Reliving the recent Golden State Warriors’ Summer League title win

If you weren’t ready for the Summer League to be over, here are some highlights of the championship game in which Golden State’s Ian Clark scored 33 points to guide the Warriors to a 91-77 win:

http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2013/07/22/las-vegas-summer-league-day-11-recap/?ls=iref:nbahpt13a

 

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NBA Summer League recap and Championship Preview

By Alec Johnson

The Summer League is almost at an end, and tonight marks the first ever Las Vegas Summer League championship game, which will be contested by the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns. Before we get to that, let’s take a look at how we got to this point starting with the Mad Ants’ players and their teams involved in the consolation round on Friday.

Friday’s Consolation Round Games

New York Knicks (Tony Mitchell) 91, LA Clippers (JaJuan Johnson, Vernon Macklin) 80

The Knicks rounded up their NBA Summer League tournament with a win, led by a 20-point effort from Jeremy Tyler. Tony Mitchell also played a big part in the win with a 15-point effort, according to the NBA.com recap. An 11-4 start to the second quarter helped the Knicks establish a lead that they would hold onto for the rest of the game. LA’s Reggie Bullock led in scoring for all teams, scoring 22 points for the Clippers. Johnson added 4 points and Macklin added 2 of his own. New York finished 2-3 while the Clippers finished 1-4.

Memphis Grizzlies 91, Denver Nuggets (Luke Harangody) 84

Luke Harangody put up 17 points for the Nuggets on Friday, but it wasn’t enough as the Grizzlies downed the Nuggets to end the Summer League for both teams. The game was close until the fourth quarter, when the Grizzlies went on a 12-2 run late in the game to seal the win, according to the NBA.com recap. The Grizzlies were led in scoring by Gerald Robinson and Dante Greene, who each had 16 points to lead Memphis, who finished 2-4. Denver finished 1-5 in Summer League play.

Minnesota Timberwolves (Demetri McCamey) 72, Portland Trail Blazers 66

The T-Wolves managed to finish at .500 for the Summer League with a win over the Trail Blazers on Friday night. Despite giving up 25 points to the Blazers’ Terrell Harris, the T-Wolves managed to keep it close and took the lead for good on a Othyus Jeffers’ drive to the basket that resulted in a made basket and a free throw, according to the NBA.com recap. Leading the scoring for the T-Wolves was Lorenzo Brown, who scored 13 points and added 8 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Minnesota finished 2-3 for the Summer League, and Portland finished at 1-4. McCamey had no points in this game.

Saturday’s Quarterfinals

Charlotte Bobcats 85, D-League Select (Ron Howard) 75

The D-League’s perfect run came to an end Saturday night, as they lost to the Charlotte Bobcats, who had four players score in double digits. Leading the scoring for the Bobcats was Abdul Gaddy with 17, followed by 13 for Troy Daniels and 12 for both Jerome Dyson and Jamie Skeen, who also had 11 rebounds, according to the NBA.com recap. Elijah Millsap and Darnell Jackson each had 12 points to lead the D-League, and Kyle Weaver added 10 points as well. As for Ron Howard, he had 11 points and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Charlotte moved on to face the Warriors on Sunday in the semifinals and improved their record to 4-1 while the D-League finished their Summer League campaign at 4-1.

Golden State Warriors (Cameron Jones) 83, Los Angeles Lakers 77

It was the Kent Bazemore show in this contest, as he put up 26 points to lead the Warriors into the semifinals of the Summer League tournament. Down by 12 at one point, the Warriors fought back and remained perfect in Summer League play, according to the NBA.com recap. Cameron Jones also chipped in with 18 points, and Draymond Green scored 12 points and added 11 rebounds. The Warriors improved to 5-0 and advanced to play the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday night. As for the Lakers, they ended their campaign at 3-2.

