13 July 2007

Pepsi Pro Summer League Wrapup -- Free Marcin!

This year's Pepsi Pro Summer League has drawn to a close and awards have been passed out. Our very own Marcin Gortat, who finished third in blocked shots per game, and J.J. Redick, who lead the league in scoring, each received First Team All-Summer League honors. James Augustine made the Second Team, and Kevin Kruger was an honorable mention. Nice job to all involved. The league ended on a sour note, though, as the Magic were handed a 63-57 loss by the Miami Heat earlier today.

J.J. Redick fires a pass around the tough defense of the Miami Heat, who finished today's contest on a 12-0 run to win the game.
Photo by Fernando Medina, Getty Images

I apologize for not covering the league more in-depth. I was able to catch Monday's game because I had the day off, but my work schedule prevented me from taking in any other games. If you're interested, you can check out game recaps and box scores from this page on the Magic's website. A warning on the box scores - they are downloadable PDF files; that is, you can't just click on a page and see the box score. Unfortunate.

My summer-league game-ball goes to Marcin Gortat, whose performance this week has all but assured him a spot on the team's roster. The seven-footer posted per-game averages of 10 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 3.2 blocked shots. The loss of Darko left us with only one shot-blocker, Dwight Howard, and he can't play the whole game. If Gortat can play 10-15 minutes a night and protect the rim, I'll be happy.

Marcin Gortat attempts a layup against the Chicago Bulls during a summer-league game. Gortat's strong showing throughout the league has strengthened his case for inclusion on the Magic's roster.
Photo by Fernando Medina, Getty Images

Another player who turned heads was Kevin Kruger of UNLV. The departure of Travis Diener leaves the Magic in need of a third point guard. Kruger played competently and unselfishly, although his 2.6 assists per-game average doesn't show it. Like Diener, he's deadly from three-point territory, as he shot 10-of-22, or 46%, from that distance. Jameer Nelson and Carlos Arroyo would absolutely get the nod over him, and Keyon Dooling figures to see time running the point as well, but the Magic could do worse than have Kevin Kruger as their last option at the point.

With whose summer-league performance are you most impressed? Vote in the sidebar on the right-hand side. If anything big happens this weekend, I'll chime in. If not, I'll enjoy a respite from the internet... by working at my "actual job" for 12 hours this weekend.

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