Seattle vs. Philadelphia
The Sonics and Sixers kicked off the 2006 Rocky Mountain Revue by giving the fans a great fast paced, high scoring game. The Sonics began the game scorching hot, but would cool down as the Sixers got hot in the second half.
Saer Sene started the game off by getting a loose ball and going up for a monster dunk, and getting fouled. Sene made the free throw giving the Sonics a 3-0 lead. The two teams traded turnovers before Steve Castleberry drove to the hole, only to be rejected by Sene.
Rodney Carney would get Philadelphias first basket on a running lay-up to make the game 3-2. However, the first quarter would belong to Saer Sene, who immediately responded with another dunk. Castleberry would get revenge on Sene for his early block by dunking on him later in the first to make the score 5-4.
Sonics veteran forward Noel Felix would score the first of his team high 19 points, when he grabbed and rebound, and put it back in and drew the foul. Felix hit the free throw making it 8-4. Philadelphia’s Bobby Jones was injured on this play and would have to leave the game, he would not return.
Louis Williams and Denham Brown would trade baskets, before the Sonics would go on a run to give them a double digit lead. The Sonics run began after a Sene basket, followed by a Denham Brown jump-shot, and two quick baskets off turnovers by Andre Emmitt.
The Sonics defense frustrated the Sixers in the first quarter, only allowing Philadelphia to score 18 points on 25% shooting. Felix lead the Sonics with 11 points, and 1 board. After the end of the first the Sonics lead 30-18.
Seattle defense continued to cause problems for the Sixers in the second quarter, as Seattle built a 39-20 lead halfway through the second. The Sonics bench, lead by Keith Langford, and Andre Emmitt was able to split Philadelphias defense and get to the foul line.
The Midway point of the second saw a change in the Sixers, before than they had been afraid to go inside against Sene, but after a few inside moves by Harold Jamison that fear seemed to dissipate. With the Sixers now going inside, Sene found himself in foul trouble and out of the game. This really gave the Sixers confidence to attack the hoop, and slowly they began chipping away at Seattles lead.
The Sixers were able to knock the Sonics lead down to seven with about three minutes to go after an Ivan McFarlin tip in. The Sonics needed an answer; and they found it in a Keith Langford three pointer, which gave them a 10-point lead. It was mostly turnovers and fouls by Seattle that allowed Philadelphia to get back into the game, but once they got back into it, the momentum shifted.
The Sonics kept an 8-12 point lead through the rest of a sloppy three minutes to finish out the half, and lead 49-40.
As the teams warmed up it was obvious who had the momentum. The Sonics lethargically did their lay up drills, while the Sixers seemed to add just a little extra pizzazz that really seemed to fire them up.
With the team fired up the Sixers came out and took charge of the game early in the third, Harold Jamison scored the first two points on a jump hook, followed by a Carney turn around jumper after a Seattle inbound violation. Philadelphia’s defense was so stingy in the second half that Seattle didn’t score until the 5:31 mark, at which time the Sixers had already taken 51-49 lead on a Carney three.
Shavlik Randolph, who had been struggling early on, caught fire midway through the third quarter, scoring 8 of his game high 25. The Sonics would be able to stay off a complete meltdown for a little while, as they were able to tie the game at 60 going into the 4th quarter.
Randolph continued his dominance in the 4th, by quickly scoring and getting fouled for a three-point play, than adding in more free throws. Randolph got so confident that he began challenging Sene every chance he got, he wasn’t able to dunk over Sene but was able to draw the foul on Sene.
After the Sixers got up 76-62, Noel Felix tried bring back the Sonics, but it was to little to late. Felix did however score eight points in the final four minutes to bring the score to 80-70, but Randolphs aggressiveness was to much as the Sixers went on to win 88-74.
Players to watch
Rodney Carney: He’s really a stud of a basketball player, he’s got great ball handling abilities, and can run the floor well. His athleticism will be an asset to the Sixers, but his shot selection needs work.
Shavik Randolph: He started out quite but really had a huge second half. His defense needs some work, but he is very athletic and a good rebounder.
Louis Williams: He’s still very raw, but has improved a lot from last year. He’s able to run within the offense very well, and has a nice stroke to his shot, but he does need to work on his shot selection, and needs to work on passing out of double teams.
Edin Bavcic: He’s your prototypical European player. If he’s left wide open, he will kill you, but put a hand in his face and he can’t shoot. He’s got a very nice stroke and release when it comes to shooting, but again like most Europeans he couldn’t guard a closed door.
Harold Jamison: While Statistically he isn’t the greatest, he’s really a good leader for the younger players on the Sixers roster. He’s a tough defender who does the little things that don’t show up.
Steven Smith: He silently had a huge impact for the Sixers, he was where he needed to be, and was able to run the break to get easy shots. He’s still a little bit to raw for the NBA, but he’s definitely someone teams will be keeping a close eye on.
Saer Sene: Had a fantastic first quarter, than did hardly anything else the rest of the game. If he wants playing time this coming season, he will need to step up his consistency. He is an awesome shot blocker, and for someone who hasn’t played basketball all that long he’s got an excellent basketball IQ.
