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Summer League: Day 1

Steph wasn’t too impressive. He should have dominated Will Conroy, but didn’t. It wasn’t because be couldn’t. He just didn’t. Trying to get some experience as a true point.
That is the thing about playing point, perhaps the part you can’t teach: PGs need to do what it takes. First they have to aptly discern what it takes, then know how and be able to do what it takes.
Curry can shoot. He can pass. He can get to the basket. But that won’t make him a point guard. It’s knowing when to do either that will.
I have not concluded he doesn’t know that. But I did walk away thinking that is where he is going to have to grow.
In the third, for some reason, he was really aggressive on offense. Was that his natural scoring ability coming out or did he see something and take advantage of it?
In the fourth, especially late, he wasn’t looking to create. Was that by his design of a result of fatigue? Did he miss an opportunity to step up offensively when his team needed him to?
He clearly has some tools to play the position. I want to see if the sum of those parts equal a PG.
No question, though, he should be able to play this year.

******

Really want to see Morrow and Curry together. Morrow will probably play Saturday, Monday at the latest. He is kind of a big deal here. Everyone talking about how he was discovered here last year.

*******

Something interesting: the uniforms had an advertisement for NBA Live ’10 on the upper right. These uniforms are really practice uniforms, reverseable mesh. But that is how money has impacted things. Don’t be surprised if a team sells space on their real uniform. It’s already being done in the WNBA (Phoenix and LA).
I can definitely see a Symantec or Kaiser logo on a jersey.

*******

Cartier Martin has the best chance of making the team.
But, to be sure, there are no Morrows in this bunch.

******

Ronny Turiaf showed up. The only Warrior I saw on Friday

*******

Oh yeah, Randolph is a beast. He is so competitive. He got a little sloppy in second half. His best move of the night: crossover dribble on a baseline drive, pull up just outside the key, bounced in contested fade-away. he showed handle, control and decision making.
What’s more, he showed some leadership. Controlled his emotions. Encouraged Curry at halftime. Made hustle plays. If he ever gets a back-to-the basket game …

*******

A couple things I heard tonight: 1) Warriors not interested in Carlos Boozer; 2) Warriors will NOT sign a big-time player who won’t re-sign – especially if it involved giving up Andris

*****

Didn’t get much from Jermareo. He was sucking wind hard. He was limited in his workout because he was rehabbing from injury. It showed.
Acie Law, on the other hand, looked like the best floor general tonight.

Marcus Thompson

  • Wander7

    thanks for the recap!

  • A’s in 2009

    I’d love to see teams try to double Curry when Morrow gets back! haha, I dare them to try!

  • some guy

    were you even watching the game? Will Conroy was on Acie Law. James White was on Curry. not that he did it, but being a PG isn’t about points or assists, it’s about how you run your team.

    Cartier Martin has zero chance of making the team. zero.

    Randolph got some early fast break dunks and some late feeds for dunks from Curry when the Rockets were jumping out on him to prevent 3′s. other than that he looked exactly the same, started working from way too far out, over-dribbled (especially that time he escaped twice only to try his luck a 3rd time and ended up losing the ball), and missed some open guys underneath on drives. he was also way too aggressive defensively, constantly breaking down. he needs to learn position defense.

    some fan on GSoM put up a better recap than you did. it always surprises me how little sports journalists know of the game.

  • some guy
  • Tdubb

    I saw the game on broadband, be there on Tuesday. Folks you were watching game one of SUMMER LEAGUE!

    Curry is the Warriors PG of the future, he see’s the floor better than Monta already, his stroke is better than most except Morrow’s. The kid can play.

    Name me a PG, an all star PG who dominated from game one. Someone help me here. Most of them showed up in the second half of their rookie season or the next season. This includes Derron Williams, Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Steve Nash. Check their stats!

    It’s the NBA where everyone knows your plays and your individual moves except the rookies. It’s move, verses counter move. Curry will figure this out.

    I can see Curry being tough to deal with in pick and roll with AB and AR, leaving Morrow and himself open for three’s and opening the floor for Monta and AR to slash. Offense no problem.

    The question will be his leadership abilities. Can he impose his will on a team and his opponent down the stretch.

    If what Marcus says is true about not trading for a “BIG”, the Lakers have ours on their summer league squad, David Mond 6’8″ 240, he’s a lot like Ronny. The Lakers won’t keep him because there is no need. Bynum Gasol are a lock and Powell and Mbenga are cheap.

    Mond ran circles around Patrick O’Bryant today and O’Bryant had a decent game when he didn’t shoot three’s. I know I’m not saying much, its POB. We need that JYD and not six fouls like Davidson, that guy is weak, someone missed the boat on that one. What did Nelly see in him to release Hendrix last year? Check out Mond, I want to hear what you experts think!

    Again folks, game one of SUMMER LEAGUE. Damn I’m ready for the real thing!

  • Marcus Thompson

    Some Guy,

    You can have my job, and the pennies it pays.

    For the record, never said Cartier would make the team. But that doesn’t matter, right? You already know I don’t know anything.

