Thrilling finish to Summer League


Thrilling finish to Summer League

Mark Tyndale hit a 3-pointer over two defenders as the buzzer sounded to give the D-League Stars team a 79-78 win over the Clippers in the final game of the NBA Vegas Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday night.
The D-League team had plenty of time when the possession began, but the ball was knocked into the backcourt. Tyndale retrieved it and dribbled through traffic before launching the desperation heave just before the buzzer.
It swished right through the net, setting off a celebration in the crowd.
Even the NBA TV broadcast team jumped up in jubilation and started slapping high-fives with the triumphant players.
Tyndale finished with 19 points, while Mike Gansey and Curtis Withers each recorded double-doubles.
Gansey had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Withers added 14 and 10.
The Clippers led by as many as 20 points and the D-League team trailed by 12 entering the final period.
Al-Farouq Aminu paced Los Angeles with a game-high 21 points.
Over at Cox Pavilion, Dominique Jones had 17 points and seven assists  to lead Dallas to a 85-54 win over Sacramento in the final game of the event at the venue.
Rodrigue Beaubois added 15 points, while Jeremy Lin had 12 points and five rebounds in the win.
Sylven Landesberg had 13 points to pace Sacramento. Devan Downey came off the bench to score 11 points.
The Kings made just 25.4 percent of their shots from the field and went 1-for-9 from 3-point range.


Thanks for playing

The Kings looked disinterested in the game form the very beginning, including No. 5 pick DeMarcus Cousins, who finished with six points and six rebounds in a game in which he shot 1-for-12 from the floor.
The former Kentucky center completely disappeared for long stretches of the game and posted by far his worst performance.
The complete lack of energy in a game he should have probably dominated could send a red flag to the organization.
Then again, the Kings had to be blown away by his performance in the first three games this week.
Cousins played three great games, then an average one and finished with an absolute clunker.
There were certainly plenty of good signs to balance out the bad, but if he were my first-round pick, I’d be very concerned.


Owner matchup

One of the most interesting parts of the Sacramento-Dallas game was the matchup between the owners of the respective franchises.
The Maloof brothers and Mark Cuban are about as high-profile as it gets among NBA owners, or at least they were until some 8-foot-tall Russian guy bout the Nets.
The Maloofs have been at just about every day and appear to be loving every minute of summer league action.
Mark Cuban has been here for most of the games, though I haven’t spotted him yet today.
The common thread is that all of them genuinely seem to love their teams just as much as the fans. It’s very refreshing to see that from owners.
Also, they are all approachable. Cuban and the Maloofs have been taking time out to meet with fans all week.
Cuban was even seen at the concession stand buying ice cream for a big group of kids from a local summer camp early in the week.
It was a great gesture, but I can’t help but thinking how creepy that story could be if taken out of context.


Mini Battle

Devan Downey was an explosive scorer at South Carolina, but is considered a long shot in the NBA because of his size.
At just 5-foot-9, Downey is likely to have trouble covering some of the bigger point guards in the league.
He was able to pick on someone his own size in the fourth quarter, however, as he ran the Sacramento offense.
Downey was matched up with Dallas point guard Josh Mayo, a former Illinois-Chicago star.
Mayo is listed as 6-0, but was no taller than Downey when standing next to each other.
It was a very entertaining matchup as they went at it on both ends of the floor.
It almost looked as if two of the players had brought their sons to play in the game.
The crazy thing is, Downey and Mayo are average-sized adults.
It really makes you appreciate the size of the players in the NBA.


Make up your mind

John Wall was named the NBA Vegas Summer League’s Most Outstanding Player, and with good reason.
The No. 1 pick in last month’s draft led the event in points and assists.
It seems like an easy call.
Somehow, his former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Month for July, an award that was presented before his disastrous final game.
What’s the difference?
The summer league is really all that has gone on this month, so what did Cousins do away from here to wrestle that award away from Wall?
Cousins averaged 16.2 points and led the league in rebounding with 10.6 per game entering Sunday’s contest, and he played well.
But it wasn’t good enough to get MOP, so how was it good enough to get rookie of the month?
The voting process needs to be completely overhauled. This is really an outrage.
Hopefully, you can sense the sarcasm.
Nobody cares much about summer awards, but it just doesn’t make any sense.
The rookie of the month for July should obviously be either the MOP from here or the Orlando Summer League that’s contested earlier in the month.
I just realized I wrote this entire entry about something I care absolutely nothing about.
It’s a good thing this thing is ending today. I’m apparently on the verge of losing my mind.


Conclusion

After 10 days and 58 games, the 2010 version of the NBA Vegas Summer League is mercifully over.
There have been some great moments and others that certain players would like to forget.
In the end, it’s a really cool event for fans of basketball. There’s no other city in the world that offers people the ability to see the best collection of rookies and NBA hopefuls up close.
There is a possibility of a lockout next season, which would most likely cause the cancellation of the 2011 summer league in Las Vegas.
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. It’s a great event and a real boon to the city.
I just recommend that you try not to watch games all day for all 10 days.
Trust me, you will be mentally exhausted and if you’re anything like me, you will start rambling on and on in a blog about how great of an event the Summer League is and blah, blah, blah…