NBA Summer League
Las Vegas | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 |
Salt Lake. | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
Iran vs. Dallas, not something you ever thought youíd ever hear in the annals of basketball, but it happened. Iran is the FIBA Asia representative and like China last year in Las Vegas, was invited to play against the NBA summer league teams. This is one of four scrimmages for Iran before they head to China for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Iran got off to a good start behind their big man Hamed Ehdadi who score at will against the much smaller Maverick line up. Ehdadi would score the first four of the game, and Mohammad Samad Nikkhah Bahrami would add a lay up making it 6-0 Iran. Ehdadi had nine points and five rebounds in the quarter. Richie Frahm kept Dallas alive in the first quarter, when Iran started to build a small lead Frahm hit a couple of threes to keep Dallas close. To the delight of the crowed the Islamic Republic of Iran lead 20-18 after the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Iran continue to run their offense through Ehdadi. Iran really lacks the depth of the Mavericks and after Ehdadi made it 22-18 Iran, the Mavs went on a run. Aaron Miles went crazy scoring at will on Iran, and totally torching Amir Amini and Hamad Afagh. Dallas would go on a 14-0 run in the second to build a 32-25 lead. Iran made a little head way late in the quarter but trailed 44-33 at the half.
Iranís offense in the third quarter was none existent. Dallasís defense fusterated the Iranian guards and forced Iran into taking many bad shots. One thing I was impressed with by Iran is that they didnít turn to ball over much in the third quarter. Most of their turnovers were because the players didnít know how to properly roll of a pick and roll. However, the five turnovers lead to seven Dallas points which normally wouldnít be bad but Iran scored 8 points in the quarter as a team. Gerald Green continues to knock down outside jump shots with ease, mainly because he frightened his defender. Green was complaining about some call in the first quarter and looked at the Iranian guy, I think it was Afagh, and following that Green had plenty of room to work. Dallas went on a 10 nothing run lead by Green and Terry near the end of the quarter to build a 69-41 lead.
Iran finally started to play in the fourth quarter. Mohammad Samad Nikkhah Bahrami finally started to do something for Iran, he hit a couple of real quick shots to start the quarter and played some defense. With the lead 71-48 Dallas pulled out Green, and most the other guys who were playing well and this allowed Iran to improve the score somewhat. Former Sacramento Kings center Daryl Watkins really caused Ehdadi some problems in the fourth. Watkins was able to use his size to keep Ehdadi out of the paint and this making him totally ineffective. But the damage was done and despite Bahramiís best attempts at getting the game closer Iran fell 79-62.
Players to Watch.
Hamed Ehdadi: He was really the only player for Iran who had a good game. He has a big body and can finish around the hoop, but he is not very strong. He might actually have a chance at the NBA if Iran would let him and if he wanted to, but something tells me he prefers being a star in Iran.
Aaron Miles: He had a fantastic second quarter but didnít do anything the best of the way. He did look a little more confident running the offense tonight, but at the very most he is nothing but a third string point guard brought in when somebody gets injured.
Gerald Green: Has some attitude problems like Iíve never seen, but can ball. He has a nice jump shot, and itís looking like heís moving away from being merely a dunker.
Reyshawn Terry: He had problems defensively all night long. Honestly, I donít think he will ever be an impact player in the NBA.
I missed the first half of the Spurs vs. D-League game. With the Spurs leading 36-22 in the second half the Spurs went to their big men with Ian Mahinmi hitting a jump shot to get things going. Anthony Toliver of the Spurs knocked down some long threes in the second half to hold off many runs by the D-leaguers. The first run by the D-leaguers came early in the third when Josh Gross got fouled on a dunk, and then a technical foul was called on the Spurs, the resulting four point play cut the lead to 42-30 Spurs. The Spurs had an issue with fouls again, they kept fouling the D-Leaguers and sending them to the line, one reason for the fouls was because the D-Leaguers kept attacking the basket. Devin Green was the hero for the Spurs, he was able to get to the basket with easy and knock down some jump shots; it was he and Toliver who kept the Spurs from relinquishing their lead. The Spurs would pick up their defense late in the third quarter and take a 53-45 lead into the final period.
The Spurs had a horrid start to the fourth quarter. The Spurs didnít score until there 5:58 mark and that was on a technical free throw following a defensive three seconds. The Spurs main problem was turnovers via offense fouls. The calling of offensive fouls has been a bit excessive in the revue this yeah, but with the Spurs their problem is that their big men are not rolling properly following a pick and roll. The D-Leaguers took their first lead of the second half following a Nice Lewis lay in, but after the free throw and another Anthony Toliver three point the Spurs would lead 57-54. A minute later Roger Powell would drain a long three putting the Spurs up six. The D-Leagues would cut the Spurs lead to three at 64-61 following a Gross tip in, but the Spurs would make their free throws down the stretch and win the game 68-65.
