Tha Sports Junkies 101

Las Vegas Summer League – Day 2

Summer League


This year I was fortunate enough to be able to head back to the Las Vegas Summer League. I’m going to post as much coverage as I can while I’m here at the event. Feel free to interact with me on social media as I will be posting pictures and videos of your favorite rookies to go along with my articles. 

Las Vegas Summer League Day 2:

I took the same route as I did yesterday for today’s games. I opted to miss the opening games in an attempt to save my energy for the arguable biggest game of the week.

Today, the Philadelphia 76ers were taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in a battle of top draft picks. Lakers were a little fatigued having played the day before but everyone here is young and fresh. The stadium filled up during the Jazz-Wizards game with Lakers fans which was the same case as yesterday.

Although, this time, it wasn’t an entire arena to just watch D’Angelo Russell and friends. Everybody was eager to see the potential new phenom of the NBA. While Ben Simmons has not played one minute of an NBA season, he is already drawing crowds.

After that game, I decided to stay for the San Antonio game against Golden State. They are my pick to win this tournament and it’s for odd reasons. I didn’t pick them because I’m from San Antonio. I didn’t pick them because their coaching staff. I didn’t pick them just to go against the grain. Even without a lottery pick and an abundance of young talent, I feel as if they have the best team in the tourney. Not only are they playing two summer league MVP’s for no reason, they also plan on bringing over some of their foreign players which they had been saving for years now. This was their contingency plan from the very beginning. Now is the time to show off RC Buford’s master plan.


You couldn’t have asked for a better game. While initially slow, this match delivered on every level. Ben Simmons started off the game showing off his passing ability. His feel for the game and court awareness is further developed than your typical rookie. It’s good to see a player who is that enthusiastic about passing. The sentiment that he is prone to overpassing seems overblown. He isn’t forcing bad passes or trying too hard to get an assist. If he makes a bad play, it’s usually because he is one step ahead of his teammate or he threw a pass he knows he can make. It’s going to be interesting to see what Simmons can do with a real team.

After stumbling out of the gate, D’Angelo and the gang really picked it up. He started going blow for blow with TJ McConnell. Aftervgrtting into a rhythm, he began to play on a string with Ingram and Nance Jr. Speaking of TJ McConnell, he had a great game. He was playing loose out there and made the most of every opportunity. He even sunk a dagger of a layup to put the Sixers up with virtually no time on the shot clock. Unfortunately for him, D’Angelo Russell had just enough time to put the Sixers to rest.

Russell seems to play well off the crowd. He is always going for the million dollar move to get a response out of the fans. Whether or not this hurts his game remains to be seen because his talent may be enough to carry him. Either way, if there is any place where that type of attitude can succeed, it is Los Angeles.

Side Notes:

Ben Simmons and his assists had a domino effect on the entire team. Everyone moved the ball when he was on the court.

Brandon Ingram’s go to move when driving to the basket is to just throw his body onto the defender’s. This can’t be the case if he wants to go up against actual NBA players.


While the foreign players aren’t on the roster yet, the Spurs summer league team is still hard to beat. Kyle Anderson really has no reason tp be participating in this one but, for some reason, he is. I’ve officially named him the unofficial summer league all time leading scorer. This is due in part to his scoring outbursts but mainly because he’s done it longer than anyone else.  He didn’t really score that well in this game but his presence was felt as one of the primary ball handlers and decision makers. Jonathon Simmons’ place on the team is also questionable. While he isn’t as established as Kyle, he did win the summer league finals MVP last year so him doing this again is a bit weird.

For Golden State, it was clear that they were running things through Keifer Sykes. He had the ball in his hand for most of the game even though he didn’t play as well as he would have liked to. The Spurs themselves actually didn’t play that well either. It was a slow, low scoring game filled with bad shots and turnovers. It all came down to one play where the Spurs ran the one two punch of Anderson and Simmons to secure the victory. Pretty boring game that was only close because of a lack of scoring on both sides.

Side Note:

Dejounte has displayed some good defensive instincts

Dejounte also has surprised people with his speed and finishing ability. The Spurs may have drafted a gem with this one

Keifer Sykes yelling out defensive assignments only to be ignored was the best part of this game.