This year's edition of the Toronto Raptors' Summer League Team didn't go undefeated, but they did finish off their schedule with a win, hanging on to beat the New York Knicks 94 to 92 in Vegas League play last night.
Ed Davis had a double-double in about 28 minutes of action with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but other than Davis, the Raptors got contributions from some different sources than has been the case in Summer League. Top pick Terrence Ross played only 17 minutes in this one going 2 for 8, so others like Devoe Joseph and Chris Wright picked up the slack, while Ben Uzoh saved his best game for the Raps' final match. Joseph had an efficient 15 on 6 of 9 shooting and Wright filled the box score with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
Uzoh, likely supplanted now as a third-string PG option by John Lucas III, had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
The win gives the Raps a 2 and 3 record in Vegas but not much to write home about considering their wins came against a fairly bad Sacramento club, and this year's Vegas edition of the Knicks who have yet to win a match.
New York got 17 points from Chris Copeland while Chris Smith, Mustapha Farrakhan and Sylven Landesberg all had 10.
Final thoughts from LV?
I think the two big points from watching this year's club would be Terrence Ross' NBA-readiness, and Ed Davis' re-worked jump shot. Ross wasn't always the most efficient scorer during play but as the go-to guy on O, I'm not really that worried about it at this point, especially considering the way he shot the ball in college. Ross however displayed numerous traits that should allow him to make an impact off the pine from Day 1, including the ability to move without the ball and find mid-range opportunities, and the defensive moxy Dwane Casey will require.
Davis looked as good as I've seen him since UNC and while yes, this isn't top NBA competition he was playing against, it was his overall footwork and presence that stood out, not to mention a jump shot (and free throw delivery) that looked a lot smoother and refined. Let's hope both carry over to the regular season.
A few other thoughts:
-Disappointing that Ben Uzoh couldn't cement a third-string role but I actually thought NBA Summer League Vet Bobby Brown outplayed him. So if the Raps were looking at anyone on this roster as a back-up, back-up option, it would be the former Cal State Fullerton guard.
-Big fan of Devoe Joseph but it's hard to see him having an NBA future at this point. He's too small to be a 2 and not nearly enough of a point guard to be a 1. He can be an unstoppable offensive force though and likely has a great career in Europe.
-Daniel Orton. Um...can I pretend I never thought Orton was one of the best sleeper prospects in his draft class a few years ago?
-Disappointing we didn't get to see much of Quincy Acy due to injury, but pretty sure we know what to expect from him. Also too bad we didn't get to see Rodney Carney, someone at one point I would have loved to see off the Raps' bench.
-And finally, if I had to pick one unsigned player from this roster that might get an invite to Training Camp I'd go with Chris Wright. The former Dayton star has a very nice all-around game, has great size for the 3 spot (6-8), is extremely athletic, and while not the best scorer, could mould himself into a lock-down defensive type at the next level. The Raps' roster currently stands at 11 and with Aaron Gray and Alan Anderson expected back in the field, there may not be room. But he's someone to keep an eye on if he plays in the D League to start the season.