Las Vegas NBA Summer League Standouts: Blazers Damian Lillard and Grizzlies Josh Selby Named Co-MVP’s

Sports Media World was out in Las Vegas for 10 days to cover the Las Vegas NBA Summer League while also catching up with players, various media, agents and our league wide network of friends. CBS Sports Ben Golliver takes a look at some of the best performances during the past week: 

Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard defends against New Orleans Hornets' Austin Rivers during an NBA Summer League basketball game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday, July 15, 2012 in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Summer League Standouts & Surprises

Memphis Grizzlies G Josh Selby: The 2012 second-round pick shared co-MVP honors with Lillard after torching the competition throughout the week. The explosive, undersized shooting guard’s signature performance came when he scored 35 points against the Washington Wizards and he was a crowd favorite for his fearless attitude and quick trigger. He will join an ultra-intriguing Grizzlies backcourt that includes Mike Conley, Tony Allen and 2012 first-round pick Tony Wroten, who showed flashes of brilliant passing and elite athleticism all week.

Houston Rockets F Royce White: An intimidating frontline presence who boasts a soft-touch passing ability rarely seen for a player of his size, White averaged 8.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists on a Rockets squad that was the most entertaining to watch all week. A potential match-up nightmare thanks to his strange combination of bulk, vision and versatility, he should see real court time this season.

Washington Wizards G Bradley Beal: For a one-and-done player, Beal impressed with his maturity, consistency and steadiness. Perhaps he could have exerted more influence over Washington’s games but he played within himself and scored in a variety of ways, notching double figures in all five of Washington’s games. The Florida guard has NBA size, handle, quickness and showed some range too. He has the chance to be a special player if the consistency of his jump shot continues to develop.

Milwaukee Bucks F John Henson: The UNC product stood out from the rookie big man crowd for his mobility and feel. Known mostly for his shot-blocking and length, Henson got plenty of touches and shots in this scene and 20+ points twice. While his rebounding numbers were up and down, he stepped out to hit from range and showed nice footwork on defense. He may get bullied at the NBA level but he wasn’t in Las Vegas.

Golden State Warriors F Harrison Barnes: On paper, Barnes to the Warriors seemed like a great fit positionally and he didn’t disappoint in a sensational debut, scoring 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting in a blowout win over the Lakers. His shooting touch didn’t last the entire week but he did score in double figures every game. Conventional wisdom is that his game is better suited for the pros than college and nothing that happened in Las Vegas contradicted that. The wing pairing with 2011 Lottery pick Klay Thompson, who looked exceptional during the two games he played, has serious long-term potential.

Houston Rockets F Donatas Motiejunas: The entire Rockets team (Jeremy Lamb, Terrence Jones, etc.) could make this list, but the 2011 first-round pick deserves some love because he was a forgotten man after he stayed abroad last season. He’s improved greatly and added strength since he made the international showcase tour as a youngster and his skill level and footwork looked very advanced, especially compared to the competition in this setting. He averaged 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Milwaukee Bucks F Tobias Harris: Harris was a bit player during his rookie season but his big body was often too much to handle for the wing defenders in Las Vegas. He scored 18+ in each of Milwaukee’s five games and played above the rim at times.

Charlotte Bobcats F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: The biggest lament from this year’s Summer League was that the 2012 Draft’s No. 2 pick played just one game. He looked like a teenaged man among boys in scoring 18 points and grabbing 8 rebounds against the Kings, but he sat out the rest of the week because of a sore knee. Maybe the most likeable person in this year’s Draft class, Kidd-Gilchrist would have pushed hard for MVP honors had he been on the court. Bobcats fans, for once, are in good hands.

Sports Media World’s Top Performers from Las Vegas Summer League Include: Jeremy Lamb, Terrance Jones, Jae Crowder, Damian Lillard, Josh Selby, Terrance Ross, Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Scott Machado and Tyler Zeller.

Special Thanks To Warren Legarie, The NBA, Liron, The Palms Resort & Casino and UNLV.

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Posted on July 23, 2012, in NBA and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Las Vegas NBA Summer League Standouts: Blazers Damian Lillard and Grizzlies Josh Selby Named Co-MVP’s.

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