Tyler Dorsey helps save the day for the Atlanta Hawks in NBA Summer League
The first day of tournament action at NBA Summer League is in the books, and while many Pac-12 alums struggled shooting on Wednesday, one former Duck played a vital role in leading his team to a major comeback to advance to the Summer League Sweet 16:
Tyler Dorsey helps Hawks storm back from 27-point deficit to defeat Pacers
It sure looked like the Atlanta Hawks were headed for a consolation game and then heading out of town when they were down 67-40 early in the third quarter. Tyler Dorsey and his teammates had other plans, however, as the Dana Altman protégé scored 18 of his 24 points in the final 16:30 of the game to lead the Hawks to a thrilling 107-101 comeback victory.
With Trae Young providing his usual wizardry with the rock, Dorsey caught fire in the second half, hitting a 3-pointer that brought the Hawks within 87-85 early in the fourth and another triple that extended the Hawks’ lead to 99-93 in the final two minutes. For the game, Dorsey hit six of his 10 3-point attempts and also finished with eight rebounds, five assists two steals and a block. While the other four Atlanta starters were a -8 or worse, Dorsey was a +12 for Wednesday.
It has been a nice summer thus far for the 2017 second-round draft pick, as Dorsey is averaging 17.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals on 38 percent shooting from distance in five combined games in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
Aaron Holiday squares off against Trae Young in battle of rookie guards
The other storyline from this game from a Pac-12 perspective was the Aaron Holiday-Trae Young matchup of first-round rookie point guards. For the most part, Holiday more than held his own against the Oklahoma Sooner, as both Holiday (the No. 23 pick) and Young (the No. 5 pick) were 5-of-11 from the floor after three quarters. Beyond that, Holiday had more rebounds (2-0), assists (6-3), steals (3-1), blocks (1-0) and fewer turnovers (4-5), while Young had the 16-13 edge in points.
If you read the above blurb, you know how the game played out, and Holiday missed all six of his shots in the fourth to finish the game with 13 points, three rebounds, nine assists, three steals and a block on 5-of-17 shooting. Young, on the other hand, compiled 23 points, eight assists and two steals on 7-of-14 shooting.
What to make out of these numbers? Not too much, really; it’s just Summer League. But it was a fun little battle to watch, as the TV network broadcasting the game (I had a monitor in front of me while watching live that didn’t show commercials so I didn’t catch the network) put up head-to-head graphics of the two young guards’ numbers for the game multiple times during the broadcast.
De’Anthony Melton is having himself a nice little stay in Las Vegas. The Houston Rockets’ No. 46 pick has consistently scored the ball well in Sin City, most recently putting up 17 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block in the Houston Rockets’ 109-102 win over the Brooklyn Nets to improve to 4-0 in Vegas and advance to the round of 16 in the Summer League tournament.
For the summer, Melton is averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game. It’s a shame USC fans didn’t get to see Melton as a sophomore in 2017-18.
And a final tip of the cap to Chris Boucher, who reminded everyone why he was called “Swatterboy” at Oregon as he blocked six shots for the Toronto Raptors in an 85-77 win over the Denver Nuggets. He also scored 12 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting and 2-of-3 3-pointing off the bench to go along with six rebounds, one assist and two steals. Boucher was recently waived by the Golden State Warriors after spending the 2017-18 season with the back-to-back NBA champs on a two-way contract, spending most of his time in the G League in Santa Cruz, so here’s to “Swatterboy” finding a second NBA home.