  • Tdubb

    Marcus,

    Don’t sweat the little stuff even in Hot Vegas, you’ve got an eye for the game. Who is the summer league breakout guy to watch in your opinion?

    Eleven!

  • earl Monroe

    Marcus,
    I watched the game, and you are right about one thing, the lack of aggressiveness,
    I saw that in Curry, I saw that in Jennings, basically once both figure out that they ball should be in their hands to make decisions they will both be better. (Jennings just did not play north and south, he played east and west)
    Curry really has the tools, the range is undeniable. Smart basically needs to let Curry handle it 80% of the time in summer league, so he gets accustomed to making the decisions, in the first half he hardly brought it up, with the ball in his hands its hard to double him or pressure him to go without the ball, although he will have to get better at that.
    Going without the ball will be the skill that should set him apart, and he will need a bit more strength to do that consistently, all in all he showed flashes brilliance, he can definitely play off the pick and roll, and has great vision in the open court.
    You probably noticed that he was basically faced guarded the whole game so he could not even touch the ball with open looks, this won’t happen in a real NBA game, this guy may not be guardable in a Don Nelson offense.
    Once Nelson starts running plays for the guy look out, Nelson must be salivating having a miss match with a
    6’9 guy trying to guard curry on the perimiter.

  • Marques8

    Hey Marcus, like that old Dylan song goes, “you shouldn’t take it so per————-sonal.” If I were covering the NBA I would lobby the league not to televise the press conferences during the playoffs. They are a very bad advertisement for your profession. It’s pretty obvious none of you know much. So, he’s not really singling you out. Sportswriters write stories write about the pros like it is high school and it’s all about character. Somewhere along the way they become cynical in the process (with good cause). But they mistake their cynicism for knowledge and become even more lost. In every city there are 5 to 10 guys on the boards who know more about basketball than the sportswriters. The trick is finding those guys.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Brandon Roy seems upset with how negotiations are going in Portlan for his extension. If things continue to be contentious, we need to offer Curry and Wright for Roy and give him the maximum contract allowable. Roy is exactly the player we need for Monta to be a star. Can you imagine those two as our starting backcourt for the next five years? Trade Jackson, Maggette and Claxton for McGrady!

  • http://www.xavierhenry.com Xavier Henry

    “1) Warriors not interested in Carlos Boozer; 2) Warriors will NOT sign a big-time player who won’t re-sign – especially if it involved giving up Andris”

    no offense Mr Thompson, but DUH.

  • jsl

    Nice report, Marcus. Covers a lot of ground, and shows some subtlety in addressing Curry’s showing. BTW, AR looks bigger to me, but not 20 pounds. What did you see up close?

    Keep it up, please.

  • Fantom

    Thanks for the update. I found it worthwhile and insightful. There have been numerous times I want to know what really is going on,and you are the one I count on to say so. So when you say they wont sign a big time player without a long contract that’s actually a relief as the rumors aobut selling can mean lowering long term comittments and that’s exactly what a 1 year boozer or bosh signing would do. Andris is still very young, and improves each year and this will continue I like Wright so I think from an asset point of view,though the Warriors have too many good players and need 2 or 3 for 1 trades to get even better ones, the chances of doing so once the season has started and players like mo0rrow or belinelli or Wright reveal their real value may be a better time to do so. Right now they would only get spare parts value. So the sititng tight by the Warriors makes sense. Getting Brandon Roy for multiple very good players wont happen but is not a bad idea. Jackson will keep the team tough on defense and also be a much better player when he is option 3 or 4 insteasd of 1 and also doesn’t play so many minutes- he is under-rated by all the blogs, but obviously not by Nelson. Thanks for your reports!

  • Kyle

    Great stuff. Could you focus a little on Acie Law over the course of the next week? Curious if this guy has a shot at being in the rotation.

  • smart

    Maybe you should replace the Al Harrington picture in the top right corner.

  • Jax’s Brain Surgeon

    Marcus thanks for the update. Not sure why a few of the posters are dissing you and sportwriters in general. Keep on keepin’ ON!

  • Marcus Thompson

    jsl,

    The 20 pounds is from when he first got to the league to now. He is bigger, but you are right, he’s not drastically bigger. He does look stronger, though. Him wrestling with Joey Dorsey, he was giving a bigger guy something to mess with.

    Xavier Henry,

    I know, right? I thought about that, but I wasn’t sure if I ever mentioned it here. I think all I’d written or posted so far as that it was unlikely the Warriors would make a trade for a guy who wouldn’t sign. I just wanted to make sure I had given you guys the latest update, which is they WOULD NOT make such a trade under any circumstances. We all knew that already, though.

    Harps Dubs,

    If there was any way Roy becomes available, I am sure the Warriors would jump all over it. But they would have some competition. I have heard he is not happy about the negotiations. I don’t think Portland would ever let him go, but it is DEFINITELY something to pay attention to.

  • sonnyparkerlives

    Marcus,

    I am a looong time fan of yours and always appreciate your hard work and insight.

    So, as a supporter, I say: Don’t ever, ever let anonymous posters get your goat.

