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  1. #1

    Myintrotoletuknow - Vegas Summer League experience

    That was a quick Outkast reference for anyone who cares. Anyway, I've been lurking around here for awhile but never registered, though I post on most other Wolves sites. I kinda feel like my first post should have some substance, so I'll cut-and-paste my reviews from my visit to Vegas last weekend where I got to see Foye, Roy, Aldridge, Bargnani, and a few others in person. For those that read other boards you've probably seen this before, but for those that only post here this can serve as your introduction to me. Buckle your seatbelts, cuz it's looooooong....

  2. #2
    Live from Las Vegas, it's Roy/Foye I!

    Alright fellas, you know I must love you because I'm paying to use the hotel's business center to get online and post this. I have not read any accounts from yesterday's games, haven't seen any final stats, so this is all from my viewpoint/notes I took during the game. I'll let you know now, this is gonna be long. Also, I tend to save the best for last so if you want only to read about Foye/Roy skip to the end. I'm also gonna include some impressions from other players/side anecdotes in here so get comfortable.

    I watched about a quarter of the game before the Wolves (Raptors/Kings), but wasn't paying nearly as much attention. What I did notice in snippets was,

    *Bargnani was always the tallest person on the court, and physically was probably the biggest. But he was getting pushed around, and I honestly can't remember him getting a single rebound. The play that really stood out to me was when he had perfect position for a rebound, weakside off of a jumper with his base set ready to board. And the POINT GUARD for the other team (Price) bodied him up from behind and just moved him under the rim, at which point Price went up and took the rebound himself. Also, I saw Bargnani pick up a foul that the announcer announced as his TENTH foul. I don't know what numbers he put up in the game, and he did move well on the court (didn't look uncoordinated), but I think he clearly needs to work on his strength and aggressiveness.

    *For the 4th quarter of Tor/Sac and the first quarter of the Wolves/Portland game I was sitting next to a major college basketball coach in the front row. I don't know if I'm supposed to quote known people on a message board (I was at the games in a somewhat reporter capacity), so I won't say his name here. I will say, though, that if you watch college basketball at all you would know who he was. And he was a friendly guy, giving me some of his views on different players in our game. From here on, if I'm refering to him I'll just call him COACH.

    *I had a press pass, so from the second quarter till the 4th I was sitting on the court about midcourt. I know it's just a summer league game, but it was fun having to watch where I put my feet so that I didn't trip the refs as they ran past...made me feel close to the action. (side story. At the end of the game, one of the guys running the league came up to me and my editor and cordially asked us if we would mind moving because Donald Sterling and his crew needed somewhere to sit. The Clippers were playing the next game. I figure if you're gonna get kicked out of your seat, it might as well be so that the owner of an NBA franchise can take it).

    *Ha (center for Portland) is HUGE! Some random kid walked by behind me and I heard him ask if it was Yao Ming. Portland had some other guy that may have even been taller than Ha, but I don't think he ever played.

    *Roy didn't start for Portland but Webster and Aldridge did. Foye and Bracey both started for us. I asked COACH if he knew which one was playing PG for us, and his answer was "Foye for sure. Bracey can't play PG." He later went onto expound that maybe in the NBA game the PG can be hidden more, so maybe Bracey could get away with it, but I thought it was interesting that his incoming impression was that Bracey absolutely can't play PG but that Foye maybe could.

    *COACH coached against Foye last year. In his words, Foye is "awful good", and was the "best guard they played against this year." When I told him there was a bit of controversy among Wolves fans over taking Foye when we did, he grunted, then asked "who'd the others want? Roy?" I said yes, and he just grunted again and turned back to watch the action on the court. Take that for what you will, since there was no real answer given on that front.

