After winning the first two legs of the NBA’s version of the Triple Crown, the Warriors came to Las Vegas seeking to complete the sweep.
The Warriors won the NBA Finals in June, less than two months after taking the Development League championship, but over the weekend were ousted in the quarterfinals of Las Vegas Summer League.
Even as the Warriors left the desert with a 3-3 record under Summer League head coach Luke Walton, they made some distinct impressions. Here are a few observations:
On first-round pick Kevon Looney: It was evident why the Warriors believe he’s a player. He showed nice shooting range, a deft handle for a 6-foot-9 forward and has a natural knack for gobbling up rebounds. Looney had only one poor offensive game. His defensive balance and footwork are weak enough to invite foul trouble. I imagine defensive guru Ron Adams is looking forward to working with him. Looney also needs to build his body, add some muscle, while the Warriors continue to monitor his troublesome hip. He’s 19. If his body is sound, his future is bright.
On forward James Michael McAdoo: The star of the team throughout its nine-day run. Always able to run the court like a deer, McAdoo has come a long way from being a raw athlete in search of his game. His sessions last season with Adams and other coaches and staffers are paying off, as McAdoo exhibited improved shooting touch and footwork around the hoop. The 6-9 North Carolina product likely has played himself off the D-League shuttle and is lining himself up to seize minutes soon to be officially vacated by former All-Star David Lee.
On guard Aaron Craft: He’s smart, a strong leader, dogged on defense and has good court vision. The Ohio State product has most everything you’d want from a backup point guard – except the threat of offense. Though he’s a nice piece to have available, it’s hard to see Craft breaking through the D-League ceiling unless he's able to force teams to guard him.
On free agent guard Chasson Randle: He proved he can play, but the biggest problem is his 6-2 height. He has tremendous skills for a shooting guard, able to get to the rim or shoot from deep – though his percentage wasn’t impressive. If he were 6-6, he would have been drafted. As is, Randle will have to sharpen his point guard skills. He appears to be talented enough to do that.
On center Ognjen Kuzmic: Big Kuz continues to be a project, partly because injuries continue to nag him. He made a decent showing, but missed four of six games. He’s still learning. But his future, more and more, appears to be in Europe.
On wing LaDontae Henton: The 6-6 Providence College product showed toughness and the ability to be an explosive scorer. His 3-point shooting was at times downright electrifying. That alone will put him on the radar of NBA teams.