We all miss basketball right? Well, I guess we miss anything that isn’t baseball so don’t worry for too long, the NBA Summer League is back and its going to be exciting. Let me get you ready for it…
This year, 2 international teams will be featured and I love it… Team Croatia and Team China join the party. Two very good basketball countries that add a different facet to the tourney. Both teams feature NBA players and notably Croatia will be a big problem. With players like Dario Saric and Bogan Bogdanovic , they are really good. We are still waiting for the full rosters and whose actually going to be featured from both countries, but either way its going to be interesting and to me Croatia is a favorite to win it all.
Ja Morant will NOT play throughout Summer League and that’s disappointing. He’s recovering from minor knee surgery and even though he should be fine during the duration of the league, the Grizz are obviously taking precautions to protect him.
The Cavs have looked terrible in 2 primer games at Utah Summer League. Darius Garland and Kevin Porter have both not played and its unclear when and if they will play in Las Vegas. Keep abreast of that situation because without them this is a bad roster with limited scoring, evident in there loss Tuesday where they scored just 71 points.
We get Zion vs RJ on the first night! The two former Duke players will square off in front of a pricy sold out crowd Friday night. I personally believe that the Knicks team is one of the best in Summer League and am obviously excited to see both of these young men take the court in some game action. The Knicks feature experienced NBA players in Kevin Knox, Alonzo Trier, Kadeem Allen and Mitchell Robinson as well as top 5 pick RJ Barrett.
Jimmer Fredette is still fighting… The former BYU great and notable China star is with the Warriors and trying to showcase his talent. For a team that needs shooters and his NBA experience, he should be able to find a place. He’s been a bit rusty thus far out in early Utah Summer League action and is going to need to have a big couple of weeks. “I feel like I’m as good as I’ve ever been in my career.” Fredette said. “And I hope to show it.”
In early week action as we get ready for Friday:
Spurs have looked good. Lonnie Walker seems to be too good for anyone in this league and Keldon Johnson had 29 last night IN JUST 25 MINUTES. With Luka Samanic and a few other notables, this Spurs team is going to be a force.
I really like this Jazz team in LV. I bet them at 24/1 to win it. Tony Bradley is a 3rd year player that has had a good week in Utah. Two games and two double doubles for the former UNC big, and he had a huge 26/16 and 3 block game last night vs Cleveland. Utah also features Justin Wright Foreman, a go after it guard who can score score score, just think Lou Williams. JWF is just a guy that gets buckets. He’s had a big week too and the 2 of them might be quite the duo. They are also flush with perimeter shooters and have a high flyer in Miye Oni. Watch out for the Jazz.
Remember Kendrick Nunn? The former Oakland Golden Grizzlies guard is playing really well and doing what he does best. Last night dropped 27 for the Heat in a win. Pair him with shooters in Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro with Yante Maten and Chris Silva down low, watch out. The boys from South Beach have a leader this July in Nunn.
PICK TO WIN IT: KNICKS
CAVS (IF GARLAND AND PORTER DON’T PLAY)
TEAM THAT WILL HAVE ALOT OF OVERS-
ROCKETS: Plenty of scoring guards on this team with bigs that can run and score.
As always you can follow me on Twitter @jeffnadu