Noel Felix: His three point shooting has really improved since last year, but his rebounding still needs to improve.
Yotem Halperin: Other than turn the ball over and foul, Halperin didn’t do anything. His defense was really lacking as well, he got beat a lot, and when he didn’t get beat he fouled the guy he was guarding. There is no way Halperin is ready for the NBA yet, he’ll probably go back to Israel for a few more seasons.
Andre Emmitt: He’s a solid contributor with NBA experience. He’s not going to ever be a great player, or even a starter but he’s a court smart player who will be able to provide most any team with depth.
Keith Langford: Solid guard who is great at attacking the hoop, but he’s a poor shooter.
San Antonio vs. Dallas
In stark contrast to the first game, the second game of the day was a slow paced sloppy game filled with turnovers. This would be the first look that Spurs fans would get at 2005 first round draft pick Ian Mahinmi.
The Mavericks started the game by using Paval Podkolzine and his massive size. Podkolzine who measures 7'5" is by far the tallest player in the revue. Podkolzine scored five points on the game on easy dunks.
The Spurs wouldn’t get on the board until the 6:23 mark after a free throw by Rich Melzer made the score 5-1. Melvin Sanders, who played sparingly last season for the Spurs, stole the ball shortly after Dallas in bounded it and raced down the court for an easy lay up. Jackson Vroman came off the bench to provide a huge spark for the Mavs with his hassle plays and toughness. After a pair of free throws he made the game 7-3 Mavericks.
Poor passing by both teams lead to an abundance of turnovers, but neither team was able to capitalize on the massive amount of turnovers. The mavericks were able to capitalize on the Spurs poor shooting, by getting out ahead of the Spurs defense for easy lay ups. The Mavericks shooting wasn’t the best either, but players like Pops Mensah-Bonsu were able to grab offensive rounds and get points. The Mavericks lead 15-11 after the first quarter.
Both teams continued to struggle in the second quarter, as they each turned the ball over to start the quarter. Andre Brown scored the first two points of the quarter with a lay up and was fouled, but he missed the free throw giving the Spurs the offensive rebound and a chance for a four-point play, which they got when Tequan Dean hit a jump shot.
After about a five minute delay because of an injured official Dallas was able to build their lead to 23-16 on a Rowle Marshall jumper. A Dean three point play and a Brown tip in got the Spurs to within two(25-23), but after a DJ Mbenga dunk, and two Marshall lay up the Mavs extended their lead to 31-23 with about two minutes to go.
The rest of the quarter was sloppy basketball at its best as each team turned the ball over a lot, the Spurs were able to hold Dallas to only two points, to finish the quarter trailing 33-29.
The second half saw the pace of the game pick up, but mainly because both teams began attacking the hoop. After a Mahinmi free throw and two buckets by Rich Melzer the Spurs tied the game at 36, but Dallas quickly took back the lead on a Darius Washington lay in.
The two teams traded baskets to keep the game tied most of the third quarter, and a Marshall three throw put Dallas up one and the end of the third.
Dallas started the fourth with a high-flying jam from Rawle Marshall which really got the fans going wild, but that was about the last good thing that happened to Dallas as they went cold, and the Spurs began to pull away.
The Spurs pulled away on some nice athletic plays by guys like Jamar Smith, Andre Brown, and Melvin Sanders. However, Rich Melzer and Brown were the catalysts for the Spurs take over of the game.
Melzers play down low caused the Mavericks fits, despite having nearly a foot advantage. The Spurs quickly build a 70-63 lead with about two minutes to go, but Dallas wouldn’t go away cutting the lead to five on many occasions.
Every time the Mavs got close, they would do something which lead to easy points for the Spurs. The Mavs best chance at an actual shot of winning the game came with 50 second left and trailing by five, but a turn over allowed the Spurs to build the lead back up to seven.
The Spurs ended the game with a nice inbound ally-oop from Rich Melzer to Jamar Smith to make the final score 79-71.
Players to watch.
Darius Washington: he’s quick capable point guard, but is very turnover prone, and has a hard time passing out of a trap.
Paval Podkolzine: when can we start calling this guy a bust? He’s seven five and really doesn’t do anything.
Rawle Marshall: He’s really a solid player, who’s capable of doing a lot for his team. He should get some minutes next season with the Mavericks.
Jackson Vroman: a hard banger who works his butt off to do whatever it takes, he is a bit of a tweener and likes to shoot outside shots, but if a team could get him cheap he’d be a great fit.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu: really a hard worker, and good rebounder and shot blocker, even though he is seven inches shorter than Podkolzine, he got three more blocks.
Andre Brown: He didn’t impress me at all at first, though his hard work slowly got my attention. He’s still really rough, and probably isn’t NBA ready.
Rich Melzer: offensively he’s not a guy who looks for his shots, he’s a solid defender and rebounder who has great court vision. If reports are right, he signed a deal with the Spurs today, which mean the Spurs may have very well gotten themselves an awesome deal in this guy.
