53°F
weather icon Clear

NBA Summer League roundup: Trail Blazers go with veterans

Thursday’s results

San Antonio 106, Charlotte 105

Minnesota 78, Chicago 59

Brooklyn 84, Washington 81 (2 OT)

Indiana 97, Portland 64

Boston 108, Orlando 71

Toronto 92, Houston 76

Philadelphia 96, Atlanta 88 (OT)

Phoenix 90, Denver 84

Friday’s schedule

1 p.m.: Minnesota vs. Milwaukee, NBA TV (T&M)

2 p.m.: Miami vs. Utah, ESPNU (COX)

3 p.m.: New Orleans vs. Cleveland, NBA TV (T&M)

4 p.m.: Golden State vs. Oklahoma City , ESPN2 (COX)

5 p.m.: New York vs. Detroit, NBA TV (T&M)

6 p.m.: Memphis vs. Sacramento, ESPNU (COX)

7 p.m.: L.A. Lakers vs. L.A. Clippers, NBA TV (T&M)

Spotted

Former UNLV player Derrick Jones Jr. watched his Trail Blazers play the Pacers at the Thomas & Mack Center. Despite going undrafted in 2016, he’s become a highlight reel, which is no surprise for Rebels fans. Jones won the NBA Slam Dunk contest in 2020.

Reigning WNBA MVP and Aces star A’ja Wilson took in the action. She didn’t appear to have her Olympic gold medal on her, bucking a recent trend.

Paige Bueckers, last season’s national college player of the year, also was in attendance. According to the Wall Street Journal, the UConn sophomore could make $1 million a year thanks the NCAA standards regarding name, image and likeness being changed.

Actual NBA players

The Trail Blazers are as close to a real NBA team as there is at Summer League.

They decided to play several veterans rather than put out a roster full of first- and second-year players.

And the Blazers are playing like a veteran team. At least they were before losing by 33 points on Thursday to the Pacers, which left Portland Summer League coach Roy Rogers wondering if the sun actually would come up the next morning.

The question is why the Blazers went with this approach.

“What happens sometimes in Summer League is young guys tend to press a little bit and take ill-advised shots,” Rogers said. “We thought we could have some veteran players so those young guys could feel comfortable and play more into their role in the regular season.”

On the Summer League roster are 11-year veteran Michael Beasley, eight-year vet Kenneth Faried and fifth-year pro Emmanuel Mudiay. Players who probably thought their Summer League days were far behind them, but Beasley and Faried are doing what they can to find their way onto an NBA roster.

Only three other players on Summer League rosters are in their fifth year or later — the Nets’ Brandon Knight, the Warriors’ Gary Payton II and the Spurs’ Skal Labissiere.

“There are not lot of vets on any (other) Summer League teams,” Blazers rookie Greg Brown III said. “We’ve got the most of them, so they know what it’s like to be in an NBA practice, an NBA game, an NBA locker room. So I try to feel what they’re talking about.”

Cox is rocking

The marquee matchups typically go to the Thomas & Mack, but easily the best games the past two days were at Cox Pavilion.

Thursday’s opener between the Spurs and Hornets was decided with less than a second remaining on an acrobatic shot. That was followed by a double-overtime game between the Wizards and Nets, which meant a sudden-death ending. The Nets won it on Cam Thomas’ 28-foot 3-pointer. The final game of the night there went to overtime, with the 76ers defeating the Hawks.

Two of the three games at Cox on Wednesday went into double overtime.

Player of the day

Spurs point guard Tre Jones drove the lane, hung in the air and double-clutched before making the winning layup with 0.4 seconds left to beat the Hornets. It was the capper of an outstanding game for Jones, who had 34 points and nine assists.

Thomas of the Nets deserves at least an honorable mention. Not only did he make the game-winner from deep, he also scored 31 points.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Jalen Johnson continues to impress for Hawks

Jalen Johnson, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, continued to impress for the Hawks. He had 25 points, seven rebounds and three steals as one of the best players in the league thus far.

Former Rebel returns to Las Vegas as NBA agent

Former UNLV wing Jordan Cornish returned to the Thomas & Mack Center this week for the first time since leaving the program in 2016. He’s now an NBA agent with Beyond Athlete Management.