Tuesday’s Summer League games might as well have been called “The Day of the Cats” as there were former Wildcats everywhere you turned. With 10 Kentucky players with the potential to see playing time, 8 actually took the court. Humphries did not play for the Clippers and Labissiere was once again not listed on the Blazers roster. After further investigation, I discovered that Skal did not make the trip to Las Vegas with the team and was said to be “nursing a minor shoulder injury.” What this means for his future with Portland remains unclear at this time.
Not surprisingly, Tyler Herro had yet another excellent game, though he did break his streak of being perfect from the free-throw line and his average “plummeted” to 96% (24-25). In his 33 minutes of play Tuesday, he scored summer-best of 25 points and tied his highest number of assists (5) and rebounds (7). If one wanted to find fault with Tyler’s game, his 5 turnovers were definitely out of character. Additionally, his 3-point shooting is inconsistent. But he has been a very consistent scorer and has now emerged as the subject of trade rumors. Since Herro has not yet been signed by the Heat since being drafted, any trade could take place immediately without the usual 30-day waiting period. Tyler is certainly raising his stock in any type of trade talks.
Hamidou Diallo had another decent game, though he is still struggling mightily at both the 3-point and free-throw lines. While scoring 11 points in his 25 minutes of play, he only managed a single rebound to add to that. Meanwhile, he was 0-3 from the arc and 1-3 from the charity strike. Hami is playing great defense, but if he really wants to solidify his status with OKC, he simply must improve with the 3-ball and not be a liability when heading to the free throw line.
Reid Travis again saw limited time with Atlanta as he played 15 minutes and scored 6 points and pulled down 2 rebounds. Travis isn’t doing anything to hurt himself in the eyes of the NBA bigwigs, but he’s not doing much to draw attention to himself in a positive light, either. It would be great for him to have a breakout game so the rest of the world can see the Reid Travis that the BBN knows and loves. His heart and work ethic are worthy of him being given a legitimate shot to make a roster.
Derek Willis got 17 minutes with the Suns tonight. He had 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. In his 36 minutes of play thus far, he hasn’t turned over the ball. His numbers so far won’t raise many eyebrows. It would be nice to see what he could do with significant minutes.
Aaron Harrison didn’t have his best game tonight when the Celtics faced off against the Nuggets. In 13 minutes, he scored but one basket to finish with 3 points. Going 1-4 from beyond the arc won’t help his case to get a permanent roster spot, but he is protecting the ball during his limited minutes.
Jarred Vanderbilt fared much better tonight, recording a double-double, with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jarred also had a steal and 2 assists, but he seems to suffer from the same malady that several of our former Cats are: anemic free-throw shooting. Vanderbilt was 25% from the line tonight (1-4) and he also turned over the ball 3 times. Jarred will be fine, if for no other reason than his tenacious rebounding and his scoring efficiency close to the hoop. But all our Cats would be well served to be “Herros” on the free-throw line.
The Knicks were back in action and Kevin Knox saw 30 minutes of playing time with somewhat mixed results. He scored 15 points and had 5 rebounds and recorded 2 steals. He was also solid from the free-throw line, going 8-11. However, he also had 4 turnovers and was a dismal 1-8 from 3-point range. The poor long-range shooting has brought his overall shooting percentage down significantly (under 30%) so maybe he would be best served leaving the long ball shots to other players.
Finally, Wenyen Gabriel played in what was his 5th game of the Summer League. In tonight’s contest, Wenyen had 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 20 minutes of play. He was 2-3 from long-range but (stop me if you’ve heard this before) his free throw shooting was still not great (3-6). Like Diallo, Wenyen brings great energy to the court and he has the ability to score. But if you’re a liability at the line, that could give teams some pause when considering contracts and/or playing time.
Games of interest tomorrow:
Chicago vs. Charlotte 5pm NBATV
Miami vs. Minnesota 7pm NBATV
Phoenix vs. San Antonio 9 pm NBATV
New York vs. LA Lakers 9:30pm ESPN2
Denver vs. Golden State 11:30pm ESPNU