For all the highlight plays and performances that occurred during this years Las Vegas Summer League, there were equally woeful performances, from watching the Knicks attempting to play the triangle, to Noah Vonleh debuting with a performance that is best described as YUCK! In this piece, we sum up those horrific performances by looking at the duds of the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League.
|Noah Vonleh 7||27.1||9.1||0.1||10||0.4||0.1||1.1||10.5||28.4||4.4||67.7|
For a young man with a big hand that was tipped to go as high as number five in some mock drafts before dropping to pick nine, he did anything but prove the haters wrong by chucking up brick after brick. ‘Bursting’ onto the scene with a dismal performance of 0 points on a shooting performance that suddenly made Josh Smith look like Reggie Miller, through missing all 13 shots from the field. It only got worse offensively for the man out of Indiana, finishing the tournament with an atrocious 28.4 field goal percentage. Vonleh did show his rebounding prowess racking in an impressive 10 a game (with a high of 18) but it was lack of direction and inconsistency that has him placed on this list. He quite simply looked lost for significant portions of the game. Luckily for him, he is only 18 years old with plenty of time to find his way. Cody Zeller has all but cemented his spot in the starting lineup now, but Vonleh should still get his share of minutes to show his talents.He’s one to keep an eye on, but I don’t expect much from the man this year.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
|Tim Hardaway Jr 5||26.6||22.6||3.2||2.6||1.2||0.6||0.2||16||43.8||6.8||82.4|
This choice may surprise many, but I believe Hardaway Jr. showed the Knicks coaching staff nothing they didn’t already know. Everyone knows he can shoot, everyone knows he can score, but what else can this son of former five time All-Star Tim Hardaway do? Hardaway dropped an impressive 22.8 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting whilst hitting at least three three-pointers in each game. But that’s where the praise stops. 1.2 assists (let me take you back to last season where in 23 minutes a game, Hardaway Averaged less than one assist a game!) and a pathetic 2.6 rebounds a game just means he will hold little fantasy value outside of his three-point shooting. He doesn’t contribute anything on the defensive end and unless he can improve his passing, I can’t see him giving much more in other categories. The Knicks ran a bunch of the triangle throughout this Summer League and if they do during the regular season, the front court will be getting the first looks through the post (hello, scoring title Carmelo Anthony). If you’re after threes and a handful of points for you team, jump all over him in the later rounds, but otherwise Hardaway ain’t helping anyone.
|Tyler Ennis 5||23||4.2||0||4||3.2||1.6||0||6.4||21.9||1.6||87.5|
In what some have been saying was one of the worst summer league showings this year, the new Suns point guard Tyler Ennis had a tournament to forget. The man that was highly sought after by Toronto (who may, in a twist of fate be happy they didn’t get him) was less than impressive shooting a combined 21.9 percent for the tournament to take his average to a paltry 4.2 points per game. He failed to hit a single three pointer through the tournament and looked to struggle with fatigue in the latter games (going 0-of-12 through his last two games). Ennis did average 1.6 steals a game in what could be said as a solid defensive outing, which is a plus, but with currently the dragon, Goran Dragic, newly signed Isaiah Thomas and (for the moment) Eric Bledsoe holding down the back court, it appears as if there won’t be much room for Ennis to redeem himself. Unless things change personnel wise, look for Ennis to be contributing to an extremely important role on an NBA teams bench, the designated towel waver.
|Dante Exum 5||26.6||7.2||0.6||2.6||2.8||1.4||0.2||7.8||30.8||2.8||64.3|
The man that many had never seen play live (thankfully, I was not one of them as discussed by Josh Lloyd and myself here) gave a performance, that one minute had him blowing by defenders for easy layups or drop passes, to forcing the action which resulted into turnovers. Dante started out with a fantastic showing, although the stats didn’t jump out at you (10 points on 40 percent shooting with three rebounds and three assists), it was the flashes of talent that had viewers excited. That game one unfortunately is something Exum couldn’t recreate. Exum’s shooting, which had been a question mark coming in, was a non-factor here, finishing on 30.8 percent overall and a dismal 16.7 percent from three. A lot of Exum’s mishaps could be nailed down to a mixture of fatigue, due to not having played a game of basketball since the Australian School Championships in December, as well as having to adjust to playing the two. Exum looked A LOT better at the one, and was constantly out playing Trey Burke when playing with ball in hand, but I believe this statement by ESPN writer D.J. Foster gives a glimpse into the bright future of Australia’s own Dante Exum,
‘On a late fourth-quarter possession, he attempted to turn the corner going left and was turned away easily at the rim by the big man in waiting. The very next possession, in nearly the exact same situation, Exum effectively froze the help defense with a side-step dribble before tossing up a soft floater over the top. It’s always nice to see a young guard decide not to keep banging his head against the wall.’
The future is looking bright, Australia!
|Shannon Brown 5||14||7.4||0||1.4||0.4||0.6||0||6.2||41.9||2.6||84.6|
Two-time NBA Champion, human pogo stick and now Summer League player? When I first saw Shannon Brown’s name on a Summer League roster i had one of those, ‘i have to look twice’ moments. Surely this was not the Shannon Brown that had me bouncing around the room screaming after watching him fly through the air for mind blowing dunks and even on missed dunks, he had me smiling. But it was. I remember being absolutely shattered when he left the Lakers, not only could he dunk, but he was a very solid and important role player, and continued that through his time in Phoenix, but here is back with former team-mate Derek Fisher playing with a bunch of no-names. This means he would dominate right? Wrong. Brown only managed to earn himself 14 minutes a game in which he averaged 7.4 points a game on 41.9 percent shooting, which is not necessarily bad in the given minutes, but for a nine year veteran, it’s simply not good enough. Brown is going to have to really step up his game if he wants to see the court this season. Brown has played himself out of any fantasy consideration now, his a non-factor. Although I may still go after him, so he can sit on my bench and help me reminisce on the good times we had.
|Shabazz Napier 4||27||10.3||1.2||1.3||2.8||2.5||0||11.7||27.7||5||62.5|
To finish off our duds recap, it is none other than the biggest dud of them all, the man LeBron James loves (or loved), the Bazz, Shabazz Napier. For the second time in Summer League events, Napier makes an appearance on the duds list. He failed to improve on his Orlando form, or lack thereof, putting up numbers that would make NBA royalty turn in their graves. 10.3 points on 27.7 percent shooting and 3.5 turnovers to 2.8 assists is just not going to cut it in this league, sorry mate. Sure the 2.6 steals is nice, but for how good that is, nearly every other category has me thinking I would rather watch paint dry than Napier run around chucking up Lego bricks and losing me matchup after matchup. Unless you’re a king ping bank robber and would enjoy having Napier’s stealing ability in your crew, steer clear this season or the only thing he will be stealing, is your wins.