NBA Summer League Day 2
After a long first day, day 2 in Las Vegas started at a more leisurely pace - finishing my day 1 update and watching the FIBA Women's World Cup finals. After getting things into gear, it was time to head to the Thomas and Moack Center for the Summer Spurs 12:30pm (PST) tip against the Charlotte Hornets.
After finding my seat on press row, one of the first things I noticed was Lonnie Walker wearing pants and standing on the sideline. No PT for Lonnie today. Once the full team was out fo rate pre-game warm-up it became evident that Drew Eubanks would also sit this one out. Both players ended up as DND - Rest.
The game was a good one, with the rookie trio of Keldon Johnson, Luka Samanic and Quinndary Weatherspoon leading the way. You can read my game recap, including extensive post-game with Coach Becky Hammon, on Project Spurs. Here are my favourite exerts from the article:
Luka Samanic is legit
Outside. Inside. Dropping dimes. Samanic (almost) did it all at Summer League on Sunday. Samanic started at the five and while he still has to put on weight (he was bullied at times in the post by Hornets center Kennedy Meeks during the second quarter), the thought of Luka playing the five in small ball lineups is very intriguing.
The steal of the draft
“We knew he was a nice player, but his competitiveness and his nature, kind of seeing that up close, you can watch some film and do some stuff but for us who do not necessarily watch these guys for 12 or 15 games throughout the year, it has been nice to see his competitiveness,” Hammon said. “He is a guy who could be the steal of the draft. He’s a guy who we like, he has a lot of potential, he does a lot of different things – defensively I think has a lot of upside.“
Glue guys help you win games
Ledbetter, a fan favorite, and the “Mayor of Cedar Park,” may be the ultimate glue guy for the Summer Spurs. “He’s a glue guy. He keeps everybody on the same page,” Hammon said. “He has been around the system so he kind of knows what the deal is, what is expected of him and the team. He can kind of be a player-coach for you out there instructing guys, getting guys in the right spot, communicating certain terminology that maybe certain guys are not familiar with and you do not have time to go over every little thing.”
The Summer Spurs are fun
One thing that struck me throughout the game was how much the bench was into the game from beginning to end. There was constant chatter and the players were constantly out of their seats to support one another, Walker in particular.
As Coach Hammon noted after the game, this version of Summer Spurs is a tight group. This includes the veteran Ledbetter and rookie Samanic. For those who follow them on social media, the playful ribbing has been fun to watch.
After submitting my write up to my Project Spurs editor (the legendary Michael De Leon), I decided to stick around to watch Canadians RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis take the court as the New York Knicks faced the Phoenix suns. Note, I said Canadians.
While Barrett continued to struggle, second round pick Brazdeikis became the first player at 2019 Summer League to score thirty points. I braved the New York media after the game to hear from Brazdeikis, who certainly progressed his game since I last saw him play in the Biosteal All-Canadian game.
I'm looking forward to day number 3 at NBA Summer League, which I am going to refer to as Spurs in the 6 day with the Summer Spurs taking to the court against the Toronto Raptors. Tip-off is 4pm PST (2PM CST, 1PM EST).