Running the table at the Las Vegas Summer League is a minor accomplishment in the grand scheme of the NBA. But for the players actually, you know, in the tourney: winning is always better than losing. This afternoon, the Raptors take on the Dallas Mavericks in an attempt to go 3-0 before the knockout rounds of the competition. Again, it's not a big title to win, but it's not nothing either.
The story for the Raptors so far has been the play of its two second-year men Norman Powell and Delon Wright. Both have wowed in different ways. For his part, Powell has shown stretches of absolute dominance, capped by a 29 point, 8 rebound, 3 assist line yesterday against the Timberwolves. Meanwhile Wright, while not exactly pumping up the box score, has exhibited a professional control and composure sure to be valuable at his point guard position.
For the team's newest members, Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl, the games have been a bit more up and down. Well, for Siakam, the "down" part of Summer League has been his absence from it. After a strong opening half against the Kings, Siakam sprained his left knee and has had to sit out. He's on his way to Ottawa (today?) to work out his visa issues and visit Canada for the first time. From what I understand, he might be back to Las Vegas, but it's unclear whether he'll play again.
Poeltl meanwhile has shown flashes of the promise the Raptors coveted at the NBA Draft this summer. The young centre has been big on the boards (on both ends of the court), while blocking a surprising amount of shots. Admittedly, all of Poeltl's points have come from hustle plays around the net, as the team's guards haven't exactly looked for him to operate out of the post. Wright even admitted after last game that he didn't hit Poeltl on the pick-and-roll as much as he would have liked. It's a learning process for everyone.
The Mavericks' Summer League roster, meanwhile, features zero players who were on the active Dallas roster last season. That said, the team isn't without an NBA pedigree. Marquis Teague, Cory Jefferson, Vander Blue, and Andre Dawkins have all appeared in NBA games to varying effect. Also, keep an eye out for Satnam Singh, the man mountain and first Indian-born player in the NBA.
Tip-off for the game is 6:30pm EST. We're here at the Thomas & Mack Center in Vegas to take in the sights and sounds. Now let's get in the comments and enjoy the action.