Las Vegas Summer League, Day 5: Chicago, Cleveland Make Their Debuts

After back-to-back days of big excitement, owing to John Wall's first two games as a Washington Wizard, the mood in Las Vegas is slightly dampened as its headline act takes a day off.  Nevertheless, seven games dot the schedule with a number of intriguing prospects dotting the schedule and two teams making their first appearances.

Don't miss Ridiculous Upside's preview.

4:00 p.m. EDT: Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls

So far in Summer League:

The Nuggets are undefeated (3-0) while Chicago is making its Summer League debut.

Best players on each team:

Second-year point guard Ty Lawson and veteran knucklehead J.R. Smith leading a Nuggets squad against a Chicago team that is composed of James Johnson and not much else, as the Bulls don't have a 2010 first round pick on their roster.

A player you might not know:

Samardo Samuels was an early entrant into the NBA draft from Louisville and admitted during the pre-draft process that he hadn't received any real advice from his college coach Rick Pitino.  Some questioned his decision to enter the draft at all and those questions proved well-founded once he went undrafted.  Nevertheless, Samuels is a talented, if slightly short, power forward prospect who is hoping to have a big week in Las Vegas.

6:00 p.m. EDT: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. D-League Select

So far in Summer League: ­

The D-League Select squad (0-1) lost its opener to Phoenix on Monday while Cleveland is making its Summer League debut.

Best players on each team:

Cleveland brings a roster stacked with intrigue headlined by hustle guy J.J. Hickson, who has seen plenty of action as a Cavalier over the last two seasons.  As Ridiculous Upside noted, the D-League got a breakout performance from guard Mike Gansey, who hung 15 points on Phoenix on Monday.

A player you might not know:

Cleveland has a bunch of talent on the wings - North Carolina's Danny Green included - but don't sleep on Manny Harris, an undrafted guard from Michigan.  Harris can score the ball in a number of ways and will be super motivated to make a big impression by filling it up.

6:30 p.m. EDT: Houston Rockets vs. Toronto Raptors

So far in Summer League: ­

Houston (2-1) is looking to bounce back from a Sunday loss to Portland while Toronto (1-0) is cruising after demolishing Phoenix on Saturday.

Best players on each team:

With DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems, Toronto is led by a good portion of their highly-acclaimed Young Gunz.  But, really, their roster is stacked with intriguing talent: guards Bobby and Dee Brown, bruiser Joey Doresey, the posterizable but long Cheikh Samb and highly-touted rookie Ed Davis combine to make the Raptors a Summer League juggernaut.  Houston is led by pros Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill and is hoping from even more from versatile draft pick Patrick Patterson, who is probably their best bet in slowing down Toronto's attack.

A player you might not know:

Central Florida's Jermaine Taylor, an undersized scoring guard who can fill it up, put in 13 points against Portland and showed flashes that he was capable of much more if he can keep his turnovers in check.

8:00 p.m. EDT: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies

So far in Summer League: ­

The Bucks(0-1)  lost to the Mavericks 73-72 in overtime in what will likely prove to be the biggest nail-biter of the week.  The Grizzles (1-0) beat Atlanta 89-85 in their Summer League opener.

Best players on each team:

Bucks forward Larry Sanders didn't shoot very well from the field (4-15) but he was all over the court against Dallas, grabbing boards and changing plays on defense.  A hard fall on the baseline led to an injured wrist and while the injury isn't believed to be serious his status is in question.  Memphis seemingly brought half of their NBA roster, including O.J. Mayo, who put up 20 points against the Hawks.

A player you might not know:

Power forward Jeff Adrien from Connecticut went undrafted in 2009 and wound up playing in Spain last year. He's back in Vegas looking to overcome the questions about his undersized body but he's playing on a team with a crowded frontcourt.  Pros Darrell Arthur, DeMarre Carroll, Sam Young, Hamed Haddadi and Hasheem Thabeet will all take time.

8:30 p.m. EDT: Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers

So far in Summer League: ­

The Kings (1-0) won their Summer League opener in dominating fashion over Detroit thanks to a double-double from first round pick DeMarcus Cousins.  The Lakers are 0-3 and probably couldn't care less, as they didn't field much talent here in Las Vegas.

Best players on each team:

Aside from Cousins, whose battering ram style drew consistent oohs and aahs from a Cox Pavilion crowd that included his Kentucky teammate John Wall, second round steal Hassan Whiteside is the one to watch.  His activity level has been very high on both ends, his upbeat personality has been infectious and his block shots, which appear from nowhere, were devastating to Detroit.  The Lakers are led by West Virginia's Devin Ebanks, who has scored 20+ points twice already in three games.

A player you might not know:

Sacramento's 6'1" point guard Tyrese Rice is almost always the smallest player on the court but few can match his electricity.  While he hasn't necessarily shown an ability to lead a team or run an offense, he dropped 15 points in 18 minutes and left defenders in his dust multiple times.

10:00 p.m. EDT: Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Hornets

So far in Summer League: ­

Portland (1-0) dealt the Houston Rockets their first Summer League defeat in convincing fashion while New Orleans (0-2) is still looking for its first win.

Best players on each team:

The Blazers enjoyed a breakout performance from speedy guard Patty Mills on Sunday afternoon.  Mills, an unrestricted free agent who is ostensibly auditioning his talents to all 30 NBA teams, was on pace for a triple-double before he was pulled from the game with the Blazers up by more than 20.  The Hornets have lost both starting guards Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton to injury.  The best of the rest of their roster are 2010 draft picks Quincy Pondexter and Craig Brackins.

A player you might not know:

Brackins was a relatively under-hyped power forward prospect out of Iowa State but his stock enjoyed a late surge in the weeks leading up to the draft. Seen as a hard-working, versatile four that can step out and shoot it, he likens his game to Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge. He should get plenty of touches with New Orleans's starting backcourt out.  Dante Cunningham should give him a good defensive test.

10:30 p.m. EDT: Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat

So far in Summer League: ­

With first round pick Ekpe Udoh down for months with a wrist injury that required surgery, Golden State is led by forwards Reggie Williams, who has led the Warriors (1-2) in scoring in all three games. Miami (1-0) snuck past New Orleans thanks to an exciting backcourt pair in Kenny Hasbrouck and Patrick Beverley.

Best players on each team:

Williams may continue to be a one-man show and that's ok with him, as he dumped in 34 in a variety of ways against Wall's Wizards.  The Heat have the largest roster in Las Vegas and will be giving a full look to Jon Scheyer and Shavlik Randolph, two potentially cheap options to round out their relatively empty bench

A player you might not know:

Randolph is synonymous with fringe player, having bounced around the end of the bench in Philadelphia, Portland and Miami. His underrated and polished offensive game is a great fit in Vegas, where he can get his shot and display his range against mediocre competition.  A former Dukie, he has a decent shot to stick with the Heat again this season.

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