The Las Vegas Summer League is in full swing and we’re looking at our five favorite plays from Saturday’s 10-game slate. 888sport provides all the following odds:
The usual suspects did work for the Cavs in their Summer League opener win over the Warriors. Ante Zizic had 16 points and 14 rebounds while rookie Collin Sexton went for 15 points and seven boards. Cedi Osman also double-doubled with 16 points and 14 rebounds. They looked good but admittedly did so against a marginal Wizards lineup.
They’ll face a stiffer test tonight against a talented Bulls roster that includes two first round picks in Duke’s Wendell Carter and Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison. The Bulls also have Antonio Blakeney, the G-League’s reigning Rookie of the Year who averaged 32.0 points per game. Former March Madness hero Ryan Arcidiacano will run the point for Chicago, and the Bulls should have the slight advantage here after Cleveland played last night.
The Pelicans began their Vegas Summer League with a convincing win over the Raptors, but lost point guard Frank Jackson to a sprained ankle. They’ll rely more tonight on Trevon Bluiett, who had 24 points and two assists in the win over Toronto. Cheick Diallo will look to build on his Opening Night double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Miami comes in after earning double-digit wins twice in the California Classic in Sacramento. High flyer Derrick Jones Jr., aptly nicknamed Airplane Mode, led the Classic with 19.3 points per game. If Bam Adebayo (12.3 points, 11.3 points) suits up in this one the deep Heat will have an advantage over a Jackson-less Pelicans team.
Small sample sizes be damned, this matchup is arguably the most impressive team this summer against the worst. Detroit struggled in their loss to the Bucks on Friday, scoring eight points in the first quarter and finishing with just 47. It’s clear they’re missing Luke Kennard.
On the other hand, Memphis touts three legitimate NBA contributors in guards Wayne Selden 23.0 points, 48% shooting in Utah) and Kobi Simmons (17.0 points, 51% shooting) and third overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr. (15.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 blocks). Expect all three to get run tonight against an ugly Pistons team and cruise to a win. The spread is high, but so is the talent disparity.
It’s a matchup of the No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton vs. the No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III. The Kings looked out of sorts in the two games De’Aaron Fox rested in Sacramento. He won’t play in Las Vegas, either, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Kings can find some semblance of an offense without him.
The Suns looked great in their Las Vegas debut, shooting 53 percent as a team and making 12 3-pointers. And despite them deploying four former first-round picks, it was 2017 second round pick Davon Reed who went for 18 points on 7 of 8 shooting. If they can get production from him, as well as Ayton (10 points, 8 rebounds), Mikal Bridges (14 points, 5-6 shooting) and Josh Jackson (12 points, 5 rebounds) they’ll remain one of Vegas’ most talented teams. Give the points against a Kings team struggling post-Fox.
It’s a good bet that John Collins will sit out of the Summer League. He doesn’t have much else to prove after a solid rookie season and a Utah Summer League performance where he averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds in 22.5 minutes. With that in mind, the Hawks might struggle on the interior against a very talented Knicks frontcourt.
Second-rounder Mitchell Robinson was a five-star recruit in 2017 and sat out the year but is oozing with talent. Luke Kornet also showed glimpses of potential late in last year’s NBA season as a stretch center. Add those two with No. 9 overall pick Kevin Knox, last year’s top Knicks pick Frank Ntilikina and wing Troy Williams and the Knicks, at least on paper, are one of Vegas’ more talented teams. With the assumption Collins doesn’t play for Atlanta – or only plays a handful of minutes – the Knicks should come out of the Vegas gates running.