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NBA Summer League
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Salt Lake. | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

The 2008 RMR got started with a game between Dallas and Atlanta. The game started slow with both teams playing very poor. But with about six minutes to go the tempo picked up. The Hawks continued their good play coming out of the six minute time out. Jeremy Richardson hit three deep shots during a nine to four run giving the Hawks a six point lead. JuJaun Smith tried bringing the Mavericks back, cutting the lead to four. But a Luke Jackson three and a Richardson lay-up at the buzzer gave the Hawks a 28-21 lead.

Gerald Green got the second quarter off well for the Mavs by hitting a couple of jump shots, but poor defense continued to let the Hawks get wide open jump shots. Turnovers and bad shots began to hurt the Mavs, a turnover near half court and an ensuring dunk gave the Hawks a 39-25 lead with 6 minutes to go in the second quarter. The Hawks played some very good defense in this game. The Mavericks began to cut into the Hawks lead some, but after an Othello Hunter dunk the Hawks lead 46-32. The Mavs cut into the lead again late in the half making it 48-38, but once again Jeremy Richardson hurt the Mavs at the buzzer, this time with a three pointer.

The Mavs played better at the start of the second half. They were able to get past some of the smothering Hawks defense to get some easier shots. Atlanta also committed some turnovers which lead to easy Mavericks points. Dallas was able to cut the lead to 9 for the first time since the early second quarter, but once again turnovers began to haunt the Mavs. Gerald Green made a couple of jump shots, including a three to lead another maverick charge. Late in the third quarter Gerald Green got hot scoring 9 points and cutting the Mavs lead to four points. The Hawks had some issues running plays on offense, mainly because of poor shooting, but were able to get Hunter open for some dunks to help them stay above water. Dallas got into trouble late because they went away from the hot hand of Green and this allowed the Hawks to take a six point lead into the fourth quarter.

The Hawks began to pull away again in the early fourth quarter behind their defense. Luke Jackson hit Richardson for a nice dunk to give the Hawks a 77-68 lead. Part of Dallas’s struggles were poor shot selection, also they had a costly technical by James Singleton. The dunk by Richardson seemed to rejuvenate the Hawks, they began to be a lot more aggressive on defense and after a Jackson three pointer the Hawks took a 82-70 lead. Gerald Green could not find the groove he was in during the third in the fourth quarter, he missed one jumper badly and then was rejected on another one; he was very made about the rejection. Richie Frahm helped keep the Mavs in the game by hitting a long try and getting a lay-up. The teams traded baskets for a few minutes before a plethora of bad shots by Green and the Hawks coasted to an easy win the first day of the Rocky Mountain Revue.

Rashawn Terry: Very good ball handler for his size, but he holds a lot. needs to work on his defense some. He does need to learn how to use his size, he lets smaller guys push and bump him a lot.

Gerald Green: Called teammate James Singleton out on the court, after Single ton missed an assignment and Green doubled only to leave Luke Jackson open. Green continued to complain about everything in the second quarter. The Kid has a serious attitude problem and I can see this hampering his career. On a positive note, Green looks to have developed somewhat of a jump shot.

James Singleton: Misses defensive assignments, but is a hard worker on the boards.

Shan Foster: He quietly had a solid first half, scoring mainly from the free throw line. He needs to learn to move without the ball, when he didn’t have it he would camp out beyond the arc.

Richie Frahm: Decent shooter, but doesn’t play defense.

Acie Law: He must improve his ball handling skills, and must get better finishing at the hoop. He is very good at running the offense however.

Jeremy Richardson: Heated up late in the first after missing his first few shots, but his overall game was pretty impressive. He can score almost anywhere and is a solid defender as well. Richardson got cold in the third, but was able to keep his teammates involved and played solid defense. He also has decent court vision.

Luke Jackson: Very good shooter, he hit 5 threes and only took one bad shot.

Brian Randal: A solid defender, but not much else.

Speedy Claxton: Claxton is attempting to comeback from last seasons knee injury; he looked very good and the knee did not look to bother him.

Othello Hunter: Has a big frame and can use it well. Is also surprisingly agile for a man of his size. He also has some hops, he got a steal dribbled the ball down passed it to Richardson and then dunked in a very high ally-oop. He is very raw, he missed quite a few box-outs and has trouble with the plays offensively.

Frank Robinson: Good rebounded for a guard, and decent defender.

Kevin Pinkney Hard worker.

The two female refs were hot.

Final Analysis

The Hawks have a very good team with young talented players with some experience. If Jeremy Richardson continues to play well the Hawks should have a decent revue. The Mavericks also have players with some experience, but Gerald Green hurts them in my opinion. He only looks to score, is lazy on defense and his attitude obviously annoys his teammates.

