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:
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 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, Vernon Macklin and the Los Angeles Clippers
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 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 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 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: