Many of the NBA’s best young players are taking part in the 2013 Summer League, and it’s culminated in some high-flying basketball filled with excitement as seven games were played Saturday.
The league’s top rookies who were just drafted are making their debuts, while other established up-and-comers look to take over their team and prove themselves worthy of playing time for their respective teams in the 2013-14 season.
With the landscape of the NBA changing so drastically year after year, these players are walking into a league that could be theirs, and we’re following them from their very beginnings.
Let’s take a look at the best moments from Saturday at the Summer League.
Bazemore Wills Warriors Past Wizards
It was a two-man wrecking unit for the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, as Kent Bazemore and Draymond Green did what they usually do—dominate summer league games.
Bazemore put up 21 points, and Green added 15, and the Warriors would go on to win a 56-52 affair against the Washington Wizards.
Green proved that he’s one of the best bruisers in the summer league, getting to the line at will and making 12 of 14 free throws. He also would end up fouling out.
Bazemore took to Twitter to congratulate his teammates on the win:
It’s a shame that many fans didn’t know of Bazemore until he came in and hit a late shot in the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1, because he’s a solid guard who will continue to grow, and, if given enough playing time in the Dubs’ stacked backcourt, will turn into a solid contributor.
McCollum Dominates, Blazers Still Fall to Suns
The Portland Trail Blazers made basketball fans across the world salivate when they drafted C.J. McCollum to play alongside Damian Lillard in what should be one of the best young backcourts in the NBA.
On Saturday, he proved his worth with 22 points in the Blazers’ 82-69 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
McCollum displayed a great all-around game that had him nailing deeply contested three-pointers, cutting to the basket and setting up teammates. Blowing past opposing defenders multiple times, McCollum even showed NBA-caliber athleticism by soaring up for a high-flying dunk.
He proved to be impossible to cover one-on-one, and if he keeps that up, opposing teams won’t know what to do when Lillard is there with him.
The Suns were led by twins Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris, who combined for 32 points. Will Barton was the only Blazer other than McCollum in double digits at 13, but he shot 5-of-17 on the game.
McLemore Struggles Mightily in Debut
There were more than a couple of young players who stepped up in the Dallas Mavericks’ 76-73 win against the Sacramento Kings, but it wasn’t the highest-drafted player in the game.
Ben McLemore, the seventh overall selection in last month’s draft, shot just 4 of 23 form the field and finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
The one-and-done Kansas star made just one of his 11 three-point tries, which was nothing short of shocking given he was lauded as the best pure shooter in the draft class. When he struggled as a Jayhawk, it was often due to him not taking many shots, but he can’t argue that after 23 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Jae Crowder had a big game for Dallas with 16 points and eight rebounds, making a claim for major playing time on the Mavs roster in 2013-14. Josh Akognon also added 22 points from the point guard slot.
Goudelock, Teague Lead Bulls Past Memphis Grizzlies
Andrew Goudelock never found his place with the Los Angeles Lakers, so he tried to find himself a spot on another championship contender with the Chicago Bulls.
Goudelock put up 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting, and Marquis Teague joined him with 13 points and seven assists as two big performances from their guards led the Bulls past the Memphis Grizzlies, 81-67.
However, Tony Wroten of the Grizzlies had a big game as well with 17 points. Wroten hasn’t been able to become a regular contributor for Memphis, so far, but he’ll force his coaches’ hand if he continues to excel in the summer league.
Erik Murphy, a Bulls draft pick in 2013, scored six points but was 0-of-6 from deep.
Source: Bleacher Report