What Happened in Vegas: Day Two

My first quarter notes say: “Christian Bale punched Liam Neeson a bunch and crashed a train.” Those notes make a little more sense when you consider that Batman Begins was on FX and it held most of my attention until it ended. Midnight on Thursday can’t come soon enough, y’all.

Three Things I Liked

  1. A competitive Summer League game. An absurd amount of these games end up between the 10-20 point range, not quite a satisfying blowout, but not close either. This game was neither. Sloppy? Absolutely. Frustrating? At times, very. But both teams were invested until the end, even if the end wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for.
  2. Confident Wes Johnson. In catch and shoot situations, Wes looked fairly comfortable, even as the clock wound down. Of course, he missed a shot that could have tied the game in the final seconds, but who is here to pick nits?
  3. Kemba Walker. I just really like Kemba. UConn up. Hush yo’ mouth.

Three Things I Didn’t Like

  1. Not confident Wes Johnson. This version of Wes surfaced every time he tried to drive. I have a buddy I play pickup ball with who is an absolutely atrocious ball-handler. When he drives to the basket, he pushes the ball out in front of him and sort of falls in the general direction of the hoop. The problem is that he often creates contact which is technically a foul on the defender. This isn’t because he’s talented, it’s simply a byproduct of his headlong dive towards the basket. Eventually, I’m going to figure out how to take the ball from him, and his best move will be ineffective.

    This is what is happening to Wes whenever he puts the ball on the floor to get to the hoop. He crashes toward the basket and forces up a terrible shot that technically is a foul on the defender. But it will only work in Summer League.

  2. Derrick Williams, 3 Point Shooter (still). D-Will was 0-4 from three point range, and at this point, I expect every three he takes to clank harmlessly off the rim.
  3. Minnesota’s 20 person roster. It’s…too many people, guys. Pro tip: when 10 players on your roster didn’t get ANY time in a Summer League game, you’ve gone completely overboard.

Three Things We Learned

  1. Byron Mullens is a monster. At least, against players relegated to Summer League by the 10th worst team in the NBA last season.
  2. Wes Johnson is still Wes Johnson. Does learning that someone hasn’t changed count as learning something? Wes is still Wes. Don’t expect much more.
  3. Robbie Hummel could conceivably be good. It might be fun to see more than 14 minutes for Hummel sometime, which might be tough given, you know, the 20 person roster. But Hummel looks fairly healthy, and his three point shooting already looks comfortable. Since that’s all the Timberwolves need from Hummel, this is definitely a good sign.