2012 Las Vegas Summer League Scattered Thoughts: Volume 2
In between learning the intricacies of Blackjack Switch and rifling through a karaoke song book, I observed some Derrick Williams domination that was a welcome sight to see. Wolves beat the Cavaliers by… well… who cares? The actual game results don’t matter. In fact, I’m not sure you can even say the play of the players truly matters, good or bad. But I do have some observations from the game that I’d like to share:
- Derrick Williams was trying to dominate the game physically. There was a stretch in the first quarter when every time Derrick caught the ball, it was going to end in a whistle. This was probably six or seven straight possessions. He either got fouled or committed a charge. It was impressive how he forced the issue, even if he was a little reckless at times. It’s not a sustainable style of play for him because schemes and better defenders in the regular season will be able to strip the ball or draw more charges from a barreling Williams. However, it’s all about changing his mentality from being a floater to being an aggressive player.
- The fact that Williams shot 16 free throws in one game was really impressive, as well. Omri Casspi sitting behind the Cavs bench was unhappy with the officiating. Cavs players and coaches joined him in their attitude toward the refs, but I really don’t think there were many bad calls going Derrick’s way. There was a moment in the second half in which he got into the lane and the ball was stripped away. It was hard to tell if he was fouled or not, but he definitely wanted a call. I looked over to the Cavs bench and the players were laughing about it.
- Derrick’s shot selection when he wasn’t getting to the basket for fouls was pretty solid for the most part. He was 0/4 on 3-pointers, leaving him 1/12 this summer from behind the arc. He was 6/10 on 2-point shots. I’d really like to see him abandon the 3-point shot unless it’s a wide-open look or the shot clock is about to expire. He’s just so much better going to the basket. He’s not shying from contact the last two games but he’s rarely trying to dunk on anybody either.
- With that said, he did get Luke Harangody on one play. It wasn’t a massive dunk but it taught Gody to not jump with him.
- One more thing, Williams did let on a bit post-game that he’s kind of annoyed with the “is he a 3, is he a 4?” type of questions. Just wants to be a basketball player.
- Wes Johnson didn’t play because of an ankle sprain, but it wasn’t ruled out him playing the rest of the week. I am really curious to see him play at least one more time. He was a game-time decision and the staff felt it was too sore for him to go. I just want to see if he can keep up the play he showed in the second half. He probably can’t but watching him in this environment of getting back to basics fascinates me.
- Coby Karl was FIRE from 3-point range in the win over the Cavs. He hit six 3-pointers, accounting for all 18 of his points. If we didn’t have a glutton of guards (especially combo-ish guards) on the roster, I’d love for Karl to get a camp invite and be given an opportunity to make the roster. He’s a quality guard that should be on someone’s bench.
- I continue to be completely underwhelmed by Paulo Prestes. I don’t really see anything he does that can translate to the NBA level. He finds a way to keep possessions alive by tipping offensive rebounds up, but against bigger guys in the regular season, can he even get into position to do that?
- I thought Cameron Taylor was a really solid scorer. His shot looks balanced and he didn’t really force anything. He took everything within the flor of the game. Well, that’s not true. The flow of the game involved a whistle every 38 seconds.
- Zabian Dowdell didn’t make a single shot but he might have played as well or better than Taylor and Karl. His defense was really solid. He defended Donald Sloan well and was pretty disruptive all over the place. He’s another guy I wish we had room for on the roster. Or at least to battle for a roster spot.
- Finally, here’s an interview from Charlie Yao of Roundball Mining Company. He’s talking to Coby Karl: