Sunday, July 8, 2007

Portland vs. Dallas: Summer League Game 2 Notes

First off, let me be clear I had problems getting to watch the game at again. No rant about Stern this time, but still annoying. Because of these and other computer issues, I didn't start watching until a few minutes left in the second. Here were my notes for the game that Dallas won 72 to 68 (box score here):

Dallas undrafted pointguard Jose Juan Barea doesn't get much press. Its really too bad, because he can play. He's small, but showed very good pointguard skills. He also did what smaller players are supposed to do on defense, getting in Sergio's space and drawing 3 offensive fouls. The offense never stagnated with him in, and he showed just about every desirable pointguard quality you can think of. He seems to get overlooked because of his small height, but I think someone will find a spot for him.

Sergio looked a lot better during this game than the last, although the defense today was no let up from the pestering he endured from Rondo in the first game. Along with Barrera in his face all night, Sergio also got ACC Defensive Player of the year Jamon Gordon. It was nice to see Sergio play efficiently.

LaMarcus was the best player on the court on both ends, again. You can go back and read my notes of the first game, because he put on a similarly excellent performance.

Oden looked much better, and only got 9 fouls this time! He again flashed his passing ability, and reinforced the fact that everything he gets close to the hoop will result in a dunk, a foul, or both. His post moves worked better and he was playing against Diop inside, although he got a couple shots swatted.

Freeland actually got to play a decent amount today, which was nice. What's impressed me is showing his ability to do the little things that might not show up in the box score. He set picks well and would tip rebounds to his guards if he couldn't grab them. For someone who supposedly picked up the game in highschool his feel looks very good.

The Finnagler Koponen also got to play. He had one nice off the ball steal but wasn't very noticeable besides that play. It should be noted though, that he played the off-guard while Sergio ran point, so was forced to play out of position.

The only Blazer who didn't play better than their first go round was probably Taurean Green, who I dubbed the best blazer guard of the first game. Mancinelli played less but got to show his all-around game. Webster looked more comfortable but again had a limited impact. Portland went to the high-low post offense more this time, with mixed results. With Aldridge and Oden, this will definitely be fun to watch when they work it out. Overall, the game was executed much better than the opener on both sides and easier to watch as a basketball fan. The young Blazers looked more comfortable and assured, and hopefully will continue to look better during the summer league.

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