Top 10 Las Vegas Summer League highlights
LAS VEGAS -- The Summer League math formula is pretty straightforward: 24 teams + 11 days of games + up to eight games per day + dozens of players looking to make names for themselves while competing for contracts = lots of highlights.
Here's a rundown of the top dunks, blocks and one memorable game-saving three-pointer. This year's top 10 Las Vegas Summer League highlights come courtesy of everyone from No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to the undrafted Eric Moreland.
10. Rudy Gobert spikes Giannis Antetokounmpo
Jazz center Rudy Gobert played well enough during Summer League to generate some excitement among the Utah faithful, and his emphatic block of Giannis Antetokounmpo was worth hitting the rewind button a few times. This was a case of length meeting length, and the 7-foot-2 Gobert rose well above the rim to smash Antetokounmpo's fallaway mid-range shot into the baseline seats. Keep tracking the flight of the ball after the initial stuff to see media members ducking for cover, lest they risk decapitation.
9. Tyler Honeycutt throws down long distance alley-oop
Miami's Tyler Honeycutt, who reportedly posted a 41-inch vertical leap during the 2011 pre-draft process, put his leaping ability to good use multiple times throughout Summer League. The UCLA product's best effort saw him haul in an alley-oop pass delivered by Larry Drew from two steps behind halfcourt. Even though he caught the ball on the run, Honeycutt still managed a smooth two-handed finish that made this play look easy.
8. Jabari Parker reverses for the dunk
Most observers would agree that Bucks forward Jabari Parker's game is defined by all-around precision rather than jaw-dropping feats. Still, the 2014 No. 2 pick put himself into the top 10 mix with a running up-and-under reverse dunk against the Warriors. The spinning slam rattled the rim and drew cheers from the crowd, and the play was made even sweeter by the fact that Parker, who went one-and-done at Duke, blew by UNC's James Michael McAdoo on the perimeter for the flush.
7. Giannis Antetokounmpo splits the defense for the slam
Second-year Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo looked taller and longer in Las Vegas than he did as a rookie, if that's possible. The Greek Freak also appears ready to take the next step in his career, and Milwaukee made a point of ramping up his ball-handling responsibilities. His prettiest play started well outside the three-point line and ended with a strong flush; somehow, Antetokounmpo needed just one dribble and two long strides to cover all that ground. Cue the ambitious "Poor man's Kevin Durant" comparisons.
6. Glen Rice Jr. forces triple OT with the triple
The best out of bounds play of the week sent Summer League's most exciting game into triple overtime. Washington used a nice misdirection play to find Glen Rice Jr. wide open in the left corner for a game-tying, buzzer-beating three-pointer. This definitely had a "taste of your own medicine" vibe, as Jamil Wilson victimized the Spurs with the type of daring cross-court pass that Manu Ginobili has made famous. The Wizards would go on to win in triple overtime.
5. Eric Moreland shatters Lance Thomas with a block
Basketball fans really should adopt the football terminology of "pancaking" to describe a block so vicious that the dunker goes flying to the court. That's exactly what happened when the undrafted Eric Moreland, playing for Sacramento, capped Chicago's Lance Thomas at the rim, causing Thomas to crash hard to the deck.
4. Will Barton goes through the legs for the alley-oop to Thomas Robinson
The most "pro-am" moment of Summer League came when Blazers guard Will Barton channeled his inner Jamal Crawford, scooping the ball through his legs before lofting an alley-oop pass to Thomas Robinson, who easily threw down an uncontested dunk. "Thrill" Barton told reporters afterward that he felt an obligation to live up to his nickname and to reward his big man for running the court.
3. Andrew Wiggins hits the spin button before elevating
In what was surely this year's most replayed Summer League highlight, Cavaliers forward Andrew Wiggins spun quickly through two defenders before throwing down a quick and strong two-handed dunk past Nerlens Noel, the Sixers' shot-blocker extraordinaire. Everything came together perfectly for this year's No. 1 overall pick, as Wiggins carefully faked his way to the baseline, even though there really wasn't enough room to turn the corner. Once his full revolution created some daylight, Wiggins jetted through the open space on his way to the rim.
2. Daniel Theis destroys Tyler Honeycutt with the above-the-rim block
Speaking of pancakes, the aforementioned Tyler Honeycutt was sent straight to the hardwood by Washington's Daniel Theis, who displayed impressive wrist strength in wiping out the Miami forward's one-handed dunk attempt. Wizards guard Bradley Beal admitted on the television broadcast that he had never heard of Theis prior to the rejection. Indeed, the 6-foot-9 German forward is obscure enough that you have to translate his Wikipedia page from German into English.
1. Eric Griffin posterizes Shane Larkin
Total brutality. Dallas forward Eric Griffin dunked all over New York guard Shane Larkin, kneeing him in the chest on his way to completing the stretching dunk. The most impressive aspect of Summer League's top play? Griffin launched from the inside free throw circle and still had enough length and momentum to finish the slam through the contact. In case there was any doubt or concern, Larkin did survive the posterization without serious injury.