Sunday, 13 July 2014

NBA Las Vegas summer league day 2 Australian player update

4 Aussies made appearances in day 2 of the Las Vegas Summer league.
Chris Goulding started the day off with another starting role with the Dallas Mavericks.  The Mavs managed to get the win over the Minnesota Timberwolves 93-85 after they had a loss in yesterdays game to the Knicks.Goulding played 15 minutes and finished with a total of 6 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist however his best stat was probably his +15 in the +/- column leading the team. He made some good defensive plays getting an offensive foul and on another play made a block only to be called for the foul. Goulding shot 2/3 from the floor for his 6 points but he will need to touch the ball a lot more for him to really get going like we are all so used to seeing in the NBL.
Cameron Bairstow had his first professional start for the Chicago bulls and he put in a solid effort in their 85-70 win over the LA Clippers. Bairstow had 8 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist in 32 minutes of game time. He played some good defense, set some strong screens and made it to the hole on several occasions, however he didn't get as many touches as I'm sure he was hoping for. As a post player its hard to get into the offense when your not fed the ball. Tony Snell had a huge game for the Bulls racking up 27 points shooting 10/14 from the floor.

In what was a very anticipated game for the Utah Jazz fans, they finally got a chance to see what their number 5 pick in this years draft Dante Exum could do. In a close game that the Philedelphia 76ers managed to close out in the last minute 74-70 Dante showed how much of a facilitator he could be and got several of his players some open shots and plays around the basket. Exum had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 27 minutes of game time. He wasn't shooting the ball great going 4/10 from the floor but his basketball IQ and speed was on display as fans got to see some nice finishes around the rim. Exum's opening basket of the night was a big alley-oop dunk off a pass from Trey Burke which got the fans into the game early. In what may be one of Exums best stat lines was his 1 turnover in a play which he quickly stole the ball back and dunked it in. The Summer league often has a large number of turnovers and often low shooting percentages. Although Exum looked a little out of shape getting tired early its a good start for the young kid from Australia showing some huge potential in the coming years.
Brock Motum who is also from Australia got some court time with the Utah Jazz and after a rocky start
finished the game strong with a big dunk off a missed Exum three pointer. Motum finished the game with 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Full highlights from the game can be seen below which include Exums alley-oop, his steal and dunk as well as Motums dunk off the Exum miss:

Also James Ennis who played last year with the Perth Wildcats in the Australian NBL has been putting on a show in his run of Summer league games and has recently made the top 5 rookie ladder. Ennis who narrowly missed out on the league MVP in Australia had 19 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist in the Miami heats 92-81 win over the Houston Rockets.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

2 Aussies with starting roles in day 1 of the NBA Las Vegas summer league

The NBA summer league is well and truly underway but it has finally begun for those of us who are following the young Australians hoping to make an NBA roster.
There are 4 Aussies hoping to play well enough to continue onto the final rosters of an NBA team at this years Las Vegas Summer league and today 2 of them had starting roles.
Mathew Dellavedova was the starting point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers who took on the Milwaukee Bucks in a highly anticipated bout between the number 1 (Andrew Wiggins) and number 2 (Jabari Parker) draft picks from the this years NBA draft. 
Wiggins dominated and lead all scoring for the game with 18 points but last years number one pick Anthony Bennett looks to be in good form and finished with 15. Hopefully Bennett can put his rough start in last season behind him and play the way a number draft pick should. Mathew Dellavedova although not getting much attention behind his star draft pick team mates had a stellar game finishing with 13 points, 6 assists and 9 rebounds. Hopefully he will continue his impressive performances from last season. Delly finished last season with the highest +/- score on the whole cavaliers roster. With the addition of Lebron James in the line up and the removal of Jarret Jack lets hope Delly gets the minutes to run the point as hopefully the back up point guard for Kyrie Irving.
Here's a clip of a Delly assist to a huge dunk from Anthony Bennett

Chris Goulding had a starting role for the Dallas Mavericks when they matched up against the New
York Knicks. Goulding however did not have the stellar start Delly did and didn't make the impact I'm sure he was hoping to make with only 6 points off 2 from 7 from the 3 point line. The Mavericks must see some potential in the young NBL star to give him a starting role. Hopefully in the coming matches he will hit his rhythm and show what a hot shooter he is.

Tomorrow we will again see a few Aussies hit the court with Dante Exum making his summer league debut with the Utah Jazz as they take on the Philadelphia 76ers, Cameron Bairstow should get some decent minutes when the Chicago bulls take on the LA Clippers and hopefully Goulding will hit some shots and show what a streaky scorer he can be when the Dallas Mavericks take on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Its exciting times when Aussie basketball fans might get to see potentially 7 Australian suiting up for NBA rosters in the coming season. With established players like Andrew Bogut, Aron Baynes and Patty Mills already showing their skills lets hope more teams look down south for potential talent when scouting for bench roles.