I went to the 2003 Reebok Pro Summer League today. Well, mostly; in the middle of it all I snuck away to Fenway Park to help a friend buy Red Sox gear and eat good Indian food. But mostly I went to the basketball.
And then I wrote about it. But I like you, so I will not put everything I wrote on the front page.
Philly vs. NY
Lampe slipped because he’s not gonna be very good. Be thankful that Ainge didn’t draft him. Laron Profit looked good. Ron Rollerson looked big and he could shoot over Lampe pretty much at will. Kyle Korver was fun to watch, but one might question his defense. Time will tell.
SA vs. Washington
Washington had a ton of individual talent, but San Antonio played like a team. Steve Blake and Juan Dixon look great together but that’s about it. Devin Brown had an insane reverse dunk.
NJ vs. Dallas
I was very disappointed that Herren had to sit the game out. Jemeil Rich started at PG: 5’10”. Ooog, painful. Good news for Rich: he was able to abuse Danny Earl. Bad news: Zoran Planinic was able to hold Rich down without much trouble.
Planinic was indeed a steal. Not flashy but I think he’ll be a good backup for Kidd. He’s very patient, doesn’t look for his own shot, and plays defense. He’s tall, too.
Scalabrine got my vote for most annoying player of the day. Talked a lot, bad hands, lousy shot. Like Antoine except not at all talented. Did rebound, though.
Jonathan Kerner was fun to watch. He seemed to have a good handle on the game, but no physical skills to speak of other than being 6’11”.
Boston vs. Atlanta
Marcus Banks would have gone in the top five if he was three inches taller, by which I mean “if he was 6’3”.” We were watching him guard Dan Dickau going “Dude, he’s shorter than Dickau and Dickau’s listed as six feet even.”
Doesn’t matter. Banks is just about as fast as he says he is. I just read someone saying “Well, someone’s gotta rebound for Banks to fast break.” Nope, Banks is perfectly capable of breaking off a made basket. He’s just that fast.
I’m looking forward to seeing Banks play TJ Ford a lot. Also Iverson. No kidding. He would have gotten a ton of assists if he’d had anyone to reliably dish the ball to on the wing… oh, he did get a ton of assists. Well, he would have gotten a MILLION BILLION assists if he’d had reliable shooters, then.
Oh. Bremer. Man, he needs to shake off that shooting problem he had. I mean, really needs to. Really really.
Kedrick was a non-presence. Practically not there. It weirded me out. He does not go after the game — I don’t mean he doesn’t go after the ball, cause he hustles, but he doesn’t look for a shot much. I am no longer sure O’Brien was wrong to sit the guy.
Yeah, yeah, what about Brandon Hunter? He’s an incredibly tough looking… six foot seven power forward. So is he Danny Fortson or Dennis Rodman? I dunno. I would frankly be OK with seeing him play overseas for a year; I would also be OK with him joining the Celtics as (effectively) backup for Baker when Baker falls back off the wagon.
He works his ass off. He is a better shooter than Fortson. He seems to have a 15’ jump shot; it may or may not be consistent.
There is not a team in the league that would trade Antoine Walker for Brandon Hunter. I say this because I know someone’s gonna say “Hunter ought to start!” Not at the beginning of the season. If he becomes the PF off the bench and plays well against guys who are four inches taller than he is — then a Walker trade becomes even more attractive. But there is no guarantee.
Let me put it this way. He didn’t dominate the game. He was a force, but I would not say that he ate Atlanta’s no-name front line for lunch. So — we’ll see.
Dan Dickau really wants to play in the NBA a lot. Good luck to him. Boris Diaw is not all that, but he’s about half of a bag of chips.
Cleveland vs. Milwaukee
I think the Bucks will be OK with Ford. Also it was really fun watching Ford take the ball from LeBron. Also it was interesting watching the Cavs field something pretty close to their starting five cause they got run over by TJ Ford and the even smaller Terrell McIntyre. I took off after the first quarter so maybe things changed but there’s no excuse for Cleveland to start Diop and not dominate against a team that averages about six feet tall. Not that Diop is good, but he’s seven feet tall. His head was in a different time zone than most of Milwaukee’s team.
LeBron at point won’t work. He played point about like Antoine does, which is to say, it’s good for Cleveland to have that option but it is not so good for it to be the only option. I will be laughing if Kevin Ollie starts at point.
Halfassed Crack At Celtics Rotation
C: Battie, Blount
PF: Walker, Baker until he falls off the wagon then Hunter
SF: Pierce, Williams
SG: Delk, Brown
PG: Banks, Bremer
McCarty as the spot enthusiasm since he can fill in just about anywhere if someone’s having an off night. Bremer sees little actual play cause Delk can fall back and play a little point with Brown at SG. Or start Brown and let Delk spell both Brown and Banks, but I think you want Delk and Banks on the floor at the same time because you want to see Banks driving and dishing to Pierce and Delk. Yes you do.