    *COACH opined that Aldridge might have some trouble early in his career until he bulks up a bit, and based on yesterday's game I can see what he means. Much like I described with Bargnani, Aldridge was the tallest player on the court at all times but was pushed around a lot by shorter, stronger players. For the entire first half, I never saw Aldridge make a strong post move. Whenever the ball was entered to him he'd take a turnaround jumper, no matter how far out he was (and rarely if ever made it). I saw him do this up to 18 feet out. Even when he got it inside he tended to fade on his jumper (my editor was there with me at this point, and his comment was "he should have just drop-step dunked that". Instead he faded and I can't remember if he made it or not. Batista was much shorter than him, but I noted a couple of times that when Batista made a post move on Aldridge with his body on him, Aldridge was helpless to prevent the lay-up.

    The only agressive moves that I saw from Aldridge came in the second half. On one play Foye switched onto him off a pick and Aldridge posted him, made an aggressive drop-step and hit a baby hook...it was a pretty move, but loses it's oomph when you realize that he was a foot taller than the player guarding him. A few plays later one of Portland's random guards broke down the defense and dished it to him and he finished with a layup+foul at the rim (I should note that he shuffled his feet a bit before going up, though, and IMO could have easily been called for traveling). His most impressive play was when a Wolves forward (not sure which one) got the ball on the baseline just outside the lane. The Wolves guy threw about 6 head/ballfakes at Aldridge but Aldridge never moved, then stuffed the guys shot when he tried to go over him. I thought that was nice. Other than that, though, the overall impression was that if you didn't already KNOW that Aldridge was the highest draft-pick on the floor you wouldn't have known it by the way he played.

    *Webster is an excellent jumpshooter. But he wasn't much good at anything else. In the second quarter, my editor's comment was "Webster doesn't seem to have much feel for how to play," and it was an apt comment. When he tried to dribble he either travelled or lost it more times than not. When he tried to run the offense you weren't at all comfortable that he'd make the right decision. But boy, can he SHOOT. He hit numerous curls/mid-range/3-point jumpers on catch and shoots. I saw him miss some, but even when he did they'd hit both sides of the rim before they fell off. After watching the game, my editor joked that we're gonna have to bump him up our fantasy ratings a little bit because his jumper seems like it should translate to some solid scoring.

    *COACH was right. Bracey's not a point guard. The Wolves seemed to split the PG duties relatively evenly between Bracey and Foye, but it was clear that Bracey wasn't a PG. He did a lot of dribbling, but his handle wasn't very impressive. I can't think of very many, if any, times that Bracey ran the offense and hit someone with a purposeful pass in position to score. He forced a lot of offense, in one case throwing a difficult jumper off the backboard without hitting the rim at all. His first option seemed to be to get to the rim for a layup, his second option seemed to be to set up a jumper, and his third option was to drive and if he absolutely couldn't score to look for someone at the last instance to kick the ball to. If he couldn't do any of those things, he tended to just swing the ball. On the positive side, he was very good at scoring. He was able to get to the rim and to the line fairly often, and he hit quite a few jumpers when he wasn't forcing it. I'm thinking his NBA role, if he sticks, will be in an Eddie House/Flip Murray/Tony Delk instant offense off the bench role. Which is a definitely useful niche, but I don't see him developing into a real PG unless he makes some pretty big improvements.

    (I know I said long, but this is ridiculous. I'll put Roy and Foye in their own post)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Twin Cities
    Posts
    7,840
    Quote Originally Posted by drza44
    That was a quick Outkast reference for anyone who cares. Anyway, I've been lurking around here for awhile but never registered, though I post on most other Wolves sites. I kinda feel like my first post should have some substance, so I'll cut-and-paste my reviews from my visit to Vegas last weekend where I got to see Foye, Roy, Aldridge, Bargnani, and a few others in person. For those that read other boards you've probably seen this before, but for those that only post here this can serve as your introduction to me. Buckle your seatbelts, cuz it's looooooong....

    Yeah, we've read it... good stuff.

    Welcome to the board! Hopefully we will continue to see you around!