Ian Mahinmi: He can block shots, and is aggressive on defense, but so aggressive that he gets himself into foul trouble. He tries to block every shot he sees. He does have some nice jumping ability, but needs to learn the game better. The Spurs are definitely better off by letting him stay in Europe another season or two.
Melvin Sanders: he’s really improved over the guy that I first saw playing with the Nuggets a few years ago in the revue. His shot selection is better, and his basketball IQ is a lot better. With the Spurs roster filling up, there may not be enough room for Sanders, but he should be able to find a roster spot somewhere.
Sergei Karaulov: the good news, he’s improved a lot over a year ago, the bad news, he still sucks. His court awareness has really gotten better, but his overall play still seems to be lacking.
Utah vs. Atlanta
The final game of the night pitted the hometown Jazz against the Atlanta Hawks. This game unlike the other ones which had some moments of excitement, was nearly a complete sleeper.
The Jazz started three veteran players against the Hawks who started four veterans, but the Jazz vets proved to be the best of the revue elders.
Deron Williams was the focal point of the Jazz offense, as he got the game started by finding Rafael Araujo for an easy two, than Williams pulled up and took a jumper to give the Jazz a 4-0 lead.
The Hawks got on the board after a pair of Shelden Williams free throws, which were followed by a John Edwards free throw. Deron Williams would answer the three free throws by knocking down a three pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Jazz a 7-3 lead.
Utah build a 9-3 lead, when Araujo fouled Marvin Williams, the foul was ruled a flagrant one, the two players exchanged glances, but the climax was yet to come.
After Williams went 3/4 on two separate trips to the charity strip, C.J. Miles knocked down a jumper to give the Jazz a 11-6 lead, this was the beginning of a 9-2 Jazz run which put the Jazz up 18-8 with about two minutes to go. The Hawks would go on a mini run of their own to finish the quarter trailing 20-14.
The Hawks only made two field goals in the first quarter, in part to Utah hard style of basketball which put the Hawks on the line a lot. The Jazz continued this style of play into the second quarter, and put Marvin Williams on the line who made it 20-16. Hiram Fuller would make it 22-16 before a small Hawks run got them within two points at 22-20, it would be the closest the Hawks would get all night.
Jazz Rookie Ronnie Brewer would score the next two baskets, than rookie Paul Milsap would take a feed from Deron Williams for a nice lay in to give the Jazz a 28-21 lead, than after an Atlanta Turnover Williams ally-ooped it to Brewer to take a 30-21 lead.
The Hawks cut it to 30-25, before the Jazz embarked on a 12-0 run to go up 42-25. The Hawks would score the next five points to close to 42-30 at the half.
The two teams traded baskets in a fast paced physical start to the third quarter. The Jazz began a small run, and had scored six straight points, when Williams found Araujo near the basket, he was fouled hard by Marvin Williams. The foul resulted in a scuffle between the two players, and Araujo being called for another flagrant and being ejected from the game. The call had a huge impact on the game as from that point on the Jazz completely dominated the game, and Marvin Williams was constantly harassed by the fans.
The Jazz continued attacking the Hawks after the ejection of Araujo, and the Hawks continued to back down, allowing the jazz to amass a 76-51 lead going into the fourth.
The Jazz continued pouring it on the Hawks in the 4th, after a Milsap dunk and a pair of Dee Brown three pointers the Jazz lead 81-51. The Hawks did manage to make the score more respectable toward the end behind Salim Stoudamire, but most of these points came against guys like Troy Rolle, and Spencer Nelson.
The Jazz would go on to win 98-76. Deron Williams, and C.J. Miles didn’t even play in the 4th.
Players to watch
Shelden Williams: he really had a rough start, going 1-6 and not really doing much on the defensive end. He needs to work on his positioning because he was taken advantage of all night long on the low block.
Salim Stoudamire: he’s a deadeye shooter who can really hurt you when he gets hot, the problem was tonight he didn’t get hot until midway through the fourth with the Hawks trailing by 30.
Marvin Williams: He’s really become aggressive, and is now attacking the basket a lot. This is a good sign for a kid whom last year shot only jump shots and backed down a lot.
Anthony Grundy: He’s a solid ball handler who could find his way onto someones roster come fall.
Deron Williams: he was by far the best player tonight, he was able to run the floor confidently and with ease. The revue may be a bit to easy for him now.
C.J. Miles: Miles has really bulked up from last season, his shoot looks more fluid now and he is getting more aggressive on the floor. Miles will likely be a solid contributor to the Jazz next season
Paul Milsap: wow this guy can do everything. He’s a solid rebounder, who reads the defense well, and knows where to be in the offense. He’s also got incredibly good ball handling skills for a big guy, which is a big thing since he’s always being compared to Karl Malone, Malone never had that good of dribbling abilities.
Dee Brown: He’s a spark plug off the bench. He did look a bit nervous during the first half, but the butterflies seemed to leave him during the third and fourth quarters and he ran the offense like a capable backup point guard should.
Ronnie Brewer: smart, talent, athletic and a good shooter, all the things the Jazz have been looking for in a guard since Jeff Hornacek retired. One knock on Brewer is that at times he was looking for his shot instead of playing within the offense.
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