Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summer League Wednesday

I'm sure the final game has been wrapped up a couple places by now, but just in case...

--This was Aldridge's game to shine. That was nice to see. He got a few touches in the first half but the second half was really his time. Basically we were getting whipped because we didn't get back on defense and got outhustled to nearly every rebound and loose ball. Lamarcus took it upon himself to say, "Huh-uh." He rebounded hard. He had a couple of really nice blocks (including one when he was on the way back DOWN!) and several strong defensive possessions, including showing strong on help defense. On offense he showed some nice touch from the outside, some deft passing (even once from the high post), and some silky low post moves when he could maintain position. He helped change the course of the game, which is something you hope he'll eventually do in the big leagues too. I understand there's a lot of speculation going around about Aldridge. I wouldn't put too much pressure on him early, but in the end we're going to be happy with this pick.

--Roy had another good statistical outing, but got taken out of his game a little. By that I mean he was defaulting to shooting a lot which, while not bad in itself, was a bail out position for him as point guard. (Just like it's been for Bassy in previous years.) Much of our comeback was made with him on the bench. The upside is that when he decided to score he was usually successful, so much so that when they put him back it was at the 2-spot. Even more of an upside is that he'll be a 2-guard in the league and scoring will be his full-time job. He is getting better and better at scoring off the break too. This kid is tricky.

--Freeland got the start this game and showed more good effort on both sides of the floor, including a pop and stop shot and a couple of nice turn-around shots from 12 feet. He seemed to get frustrated, either with himself or the coaches, midway through the first half and never saw the floor again, however.

--Sinanovic finally got on the court. Meh. Defends worse than Ha.

--Fred House saw a lot of time and helped us come back in a spark plug type role.

--Martell kind of disappeared a little when he wasn't directly involved in the offense. He's still learning how to play and where to go. This was a very good summer league for him overall and he really showed his drive, but we need to be patient with him also.

--As far as the overall game, it wasn't their best effort even with the comeback at the end. We had our hands down on defense, left perimeter players open, and didn't hustle in transition defense. The skeleton of the help defense was there but it wasn't fleshed out by people making quick and correct rotations. There was a lot of reaching for the ball and not much foot movement. We also committed a fair number of turnovers. We fixed most of these problems in the comeback but it wasn't enough. We're still learning how to turn it around and how to win.

--Z-Bo showed up for the last game. Jarrett Jack has been there all along as was warming up by shooting before the game. His shot looked good.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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