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Vegas Summer League: Grizzlies vs. Bucks Recap

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Again, I guess a win is a win, but the Grizzlies barely escaped by the skin of their teeth against the Bucks last night. Sam Young (sort of) nailed a three to win it, he scored 15 in all, but the Grizzlies are playing their real bench. These guys are our real bench, minus Tony Allen, they should be whipping the Bucks temps.

Oh well, nowhere but up from here (not true). Let's get into the points:

  • Hasheem Thabeet had a nice stat line, but didn't have the impact he did last game. He looks busted after the back to back. More words on Thabeet later, including why he's got to change his shotblocking approach.
  • O.J. Mayo racked up the turnovers again, but this time he looked passive. Arthur was often running the offense from the high post, and it was not particularly effective. OJAM the combo guard has to be able to bail his team out by creating if the strategy (high-low post play) isn't working. Until the 4th quarter, I considered this game a step backwards. After the 4th, it was a wash.
  • Sam Young is a defensive nightmare. Just saying, game-winners don't make up for leaving your guy around screens like every other play.
  • DeMarre Carroll is a nightmare everywhere. If you can't dominate in Summer League, you can't make a real team, because Jeff Adrien can. Carroll wouldn't be on the squad if he was a 2nd rounder.
  • The Grizz bench is horrible at setting screens. Everyone is looking to roll before the pick gets hit, even when opposing guards are about to run straight into it.
  • I still am in absolute love with the O.J. Mayo and Greivis Vasquez backcourt. It's so good. If Vasquez is for real, it should be the future. That's a big if, though.
  • Hey, Thabeet. You're freaking huge. Bump some bitches. Hurt someone, you need to be scary, not a big Tanzanian teddy bear. This is when catching the ball or rebounding. He's too nice, it's a definite weakness.
  • By the way, Darrell Arthur showed more flashes of really, really improved and diverse game, but he was mostly neutralized by the Bucks Larry Sanders. Take it for what you will.
  • Jeff Adrien needs to get a contract. He should be the 13th guy. His offense is decent, and his rebounding is great. I don't see why he couldn't play just as well as a Jason Maxiell or even Reggie Evans.
  • Greivis Vasquez hit a couple jumpers after the dribble and stuff. His shooting form looks consistent and is better than advertised. Maybe he doesn't shoot the ball well yet, but he should learn to shoot better at some point. Especially with his work ethic.
  • Vasquez also jumping passing lanes frequently, too frequently. The cockiness comes out in his game.
  • Here's what you came for -- the O.J. Mayo commentary. Again, everyone should know by this point that I'm not thrilled with his point guard play so far. It's not about all the turnovers or even the lack of assists. No, the problem with O.J. as a point guard run much, much deeper:
  • His first step isn't fast enough to penetrate. Barely ever saw him in the lane, good passers live in the lane.
  • He doesn't create space on the floor. Good points draw defenders on purpose. Mayo avoids them.
  • His handles when moving forward aren't good enough. Mayo's crossover and stepback moves are nice, but those don't help him create anything but midrange jumpers.
Look, O.J. Mayo is a great player. But he's not really even a combo guard yet, much less a true point guard. He can play the point guard. When he's point guard, though, he's not helping his team, he's simply going to be setting up plays or calling his own number. That's going to be alright a few minutes a game. I'm not worried about that. What I am worried about is giving this guy a huge contract extension when he's nowhere near as helpful as his jumper makes him look. Just remember, Mayo's career PER is sub-15, which is average for a starter.