Were getting close to the end of here at the Long Beach Summer Pro League and the players are feeling it just as much as the fans. The Memphis Grizzlies toppled the Washington Wizards in a lopsided victory 105-80, leading them in every period and outscoring them in the fourth 32-19. Rudy Gay sat once again due to a groin injury, but is expected to play on Wednesday. Lawrence Roberts also continues to sit with what the staff suspects is a broken nose and is unlikely to play again in the SPL.
Kyle Lowry At the beginning of the SPL Lowry showed flashes of talent, but as a whole hed been unimpressive up until today. Today he looked more fluid and in control than hes looked in previous games, getting to the rim at will, leading the break efficiently and even crashing the boards. Lowry finished with 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting and 8 rebounds (3 offensive) to go with 3 assists and 2 steals in 34 minutes. He made a couple of nice deflections one of which was taken all the way for a layup showed a pretty floater off the glass for an And-1 and a finger roll on a drive after being forgotten on a switch. All told, a very good game for Kyle.
Hakim Warrick Warrick got into foul trouble early, but still managed to finish with 16 points on 5 of 7 shooting. He made a pretty play while next to the basket where he faked the ball one handed like he was going to pass it across the key and then deftly laid it off the glass after his man fell for it. He also showed a nice little left-handed running hook and a turn-around 10 on the baseline.
Alexander Johnson In the second half, Alex saw Andray Blatche get stuck across the halfcourt line and make an ill-advised cross-court pass. Alex ran for it and collided with Wizards player Antoine Jordan. Both players went down hard with AJ tweaking his left knee. Rudy Gay and another teammate carried him back to the locker room and Antoine Jordan got up and walked back to his. Assistant coach Lionel Hollins said that he was unsure if Johnson would be available for Wednesday. In the game Alex showed his heart and hustle again, and also made some nice offensive plays. In one stretch he made a swing-through move and used a quick right first step to go around Julian Terrell for a layup and then on the next possession swung-through again and went to his left and laid it off the backboard for an And-1.
Andray Blatche Blatche scored 17 points on 4 of 14 shooting, with most of his production coming from the foul line where he went 8 of 10. He pulled down 11 boards (3 offensive) and picked up 3 assists. He racked up 7 fouls, however, and while only credited with 4 turnovers, appeared to have more. Andray is a tall and lanky player with a lot of promise, but he can be turnover prone at times. He has very good ball-handling skills for his size which can lead him into trouble as he tries to run the break, beat the press or get out of double teams. On one play for example he was leading the break in transition and dribbled behind his back to avoid defenders not once, but twice, ultimately leading to a poor one-handed pass to a teammate who wasnt ready. He has a lot of talent and his upside appears to be very high.
Peter John Ramos Ramos is physically a beast. Listed at 73 and close to 290lbs, Ramos is big, strong and more athletic than he would appear at first glance. Unfortunately his basketball IQ is very low and his reaction times are almost non-existent. He scored 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting and showed a little floating hook from both sides of the paint out to 8 and from the baseline as well. It seems to be a fairly consistent and reliable shot for him and his go-to move. Unfortunately, despite his size Ramos is a very poor rebounder (he got 6, but only when they came right to him) and not an interior defensive presence. His timing is poor, which means hes not a shot-blocking threat, and his rotations are slow, which means he isnt around to contest and alter shots from penetration. Despite being surprisingly athletic for his size (he was throwing dunks to himself off the backboard during warm-ups) he doesnt have any real leaping ability in game situations and never puts in a second jump to help secure a rebound after mistiming the first. Hes also foul prone, picking up 3 fouls in the first 4 minutes and 7 overall. He was playing Andreas Glyniadakis very aggressively and threw him to the floor once and fouled him hard a second time, earning himself a flagrant foul and knocking Andreas contact out of his eye, which forced Memphis to call a timeout.