LAS VEGAS — Day two of the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas had Zach LaVine make his debut for the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Dallas Mavericks.
LaVine was the highest-drafted player in this game, having been drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 13th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. There was a lot of intrigue going in to this game, on how well LaVine would transition to the NBA after having had a less than stellar first season for the UCLA Bruins.
LaVine’s game started well by receiving a lob pass by Alexey Shved, but struggled early in the first half of the game as the Timberwolves used him as their point guard. LaVine is still learning the position, having played off the ball in college.
He showed flashes of brilliance, as he just seemed to glide over the court and be able to play under control.
The frustration with LaVine is that he still settles for jump shots and lets the defense off the hook when he does this, but at this stage of his career he looks to be a better option at the shooting guard position and with his athleticism looks to be the perfect running mate for Ricky Rubio.
Unlike the Timberwolves, the Mavericks are not using the Summer League to develop young players but to use it to find players who can fill out their roster. They would be impressed by the progress made by second year player Ricky Ledo, a two guard who can score the basketball and showed his full offensive arsenal against the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves would be impressed by their second-year guard, Shabazz Muhammed.
Muhammed, the Timberwolves first pick in last year’s draft, was dominant and at this level is overpowering. However, whether he can transition these performance for the Timberwolves in to the regular season is questionable and he looks to be the odd man out if the Timberwolves were to trade Kevin Love to the Cavs for Andrew Wiggins.
By the end of the game, the Timberwolves came up ten points short in losing to the Dallas Mavericks.
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