As for the other two games, the Miami Heat defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 82-76, and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Toronto Raptors 103-98 to advance. The Heat would end up playing the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

Sunday’s Semifinal Games

Golden State Warriors (Cameron Jones) 75, Charlotte Bobcats 67

The Warriors advanced to the first ever NBA Summer League Championship Game with an eight-point win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Leading the way for Golden State was Cameron Jones with 16 points, followed by Draymond Green with 15 points and 12 rebounds. The win extended the Warriors’ win streak in Summer League play to 13 games, according to the NBA.com recap. Kent Bazemore also chipped in 13 points to help the Warriors’ efforts. Leading the scoring for the Bobcats were Troy Daniels and Brandon Triche with 13 points. Golden State advanced to play the Phoenix Suns in the championship game tonight. They remain perfect at 6-0.

Phoenix Suns 91. Miami Heat 89

As for the Suns, they defeated the Miami Heat 91-89 to advance to tonight’s championship game. They won with a 19-point effort from PJ Tucker, and the Morris brothers helped as well, with Marcus scoring 17 and Markieff scoring 10. As for the Heat, James Ennis scored 25 points and James Nunnally scored 24 points, according to the NBA.com recap. They dominated the second half, outscoring the Suns in both the third and fourth quarters, but it wasn’t enough to stop Phoenix, who also remained perfect at 6-0.

Championship Game Preview

It’s a battle of the unbeatens as the Warriors take on the Suns in the first NBA Summer League championship game, starting at 9 PM ET tonight. Both teams possess players who can score, the Warriors with Kent Bazemore, Draymond Green and Cameron Jones, and Phoenix with the Morris brothers, PJ Tucker, and Dionte Christmas. It should be a high-flying, offensive showdown, and I think it will come down to who can get more points in the paint and who can make the key plays at the right time. So tune in tonight, either on NBA TV or online at http://www.nba.com/summerleague.

 

Recap of the first two rounds of the Las Vegas Summer League tournament

By Alec Johnson

The first two rounds of the Las Vegas Summer League tournament are in the books, and surprisingly, the D-League Select Team hasn’t lost a game yet. Here’s how all the teams with Mad Ant players did on Wednesday and Thursday:

Wednesday 

  • Minnesota T-Wolves (Demetri McCamey) 92, Sacramento Kings 54

In this contest, the T-Wolves destroyed the Kings by forcing turnovers and getting rebounds, outrebounding the Kings 44-30. They also were led by a 17-pt performance from Shabazz Muhammad and a 15-pt performance from Demetri McCamey, who had 13 of those points in the first half to lead all scorers, according to the NBA.com recap. They moved on to face the NBA D-League Select Team on Thursday.

  • Dallas Mavericks 95, Los Angeles Clippers (Vernon Macklin, JaJuan Johnson) 89

The LA Clippers had a 20-10 lead after the first quarter, but a 19-6 run by the Dallas Mavericks in the second quarter gave the Mavs the lead, and they gained it back for good late in the third quarter with a three from D.J. Stephens. Leading the Mavs was Josh Akognon with 24 points and was a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line. Reggie Bullock again led the way for the Clippers with 20 points and 5 rebounds. JaJuan Johnson added 6 points and Vernon Macklin added 9 rebounds. The Clippers will take on the 15th seed New York Knicks this afternoon in the consolation round at 1 PM ET, while Dallas moved on to face the #1 seed Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

  • Denver Nuggets (Luke Harangody) 87, New Orleans Pelicans 82

After almost losing a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets managed to pull away and hold off the Pelicans. Jordan Hamilton scored 23 points, going 8 of 14 from the floor and 4 of 7 from the perimeter, according to the NBA.com recap. Quincy Miller also chipped in 17 points, 12 of them coming in the third quarter. As for Harangody, he only scored 4 points the entire game, which hasn’t been like the performances he’s put on so far in this tournament. New Orleans was led by Darius Miller’s 23-point effort. The Nuggets advanced to take on the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.

