I have been taking the time to watch the Toronto Raptors in Summer League play. One curious addition to the Raptors lineup is Coby Karl, yes Karl son of former Dennver Nuggets coach George Karl. Sadly I have not seen much flashes of brilliance from him, but he has played a solid two games and made good decisions on the court. The Raptors brought last season’s rookies to Summer League to join the same motley crew of players that have played most of this year’s Summer League for other teams. Jonas Valanciunas, Quincy Acy and Terrence Ross have all made the trip down to Las Vegas and Dwight Buycks is expected to be finished with the physical as part of his signing with the Raptors in time to make the 4th Summer League Game. Buycks played quite well for the Oklahoma Thunder’s Summer League team this year, in his first game racking up 13 assists (one off of a Summer League record) on his way to earning a contract with the Raptors.
I am going to devote some time to each of last year’s rookies and I will start with Quincy Acy. I have always liked Acy because of his high motor (high energy level and competitive nature), however during this Summer League I have been very disappointed with his indifference for lack of a better word. Acy offensively has not played much around the rim, settling for long range and 3 point jump shots. Acy is 7 for 18 shooting, and has jacked up FOUR 3 point attempts hitting ZERO, (he was 1 for 2 during the NBA season). Acy has pulled down 10 rebounds in two games, and has scored 18 points. I think Acy needs to work on his shot selection and post moves offensively, but I do like the job he does on the defensive end. Having just finished watching the last Summer League game the Raptors have played I was much more impressed with Acy’s performance shooting 9 for 15, 2 for 4 from 3 point range, 10 rebounds and 28 points. If Acy can continue this level of play instead of his performance in the first two games he will certainly provide a fight for minutes with Tyler Hansbrough.
Terrence Ross has not shown me any improvement on the defensive end during this Summer League performance. Ross has been shooting well during the first two games of the Summer League. During these games Ross has managed 23 points on 9 for 20 shooting. Ross is 2 for 6 from 3 point range, but has committed 6 turnovers during the first two games. I believe Ross could benefit working on his Ball Handling skills and most importantly his defensive game.
While watching Jonas Valanciunas during the first two Summer League games I’m reminded of the saying “it’s like watching a Man amongst Boys”. This statement has been echoed by the announcing staff of the Summer League games. Given JV’s performance over the first two games, I would not be surprised to see him walk away from Summer League as the MVP. JV has gained a lot of muscle, and has been impressing me on the court. During the first two games JV has scored 42 points on 12 for 22 shooting. JV has grabbed 2o rebounds, but has turned over the ball 9 times.
I am most impressed with JV and Dwight Buycks even though most of his action was with the Thunder’s team. I would like to see Ross and Acy continue to work on their development, Acy on his offensive mindset and skill set, and Ross with his handling of the basketball and defense. I will be anxiously anticipating the Raptors preseason games to see how Buycks will be integrated into the team.