Tha Sports Junkies 101

Las Vegas Summer League – Days 3 & 5

Summer League Photo via Flickr


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.

The announcement of Tim Duncan’s retirement threw me into a dark place. After gathering myself, I pieced together the most important parts of my days at the league. Here is a quick rundown of the cool things I saw.

Las Vegas Summer League Day 3:

After hearing of Devin Booker’s and Dragan Bender’s performance at the Summer League, I had to go see it for myself. Luckily for me, they were scheduled to go up against the Boston Celtics so I was in for a show. I did see the Philadelphia-Chicago game before that so I will give a one sentence reaction to that. Good luck to the rest of the League if Ben Simmons’ jump shot becomes remotely consistent and Felicio is the man. Oh, and I had to google Felicio after the game


Wow. That is the one word that came to mind after that game. The Phoenix Summer League team is fun to watch. Devin Booker led the charge and unloaded a cool 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. He is showing his experience in these summer league games and it’s helping his team a whole lot. He was helped offensively by Tyler Ulis and Marquese Chriss who are all, to my surprise, around the same age as Booker. Bender didn’t have that great of a game but it didn’t matter. He is still getting a feel for the game and gaining valuable experience by playing with his teammates before the season. These guys are looking good for the Suns.

Boston relied on RJ Hunter and Jordan Mickey to score. The team a whole struggled to get going. Phoenix was playing smothering defense the entire game. This contributed to Jaylen Brown’s poor performance. He finished 0/6 for this game and contributes to his string of bad games. Through 3 summer league games, he is 5/26 from the field. However, there isn’t much reason to worry yet. This is only the summer league and he has so much to learn before being NBA ready. He has flashed some great skills in his three games so it may just take some time for him to adjust.

Side Notes:

Phoenix played full court defense for what seemed like the entire game. It was an impressive effort and was a great play by the coaching staff.

Bender is not letting people push him around. Just because he is foreign does not mean he is going to let you try to get away with fouls. He was great at letting opposing players know that he means business on that court.

The Suns bench was really loud all game. They got the crowd going and didn’t let up at all.

Marquese Chriss has an uncanny ability of tracking the ball. His feel for rebounds is pretty obvious if you watch him for a play or two.

Las Vegas Summer League Day 5:

I skipped day four so I could cry to Tim Duncan highlight tapes on YouTube but my resolve is stronger than ever. This time I would be watching only one game. I chose San Antonio-Chicago to get yet another look at Denzel Valentine. His shooting stroke hasn’t been that good but he’s been putting in effort all over the court.


This game was a little slow out of the gate. Both teams were using up the entire shot clock. Denzel Valentine had another one of you trademark games. You know, bad shooting, box score stuffing. It looks like, after time, he’s going to be able to pull the combo guard thing off but it’s going to take some time.

The Spurs relied on Jonathon Simmons as Kyle Anderson didn’t suit up for this game. He poured in 22 points and was on the line to tie the game but split the free throws. He had an overall great game and showed his NBA experience.

Down the stretch, the Bulls ran their offense through Bobby Portis. He was a reliable scoring option down in the post where it seemed as if two points were inevitable when he touched the ball. He finished with 18 points for the night. Felicio, while not exactly wow’ing, was still someone to watch for the game. My eyes were on him for all 12 of his minutes for some inexplicable reason. I think he can round out to be a great piece.

Side Notes:

RC Buford and Rick Carlisle were both in attendance for this game. That would be the Spurs GM and Mavericks Coach, respectively.