  • Miami Heat 113, New York Knicks (Tony Mitchell) 66

This game was one to forget for the New York Knicks, as Miami dominated the whole game from start to finish. Miami outscored the Knicks 22-8 in the first quarter while forcing seven turnovers and held the Knicks to just 29% from the field, according to the NBA.com recap. Travis Leslie scored 23 points for the Heat, and Jeremy Tyler scored 18 points for the Knicks and added 8 rebounds and an assist. Mitchell scored no points in this one, and played just under seven minutes. As said before, the Knicks will take on the LA Clippers in the consolation round this afternoon, while the Heat moved on to play the #2 seed Chicago Bulls Thursday.

Thursday 

  • D League Select (Ron Howard) 83, Minnesota Timberwolves (Demetri McCamey) 75

The D League Select Team keeps on rolling, as they won their fourth game of the Summer League, and first game of the tournament round over the T-Wolves. Brian Butch lead the way for the D League, scoring 18 points and adding 11 rebounds, according to the NBA.com recap. Ron Howard was second in scoring with 14 points, 12 of them earned at the free throw line. He also added 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Two other D League players, Elijah Millsap and Stefhon Hannah, were also in double digits, scoring 13 and 10 points respectively. As for the T-Wolves, they were led by Othyus Jeffers and Jeff Holland, who each scored 11 points. Demetri McCamey added 9 points for the T-Wolves. The D League Select advances to take on Cody Zeller and the Charlotte Bobcats in the quarterfinals at 8 PM ET on Saturday night. As for the T Wolves, they move into the consolation round to play the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at 7 PM ET.

  • Golden State Warriors (Cameron Jones) 79, Dallas Mavericks 76

Led by Kent Bazemore and his 25-pt performance, the Golden State Warriors were able to fend off the Dallas Mavericks with a late 17-2 run in the fourth quarter to win by three, according to the NBA.com recap. It was a back and forth game, with the Warriors being down 14 points during one part of the fourth quarter, the recap also said. Also helping the Warriors were the efforts of Cameron Jones, who was second in scoring with 15 points, Ian Clark, who added 13 points, and Draymond Green and Lance Goulbourne, who each added 10 points to the scoring. Dallas was led by Justin Dentmont, who scored 19 points, and was helped by Gal Mekel with 13, and Jackie Carmichael and Ricky Ledo, who each had 10. The Warriors advanced to take on the 8th seeded LA Lakers at 10 PM ET on Saturday, while the Mavericks face the Chicago Bulls in the consolation bracket tonight at 10 PM ET.

  • Toronto Raptors 95, Denver Nuggets (Luke Harangody) 78

Six players scored in double digits for the Raptors as they defeated Luke Harangody and the Denver Nuggets. Leading the way for the Raptors was Dwight Buycks with 18 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds, according to the NBA.com recap. Also scoring in double digits was Terrence Ross with 17 points, Jonas Valenciunas with 15, Coby Karl with 13, Micah Downs with 12, and Quincy Acy with 10. Jordan Hamilton again led the way for the Nuggets with 25 points. Harangody and Quincy Miller added 10 points for the Nuggets. The Raptors move on to face the Phoenix Suns in the quarterfinals on Saturday night at 6 PM ET while the Nuggets fall into the consolation round, where they will play the Memphis Grizzlies tonight at 8:30 PM ET.

Tune into the games this weekend, starting tonight with the consolation round, starting at 4 PM ET with the LA Clippers taking on the New York Knicks. Saturday’s quarterfinal games start at 4 PM ET with the Miami Heat taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers. All games are on NBA TV or online at www.nba.com/summerleague.

A link to the tournament bracket can be found here.

Recap of Monday/Tuesday NBA Summer League Action

By Alec Johnson

The final preliminary round games have been played, and today marks the start of tournament play. Here’s a recap of Monday and Tuesday’s action as well as who the teams with current and former Mad Ants will play in the tournament.

Ron Howard and the D-League Select Team:

Can you say perfection? After three games, the D-League Select Team is still unbeaten. They wrapped up play versus the Dallas Mavericks, winning 82-75 on Tuesday to secure a bye in the tournament. The D-League was led by Kyle Weaver’s 15 points off the bench, and Stefhon Hannah and Elijah Millsap also contributed 12 points each. Ron Howard had 9 points to help the cause as well, according to the NBA.com recap.

