In the first game of the 2013 Las Vegas summer league, the Denver Nuggets fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in what ended up being a blowout shortly after halftime. While there were a few bright spots, the Nuggets ultimately sealed their fate by shooting a low percentage from the field and giving a halfhearted effort on the defensive side of the ball. But, this is summer league we’re talking about, so those things can be expected.
There’s really not much to talk about in regards to this game. As was already mentioned above, the Nuggets shot poorly from the floor (35 percent) and didn’t do much to stop their opponents from getting buckets of their own. No players really stood out on either side of the floor except John Henson who finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots for Milwaukee. Dominique Jones also had a strong outing for the Bucks, finishing with 18 points on 6-10 shooting from the floor; but dude’s been showing up for summer league for as long as I can remember so he’s kinda got this whole selfish scoring thing down.
Nuggets player notes:
Quincy Miller: Probably had the most interesting game of anybody on the Nuggets roster. He didn’t shoot well (who did?), but made up for it by playing impressive post defense and hustling on both ends of the floor. He hit a three, collected eight rebounds and notched three blocked shots. The Bucks did a great job of clogging the lane, which is where Quincy does most of his damage. Had he been able to penetrate he might have finished with a really impressive stat line. Quincy is an intriguing prospect overall. I always thought being labeled a “tweener” was overblown, but in his case it might actually be a serious hindrance as he appears to be too short to guard traditional power forwards and too long to defend the modern-day small wing. Nevertheless, Nuggets fans should be encouraged with what they saw. After he settles in, Quincy might very well put on a show by the end of the week.
Evan Fournier: Nobody looked more poised than this guy. He didn’t electrify anyone with his scoring but his intelligence was clearly on display. Fournier finished with 10 points and three boards, which was very pedestrian by his standards. Fournier’s already proven he can play at the next level so the upcoming few days will be more about getting his teammates involved and establishing a leadership role more than anything.
Erick Green: One of my worries about Green coming out of college was his low shooting percentages throughout his four-year career at Virginia Tech. And while the first summer league game of his career in which his entire team shoots like crap is the last thing from corroboration to my concerns, it was still interesting watching Green struggle to shoot. He played point guard most of the game and did a fine job bringing the ball up the court. His athleticism is certainly there as he showed the ability to get his shot off on more than one occasion; however, he never really succeeded in making it splash. Green clearly has potential and it will likely manifest itself at some point in Las Vegas. The only questions is: when and how often?
Jordan Hamilton: By now we all know what Hamilton is capable of. He belongs in the NBA, no doubt about it. He’s a scoring wing who can rebound and hit threes at a high rate when he’s on. But Hamilton also struggles with his decision making and some of that was visible against the Bucks. His shot wasn’t falling, just like everyone else’s; but unlike everyone else Hamilton resorted to cheap fouls and lazy defensive plays to vent his frustration. It wasn’t excessively jutting, but it was noticeable. Last year Hamilton averaged 19 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the field in Las Vegas so he’s already proven he can score against this level of competition. He’ll likely bounce back next game but monitoring his attitude is something Nuggets fans should be doing throughout the week.
Other player notes:
Ben Uzoh: Of all the players on the roster not named Evan Fournier, Uzoh was probably the most consistent and level headed. He didn’t do anything too over the top and hit some nice shots throughout the game. If he can continue to play solid basketball while stepping it up on the defensive side of the ball, he might catch the eye of a few scouts.
Darius Johnson-Odom: I thought this kid was a surefire NBA talent last year coming out of the draft, simply because he could score. That’s exactly what he did against the Bucks, scoring 10 points in 14 minutes; however, his contributions in other areas were lacking. He played well in Orlando and is another guy who stands a good chance of getting a training camp invite if he continues to play well.
Kyle Barone: He started off really slow but by the end of the game was making some impressive maneuvers in the low post. He finished with eight points on 4-4 shooting from the field in 10 minutes of action. This is one guy who won’t make the roster but will be fun to root for as the week progresses.
Next game is Monday at 8:30 p.m. MST.