Seriously, the Summer League is awesome. John Wall gets to show his skills, former Maryland stars get to be in headlines again, and a rookie from LeMoyne College named Laurence Ekperigin gets to lead a team in scoring. What a world we live in.
The first game of the day figured to be the best. D.J. Strawberry has been hands-down one of the best players in the Summer League this year, and James Gist has been fighting valiantly for a playoff spot himself. The former Terp journeymen facing off looked like a marquee matchup (figuratively speaking). Unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out that way.
First off, Gist didn't play; he was hurt from his half-time buzzer-beating block on Jeff Teague against Atlanta yesterday. Not a good start.
Strawberry, on the other hand, played more than anyone else did; his 34 minutes were a game-high. He was good but unspectacular; 4-11, 12 points, 3 assists, 4 turnovers. Not terribly efficient, not terribly terrible, but an average performance. His Lakers, for what its worth, lost again.
Landon Milbourne took to the floor after that, with two 0-2 teams - Landon's Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks - going head-to-head. His last couple of performances were average at best, so seeing him get a relatively good one in - 8 minutes, 1-2, 2 points, +5 - is encouraging. Maybe he can get a tad more playing time and prove himself. Europe or the D-League, unfortunately, are still probabilities at this point.
I'm not sure if Caner-Medley got hurt, but he played just six minutes against the Bulls' team and finished with zero points, one assist, one rebound and one turnover. He attempted four shots, three of which came from behind the three-point line, and he missed all of them. So either he was hurt or the Clippers' coach realized Caner-Medley was playing a gross game and yanked him, which would be the first smart decision associated with the Clippers since...what?.
Well, maybe we have an explanation for it: he sprained his wrist and didn't play today. We can only assume that's what led to his bad performance and early pull, and that's a good thing; he was awesome the game before that with 17 points, so hopefully he'll get another shot before heading back to a EuroLeague.
He was supposed to take on Ekene Ibekwe today in a battle royale of former Terps of yore, but that obviously didn't happen thanks to Nik's wrist. Ibekwe still took the floor, though, but really struggled for the first time in the entire season. He didn't take a shot from the floor - although he was 4-4 from the free throw line - turned the ball over three times, and had another 5 fouls. Worst of all, he had no recorded blocks, which is his calling card. Rough day for Ekene.
The final game of the day involved everyone's favorite Venezuelan, Greivis Vasquez, and everyone's favorite season-wrecker, Chris McCray. Greivis, fresh off his Bob Ehrlich endorsement, started his first game of the SL, and finally got starter minutes. The Grizz's Sam Young stole the show with _____ points, but Greivis was great in his own right. His first half was outstanding; 3-4 from the field, 7 points, a wickedly good +14, and 5 assists. His second half was admittedly slower, but the performance was still pretty good with 9 points and 7 assists.
The most telling thing about his performance, and the thing I really have trouble understanding, is his +/-. He and Young played the same amount of minutes; Young had over 30 points, Vasquez had 7. But Vasquez's +/- was +24; Young's was +11. What's that about OJ Mayo having to play point guard? I think you found a guy.
Meantime, McCray did better than I expected. I've kind of ignored him for some reason, probably because Vasquez overshadows him. 2-2 for 4 points, 4 assists and 1 turnover isn't terrible. It's also not going to make any rosters, but its not terrible.
The best performance of the day came from Vasquez, who's closing in on D.J. Strawberry for Best Summer League Terp.
Tomorrow isn't nearly as entertaining; Greivis and McCray are the only two Terps in action, a 10:00 game against Minnesota. But I suppose its better than nothing.