(UPDATE: My piece from the ESPN Daily Dime on Larry Sanders)
I’m kind of liking the summer league thing. Exciting games that have me on the edge of my seat but don’t leave me feeling heartbroken when they don’t end the way I desire?
That sounds good to me.
Another day, another exciting finish that doesn’t really matter.
Milwaukee dropped their second straight Vegas Summer League game 67-64 to the Memphis Grizzlies after an exciting finish that saw Larry Sanders connect on two threes in the final 35 seconds of the game to tie it up with .7 second left for Milwaukee. Unfortunately, Sam Young of the Grizzlies finish the Bucks off with a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Videos would later reveal that the shot would not have counted were this the regular season, but we have more important things to discuss.
Like the aforementioned Sanders. My thoughts on him will be out later, so we’ll hold off there for now, just know that I’ve never seen a player do a complete 180 the way the Bucks first round pick did Tuesday night. Even better was the fact that Sanders big day came against a Grizzlies front line that featured Hasheem Thabeet and Darrell Arthur. They aren’t summer league fodder.
But there were other success stories Tuesday night.
- Tiny Gallon showed off the rebounding skill that he displayed with such ferocity at Oklahoma, grabbing 11 rebounds in 21 minutes. Gallon is certainly not afraid to use his weight to his advantage, whether it be when he’s boxing out or sealing off a defender for position. Unfortunately the weight can come bak to haunt him, as it seemed to when he looked winded in the third quarter. Gallon finished strong, grabbing four rebounds and scoring four points in the fourth quarter. Could his strong day two effort have anything to do with the pep talk he had with Glen Davis after a sub par first game? I talked to Gallon about it post game.
“Me and him are real good friends,” said Gallon. “I’ve known him since I was young. He was tellin’ me to play hard, this is a business. He said ‘you got to take it more seriously, when you get your chance you got to play hard.’”
Despite an overall strong game from Gallon, he seemed to struggle with his focus at times. When things weren’t going right for him he was vocal with his displeasure, be it towards the refs or his teammates. A possible attitude problem and his weight were what concerned teams before the draft. After coming out in the third quarter, Gallon came back with a renewed focus in the final quarter.
- In a turn of events that’s possibly more surprising than Sanders’ late three point barrage, Deron Washington has looked like JR Smith, without the crazy and bad shot-selection, so far in Vegas. Washington, a career 29.9% 3-point shooter in 49 D-League games, has now gone 6-9 from deep in two games this week. Most of the heavy lifting was done Tuesday night when Washington finished 5-7 from three. Washington finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds while continuing to fly around the court and be aggressive in using his athleticism. Hence the 8 personal fouls he racked up. Washington had this to say about his shooting prowess:
“It’s not one of my strengths, but it’s always been there,” said Washington after the game. “I just never really shot the ball much at (Virginia) Tech. Out here, you just trying to showcase your talent.”
- Darnell Jackson struggled to build on Monday’s strong summer league start for him, putting up just 2 points and failing to grab a rebound on Tuesday. He saw fewer minutes, as the Bucks bumped up Gallon’s. Jackson attempted just three shots and picked up five fouls. One thing evident about Jackson in the past two games is his physicality. A lot of guys in the NBA are big, but I haven’t seen a Buck in a long time that went looking for contact as often as Jackson. If he played 82 games, he’d surely lead the Bucks in “amount of times tied up with an opposing player before a ref makes them separate as they raise their hands and claim it’s the other holding them.”
- Sanders said his wrist was sore after the game but said “he can always fight through sore, because it’s jut a mental thing.” He played with a wrap on it … and maybe he should go ahead and just keep doing that.
- Sean Williams left after just five minutes with an ankle injury. He was walking after the game with an ice bag on his ankle and will likely get looked at tomorrow.