The D-League Select Team will play this Thursday at 8:30 PM ET against the winner of tonight’s Minnesota T-Wolves-Sacramento Kings game in tournament play.

Luke Harangody and the Denver Nuggets:

In their second game of league play, the Nuggets hoped to get a win on the board. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as they fell Monday night to the Chicago Bulls, 93-81. Andrew Goudelock scored 31 points for the Bulls in the victory, and Evan Fournier led the Nuggets in scoring with 20 points. Harangody played well, too, scoring 17 points and adding 7 rebounds, according to the NBA.com recap. After trailing by just two at halftime, the Nuggets struggled in the third quarter, and even with a 14-4 comeback, were still down by six at the end of the quarter. However, Goudelock took over again in the fourth quarter for the Bulls, and scored 10 points that quarter to carry the Bulls to victory.

In their final game of preliminary round play, the Nuggets took on the Wizards. From the start, the Nuggets trailed early, and ultimately, the Wizards used a 27-13 4th quarter to pull away to a 97-66 victory. Leading the way for the Wizards was Jan Vesely, who scored 18 points, and then Fournier led the Nuggets with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Harangody contributed 9 points and 5 rebounds.

The Nuggets finished the round 0-3, but they will get at least two more games, starting when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight at 6 PM ET on NBA TV and online at NBA.com. A win sees them advance, and a loss sees them into the consolation round.

JaJuan Johnson, Vernon Macklin and the Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers played their final preliminary round game versus the LA Lakers, losing 77-65 on Monday. Four players on the Lakers scored in double figures, with Marcus Landry scoring 16 points to lead the team, Lester Hudson scoring 13, and Elias Harris and Chris Douglas-Roberts scoring 12 each. Leading the way for the Clippers was Reggie Bullock with 12 points. JaJuan Johnson scored 11 points, while Vernon Macklin added 4 points, according to the NBA.com recap.

The Clippers finished 1-2, and they will take on the Dallas Mavericks tonight at 10:30 PM ET, with the winner playing the #1 seed Golden State Warriors on Thursday at 10:30 PM ET.

Cameron Jones and the Golden State Warriors

After winning their first game versus the Washington Wizards last Saturday, the Warriors added another win to their belt, this time beating the Sacramento Kings, 80-66. Leading the way in points was Ray McCallum of the Kings with 23 points in their loss, and for the Warriors, Draymond Green lead the way with 18 points, followed by Kent Bazemore with 15 and Ian Clark with 14. Cameron Jones contributed 8 points and 2 steals as well.

In the Warriors’ final game of preliminary play versus the Milwaukee Bucks, they had five players score in double digits on their way to a 84-72 victory Tuesday night, finishing 3-0. Leading the way was Lance Goulbourne with 13 points, and Cameron was one of three players with 11 points to help his team get the win.

The Warriors have the #1 seed for the tournament, and they will play Thursday night at 10:30 PM ET versus the winner of Wednesday night’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers.

Demetri McCamey and the Minnesota Timberwolves

They had an 18-point lead at the half, but couldn’t sustain the momentum, and then enter Marcus Morris, who hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer to help propel the Phoenix Suns over the T-Wolves, 91-89, according to the NBA.com recap. His brother, Markieff, led the team in scoring with 22 while Marcus has 18 to help their efforts. Leading the way for the T-Wolves was Robbie Hummel, who scored 18 points and added 7 rebounds. McCamey was second in team scoring with 13 points.

In their final game of preliminary round play, the T-Wolves took on the Miami Heat, and won, 80-71 to finish at 1-2. They shot 51% from the floor, and Brandon Paul led the way with 13 points, going 4 of 7 shooting along with 3 steals, according to the NBA.com recap. McCamey added 6 points, 3 defensive rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals to help in the win.

The T-Wolves first tournament game will take place against the Kings, as stated earlier in the article, at 8 PM ET tonight.

