Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Leaguers

The NBA Summer League is over and the Rockets contingent played to mixed reviews. To keep it simple, I'll only address the four Rockets participants that stand a good chance of making the team this year (in alphabetical order).

Aaron Brooks (B-): Since the Rockets drafted forwards this year, Brooks' development is more important than ever. He said before the Summer League began that he was going to concentrate on playmaking. In that regard, he did fairly well, averaging 7 assists in his five starts versus 2.8 turnovers. Shooting was another story. He scored 16.8 ppg, but only hit at a 37% clip, including a miserable 20% from beyond the arc. Considering the level of competition, that's not good enough.

Joey Dorsey (Incomplete): Joey only played in two games, spraining his ankle in mid-tournament. In those 2 games, he hit a gaudy 82.4% of his shots and grabbed 27 rebounds. He also had 4 turnovers and 6 fouls per game. At the end of the 3rd game, Dorsey was on the bench in street clothes and harrassed the referee until he drew a technical foul. The Rockets were ahead by three at the time with only a few seconds to play. The Nuggets hit the free throw and tied the game with a two-pointer at the buzzer. Denver went on to win the game in OT. Right now, Dorsey is a young man with a lot of potential - and a lot to learn.

Donte Greene (A-): The second-highest scorer in all of the Summer League, Donte averaged 22.6 ppg, shooting 42.5% from the field and hit 36.8% of his 3-pointers. But at 6' 9", he only grabbed 3.6 rpg and turned the ball over 3 times per game. At this point in his career though, I'll take the scoring and build from there. That is, after all, what he was drafted to do.

Mike Harris (C+): Mike is a known commodity to the Rockets. He joined the team in mid-season last year and added much-needed depth to the bench. In his five games in the Summer League, he averaged 13.4 ppg and hit 59.2% of his shots. At only 6' 6", he pulled down 7.6 rebounds per game, but his play was erratic. He averaged 2.8 TO's, seven in one game against Washington. Based on his height and talent levels, Harris is an over-achiever, but a workaholic player like him can be a real asset in the locker room and on the bench.

Like I said, mixed reviews. But this competition will only weigh a little bit on who gets the last 2 or 3 positions on the bench next season. Mostly it is just good practice for the youngsters and gives the rookies a small taste of what it will be like at the next level.

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