Utah came out in the second game very sloppy. They tried to move the ball up the court quickly but it usually resulted in a turnover or a bad shot. The Spurs had similar results, but got some easy shots from Devin Green. Morris Almond tried keeping the Jazz in it. He hit a couple of lay ups and four free throws for the Jazz in the first six minutes. But it was George Hill who was the star of the first quarter. Hill scored six quick points, including a four point play, to give the Spurs a 20-9 lead. The rest of the quarter was pretty much dominated by bad basketball. Both teams committed a number of stupid plays during this stretch. This stretch did allow Utah to make some ground on the Spurs, but the Jazz continued to foul which forced them to go deep to their bench. Utah was able to close the game to 7 points at 22-15.

Britton Johnson started the quarter off nicely for the Jazz by getting to the line a couple of times to cut the Spurs lead to four at 22-18 After a Hiram Fuller jump shot cut the lead to two points, the Spurs called a time out an re-inserted George Hill. Hill was able to cause the Jazz problems again with his ability to run the offense and get to the hoop. Bad shots taken by Mahimni allowed the Jazz to tie the game on a pair of Johnson free throws. The Spurs would take the lead, but a Kevin Kruger three would give the Jazz their first lead of the game. After a Morris Almond three point play the Jazz would take a 32-28 lead. The Spurs would take the lead again after a pair of Hill lay ups, but Hiram Fuller tied the score at 34 with a pair of free throws, and Morris Almond would give the Jazz a three point lead going into the half with his third and 1 play of the half. Fouls kept the Jazz big men Kyrylo Fesenko and Kosta Koufos out of the game for the most part in the first half.

During half time I ran into Jazz guard Deron Williams, I asked him why he only signed a three year extension instead of a four or five and he said it was to keep his options open. I also asked if the reason he signed a shorter extension had anything to do with the rumors of Carlos Boozer possibly leaving the Jazz, to which Williams replied “Booze is going no where”.

The third started much the way the first did, with a lot of Utah turnovers leading to George Hill buckets. Hill had another six points in the first five minutes of the quarter. Utah’s biggest struggle was point guard Kevin Kruger, Kruger could not handle the pressure and would turn the ball over. Kruger also had difficulties passing the ball, he threw it at a lot of peoples feet. After an and 1 by Hill the Spurs lead 47-42. The Spurs continued to press the Jazz and the Jazz continued to turn it over. The Spurs would build a 53-44 lead before a Fuller jump shot. The Jazz ended the quarter by taking a bunch of bad jump shoots, the Spurs mean while were able to rebound very good. The Spurs lead 55-46 at the end of the third.

Brian Morrison got the Spurs off to an easy fourth with a pair of threes, the Jazz continued to play sloppy committing five turnovers on six possessions. Utah’s point guards were severely out played and looked like children playing in a junior NBA game. The Spurs coasted through much of the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 15 through most of the quarter.

Devin Green: Good finisher and strong in the paint for a guard. Has an instinct for the ball and getting to the rim. He also isn’t afraid to get dirty, he went after many lose balls and dove on the floor a few times.

George Hill: has an amazing first step. Good shooter, with a very nice release. Was able to run the offense very efficiently for the Spurs, and they played much better with him in the game. Flat out amazing player to watch, he pretty much had his way in the first half.

Malike Hairston: has really bad hands.

Brian Morrison: Has a lot of athleticism and plays hard but lacks court vision and basketball IQ.

Ian Mahinmi: He still lacks a lot of the fundamentals which the Spurs will require. He doesn’t roll well off of the pick and role and lets other guys push him around.

Kyrylo Fesenko: Has really beefed up since last year. He likes to push and shove but is pretty obvious about it so he gets a lot of fouls. He also is having trouble understanding where he needs to be on the floor, and this has been a key factor in his struggles.

Hiram Fuller: He’s very good at suckering players into stupid fouls. He used his body very well tonight, he was able to keep guys out of the paint and did a great job of boxing out.

Britton Johnson: hustler who can bang in the paint.

Russell Carter: very good defender and decision maker. He’s not going to be a star but he’s a good hustle player.

Morris Almond: was able to get going in the first, but struggled with getting open. He does have much improved court vision over a year ago. Has great body control

Kevin Kruger: He is capable of running an offense, but falters under pressure very easily. His defense needs work as well. For a point guard he is a horrible passer. He threw many passes either at the feet of players or behind them.

Final Analysis

The Spurs will have a huge advantage in the revue because they have a very capable point guard in George Hill. They will have trouble with their front court because of their lack of a good big man. Utah is on the opposite coin, they lack a remotely decent point guard but have some decent big men

Written by:
Bran Faurschou