The SummerWolves are 2/3rds of the way through pool play at Summer League 2017 – here’s how the first two games went, plus a few overall impressions:
Game 1: SummerRaptors 97, SummerWolves 72
On Saturday afternoon, Ryan Saunders’ group shot 32% from the field, registered 7 assists against 15 turnovers, were outscored 54-14 in the paint, and were out-rebounded 46-36. Believe it or not, that wasn’t a winning formula, as Pascal Siakim (17 points), Jacob Poeltl (15 points, 10 rebounds) and the rest of the SummerRaptors beat the SummerWolves soundly, 97-72.
Marcus Paige had a solid outing for the Minnevegas team, scoring 18 points on 12 shots and chipping in a pair of steals. Jack Gibbs got some buckets off the bench, racking up 17 in just 19 minutes of action. After that, things got pretty bleak – Raphiael Putney, who I highlighted prominently in my preview piece on Friday, went 2-for-11 from the field in 18 minutes. V.J. Beachem, considered by some to have a real shot at securing a two-way contract with decent play, was 0-for-7. All in all, it was a tough afternoon.
Here are some “highlights,” which are mostly of the Torvegas team stealing the SummerWolves’ lunch money:
Game 2: SummerWolves 90, SummerNuggets 71
Things went much better for the good guys on Sunday, as the squad rebounded nicely and put together a dominant performance over the Denvegas SummerNugs. Whereas Game 1 was a wire-to-wire loss, Game 2 was a wire-to-wire victory. The SummerWolves dominated the glass (42-27), shot the ball well (44% from the field, 37% from three) and moved it around, as well (registering 21 assists, up from just 7 in Game 1).
Perry Ellis led the team with 19 points in 22 bench minutes, Marcus Paige was instrumental again with 12 points and 6 assists, but the real story of Game 2 was Matt Costello, who stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, 15 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. He had twice as many offensive rebounds (6) by himself than the entire Denver team could muster (3). Costello, who played 4 years at Michigan State and suited up for the Grizzlies’ Iowa affiliate last season, displayed a little bit of bounce on this pick-and-roll finish:
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) July 9, 2017
Charles Cooke (15) and Levi Randolph (13) also chipped into the Wolves’ victory. Jack Gibbs (1-of-7 from the field, 4 turnovers) struggled following his big Vegas debut.
Full highlights here:
Some overall impressions…
- The rotations are sort of jumbled, which is to be expected, given the nature of the event. These guys are sort of thrown together and asked to make it work, and each is desperate to make a name for himself, so things can get weird. The basketball is not, uh, good. But there are two guys who’ve managed to play 20+ minutes in each of the first two games:
- Marcus Paige, who’s shooting 43% from the floor, 42% from three and is averaging 15 points and 3 assists
- Levi Randolph, who has put up very solid lines in both games and is averaging 11.5/3.5/1.5 on 56% shooting from the field and 60% shooting from three.
- What does that mean? I have no idea, but it certainly isn’t a bad thing for either guy. To me, Randolph is the more intriguing of the two, mostly due to his size (6’6) and position (it seems like he could guard either 2’s or 3’s).
- Raphiael Putney is 2-of-18 from the floor through two games. I am sad.
- V.J. Beachem caught a DNP in Game 2. Doesn’t bode well for him, either.
- The most fun I had watching was when Jack Gibbs had it going in Game 1. I’m a sucker for undersized gunners getting buckets.
- It’s sort of funny/weird to listen to Tom Thibodeau (and all head coaches/GMs, for that matter) speak very carefully about rumors/potential signings in the abstract. Thibs was interviewed in Vegas and you can catch it here if you missed it.
- The Wolves wrap up pool play on Tuesday versus the dastardly SummerWarriors. I hope they win the game 200-0.