    Also, don’t be self-pitying — you chose the profession and it’s not like you’re a feeding the homeless or nursing lepers. You’re a sportswriter, and the travel and crap pay come the good stuff.

    Have a mojito and get back to watching bball.

  • some guy

    you should probably offer the job to that eschalon poster… apparently he lives in Vegas and is attending the games.

    and thanks for reacting just like the average fan blogger with spite instead of just admitting you were wrong or overstated some things.

    i watched it via a feed on my computer screen and even i could see that #8 or James White was guarding Curry for the majority of the game.

  • some guy

    whoops. scratch that “or”. should read, “#8, James White, was guarding…” i made a mistake and i corrected myself. it’s pretty easy. you should try it some time.

  • Fletch007

    Love your scoops Marcus! I’m going to Vegas tomorrow to watch games for a few days. Cant wait; up close pro hoops all day long!

  • http://Yahoo! PeteyB

    Thanks Marcus,
    No Morrows in this group. Yuck. It’s always nice to see a Kelena Azibuke/C.J. Watson/Anthony Morrow make it from the scrap heap!

    I guess all that matters in Summer League is that Stephen Curry/Randolph/Morrow get some PT together and hang out with the coaches. Or that we determine that Law and the others can or can’t play.

  • Burke

    It’s kind of weird how many bitter know-it-alls post on comment pages. It transcends sports; happens at every news site I read. Why foist all this negativity on people? What positive purpose does it serve?

    I didn’t think it obvious that the Warriors weren’t pursuing Boozer, or that they wouldn’t consider a 1 year rental. It has been suggested by other columnists as perhaps being desirable from a cap-flushing standpoint.

    I appreciate the first hand knowledge Marcus gives. Eschelon on the GSOM site had an interesting take but didn’t seem to me to be a paragon of hoops knowledge.

    I think all this one-upmanship about rumors is getting out of hand though. It was interesting to compare Marcus’ take on the Amare rumors vs. Coro’s at the Arizona republic. The Republic had a picture of Curry and Clark (their draft pick) on the front page of their Suns website declaring them to be the certain future of the Suns. Too funny.

  • some guy

    Burke, if you don’t tell the guy who suggests Maggette for Bosh why it doesn’t work for the Raptors, how is that guy ever going to learn?

    Marcus is great at what he does. He’s one of the best sports journalists in the bay area, no question. But like most other journalists, his basketball knowledge is suspect. I doubt he knows how to read a defender’s footwork for when to curl, flare or pocket or even how to correctly read ball-screen. stick to the journalism, skip the analysis.

    the thing that Eschelon at least did was look at basketball plays instead of being like the typical fan wowed by highlights or discouraged by a bad shooting game.

    and it still doesn’t excuse the blatant miss that Houston put a longer defender on Curry (James White) to bother him and that that might be something he sees in the NBA especially playing with Monta (opposing PG on Monta to deal with his quickness, SG on Curry to bother his jump shot). it’s not like Marcus is the only journalist to miss that – so did Berger (from CBSsports, also a really good journalist).

  • Oregonguy

    RE: #24. Nice recovery. However, no sugar-coating, it DOES get tiresome when an anonymous blogger acts the snot-nosed know-it-all. We read these blogs in order to hopefully gain some insight. If legitimate forums like this aren’t provided then all of us fans lose.

    Hey all of you: Please make legit comments without insults, especially to the person who makes this forum possible.

  • Oregonguy

    I hit ‘submit’ too quick. Did anyone else catch the disconnect between me asking all to not insult while my previous comment could be taken as an insult?

    My bad. Just think twice before posting, everyone.

  • dw

    Are the any sites with actual clips of the game up so we can see some of this stuff for ourselves instead of listening to ‘know it alls’ ?

  • Willy

    Marcus,

    You’re the best. With regard to rumors, I just cringe when Kawakami is involved. I do read his stuff but he’s usually wrong.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Tdubb

    Dw

    You can watch the all the games including other teams on broadband for $14.99. Just go to the Dub’s website.

    The Kings game showed me some things about Curry, he’s got a little heart. Tweaked the ankle, was missing everything in the first half and imposed his will in the 4th Qtr and OT. I know, game 2 of SUMMER LEAGUE, but hey it starts somewhere.

    Marcus maybe right, Cartier Martin is gonna get an invite to camp. He will make it possible to trade someone, unfortunately like Buke at 6’7″ he is the big guard that compliments the Monta and Curry. He makes is easy for Nelly to play small ball. Burke, Marco become part of a deal and if Riley wasn’t blowing smoke during his in game interview, they are going to find a 4/5 player before camp.

    I also see Atchely getting an invite too, he’s a Nelly “big” if ever I saw one. I hope however that they keep Sampson, he was the only big that could slow down Thompson. He ain’t gonna give you any offense but he ain’t gonna get shoved under the basket either. As that 12th, 13t, 14th, 15th player he’s better than a Kurtz or Davidson. Plus you can suit him up on the nights you know there’s a brawl under the hoop.

    I still like Mond from the Lakers Summer squad too.

  • Tdubb

    Excuse the grammer and spelling, Sunday with the kids around ;)