Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer League Review

The five-games-in-five-days summer league ended earlier Friday, with Miami losing in a nail-biting game against the Orlando Magic. Several players were visibly fatigued from fighting the past week to make an NBA roster. But if the summer league was meant to get a gauge at who has pro potential, it was a week well spent. I have broken down each player on Miami's roster, and give them a standing on if they can make the final cut.

Michael Beasley: The second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft had his ups and downs, but still managed to produce to a strong showing. He proved to be an excellent scorer and a strong rebounder. He needs to work on his defense, but at least the Heat now know where Beasley needs to improve. I expect him to start his rookie season and make a run for Rookie of the Year if not win it.

Mario Chalmers: This second-round pick was arguably Miami's steadiest player. Chalmers proved to be a tough defender and a quick guard who can get to the rim with ease. In addition, he also showed some three-point ability. If Miami does not make a trade for a veteran point guard, he could challenge Marcus Banks for the starting point guard spot.

Kasib Powell: The 6'7" forward has shown versatility to play the three. He has multiple ways to score in his arsenal, including taking the ball all by himself in the open court. He can hit the occasional three and rebounds well for a small forward. I expect he'll make the team and maybe become a rotation player down the road.

Stephane Lasme: Lasme has proven his worth in the little time alloted to him, unfortunately because he is Beasley's backup. Lasme can block shots on the defensive end, or can run the pick-and-pop perfectly on the offensive end. He doesn't mind getting his hands dirty and does all the little things. The Heat need someone like that. I expect he'll make the 15-man cut as well.

Anthony Morrow: The 6'6" guard can flat out shoot. He benefits off of defenders helping to guard Chalmers or Beasley. But as I've said before, Dwyane Wade is going to play 38-40 minutes, and Daequan Cook is going to be asked exactly what Morrow has been doing. Morrow could make the team as a third-string shooting guard, but I wouldn't bet my money that he'll make the team.

Antonio Graves: Graves was one of the quickest players in the Orlando summer league, especially in the open court. The problem is that if he gets the ball in a halfcourt setting, he'll chuck up a shot. Graves has to develop other facets of his game. I don't envision him making the team. Besides, can he pass the ball for once?

Anthony King: It's been easy to forget that King is even on the court. He hasn't done much to make himself stand out. I'd be surprised if he got an invite to Miami's summer league, much less make the final roster.
David Padgett: Padgett is very big and can rebound. He can set screens, but his productivity stops there. He has been foul-prone and has not offered much as far as scoring. I know Miami's center depth is only the perimeter-oriented Mark Blount, but I don't anticipate he'll make the squad.

Jason Richards: The leader in Division I assists is unfortunately backing up Chalmers. However, unlike Lasme, Richards hasn't made any of his performances memorable. He's shown an eye to get Beasley in some of his sweet spots, but has been somewhat prone to turnovers, is a liability on defense, and doesn't offer much on the offensive end of the court. He'll have to wait at least another year to play in the pros.

Marco Killingsworth: Keith Askins has never put in this guy for very long, but he has always been relatively anonymous every single game. He won't make the team.
Dion Dowell: See Marco Killingsworth.

Pat Calathes: Has he even played a game?

Marcus Campbell: Marcus who?

Josh Duncan: A poor-man's David Padgett. Won't make the team.

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