Tony Mitchell and the New York Knicks

Preliminary round play wrapped up for the Knicks on Monday against the Charlotte Bobcats, and the result was a 84-71 loss. Jeffery Taylor was the leading scorer for the Charlotte Bobcats with 20 points, and C.J. Leslie scored 15 for the Knicks. Cody Zeller also had 18 points for the Bobcats and added 10 rebounds. As for Tony Mitchell, he only played 10 minutes during the game, scoring no points while picking up 4 defensive rebounds and a steal.

The Knicks will play their first tournament game versus the Miami Heat tonight at 10 PM ET, with the winner taking on the #2 seed Chicago Bulls Thursday night at 10 PM ET.

Stay tuned to NBA TV or NBA.com for all the latest on the Las Vegas Summer League, and the tournament bracket can be found here.

Recap of weekend NBA Summer League action

By Alec Johnson

The first weekend of the Las Vegas Summer League Games is done, and so far, the teams with the best records are the Chicago Bulls, Mad Ant affiliate Milwaukee Bucks, and the D-League Select Team featuring one of our own, “Mr. Mad Ant” Ron Howard. All three of these teams stand at 2-0. Here’s a recap of what happened with all the current and former Mad Ants and their teams:

Courtesy NBA.com

Ron Howard  (Courtesy NBA.com)

Ron Howard and the NBA D-League Select Team:

“Mr. Mad Ant” and his crew of D-League All-Stars have surprised everyone by starting out
2-0 in the campaign, putting them in prime position for a first round bye in the league tournament. Their first game was against the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday, featuring new draft picks Shabazz Muhammad and Chris Johnson, and former Purdue star Robbie Hummel. The D-League won a close game 83-81. Starring in this game  for them was Stefhon Hannah, who led the D-League Select Team with 23 points, according to NBA.com. The D-League Defensive Player of the Year scored eight of those points in the final two minutes and drew a key charge late to preserve a two-possession advantage. Howard only played 12:15 of the game, scoring 2 points.

In the D-League’s second game on Sunday, they took on the Los Angeles Clippers, and won again, defeating them 83-77. Elijah Millsap led the team in scoring this time with 21 points and ended up making the free throw line his home. He shot 20 free throws, making 15 of them. His attempted free throws were more than the Clippers took as an entire team, according to the NBA.com recap. Howard played 12:31 of the game, and again registered 2 points.

The final game of the preliminary round for the D-League Select Team will be against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, with tipoff scheduled for 10:30 PM ET, broadcasted live on NBA TV and online at NBA.com/summerleague.

Luke Harangody (Courtesy thesportsfanjournal.com)

Luke Harangody (Courtesy thesportsfanjournal.com)

Luke Harangody and the Denver Nuggets

In the first game of NBA Summer League action for the Nuggets and Harangody, the team struggled and shot poorly, losing 88-74 to Mad Ant affiliate Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. The Nuggets were led in scoring by Harangody and Ben Uzoh who both came off of the bench and finished with 11 points apiece.  Part of the reason for the loss was Denver’s inability to score in the paint, as the Bucks outscored the Nuggets 44-26, according to the NBA.com recap.

The Nuggets’ next preliminary round game will be tonight versus the Chicago Bulls at 10:30 PM ET on NBA TV and online at NBA.com/summerleague.

JaJuan Johnson (Courtesy Bleacher Report.com)

JaJuan Johnson (Courtesy Bleacher Report.com)

JaJuan Johnson, Vernon Macklin and the Los Angeles Clippers

Vernon Macklin (Courtesy NBA.com)

Vernon Macklin (Courtesy NBA.com)

The former Mad Ants’ players and the LA Clippers have had mixed results so far in the league. In their first game Friday, the Clippers were led by Reggie Bullock’s 18-pt effort and defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 90-83, according to the NBA.com recap. JaJuan Johnson only played 2:49 and scored 4 points and added a steal to his totals. As for Vernon Macklin, he contributed 3 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

In their second game Sunday, the Clippers lost to the NBA D-League Select Team, 83-77, as stated before. Bullock again led the team with an 18-point effort, Macklin played 13:38 of the game, scoring 8 points and adding 3 rebounds. Johnson only played 3:26 of the game and didn’t score any points.