  4. #4
    *Roy first. He looked awfully impressive yesterday, especially in the first half. He was CLEARLY the best player on the Blazers, despite the fact that he came off the bench. His scouting report was dead on the money. He totally controlled the offense, patiently picking his way to the rim when he chose to drive and setting up his teammates nicely with passes within the framework of the offense. He is outstanding at using picks to his advantage. He rarely (if ever) just took his man 1-on-1 off the dribble (except for #32-Jeremy Kelley, who he just repeatedly took for most of the second quarter), and instead would use a screen to get his shoulder past his defender. Once he had the step, he wouldn't explode to the rim but would instead patiently dribble his way in, seemingly looking for his teammates the entire time, but if he got to the rim and no one had broken open yet he was perfectly content to finish at the rim or get fouled (both of which he did a lot).

    *Now Foye. He looked good. Very good. Just like Roy, he was clearly the best player on the Wolves (the "high pick" vibe that Aldridge didn't give off, both Roy and Foye gave off in spades). Foye opened the game hitting consecutive 18 foot jumpers, one off a curl catch-and-shoot (after he'd brought the ball up and passed it), the other in the corner off of 1-2 dribles. For most of the game, it was clear that he could get to the rim whenever he wanted but it seemed like he was kind of consciously trying to do other things. Honestly, like Bracey, I could tell that Foye wasn't a pure PG but nature, but Foye seemed much further along the PG continuum than Bracey did. I don't know if Foye had a single assist, but I noted several instances (at least 4-5)where he passed the ball to his teammates in places they could score and they either missed open shots or travelled. Some of them were off of drive-and-kicks (though a bit more controlled than Bracey's were, as he seemed to purposefully pass instead of jumping and realizing he had no shot and just throwing to an area). But others were in the offense, off entry passes or off a pick-and roll. Then there were another 3 passes at least that could have been assists but instead ended up as turnovers because his teammate either stopped their cut or had the ball go right through their hands (this happened with Bruenner, who messed up a beautiful assist and went up to him and apologized).

    Like Roy, Foye could get to the rim when he wanted. But they did it differently. Roy used picks, and was very methodical and controlled on his drives. Foye was just explosive. He rarely used a pick...he rarely needed it. His first step was just by people. He had one play where he crossed up some guy on the baseline so nasty that the guy fell down, then he finished with a pretty layup. He had another play towards the end where Roy was guarding him, and he crossed through his legs 4 consecutive times before bursting past Roy and Roy had to foul him.

    I'm running out of time, so I'm gonna wrap this soon. The last thing that I want to point out is that in the 4th quarter, Foye seemed to say "forget it, I'm scoring" and over a 2-minute stretch I think he scored or got fouled (and hit both free throwws) on 6 straight possessions to cut a 23 point lead for the Blazers down to 11 (or 13, can't remember) with 2 minutes left. Roy was on him every possession, and Foye jsut took him. At that point the Blazers took Roy out, and about 30 seconds later the Wolves took out Foye.

    Overall, impressive game, and I look forward to getting back so I can actually participate in discussions on it. See y'all Thursday...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by College Wolf
    Yeah, we've read it... good stuff.

    Welcome to the board! Hopefully we will continue to see you around!
    Thanks. Starting to post here probably isn't a good idea for me, since it just gives me someplace else to go to waste time when I don't feel like working (like, uh, now). But I've lurked aroundhere long enough so I figured I might as well start chiming in. I'd actually have started posting yesterday, but when I registered it told me to wait for an e-mail with instructions on how to proceed...and I never got the e-mail. One of the great "psych!" moves of all time. A few minutes ago I decided to just try logging in and I had no problems...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Detroit
    Posts
    1,521
    thanks for comming you seem like you have alot of knowledge, i would love to go see a summer league game, seems like the wolves have been out of it for so long im craving basketball

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    School of hard knocks
    Posts
    531
    Quote Originally Posted by drza44

    Foye was just explosive. He rarely used a pick...he rarely needed it. His first step was just by people. He had one play where he crossed up some guy on the baseline so nasty that the guy fell down, then he finished with a pretty layup. He had another play towards the end where Roy was guarding him, and he crossed through his legs 4 consecutive times before bursting past Roy and Roy had to foul him.


    Thanks for all the great info! Welcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    West Fargo, ND
    Posts
    1,602
    so Foye>Roy?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    2,249
    Thanks for posting, drza44!

    drza44 >

    (I mean that as a big compliment.)


 

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