The point of the NBA summer league is to see how those who were recently drafted perform and whether they will adapt to the NBA. Unfortunately many could not come to that conclusion with many of the top drafted players either being tested or injured.
Those who did play unfortunately disappointed as it seemed that the harsh reality had dawned on them that the NBA is going to be very different compared to that of college ball.
Grizzlies Impress In Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada played host to this years annual NBA summer league which offered up a few surprises. The biggest one of them all being the fact that 18 seeded Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in an enthralling 95-92 win. The victory not only meant that they won the league but also improved their record to an impressive 6-1, what made the victories even sweeter was that they did so without their number 2 overall pick in Ja Morant who sat out with a minor knee injury.
The Road To The Finals
On their way to the final the Grizzlies defeated favorites Boston Celtics and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Timberwolves came into the tournament as the number 3 seed and defeated the Dallas Mavericks to reach the final. Before the Championship final the Summer League first team and second team was announced. Rounding out the first team was Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jarret Allen, Kendrick Nunn, Mitchell Robinson and Brandon Clarke. The Second Team consisted of Anfernee Simons, Lonnie Walker IV, Chris Boucher, Rui Hachimura and Jaxson Hayes.
Who Scooped MVP?
The MVP award was fiercely sought after and only one player could win it. The player to steal that award was Brandon Clarke, along with it the summer league MVP he also won the championship MVP. He became the first player ever to win both awards. In the championship final he put on a spectacle scoring 15 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. His overall stats weren’t right at the very top but the Grizzlies can be content knowing they have a future star on their roster. Clarke averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and shot 55 percent from the floor throughout the leagues duration.
Bright Future For Brandon Clarke
With his great offensive game, especially his long range shooting abilities he has proved that he belongs in the NBA and that he should prosper. Grizzlies are a lower tier side in the NBA at best, especially with the incredible strength many teams have gained. They will need their youngsters to step up and take charge come the start of the season.
Has RJ Gone Bust?
One of the hottest debated topics at this years summer league was that of RJ Barrett. The Knicks forward and number 3 overall pick struggles throughout the campaign despite improving little by little every week. His first two games were horrific, he forced man shots and lost possession which ended up costing his team. The Knicks overall were extremely disappointing which was shocking considering that they had returning players play. Barrett is still the biggest disappointment with most expecting him to play better than he has. Only time will tell if he can make it in the NBA and live up to the hype.