Demetri McCamey (Courtesy Gabe Hernandez, NBA)

Demetri McCamey (Courtesy Gabe Hernandez, NBA)

Demetri McCamey and the Minnesota Timberwolves

The current Mad Ant and the T-Wolves started out their campaign in Vegas Saturday with a close loss to the D-League Select Team, 83-81, as stated earlier in the article. McCamey did not play in this game.

Minnesota will play their next preliminary round game versus the Phoenix Suns tonight at 6;30 PM ET on NBA TV and online at nba.com/summerleague.

Tony Mitchell (Courtesy AL.com)

Tony Mitchell (Courtesy AL.com)

Tony Mitchell and the New York Knicks

In the Knicks first game of Summer League play, they took on the New Orleans Pelicans in the first game of the league on Friday and lost, 77-72. Austin Rivers of the Pelicans had 24 points to lead New Orleans, and Tim Hardaway, Jr. led the Knicks with 13 points, according to the NBA.com recap. Mitchell did not play, as he was still with the Boston Celtics’ team in Orlando wrapping up their summer league.

The second game was better for the Knicks, as they defeated the Washington Wizards 82-69 on Sunday. Leading the Knicks was Terrence Jennings, who scored 16 points shooting 7 of 11 from the floor and had 8 rebounds and 3 steals as well, according to the NBA.com recap. As for Mitchell, he played 13:12 of the game and scored 3 points and added an offensive rebound.

The Knicks wrap up preliminary round play today versus the Charlotte Bobcats at 4 PM ET to start the day’s action. It’s also live on NBA TV and online at nba.com/summerleague.

Cameron Jones (Courtesy USA Today)

Cameron Jones (Courtesy USA Today)

Cameron Jones and the Golden State Warriors

The former Mad Ant player and his team started their league campaign with a close 56-52 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday. Leading the way for the Warriors was Kent Bazemore, who scored 21 points and added 5 rebounds to help them overcome a six-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, according to the NBA.com recap. Jones started the game, and managed 2 points, 4 rebounds and a steal.

The next game for the Warriors will be tonight versus the Sacramento Kings at 8:30 PM ET live on NBA TV and online at nba.com/summerleague.

I’ll be keeping you updated throughout the week on all the Summer League action involving the Mad Ants’ players.

P.S. Listed here are links to the schedule of Summer League games and rules:

http://www.nba.com/news/las-vegas-summer-league-2013-schedule/index.html

http://www.nba.com/news/2013-las-vegas-summer-league-game-rules/index.html

Mad Ants making mark in Orlando, some also prepping for Vegas league

By Alec Johnson

The annual Las Vegas Summer League is now a day away, and that means opportunity for current and former Mad Ants’ Tony Mitchell, Ron Howard, Miles Plumlee, Orlando Johnson, Luke Harangody, Demetri McCamey, and JaJuan Johnson. An opportunity, that is, to try and make their NBA dreams come true.

Mitchell played well for the Celtics in the Orlando Summer League. He had 15 points in the Celtics’ win over the Pacers on Tuesday, along with 10 rebounds.

Assistant Coach Steve Gansey has been impressed with how Mitchell has played on the offensive end, but believes that he needs to work on his defensive skills in order to make it to the next level.

“I told him that everything with the Celtics and all these other scouts and teams are looking at is your defense, your body language and everything. You really gotta make them see that you’re a defensive minded player rather than just scoring the basketball,” Gansey said when recounting his conversation with Mitchell earlier this week.

In terms of what he thinks Mitchell will have to do to improve defensively, Gansey had these thoughts.

