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Donatas Motiejunas and other young players started off solidly at NBA Summer League

Jul 14, 2012, 2:12 AM EDT

donatas motiejunas Getty Images

LAS VEGAS — The NBA Summer League began on Friday and, unfortunately, none of the games were very close. Fortunately, however, there were a lot of pretty stellar performances that fans should be impressed with considering their rookies were playing in their first professional games.

It’s tough to take too much of the game to heart considering there are four more games each player will play this week, but the following players were most impressive.

  • Donatas Motiejunas is going to join the Houston Rockets for the upcoming season and, if Friday’s action is any indication, he was worth the wait. The big man from Lithuania is built like an NBA player with tree trunks for legs and showed that the size is functional, too, on his way to 25 points and nine rebounds while missing just two attempts from the field.
  • Klay Thompson probably had the best game of any of the young players on Friday — something that obviously makes sense considering he ended up being a pretty good contributor for the Golden State Warriors this past season. Thompson was on heat-check mode all game on his way to score 24 points, six rebounds and five assists while showing a nice chemistry with new draft pick Harrison Barnes. Barnes scored 23 points, by the way, while hitting all four of his 3-point attempts.
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist looked like a man — and therefore an excellent pick at No. 2 — as he scored 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals to help lead a very solid Charlotte Bobcats team to victory in the nightcap.
  • Two of the most recent first-round picks for the Washington Wizards both showed a lot of potential in the first game of the day as Bradley Beal made his debut to the tune of 22 points while Chris Singleton added 20 of his own. A third recent first round pick wasn’t quite as stellar, however, as Jan Vesely scored a paltry 11 points before fouling out — an impressive feat considering it takes 10 fouls to foul out.
  • Washington rookie Terrence Ross was solid for the Toronto Raptors on his way to 21 points, but the box score unfortunately shows that he took 19 shots to reach that mark.

It’ll be interesting to see if these players are able to keep it up for the rest of this week, but the above certainly got off to a solid start on Friday.

  1. thekingdave - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    For any Rockets fan crying about what we give up in the Howard trade, know that we keep Motiejunas, which is totally worth it. Pull the trigger Morey and Hennigan.

  2. saint1997 - Jul 14, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    Really excited about the Warriors next season. Give them a couple of years to get experience and chemistry and that roster will be something special. It has no real weakness with great size and shooting and spacing. Should be cool if all stay healthy

    • willardj - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      With the Warriors, though, it seems like every year they always have a lot of young, promising talent. However, they end up getting injured and their season goes down the drain. Curry and Bogut are both pretty injury prone but maybe this year can be the year where they stay healthy and become a playoff contender. Who knows.

  3. rocketsbb - Jul 14, 2012 at 6:42 AM

    Montiejunas is gonna be really good, his only weakness is being 230 pounds at 7″0

    • magnetik713 - Jul 14, 2012 at 8:05 AM

      It could be an advantage. His game appears to be geared to running up and down the floor on overdrive and that usually puts him in good position to score against the slower 5’s.

  4. frankyvito - Jul 14, 2012 at 6:43 AM

    I really think Lamb has star potential. If we can keep him & Montie in the trade then I’m all for it

    • drunkenjunk - Jul 14, 2012 at 8:15 AM

      he looks uninterested sometimes, that worries me.

    • willardj - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      Lamb has always had star capability. However, he has yet to realize his potential. In college he showed a lot of promise as a freshman and then didn’t improve at all as a sophomore. The most important trait you can have as a budding NBA star is a strong work ethic, but I don’t think Lamb has that.

  5. khadeemw - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    I think Motiejunas is gonna be star he is given the opportunity to play. He’s tough, he can shoot, hes a good passer, and an improving rebounder. Hes too quick for the league’s centers and too long for the average 4. #Problem

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