Summer League: Rockets 98 - Mavericks 95

Chase Budinger freezes upon seeing Mikki Moore suddenly appear out of nowhere in a Mavericks uniform.

Boxscore

Mavs Moneyball

First Half Observations

-- James White looks incredibly awkward with the ball.  It's like he's too athletic for his own good; the ball just can't catch up with him.  He needs to work on controlling his dribble and must filter out the recklessness of his play.  We know he's not the best shooter around - he just doesn't seem very coordinated in that respect.  Thus, James' ability to get to the rim will be his calling card.  But for now, he's making Von Wafer look like Kobe Bryant on the drive.  Which is saying a lot, since Wafer's knock is his handle as well.

-- Maarty Leunen can stroke it.  I haven't paid too much attention to what else he can do, but when he's nailed his opportunities thus far on the offensive end.

-- Will Conroy is going to have a legitimate shot to make this Rockets team.  He possesses the ball with strength and command, and hasn't been afraid to take it to the hole.  Reminds me a bit of Kyle Lowry, sans the bulldogish approach to things.

-- Jermaine Taylor surprised me just by showing up.  I didn't think he would be playing, but after a while, I had to find out who this guy wearing number five was, because he looked miles ahead of everyone else on the offensive end of the court.  Turns out it was Taylor.  Even if he's not scoring, you can tell that he's a much more refined scorer than someone like White.  It may make the difference in who makes the team and who doesn't.  Oh, and Taylor made some impressive passes.  Didn't see that coming.

-- Joey Dorsey is an animal.  Even more so than I thought.

-- Haven't seen much from Chase Budinger.  He had a nice drive to the basket, but finished with a layup when he could have easily dunked.  That's being picky, but it's something we'd all like to see.

Second Half Observations

-- Right on cue, Budinger put on a second half show.  He played to his strengths, scoring mostly on catch-and-shoot opportunities as well as occasionally off the dribble.  His shot is good enough to land a roster spot.  The key for him will be adapting his mentality to the NBA game.  He's got to be more assertive.

-- Didn't see a whole lot more from Taylor in half number two, but he still looks the most NBA-ready of anyone out there.  His shot wasn't on, and it remains to be seen how good a shooter he is, but if I like what I see on an off-night, I can't wait for the shots to start falling.  

-- The Kracken was finishing strong in the paint.  And he rebounded well.  You'll probably hear more of the same for the remainder of the off-season.  That is simply what he does.

-- Brad Newley doesn't look like he's on the same page as everyone else.  Or on the same level.  He's got some work to do.

-- Flight White had a few nice plays around the rim, including a stylish two-hand dunk, but he disappeared soon after.  Because he is signed through next season, and because he's so damn athletic, White will get a training camp invite, so underperforming in the SL won't kill him.

-- Call that last hustle sequence by Will Conroy what you want.  Brown-nosing, sucking up - whatever.  It looked like a natural play, something that he did that he's used to doing.  It didn't come off as a show for the coaches.  That's the way the game should be played.

Good stuff.  Next game is tomorrow at 5 PM vs. Minnesota.  We'll get to see Ricky Rubio Jonny Flynn in action.
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