Summer League Clippers vs. Mavs -- July Madness open thread

USA TODAY Sports

It's may not be March, but it's win or go home time for the NBA summer league teams as the NBA experiments with a single elimination tournament to determine a summer league champ. The Clippers open the tourney against the Mavs.

The NBA Summer League has kicked off the first ever single elimination tournament in the history of the event in an attempt to add some excitement to the latter stages of the week. The Clippers earned the 17th seed during the group play stage and face the 16th seeded Dallas Mavericks in the play in round which will reduce the field from 22 to 16. Or something like that. All I know for sure is that if the Clippers win they play again tomorrow, and if they lose they are done for the summer.

For Reggie Bullock, it's a chance to bounce back from a dismal second half against the Lakers in his last game. It's also the last chance for guys like Malik Wayns, DaJuan Summers, Samardo Samuels, Jerome Randle and Brandon Davies to show the Clippers' coaching staff what they can do in a game situation. Many of those guys will be in camp with the Clippers -- but they'll have their work cut out for them to actually make the team.

The Mavs have on of the most interesting summer league teams in my opinion. Point guard Gal Mekel, the MVP of the Israeli league, has been one of the more impressive players here. He has a great feel for the game and great court vision -- he's one of those players who just puts the ball where it needs to be. His shot is a little worrisome, but it's clear why the Mavericks gave him a guaranteed contract.

The Mavs squad also includes Bernard James (spent years in the Air Force before playing his college ball at Florida St. and joining the team as a 27 year old rookie last year), Ricky Ledo (a top recruit who bounced around to four high schools and never played a game in college at Providence) and Dwayne Dedmon (who never played high school basketball and wound up going from a JC to USC and is now chasing his NBA dream in Summer League). Basically, there are some great stores on the Dallas roster.

If the Clippers win this game they will face the Warriors tomorrow night at 7:30. Tonight's game is probably on Prime Ticket, but I'm in Vegas, so don't ask me.

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