So the Raptors finished off their Summer League schedule with 2 wins. On Friday they took care of the Kings 88-82 then on Saturday beat the 0-4 Hornets with no DeRozan or Weems 101-93. So the Raptors end up finishing summer with a perfect 5-0 record. They opened a lot of eyes and were on of the best teams in Las Vegas playing a very exciting brand of basketball. Demar DeRozan in 4 games had the 3rd best scoring average in the Vegas league with 21 points per game. Only John Wall and Reggie Williams were better. Wall lead the Summer league averaging 23.5 per game.
The Raptors as a team in Summer league averaged 98.8 PPG while giving up only giving up 84.8 PPG. Keeping in mind at Summer League they only play 4 Quarters at 10 minutes a piece. Basically the same totally game time as in the NCAA. Along with DeRozan his fellow Young Gun had a nice summer league. Sonny Weems averaged 17.5 PPG and had some amazing hi-lite dunks along with DeRozan. Weems has talked about wanting to work on his 3 point shot and based on Summer League still work to do going 3-13 ( 23.1%). DeRozan was great from the field shooting the lights out at 58% and was all about getting to the hoop and getting to the line (38 times in 4 games). Weems also was good in that regard getting to the line 24 times. Both need to do a better job in finishing it off with DeRozan making 24-38(63.1%) and Weems just 13 of 24(54.1%). But overall 2 thumbs up for the Young Guns performance.
Ed Davis the Raptors first round selection averaged 12.6 and 6 rebounds in 5 games of action. Davis had a brutal second game getting just 4 points and 4 boards. He also had a big defensive outburst with 5 blocks vs Sacramento which inflated his blocks average to 1.8 per game. I don't remember what Chris Bosh did in summer league. In fact, Summer League was not the huge deal it has been built into by some today. In terms of Davis he had good moments and bad moments. Which even though it is hard to remember I am sure was the same with Chris. But for anyone to expect Ed Davis to grow into another Chris Bosh you are hoping for far to much. He is a different type of player. He likely is ahead of Bosh at same point on defensive end. But his offense is far behind and likely never catches up. Still to make conclusions on this kid, good or bad, based on Summer League is just wrong. The fact he is playing for pretty much his first competitive basketball he has played since his wrist injury at UNC. So the bar should have been set low. I think he did more than what you might have realistically expected.
Solomon Alabi after his first game looked on track to be a star for the Erie Bayhawks the Raptors D-League Affiliate. That still could end up happening. But he did showed improvement along the way in his summer league. He ended up with 8.2 points with 5 rebounds per game. He unlike DeRozan and Weems was very good at the line making 15-16 at the line. He also averaged a block a game. He still looks pretty raw and that is why playing in the D-League seems to be in his future. If he doesn't get time with the Raptors he is better served being there at points during the season. Will see how it works out, but being 7ft 1 he could develop into a shot blocking presence, something the Raptors have always lacked.You can't teach height as they say. He like many from Africa looks at Hakeem as an idol and someone to be like. While Raptor fans memories of Hakeem are no dream, there is no denying that if Alabi could be half as good in his career as Olajuwon everyone would be thrilled. That being said Demar DeRozan's Idol is Kobe, admiring someone and being them is 2 very different things.
Others that made an impact for Raps in Summer League were Joey Dorsey who lead the Summer League Raps with 9.8 Rebounds. Dorsey was brought in late last season and should be on the roster for camp in the fall. The other guy that stood out was Bobby Brown. The basketball player not the guy that married Whitney. There was nothing cruel about Brown's performance as he looked good working with both DeRozan and Weems at the point. He averaged 12.4 points and 4 assists(tied for team lead) and 1.2 steals. If it was my prerogative, I would love to seem him get a shot and be brought in, if Jose Calderon does get moved. Here is all the stats on all that were a part of the undefeated Raptors in Vegas.
Some other things of note:
Mark Ivaroni has decided to take a job with Vinny Del Negro with the Clippers as reported by Doug Smith in The Star. The former Bulls coach has brought him in to work on his staff. With the addition of P.J Carlesmio it is really not a huge loss for the Raptors. Ivaroni was suppose to have been in charge of the defense for the Raptors in his one season on the job. Clearly he did not have much, if any success, good luck to him with the Clippers. Job security in Clipperland is never that good. If not for the hiring of Carlesmio the optics of this would look bad. To move to the Clippers from Raptors for basically the same job. But it is safe to assume, his role with the Raptors would be less with Toronto.
While some former Raptors have rejoined the Atlantic Division in the coaching ranks. Sam Mitchell the former Raptors head coach and former player Popeye Jones have joined the staff in New Jersey. Sam joining New Jersey had been reported awhile ago. While Jones has been an assistant with a number of teams over the years. Happy for both and they both should be great additions to Avery Johnson's staff in New Jersey.
Still a long way off, but Raptors Training Camp may be heading to Vancouver after a couple years in Ottawa. A clear sign this may in fact be the case is the Raptors will play the Suns in Vancouver on October 6th. The Nash Cup? The Hedo Bowl? Not sure what you would call it, but the Raptors vs Nash is good business. Suns were in Vancouver last year and packed the place for Nash and the Suns. It was a sell out. Note to NBA how is that team in Memphis drawing? Not sure if this will be a home or road game for the Raptors in Vancouver. Raptors like to call themselves Canada's team, but Nash is B.C's own (British Columbia not Bryan Colangelo). In any case should make for a fun environment for a basketball game. Cheer Nash Vancouver but BOO HEDO!!!
Good to be back at it. Sorry, I had a bunch of things to take care of and did not get a blog to you on Friday. It is the summer time so things are a little different for both me and for you as readers. But we will keep things rolling all year long.