Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy Friday night

— Washington-St Louis game was suspended by cruddy weather in the 3rd inning Friday; they’ll resume that game Saturday afternoon, will play the regularly scheduled game Saturday night.

— I’ve mentioned a few times how the NBA Summer League is a fun event to go to in Las Vegas; lot of good basketball in air conditioning. Plus, when the games are over, you’re in Las Vegas, which is always fun.

One of the least important parts of summer league is who wins; it is one of the few times when basketball isn’t a team sport. Just about every guy on the court is fighting like hell to make an NBA roster, or a G-League roster or a roster somewhere overseas (guys who play overseas are still signing six-figure contracts).

How do you impress teams enough to give you a contact?
Shooting is always marketable; good shooting, obviously.
Do one thing EXCEPTIONALLY well. Rebound, defend, shoot, pass, do something that makes you stand out and helps the team win. But YOU need to somehow stand out.

Duncan Robinson plays for the Miami Heat, has made around $36M in his first five years in the NBA. His first year in college, he played Division III, non-scholarship basketball at Williams, a fancy academic school. Very few D-III players, VERY few ever make it into an NBA game, unless they buy a ticket to get it. And the higher level of D-III basketball is very good ball.

But Duncan Robinson is an elite shooter; he played three years at Michigan for John Beilein, and has played five years for the Heat, making 39.9% of his 3’s.

Thats what guys in the summer league are trying to do, impress one team enough to have them invite him to training camp. Getting your foot in the door is the most important thing, and the summer league is a great way to do it.

In other words, Player A may be playing for the Knicks’ summer league team, but he’s actually trying out for all 30 teams— everyone has scouts at these games. The cruddy teams need more help than the good teams. 

— Kid named Chris Ledlum played basketball for Harvard last year, he averaged 18.8 ppg, 8.5 rebounds a game LY, was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection.

He transferred to Tennessee in May, now he is in the transfer portal again, because that is what modern college basketball has become.

— They drew 29,102 fans to Opening Day Thursday at Saratoga Racecourse here in beautiful upstate New York. Fun place to go in the summer. They had 23,583 people there Friday; a day at the track is relaxing. Lot of rich people hanging around and lot of other people trying to look rich. 

— CW Network is going to show ACC football/basketball games this fall/winter, which is good news. Always good to have lot of games on to watch.

— Movie of the Day: Tender Mercies (1983)— A fading, middle-aged country singer gets a new wife, reaches out to his long-lost daughter, and tries to put his troubled life back together.

Robert Duvall is the star, playing the singer; Wilford Brimley is also in this movie, with a very young Ellen Barkin. Very good cast; the movie is little slow at times, but it is a good story.

— College football Trend of the Day— Favorites won/covered the last four Las Vegas Bowls.

— Atlanta Braves have outscored opponents 94-30 in the first inning this year.

— Dodgers 6, Mets 0— New York got one hit in six innings off of Julio Urias.

— Brewers 1, Reds 0— These two teams are tied for first place in the NL Central.

— Rangers 12, Guardians 4— Cleveland led 4-3 in 7th inning, then their bullpen imploded. Nathaniel Lowe was 4-4, with a home run and four runs scored.

— Astros 7, Angels 5— Angels have lost 10 of their last 11 games. Ohtani stopped pitching in this game in 6th inning, probably due to blister/fingernail issues. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.