“I think he’s just gotta understand certain areas of the floor in terms of defense,” Gansey said. “If the ball is all the way on the quarter wing, he’s gotta know that he’s gonna have to come over and be help side. Sometimes, I think he gets too caught up with just playing 1-on-1 defense instead of playing 5-on-5 defense. That’s one thing he has to work on in terms of defense, just knowing his defensive position and being in the right spot in a game,” he said.

Speaking of the Celtics, they have had a tumultuous off-season, with Doc Rivers leaving for the Clippers and Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets for Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, and Keith Bogans, along with first round draft picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018. They are basically in rebuilding mode.

When asked if Mitchell had a shot at making the team, Gansey says he does despite his weaknesses on defense.

“Tony’s a young player with a lot of skill and a lot of talent, and he’s proven that he can play at a high level in our league last year and even right now in Summer League,” Gansey said. “It’s a very high chance that Tony could get signed by the Boston Celtics.”

Another player who’s had a couple stints with some pro teams is Ron Howard. “Mr. Mad Ant”, as the fans have called him, has tried out with the New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks, but never got a chance to start with either team, and was cut from their training camps. The D League has been his chance to shine, as he has averaged over 16 points a game in his six-year career with the Mad Ants. Because of his efforts, he was initially selected to play at the Indiana Pacers’ rookie/free agent training camp this month, but again was cut on July 6.

Thankfully for Howard, he now has an opportunity to play in Las Vegas. He will be with the NBA D-League Select Team for the 10-day league, which starts today with each team playing three preliminary games. These games are followed by a tournament-style format that starts July 17 and ends with the championship game on July 22. Along with the D League Select Team, 21 other teams will compete in this tournament, including Mad Ant affiliates Charlotte and Milwaukee.

Howard will have to make the most of this opportunity. He’s 30 going on 31, and his prime years are winding down. He will have to show the team executives and scouts there what they have missed out on, and one thing that will help is his attitude. Last season, Howard received the D League Sportsmanship Award, which shows his true character. That could be a positive in an NBA locker room, and according to some sources stated in this article, the Knicks hold him in high regard. The article also says they have given older players a shot, such as Chris Copeland, Pablo Prigioni, and James White.

As for the other players, such as Miles Plumlee, Orlando Johnson, and JaJuan Johnson, they’ll be looking to keep their spots secure on their respective teams. Looking at Plumlee, he has played very well on the defensive end, and had 6 blocks in the Pacers’ first game of the Orlando League versus Oklahoma City and averaged 9.5 rebounds per game, while averaging 6.5 of those on defense. He also averaged 10 pts/game in the Summer League as well.

Even though his NBA stats aren’t noteworthy, he did show potential in the D-League, averaging 11.2 points/game and 10.2 rebounds/game for 15 games while averaging 30 minutes a game. Another part of the issue for Plumlee has been players in front of him, as he had to sit behind three of them on the bench. That isn’t easy, but for Plumlee, he has the work ethic needed to succeed. His challenge is finding a way to put his skills and physicality together to play at his best, Pacers assistant coach Jim Boylen said in a Pacers.com review of Plumlee’s performance. He is not listed as playing in the Vegas Summer League, so Plumlee will have to wait throughout the offseason to see where he’ll be come September when training camp starts up.

As for Orlando Johnson, Gansey believes that he has a good shot at remaining in the Pacers’ lineup next season.

“He’s gained a lot of confidence. He’s been working on his game a lot this past year, even when he was assigned down to us, so he’s out here playing with high confidence and he’s playing very well also,” Gansey said.

Orlando won’t be playing in Vegas, but he did put up numbers, leading the Pacers in scoring with an average of 14.6 points/game. His best performance of that summer league was his 17 point effort against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Luke Harangody will be back playing again for the first time since March 5 in the D League. He will be playing this time with the Denver Nuggets. The forward was one of the Mad Ants’ leading scorers until he went down with an injury. It will be interesting to see if he can bring that same scoring ability he had while he was healthy.

Demetri McCamey will also be playing in Vegas, but he will play with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He averaged 7.7 points/game during the regular season, and was more of a bench player with the Mad Ants this season.

