Las Vegas Summer League 2014: Game 3
Tournament Preview - Roster - Schedule
What to watch - Gobert's defense - Clark's reminder - Rookie's first steps - Burke's team
This game is not for all the marbles, but there's always a greater incentive to win the game when it's against the Utah Jazz 's mountain range rivals, the Denver Nuggets. Both teams are 1-1 going into the last game of the prelim round. This will be Utah's second game of a back to back set, and third game in four nights. Denver had last night off, but this will also be their third game in four nights. What happens in this game does have a greater meaning because the seeds depend on it.
Denver started out the summer with a trashing of the Toronto Raptors (110-82), and then were brought back to earth by the Chicago Bulls (103-76). They've won big by making threes and getting to the line, and lost big by not being able to handle good shooters making shots. Their three biggest weapons so far are Gary Harris, Quincy Miller, and Erick Green. Gary Harris is averaging 21.0 ppg (.379 / .357 / .938), 5.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, and 2.0 spg. He is taking 7.0 threes attempted per game, and gets to the line 8.0 times a game. He shots the ball once every 2.27 minutes on the floor, and he will be their main guy. He could be a little tired after averaging 32.9 mpg so far.
After him, Quincy Miller (not a rookie), is averaging even MORE! In 31.1 mpg he is pounding teams for 24.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.0 bpg, and 1.0 spg. He's having a great summer so far, and he is shooting .552/ .583/ .769. A very interesting line. Erick Green rounds out their trip as a guy averaging 16.5 ppg, 4,000.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, and 0.5 spg. He's also shooting something crazy, specifically, he's shooting .560 / .500 / .500. If the Jazz can contain one or two of those guys we'll have to contend with Denzel Bowles, Will Thomas, or Chris Wright. None of them are remarkable in the stat sheet, but do play about 20 mpg so far in two games.
Utah has gone 1 and 1, having lost to the Sixers because of bad three point shooting, and beat the Bucks because of great three point shooting. Essentially, this is going to be a battle of two teams still trying to figure out if they are really good or really bad.
That's an interesting storyline, as there are plenty of question marks. Are the Jazz a team that can lose to Philly without their best guys? Or are they a team that can smoke Jabari Parker and Giannis Atenerndkfdsabcdefghijklmnopko? Are the Nuggets going to blow teams out or get blown out.
Tonight some answers will be found for sure. And hopefully it will be Trey Burke answering some of the doubters with a solid game. If not, well, expect rookies Dante Exum and Rodney Hood to continue playing their two man game while Rudy Gobert goes Godzilla on teams in the paint.