The Clippers lost their first Summer League contest by 25 points, 89-64 to the Washington Wizards. At least that's better than the Bulls did - they lost by 28, 99-71 to the Nuggets. So maybe the Clippers can handle this opponent.
If all goes well during my drive across the desert, I should be in Cox Pavilion to watch this one. The game is once again on NBA-TV and ESPN-3. Tip-off is at 5 PM. Use this as your open thread to discuss the game.
With the signing of Willie Warren today, the Clippers now feature four summer league players who are under contract. Of course Warren's deal is probably not guaranteed - it's likely contingent on him making the regular season roster, so the signing is little more than a formality. If he plays well enough during training camp, then he'll be on the regular season roster - if he doesn't, he won't. Same as yesterday. The other three with contracts are vet DeAndre Jordan and first round picks Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Bledsoe.
The other players on the floor to watch closely are Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Nik Caner-Medley. Big Sofo is close to being a lock to make the team, who happened to look terrible in his first Summer League action on Monday. NCM is a long shot, who happened to be the Clippers' best player on Monday. Sofo will have to play much better to finally make it to the NBA - and NCM will have to play just as well or better to finally fulfill his dream as well.
For the others, there are some adjustments they need to make after the first contest.
Bledsoe needs to slow down a step. He's fast, get that. Speed in and of itself isn't that great a weapon. It's the change of pace and change of direction that are unstoppable. Watch Bledsoe's college teammate John Wall. Yes, he has great speed, but watch him change pace. Bledsoe needs to develop those subtleties to his game. He's got talent, no question. I compared him toe Russell Westbrook after the draft, more because he played out of position in college on a team with a more heralded true point guard. Seeing his quickness and athleticism yesterday, the comparison is more apropos on the basketball court than I originally thought. But he has to get it under control and prove he can run a team/
DeAndre needs to do what he does: rebound, finish around the rim, block shots. It was fun watching them run plays for him yesterday, sure. Only it wasn't.
AFA needs to get aggressive. He needs to listen to Suvivor's Eye of the Tiger before the game. Or maybe just the Theme from Rocky. Me personally, Dramarama's Anything, Anything was always my favorite 'getting pumped up' before a game song. Whatever it takes, AFA needs to get more intense out there.
The Bulls spent the summer clearing out their roster to make room for two max free agents, which means they don't have much top drawer talent on their Summer League roster. James Johnson is the only one on their regular roster currently. They traded away their first round pick to the Wizards (although Kevin Seraphin isn't playing in Vegas for the Wizards either). They didn't have a second round pick. Taj Gibson is not here. But Morris Almond and Derrick Byars can both shoot, so at the very least the Clippers need to do a better job of staying on shooters than they did on Monday.