Summer Wolves vs Summer Cavaliers
Welcome to the Summer League where everything is made up and the points don't matter!
Tonight the Summer League Wolves squad will vie for their first victory against the Cleveland Cavalier's team, which has equally been unable to achieve a win. In the first two games of the summer league, the Wolves have had to face teams with several players who have had notable NBA experience and at least some amount of success. The Nuggets were running out the trio of Emmanual Mudiay, Gary Harris, Jimmer Freddette, and the highly touted rookie Jamal Murray. The Raptors had Norman Powell and Delon Wright, which gave the Timberwolves' backcourt difficulties in keeping up with the more experienced players.
The Cavalier's summer roster does not have this issue. The Cavaliers are playing zero players with real NBA experience and do not have a touted rookie to show off. The team has been led by feisty point guard Kay Felder, who has been extremely active defensively in his first few games this year. Felder is 5'9" and is a ballhawk, which will make quite the interesting match-up if he faces Kris Dunn.
While we can take these games with a grain (or 100) of salt, there are a few things about Dunn that are becoming somewhat clear. First of all, Dunn is exceedingly strong for a point guard, especially against the lesser summer league contention. He can get into the lane seemingly at will and has the ability to punish smaller players by going right through them. However, he can also be lackadaisical with his ball handling and it will be interesting to see how he responds to consistent pressure.
Dunn has been putting up a ton of points so far in the summer league, often against other NBA level guards, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him eclipse 30 points tonight.
As for the rest of the more notable Wolves, Tyus Jones will likely continue his solid play on offense that is then accompanied by defensive struggles. Regarding Adreian Payne, how he plays is anyone's guess and at this point his place among the Wolves is becoming an unfunny joke that has lasted a bit too long.
It should be another fun game tonight and the Wolves will be able to showcase their talent on offense against lesser competition. Dunn will almost certainly provide another highlight reel.
As a side note, I wish more teams would take the opportunity to send random players to the summer league for fun, such as Michael Beasley playing with the Rockets. I think Nemanja Bjelica would have had a great time playing with the Wolves Summer League squad. He still is technically a second-year rookie and Tyus Jones would set him up with threes all game. It would be perfect, as the 10 fouls allowed would mean all the ticky-tack fouls that Bjelica gets wouldn't matter and if Bjelica ever passes up an open three he immediately gets pulled. He would even get the chance to experience the central tenants of American life that Las Vegas represents. I would certainly pay good money to be a fly on the wall to experience Kris Dunn, Adreian Payne, and Bjelica going out together. They can even all legally drink, which is quite the rarity for Timberwolves players.
Enjoy the game.