Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
San Antonio vs Dallas
The First game on todayís slate was the Spurs and Sonics. The Spurs scored early behind Andre Barrett and Britton Johnson. But the Sonics answered with Marteen Cleaves and to some extend Robert Swift. The Spurs lead 25-19 after the first quarter.
The Sonics started the second quarter off by a steal and Dunk from Erza Williams, but Kendall Dartez had a dunk of his down. The Spurs D caused the Sonics some problems early on, Britton Johnson got a nice block on Jermaine Blackburn who in turn pushed Johnson. Every time Seattle made a run at the Spurs 5 point lead the Spurs would answer, when the Sonics cut it to one point Britton Johnson hit back to back threes. The Spurs would take a 40-35 lead at the half.
The Spurs started the second half with the same five that started the game; Sampson, Barrett, Saunders, Johnson, and Asselin. The Sonics didnít do the same brining on Scales, Swift OíBannon, Felix and Dickens. The quarter began with some turn overs and bad play, but after a scramble for a loose ball between Barrett and Scales the Spurs got an easy 2. But the Sonics would eventually cut the lead to 45-44 but again Britton Johnson came up huge and the Spurs would lead 51-48 after three.
The Sonics started the 4th quarter slow, not scoring in the first 4 minutes during which the Spurs went on a 5-0 run. But Robert Swift had a nice fake out put back where he was fouled to end the run, and put the Sonics on a 8-2 run. Andre Barrett and Alex Scales went at each other all night but the best part of this was during a stretch in the 4th where the two continually traded baskets. The Sonics closed the lead to 2 points inside two minutes, but a 4-0 Spurs run made it a 70-64 game. Robert Swift would be fouled on a made shot but would hit the ensuing free throw, then Jermaine Blackburn made it a 73-72 ball game. After Justin Hamilton made one of two free throws, the Sonics had 5.6 second to tie the game but missed their shot attempts letting the spurs escape with the two point win.
Players to watch:
Melvin Saunders: He played good defense all night and would fight for lose balls, his biggest problem was he looks to score first even when he is in no place to score. Saunders probably isnít ready for the NBA yet, but he could be called to a 10 day later this season after a stint in the minor leagues.
Josh Asselin:Banger inside but for a center cannot rebound. Donít look for Asselin next year in the NBA, he wonít be there, may not even be able to make it in the NBDL.
Britton Johnson: I have given him a bad report before, but tonight he played flawlessly. He did everything you would need a player to do. Johnson probably will make a NBA roster this fall, he wonít be a starter but definably a solid role player.
Andre Barrett: very quick and agile Point who can pass or shoot depending on the situation. Barrett will be in the NBA as a third stringer this season.
Ondrej Starosta: This guy was totally out of place, he didnít move, didnít do much of anything. I was actually surprised he got so much playing time. Starosta will be in Europe next year.
Justin Hamilton: very quick guard who can shoot, but needs better court awareness. He could be on a roster next year but more then likely he wonít.
Robert Swift: His rebounding has improved, but he is still weak. His shooting touch has improved over last year but he still wonít make much of an impact in Seattle.
Kaniel Dickens: decent role player but takes to many three when he should drive in for an easier shot. Dickens will be a call up again this season so keep an eye out for that, but other then that he isnít anything special.
Alex Scales: He could be a solid back-up point guard in the NBA, it may take a while but he might be worth the wait to some team.
Johan Petro: Slow, plays defense with his hands, cannot box-out and wants the ball every possession. Petro looks like another bad big man for the Sonics. He wont get any minutes next season in Seattle he may have even benefitted had he stayed in France for another season or two.
Noel Felix: He has great low post presence and is a good rebounder and has a nice jump shot. Felix could find his way into the NBA next season, but I said that about him last year after he had a nice revue, one down side to him could be he apparently doesnít listen to his coaching staff; he just walks away.
Mini Interview with Britton Johnson
Atlanta vs Dallas
Another game that started out slow as neither team could find the basket. The Hawks got a lot of fast break points in this one as Dallas had a hard time controlling the ball, in the first few minutes Dallas had three turn overs which lead to easy Hawk points. Boris Daw started off a nice 6-0 Hawks run with a steal and a dunk, which brought a 14-11 Hawks lead to 20-13 at the end of one.
The second quarter the Hawks continued to press Dallas guards, Rivera had a tougher time with this than Logan did but the Hawks kept taking the ball for dunks, by Marvin Williams and Josh Smith. Dallas would turn the ball over on 3 of 5 possessions giving the Hawks a lead of 31-20 with 4:58 in the second. Dallas would go on a 14-4 run to close out the second narrowing the score to 35-34, but the Hawks would end the quarter on a 5-1 run and a 40-35 halftime lead.
The Third quarter would become a battle of big men as Atlantaís Arthur Johnson and Dallasís DJ Mbenga would give us a nice exposition of basketball. It started on the first play of the second half when Mbenga blocked a Johnson shot, then on the next Dallas possession Johnson did the same to Mbenga, then Johnson would add a tip in after a Marvin Williams miss. The very next play Mbenga would get an easy lay-up off an Atlanta double team. Midway though the 3rd Marvin Williams would drive past his defender for what looked like an easy dunk by DJ Mbenga had a huge block which got the fans really going; but in the celebration Arthur Johnson got an easy two. The next play Josh Smith would give a great block on Roger Powell which lead to an Atlanta fast break and a lay-up by Royal Ivey. Ivey would be hurt on the play and would not return. After a Darius Rice foul of Gyasi Clien-Heard at 2 made three throws the Hawks would take 65-56 lead into the 4th.
