First and foremost, let me apologize to my hoop heads for not hitting you off with summer fresh scented NBA action from Sin City. My boss, (we’ll call him Mr. Spacely) has been hating big time on the whole web surfing-at-the-office thing, saying how back in his day, they blogged on stone tablets and threw them across rivers to reach their readers. But enough about all that, lets get into something I did manage to check out, the last game of the Wizards’ summer league squad.
For what its worth, you can tell that there is no substitute for NBA experience. Haven’t you noticed that the 12th man on your favorite team can’t even sniff playing time during the season, but he breaks out and destroys people in summer league? It’s because even though he might not see actual time on the hardwood, he’s practicing with, and playing against, NBA talent on a daily basis.
Yesterday that lesson was evident as my Wizards and Bucks clashed (antlers and magic wands were everywhere).
To get you all caught up real quick, our Russian import, Alexeiy Pecherov (why’d he change the “O” to an “A”?) has been the guy most closely watched by DC brass. Last year, it was Andray Blatche, and he turned out to have a pretty decent season this year coming off the bench. Thus far, Pecherov (I’m gonna nickname him “Smirnoff Ice”) has been a pleasant surprise, with a Toni Kukoc body and a Kevin Garnett mindset. However, the Rooski sat this one out with a tweaked ankle, so local product Mike Hall (George Washington) put on the hardhat and went to work early.
Brew City’s team was without their main summer league guy, Lynn Greer, who many fans will remember from his days as a Temple Owl. Tonight another second year Buck stepped up in the form of Carolina’s own David Noel (12pts, 4 rebs). Milwaukee jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, with Noel Felix and David Noel (anyone see a red/green/Noel/Christmas theme with the Bucks this year?).
Mike Hall (17pts, 6 rebs, 1 from downtown), basically put an end to the reindeer games when he went bezerk before the half. I remember him at G-Dub, being a talented forward, but tonight he showed everything in his toolbox, the rebounds, the smooth stroke and the ability to score after being hacked. He might as well have been wearing a mean, dark pair of shades because he was truly “Balllllllin’. Another bright spot was Dominic McGuire from Fresno State. He seems like an Etan Thomas type, but with 3 times the athleticism, without the hesitation on offense (and did I mention he can shoot free throws?).
Speedy guard Brian Chase had some nice moves, and was kinda like the second coming of Earl Boykins (Boykins Vista?) as he broke some ankles and had a few nice dishes.
For Milwaukee, to be without their top man in Greer, they put up a good game with Noel, Ramon Sessions (10pts, 3ast) and ex-Wiz Awvee Story getting some burn. Damir Markota looks like he’ll be good, but he needs to hit the weights before someone snaps him in two.
I think Mike Hall and McGuire are locks to get a spot on the squad, and I think Smirnoff Ice is going to show once again how Ernie Grunfeld can find amazing NBA talent, using just a compass, magnifying glass and trail mix. When training camp comes, we’ll see who sticks…