBA roster. It’s sink or swim time with the regular NBA season just a few weeks away. With a few games under their belt, it’s time to assess the early standouts in the Summer League.
No. 2 pick Jalen Green and the Houston Rockets topped No. 1 Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons in the Summer League showdown, 111-91. Things started to heat up for Cunningham early in the first quarter as he went 50% from the 3 and 40% shooting. Despite his slow start, Green got the last laugh, finishing the game with 25 points on 54.5% shooting. The showdown was a battle down to the last few minutes of the game. Despite all the positives, there are a few errors both incomings stars would have to fix. Both Green and Cunningham ended the game with 4 turnovers and a lack of court vision.
“I feel like I handled it pretty well,” Green told the Houston Chronicle. “I could have handled it a lot better. I was trying to get my teammates involved. I know I had a lot of turnovers (four.) But I was still trying to get everyone involved and not make it a one-on-one battle between me and Cade. I could have turned around and done that for myself, but we end up getting the win so that’s all that matters.”
While they might have been the main event this week, they sure weren’t the biggest surprise. LiAngelo Ball has continued to show what was once thought about Lavar Ball’s goals are now proving to be true. In trying to make the Charlotte Hornets’ roster, LiAngelo Ball has proven to be a crowd favorite dropping back-to-back double-digit games. On Sunday, LiAngelo Ball caught fire and didn’t stop, ending with the night with 16 points on 50% FG and 62% from 3P. Ball continued that streak well into Monday’s 80-70 loss against the Kings. LiAngelo ended the game with only 10 points, but secured five rebounds and two steals. The third Ball brother continues to show his abilities and spark off the bench. If he can keep the production up, a contract isn’t that far away.
Second-year wing Aaron Nesmith produced more than enough for Boston to beat Denver, 107-82. Nesmith was red hot from beyond the arc scoring seven 3s. The Boston wing ended the night with 33 points, a game-high for him. On the other side of that game, Nuggets center Bol Bol was a force to be reckoned with. The 7’2 big man ended the night with 26 points and nine rebounds.
Bol wasn’t the only big man taking advantage of the paint last night. No. 4 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft Patrick Williams was a man among boys in last night’s comeback win against the Spurs, 92-89. The Bulls forward led all scorers with 30 points and seven rebounds. Williams went perfect from the line sinking all seven shots. Chicago overcame a 22 point deficit in the 4th to clinch the win.