The 4th quarter had no were near the energy the third did, as Dallas pretty much gave up. The Hawks would maintain a 9 to 11 point lead though-out most the quarter, including a 17 point lead with about 4 minutes to go. Dallas would go on a nice run lead by David Logan and the Mavs closed the Hawks lead to 81-76. Atlanta would break away behind the play of Marvin Williams and Jason Conley and win the game 88-76.
Players to watch.
Arthur Johnson: he really looked good during the third quarter. His play should have turned some head so he could be invited to training camps this fall. He is big and strong so its quite possible he will be playing in the NBA next season.
Josh Smith: he needs to mature, his celebrating let the Mavs get an easy two. Smith will play more next year in Atlanta but wonít be putting up big numbers yet.
Marvin Williams: His shooting is still problematic, but he built on a bad game from yesterday which shows he is willing to do what it takes to make it in the NBA. Williams may be helped if he was sent to the NBDL for a few months this season.
Gyasi Clien-Heard: he is a solid big man but doesnít have a shot at the NBA, he is too small. But Heard could see time in the USBL or NBDL next season.
Jason Conley: he needs to work on his free throws as he went 3 for 7 in the final two minutes of the game.
DJ Mbenga: He has vastly improved from last year. Last year he was blocking shots though the rim, this year he was up there swatting them legitly. His Offense needs work but his defense really impressed me.
Pavel Podkolzine: were as Mbenga improved Podkolzine didnít, he stood around most the game and when he did get the ball he lost it. He doesnít have good hands at all, and for someone 7'6 has a hard time scoring under the basket.
Rawle Marshall: this kid surprised me, he is quick can shoot, can slash and can drive. He is still raw but might be worth taking a risk on.
Felipe Lopez: He looked like a veteran PG out there, he made good passes but he did struggled under Atlantaís pressing D. Lopez will probably be in the NBDL next season but could be called on for a 10 day contract.
David Logan: he has very quick hands and is a good defending but he doesnít look to pass ever. Logan is also turn over prone while he is looking for his shot. He isnít NBA ready yet but will be a solid minor league player.
Utah vs Charlotte
The final game starter out like all the others; slow and not much scoring. The Jazz looked to go inside early while the Bobcats who were without Raymond Felton looked to run. The Jazz got up 4-0 behind Robert Whaley but the Bobcats came back with a 7-2 run, which gave them a 9-6 lead. The Jazz would answer with a 4-0 run taking a 10-9 lead. The first quarter saw a lot fo fouls being called and the Jazz missed a lot fo their free throws, the allowed the Bobcats to take a 20-14 advantage into the second.
The Bobcats went on a 7-2 run to start the second. Again the refs called this game very closely; sometimes to the point of ridiculously close. The Jazz also missed a lot of free throws during the second and with the Bobcats press on Deron Williams the Cats were able to build up an 11 point lead. The Jazz did come back with a mini-run but poor play, clock mismanagement and foul trouble to Robert Whaley and Deron Williams hurt the Jazz who fell by 13. The Jazz would comeback with another run, Kris Humphries would get a lay-up and a free throw, and CJ Miles would get a steal and easy dunk cutting the Bobcat lead to 37-31.
Kris Humphries and Sean May would trade jumpers to start the third, then a Deron Williams lay up and foul shot made it 39-36. Matt Carroll would increase the lead to 41-36 before Kris Humphries would hit a three making it 41-39. Mental mistakes hurt the Jazz in the 3rd as Williams, Whaley and Humphries all got into foul trouble. The Jazz would cut the lead to one at 44-43 where it would stay for nearly 5 minutes. Williams would hit 1 of two free throws tying the score at 46. Sean May would score immediately after it, then Mike Wilkinson would tie the score at 48. The Jazz behind Wilkinson, Melvin Scott, CJ Miles, Jack Ingram, and Spencer Nelson would put the Jazz ahead for good. Scott, Miles, and Nelson would all make free throw at the end of the 3rd and give the Jazz a 53-50 lead at the end of 3.
Spencer Nelson would score then get fouled for a 3pt play, but Rashad Phillips would hit a three on the very next play. Melvin Scott would tip in a miss, followed by a Jack Ingram jump-shot and a free throw by Miles as part of a 5-0 Jazz run. Alan Anderson would cut it to a 63-59 lead but Ingram would steal the ball and give it up to Nelson for a lay-up. On the next play Melvin Scott would find Kris Humphries for an easy lay-up and a 68-59 lead. The Bobcats would try to mount a comeback but it was too little too late, the Jazz would get the victory.
Players to watch:
Jermaine Boyette: Again Boyette looked like he didnít know how to run the offense. He continually turned the ball over when pressured.
Kris Humphries: he looked good again. Humphries should be a solid contributor next season.
Spencer Nelson: Scrappy player who does everything, he probably wonít be in the NBA but could surprise many in the minor leagues.
Andre Owens: Owens had another good game and showed he could be a back up in the NBA, it may be a long shot but he does handle pressure and double teams well.
Melvin Scott: Like Owens handles pressure well and was the orchestrator of the Jazz run during the 3rd quarter. Probably not NBA quality but could make an impact in the NBDL.
Mike Wilkinson: for a big man he has good ball handling skills, Decent shooter too. Probably not NBA ready but keep an eye on him he could do well somewhere else.
Sean May: Needs some more work before he does a lot in the NBA. He needs to get meaner, he tends to shy away at times.
Alan Anderson: he could be a good player in the NBA, doesnít do anything particularly good but just does enough to help his team get by.
Antonio Meeking: Big guy who is good around the basket. Meeking could be in the NBA next year on a team looking for a rebounder.