JaJuan Johnson will definitely need to use this opportunity in Vegas to help his chances because he only played in 2 games in Orlando, and averaged just 2.0 points/game. He will be playing with the Clippers, and will need to step it up in order to be noticed by the scouts and league executives.

Tune in today, starting at 4 ET (shortly from now) with the New York Knicks taking on the New Orleans Pelicans. Watch your Mad Ants play, and share your thoughts on who could stand out.

Again, here’s a list of the Mad Ant players (current and former) who will be playing in Vegas:

Luke Harangody-Denver Nuggets

JaJuan Johnson-Los Angeles Clippers

Demetri McCamey-Minnesota Timberwolves

Ron Howard-NBA D-League Select Team A link to the Summer League schedule can be found by clicking here.

(Side note: Kim English was cut from the Pistons’ squad yesterday).

Recapping Mad Ant performances in Orlando

By Alec Johnson

Day 3 of summer league basketball is in the books for current and former Mad Ant players Tony Mitchell, Miles Plumlee, Orlando Johnson, JaJuan Johnson, and Kim English as they played for the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and Indiana Pacers summer league teams today. The Celtics won, 76-74, led by Kelly Olynyk with 21 points, and Mitchell, who had 15 points today. As for the Pistons, they lost their game to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 79-75.

Here’s a look at how the guys have fared so far in this tournament.

Tony Mitchell

The NBA D League Rookie of the Year put on one of his best performances so far in the Orlando Summer League with his 15 pt, 10 rebound effort against the Pacers in the Celtics’ 76-74 win. He showed instances of his offensive abilities, even getting a finger roll past former teammate Orlando Johnson. He had 16 points and 6 rebounds in his first game of the Summer League against the Magic. The game against the Pistons only saw him score 9 points, but if he can put up double digit point and rebound totals, as well as use his fast break abilities, he’ll have NBA scouts looking at him. With the way things have been going for the Celtics this off-season, you would have to wonder if they might take a chance on him.

Orlando Johnson

The current Pacers’ and former Mad Ants’ standout had 13 points and 6 rebounds in today’s game against the Celtics, along with 13 against the 76ers, and a 17-point performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He got some playing time with the Pacers this past season, averaging 12.1 minutes per game. Johnson will need to work on his ball handling ability and ability to create separation on offense and use his 7’0 wingspan more effectively on defense, as stated in a DraftExpress article.

Miles Plumlee

The former Duke star has been doing his part for the Pacers so far this summer, averaging just over 11 pts/game, third on the team this summer. He had 9 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday’s game versus the Celtics.  It’s a good sign for a player that has more strengths on the defensive end than the offensive end, and if he can work on improving his offensive numbers, look for the Pacers to keep him around.

Kim English

So far this Summer League, Kim English’s numbers haven’t been all that impressive. In three games in the Orlando Summer League, he is just 5-23 from the floor, and 3-13 from the 3-point line while averaging 6 pts a game and 13 pts per 48 min. He will need to become a more efficient shooter in order to even have a shot of staying on the Pistons’ roster.

JaJuan Johnson

He has only played one game in this league, scoring just 4 points. We need to see more of him to give a further judgment on his play, and him having only played one game so far isn’t really helping his cause.

As for the rest of this week, here’s what the schedule looks like for each of the players and their teams. Both teams have one more game left before Championship Day on July 12.

Tony Mitchell (Boston Celtics)

July 10- Boston vs Houston, 3 p.m. ET

July 12-TBD (Championship Day)

Miles Plumlee, Orlando Johnson (Indiana Pacers)

July 11- Indiana vs Utah, 11 a.m. ET

July 12-TBD (Championship Day)

JaJuan Johnson, Kim English

July 11- Detroit vs Miami, 1 p.m. ET

July 12-TBD (Championship Day)

Tune in to the rest of the games on NBA TV or online at NBA.com/summerleague. The Orlando Summer League runs until July 12, when the championship and place games are played, and that same day, the Las Vegas Summer League will start up and run until July 22.