Monday, July 19, 2004

Bless you, NBA TV

Yes, jealous readers, I get NBA TV, and that means thrilling summer league action. But as it turns out, the idea of watching the Bulls summer league team was more exciting than the result. Summer league play is bad bad bad, there are about 57 non-groupies in the stands, and the announcer's microphone sounded like it was halfway down his throat the entire game. But here are some other observations while I half-watched and flipped back to see another Cub loss:

  • One battle I was looking forward to see in these games was Jannero Pargo against Chris Duhon. Depending on how the Jamal Crawford situation plays out, these two could be going after one spot. I have an innate hatred of Duhon, since...he played for Duke. (Keep in mind this does not apply to Luol Deng. Duhon has the DickieV contingent propping his status, Deng is simply good.) But I must admit Duhon looked like he knew what he was doing tonight, so maybe Pargo does have a battle. I'm guessing that Duhon has a slight advantage in Skiles' eyes because he is a low-mistake player.
  • The 2003 2nd round draft picks, Tommy Smith and Mario Austin each looked pretty bad. This was the first I had seen them since their respective overseas adventures(of which Austin's I'm sure you know by now). Austin got outmuscled for rebounds all night, something he needs to work on unless he simply wants to become a less talented Marcus Fizer. Tommy Smith put on some weight and looks good (I guess he was a skinny boy when they drafted him), but looked overmatched at the 4, as I saw 2 shots get thrown back down his grill. I would like to see if he is quick enough to guard the 3, at 6'10" he could give a real matchup problem.
  • This year's two lottery picks, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon, each had their moments. Deng finished with  20 points and showed great touch around the basket. I was worried about his athleticism but it seems with his length he has little trouble getting his shot off. He did seem to like to push the ball up the court though, with ugly results. Gotta knock that Dukie recklessness out of him. Gordon had 19, and was in pure scorer mode. The team will need him to do this every night, especially if Jamal is gone.
  • One problem so far in the Summer league has been the lack of 3-point shooting. The entire team had 1 made 3-pointer, by former Wisconsin star Kirk Penny in a halftime buzzer-beater. They have made a total of 5 3-point field goals in 3 games. That's...not promising.

For all the Summer League info you could ever want, go to the official page of the Rocky Mountain Revue.