Jul 14, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Gerald Robinson goes on defense as Cleveland Cavaliers approach with the ball during the fourth quarter of an NBA Summer League game at Cox Pavillion. Cleveland won the game 69-58. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Summer League Grizzlies Lose to Suns

Your Memphis Grizzlies Summer League squad lost to the the Pheonix Suns today, 100-88. Pheonix was led by Archie Goodwin, who had 22 points on 6-11 shooting.

This was an interesting matchup for the Grizzlies. If nothing else, it was a particularly good test of surprising upstart from Notre Dame Jack Cooley, since the Suns were the only team to this point with good, NBA ready big men in the Morris twins. Like every game, though, it was a good chance to get another look at Tony Wroten and Janis Timma to see if they’re cracked up to their expectations.

Cooley did not do well around the Morris twins. His rebounding took a major hit: he missed several rebounds and fumbled at least two rebounds that led to extra Suns possessions. The Morris’ defense flustered him too: he clearly shot less, and started defaulting to bad plays more often.

He still looked good where he performs well. His positioning was good, his effort was there, but it’s hard to see him succeeding offensively against real NBA size, talent, and athleticism.

Wroten looked the same as he has previously; smart, well positioned, and weirdly unable to hit good shots. The more games go by where he misses shots he should be making, the more nervous I get. It’s always possible that his misses are an anomalous cold streak…but the evidence is slowly building against him. After making two threes early into the game (HE MADE THREES? SIGN HIM NOW) he went 1-8, and 0-6 within that. I’m really worried about Wroten actually being able to score.

Timma was so bad that he has basically stopped getting playing time. At least the organization has basically given up on him, sad as that sounds.

I’m getting higher and higher on Gerald Robinson though, the more I watch. He’s great. Without being the primary ball handler, he ended the game with 8 assists in 30 minutes in SUMMER LEAGUE, where the average for even the best passer isn’t above 5 since no one can make shots. That’s pretty amazing, really.

Some twitter love I posted tonight for my man Robinson:

Robinson is truly phenomenal at the in-out game. He’s the best I’ve seen in Vegas so far at carving defenses with the dribble, and then passing into a big man or back out the corner. He’s a really creative player, capable of making great players in Rubio-like unexpected ways.

That said, it’s hard to know what he’d look like in the NBA. He’s decidedly undersized, and it doesn’t look like he’s much of a shooter. Also, like Wroten, it’s starting to look like he might have a consistently hard time finishing bunnies he should be making, which is always concerning.

Personally, I’d REALLY like to see Robinson get some time in the league. Maybe not with the Grizzlies, but with someone. He’s an asset for sure.

Some other things to note:

-Van Der Blue and Donte Greene are both hyper athletic players who are getting a decent amount of hype from announcers who just don’t look good to me. They take a lot of shots, and a lot of bad ones. They make some, but despite shooting more than Wroten and Cooley, they’re both scoring less on average than both players. I’m not high on them, though Greene is a voracious defender and good 3 point shooter, so may have some value if he can calm down.

-Matt Howard is interesting to watch. He’s probably not going anywhere; he’s the epitome of an awkward, unatheltic, defensive center. He is, however, pretty dang good at what he does: he blocks and rebounds and knows not to do anything else. There was at least one point in which he grabbed a real Z-Bound, using one arm to box out as he grabbed the board with the other hand.

 

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