Las Vegas Summer League, Day 7: John Wall Returns

The bland mediocrity of Wednesday's action was given a jolt by Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, who capped a sensational performance with a game-winning jump off in the closing seconds of a win over the Minnesota.  To add insult to injury for the Timberwolves, their top pick Wesley Johnson watched from the bench, as the player he will forever be linked to ran roughshod over, under, around and through his team's bigs.

All eyes turn back to John Wall on Thursday; Washington's two day absence from official play has felt like an eternity.  He might not face a better guard in Las Vegas than Dallas's Rodrigue Beabois, and press row is already atwitter at the thought of their match-up more than four hours before tip.

Here's a preview of today's action.  Don't miss Ridiculous Upside's preview as well.

4:00 p.m. EDT: Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs

So far in Summer League:

The Lakers (0-4) are looking to close out Summer League with their first win while San Antonio (2-0) cruises along, winning their two games by an average of 15.5 points.

What To Watch For:

San Antonio's Alonzo Gee is gaining some buzz as a do-it-all big guard, averaging an impressive 18 points and 6 boards while knocking down almost half of his field goal attempts. The Spurs continue to get more production from deeper into their bench than just about anyone here, led by five players who continue to average double figures.  The Lakers, meanwhile, are happy to forget their struggles this week because they've found a steal in big man Derrick Caracter, who may be the third most impactful rookie big man here this week after DeMarcus Cousins and Larry Sanders.

6:00 p.m. EDT: Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns

So far in Summer League:

Golden State (2-2) looks to salvage a winning record in their final game as Phoenix (1-3) aims to save face.  The Summer League can't end soon enough for either team; both have slogged through up-and-down weeks.

What To Watch For:

Phoenix continues to hope for development from athletic forward Earl Clark who's struggled with his shot and hasn't hit the boards much.  Golden State was essentially a two-man team but that's been cut to one due to an injury to Brandan Wright.  The last man standing is Reggie Williams, who has scored in bunches all week.

8:00 p.m. EDT: Washington Wizards vs. Dallas Mavericks

So far in Summer League:

The Wizards (2-0) haven't really been tested as the John Wall Experience has met little resistance.  Dallas (1-2) has loads of intriguing talent but hasn't yet put it all together.

What To Watch For:

We're set for what could be the single best match-up of the week: Wall versus Dallas's incredibly talented point man Rodrigue Beaubois, who comes as close as anyone in Las Vegas to matching Wall's physical tools and quickness.  Both should have no trouble scoring but the microscope will be focused on how they limit turnovers and defend each other.

8:30 p.m. EDT: Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks

So far in Summer League:

Either Atlanta (0-2) or Milwaukee (0-2) will get their first win of the week which sounds worse than it is because both have been competitive in their losing efforts.  

What To Watch For:

Larry Sanders has solidified himself as the best rookie big man in Vegas not named DeMarcus Cousins and his defensive presence will be needed as Atlanta's backcourt of Jeff Teague and Jordan Crawford is quick, strong and looking to attack the paint.  On offense, Milwaukee hopes Sanders continues to improvefrom the field.

10:00 p.m. EDT: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers

So far in Summer League:

Winless Los Angeles (0-2) is hoping not to get steamrolled by undefeated Portland (2-0).  The Clippers will settle for a more assertive performance from rookie forward Al-Farouq Aminu while the Blazers will continue to give touches to point guards Patty Mills and Armon Johnson as they weigh each player's potential future with the team.

What To Watch For:

Portland has a certified Aminu-stopper in Dante Cunningham, who is in excellent shape and has played full tilt during both of Portland's wins.  How Mills and Johnson match up with first round draft pick Eric Bledsoe will also be interesting, as both slipped into the second round (Mills in 2009, Johnson in 2010).  The Blazers think they've got a steal in Johnson, who showed nicely in a Wednesday scrimmage against Wall.

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