An invite to play for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Summer League prompted Chace Stanback’s return to Las Vegas this week.
Listening to him describe a trip to his favorite restaurant, one would think he may have come back just for the chicken fingers.
“(Raising) Cane’s,” Stanback said with a smile when asked about the one place he had to get back to while in town. “Caniac combo, no cole slaw, extra toast. Large sweet tea.”
It would be hard to blame the former UNLV star if he would have cited the food as the highlight of his trip before Friday night. Stanback had played a total of six minutes over the first five games, with all of those coming in one game.
That changed when he started and played 21 minutes in a 91-84 loss to Memphis as Denver wrapped up a 1-5 run in the league.
“It felt pretty good,” he said of seeing action on his old college court at the Thomas & Mack Center. “It’s always good to be back out there. Everything is very familiar when you step on a court you played on for three years. It was a great feeling.”
Stanback hit just 1 of 6 shots and went 0-for-4 from 3-point range, but did have four rebounds, a steal and an assist. He also scored two points in limited action Tuesday.
“It was a great experience,” he said of his time with the Nuggets. “I got to play against top-notch players and to learn what the Nuggets organization is all about. It was a great opportunity for me.”
Now, it’s a waiting game once again as Stanback will continue working out and waiting to hear from his agent on what opportunities are available to him.
Stanback played briefly in Europe before a stint with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League last season. He started two games and played in 16 for the team based in northwest Pennsylvania, averaging 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds. Stanback’s most important contribution came in knocking down 43.2 percent (16 of 37) of his 3-point shots.
He also proved adaptable after growing up in Los Angeles and playing most of his collegiate career in Las Vegas.
“It was a lot different,” Stanback said. “The population isn’t as big, and there’s a lot of snow. It was definitely a lot different from here. But I was able to adjust.”
■\u2007McLEMORE BOUNCES BACK — The wild swings in play exhibited by No. 7 draft pick Ben McLemore continued Friday as the former Kansas star erupted for 27 points in Sacramento’s 93-87 win over Atlanta.
McLemore hit 10 of 21 shots on his way to his best offensive output in five games. The strong performance helped raise his shooting percentage to 33.3 percent, though his 2-for-8 effort from 3-point range helped improve that number only slightly to 19.4 percent.
McLemore started things in Las Vegas with an 8-for-23 performance in an 11-point effort. He then needed 12 shots to score 14 points before seemingly righting the ship with 26 points Tuesday against Toronto. Concerns were raised again after an 0-for-8 game on Wednesday against Minnesota in which he scored one point.
Then came Friday.
“This whole summer league, my shot wasn’t falling. I just had to make some adjustments, get some extra shots in, watch some film, things like that,” he said. “I kept shooting the ball, and it turned out good for me.”
■\u2007TOURNEY HEATS UP — Eight teams remain as the first NBA Summer League playoff tournament begins quarterfinal action today at 1 p.m.
All remaining games will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center, starting with four games today. Top-seeded Golden State, which hasn’t lost a summer league game since 2010, plays the Lakers tonight at 7.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.