Phillin' The Lane: NBA Summer League in full swing

Phillin' The Lane: NBA Summer League in full swing

Basketball Australia's US correspondent Phil Moskowitz wraps another week of Aussie Boomers and Opals in action overseas.

The NBA Summer League tipped off last week and it started a two-week long journey for five Australian basketball players looking to either get signed to an NBA contract or to play their way into a bigger role for their team’s 2010-11 season.

After a slow start in his first game, Nathan Jawai played progressively better in each of his Summer League games for the Charlotte Bobcats in the Orlando League.

Jawai played only two disappointing minutes in the Bobcats’ opening game against the Utah Jazz, but logged no-less than 15 in the final four contests.

In the remainder of Charlotte’s games Big Nate averaged 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds while playing 16.8 minutes.

He was incredibly efficient while shooting the ball making 9-of-14 shots (64.3%) and also going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

Last week Nate had voiced his desire to try and play for an NBA team in the Las Vegas League; and a few days ago it was announced that he would be part of the Cleveland Cavaliers for their time in Vegas.

The Cavaliers present an interesting opportunity for Jawai whose contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves expired a few weeks ago.

Cleveland has been torn apart recently by the antics of Lebron James’s free agency and having their self-proclaimed “King” leave his Cleveland Castle.

Besides Lebron, two of the three centres on last year’s roster have filed for free agency and could also be leaving in the near future.

If Jawai has a good showing this week with the Cavaliers he could have the opportunity for a good amount of playing time with the team (his chances of this have increased even more by the fact that he is the only centre listed on their summer roster).

Jawai and the Cavaliers open their five-game Vegas schedule on July 14th at 8:00am AEST against the NBA D-League Select.

Also making their Vegas debut on July 14th, at 6:00am AEDT, will be AJ Ogilvy as part of the Chicago Bulls who will face the Denver Nuggets.

Ogilvy will be busy for the next week as the Bulls play their five games in the span of only six days.

In the third game on their schedule Ogilvy will be thrown up against the aforementioned Nathan Jawai as the Bulls square off against the Cavs.

This would be a very interesting and entertaining battle for both of these young players who will be playing their hearts out trying to prove themselves to NBA teams.

Chicago will close out its schedule on July 19th at 8:00am AEDT when Ogilvy battles another fellow Aussie, Patty Mills.

Mills had a phenomenal start to his Summer League shooting 50 percent (5-for-10) from the field for 12 points. He also added nine assists, seven rebounds, and one steal as the Boomers point guard looked extremely comfortable running the offense.

Patty played an outstanding series against Argentina in the Boomers World Championship tune-up in Australia, and hopefully this will carry throughout the rest of the Summer League schedule and into August for the Worlds.

Patty’s Summer League teammate and former Boomer Luke Schenscher did not play in the team’s first game, but hopefully will see a lot more action soon.

The fifth and final Aussie playing is Joe Ingles who is on the Golden State Warriors roster.

The Warriors have currently played three of their five games and Ingles has seen a significant amount of time in each.

Game 1 he played 24 minutes and grabbed five rebounds and had one assist against the Hornets, but was 0-for-2 from the field.

In Game 2 Ingles was again held without a made field goal going 0-for-4. He did, however, have two points and two rebounds.

His most productive game came in Game 3 against the Washington Wizards when he scored five points, had four rebounds, two steals, and one assist in 17 minutes.

Ingles has seen his minutes slowly decline, but hopefully this trend doesn’t continue through the last two games.

He needs to start producing similar numbers as he posted with CB Granada if he wants any chance of making Golden State’s roster.

Ingles averaged 11.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 steals over the course of this past season in Spain.

The Australian women are also starting back up in the WNBA as the All-Star break was this past weekend.

Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor were both named to the All-Star Team and this year (since the Women’s World Championships are also taking place in a couple weeks) the WNBA All-Stars played against Team USA.

Jackson was held out of the game as a precaution since she suffered a concussion in her final regular season game before the break on July 3rd.

However, Taylor did play and scored 12 points, had three steals, and added one assist while representing the Phoenix Mercury.

The following day the Opals visited Connecticut in the Northeastern United States for a friendly and came away victorious by the score of 87-72 even without their star Lauren Jackson.

Taylor followed up her All-Star game with another solid performance netting 10 points and grabbing two rebounds in her first Opal action since 2008.

Also playing well for the Opals was Abby Bishop who has been playing sparingly for the Seattle Storm.

Bishop scored 11 points, had five rebounds and two steals in the friendly and showed that, even while not playing too often in WNBA games, she has been learning and continuing to grow as a ballplayer.


        Opals beat Team USA 87-72

        Jawai signs on as part of Cavaliers Las Vegas Summer League Roster


        Ogilvy takes the next step in his NBA career

        Mills, Schenscher, Ingles and Jawai all continue their Summer League schedule

        ESPY Awards on ESPN to see if Jackson wins Best WNBA Player