Players to Watch
Josh Gross: Heís decent around the basket and is not a guy who looks to score a lot. He lacks the defense to be a real threat in the NBA, but he could be a 10 day contract type of player.
Carl Elliot: He had a very quiet but yet very nice game. Heís a solid shooter and can play some defense. But he must cut down on his turnovers.
Glen McGowan: Heís a big man who likes to play outside some, but when he goes inside he usually gets nice results. Heís a veteran NBA player who has seen action with both Philadelphia and Denver, but he isnít the type of guy who will ever be a starter in the NBA.
Ian Mahinmi: He needs to work on his conditioning some. Also, heís a very poor defender who usually ends up picking up a foul anytime anyone goes inside against him. His offensive skills however have really improved from last year, he can roll to the basket for some easy dunks.
George Hill: Struggled with scoring tonight, but he is a capable guard who can run an offense. Heís a nice defender too. He sort of reminds me of Tony Parker, except a much better defender.
Anthony Toliver: For a big man he has some range, but he shoots to much and played outside a little to much. He can bang and get physical however. I can see him making the NBA one day, not as anything more than a role player but he has a nice game.
Devin Green: Great slasher and moves wonderfully without the ball. He has solid ball handling skills as well and isnít afraid to dive for a lose ball. The Spurs really like this guy, so donít be surprised if they offer him some sort of contract.
The final game was between the Hawks and home town Utah Jazz. The Jazz duo of Kyrylo Fesenko and Kosta Koufos were able to keep out of foul trouble tonight and this really boosted the Jazz. The Hawks drew first blood with a shot by Pinkney, but the Jazz were able to go inside to Koufos early and get some results. After the Hawks went up 4-2, Jazz second year guard Morris Almond scored five straight points and a Fesenko dunk gave the Jazz a 9-4 lead. The Jazz kept going inside more and this lead to free throws by Koufos who was four for four in the quarter and had six points. The Jazz would build a 17-9 lead but the Hawks would come roaring back behind their defense. The Hawks were able to pressure Leemire Goldwire and force him into some bad passes. Othello Hunter had a nice quarter for the Hawks, including a dunk near the end of the quarter to bring the Hawks to within 1 point at 17-16.
The Hawks played poorly to start the second quarter. They didnít score for the first seven minutes, but in this time the Jazz scored just 10 points and continued to struggle offensively. Britton Johnson had some nice plays for the Jazz and helped them build a 27-16 lead. The Hawks would finally score on a Dunk by Hunter following an injury to Russell Carter. The Hawks would finish the quarter better than they started but would trail 31-24 at the half.
The Jazz would push their lead to 11 again at 35-24 following a Morris Almond shot. But Acie Law IV would rally the Hawks and would turn the quarter into his personal show. Law would flat out destroy the Jazz defenders en route to scoring 13 of Atlantaís 27 points, heíd also dish out a couple of assists. Utah had no offense what so ever, their only made field goal in after the Almond shot was a dunk by Fesenko, who promptly fell on his ass after dunking it. The Hawks would take the lead after a Law lay in at 38-37 and would never give it up again. The Hawks would build as much as a 12 point lead in the quarter before taking a 51-40 lead into the fourth.
The Jazz played better in the fourth quarter, but they still really struggled to run their offense. The Jazz would cut the lead to five with a few minutes to go after an Almond shot, but the Hawks would score seven straight points to but the game out of hand. Atlanta did struggle with the Jazz pressing defense which forced them into shot clock violations. But in the end, the Hawks would walk away with an easy 72-63 win.
Players to Watch:
Acie Law IV: He still cannot finish very well, but tonight he was able to get contact and get to the line. He can take over a game at times, but he does it by himself and doesnít look for others. He doesnít do well against a trap either.
Mario West: For a guy of his size he can rebound. Heís a hard worker who should make it back to the NBA this year.
Othello Hunter: I was really impressed with him. He improved on his defense a lot from yesterday, and is a beast down low. He has great size and can ever drain the three ball.
Jeremy Richardson: Struggled a lot in this game, foul trouble limited his minutes in the first half and he just never got it going.
Kosta Koufos: He reminds me a little of Paul Millsap with more height. He can bang and get rebounds, and isnít afraid to take a hit.
Kyrylo Fesenko: had one of the best games Iíve seen him play. He was a monster on the offensive boards, and had some nice dunks. He blocked some shots too. But heís still really weak and it looks like he may have some conditioning issues.
Morris Almond: Heís never met a shot he didnít like. Almond really needs to work on his shot selection, because if he gets the ball he will shoot it.
Britton Johnson: Had a solid night, can bang a little but just doesnít come off as a guy who will make it in the NBA.