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They'll Always Have Las Vegas

Whatever else happens in Summer League play, there will be moments that diehard fans will remember--OJ Mayo's 69 foot basket, Houston's Donte Greene dropping 40, Portland's Jerryd Bayless overall chip-on-shoulder play at the point. Kevin Love's 18 point, 17 rebound performance against the hated Lakers will certainly be one of those moments. Whatever else happens in their career, us hoop junkies will always somehow interject our opinions of those players with what they first did when making their NBA summer debut.

The Wolves gave a much better accounting of themselves against the Lakers, although by looking at the box score, one would wonder how they lost the game. Primarily turnovers and LA's three point shooting did the club in. Love had an all-around good offensive game, but also had six turnovers, mostly related to forcing the outlet pass. That's okay; this is the time to experiment and see how your game fits in with improved competition. Corey Brewer also played more under control, scoring predominately in transition and closer to the basket. At this point in his career, Brewer is the most effective using the speed and defensive parts of his game; he needs a little Rip Hamilton movement without the ball acumen to play better in the half court. Hitting a jump shot off the curl wouldn't hurt either.

With Love and Richard playing together, one does get a sense of the defensive liabilities the Wolves are going to have. Replacing Richard with Jefferson won't do much more to stop anyone on their way to the basket. The counter argument--as made by plinytheelder in Wyn's latest game thread--is a good one; there's signs that the opposition is going to have to worry about our Ebony and Ivory combo as well. Given the rebuilding theme, that's what I would imagine the Wolves brain trust will mostly worry about, working on the chemistry and interchange between Big Al and Kevin.

As for the rest of the SL team, there's really not a whole lot emerging. Pops Mensah-Bonsu was a nice athletic addition to the roster, but according to Hoops Hype, has already signed a European contract. I think that's where he belongs. Our PG's played better, with Jeter making some nice clutch baskets in the closing minute of the game, but there's nothing remarkable that would produce an invitation to the fall pre-season training camp. There's three games left to try to impress and inspire their way onto anyone's preseason roster.

But they'll always have Las Vegas.