I'm still woefully behind from the extra long weekend, so forgive me if you've seen a few of these before ...
- I mentioned last week how Michael Curry seemed to view Rodney Stuckey as the leader of the second unit. Stuckey confirmed that he's using the offseason to take on a more vocal role among his teammates. From A. Sherrod Blakely:
But if you look at the way he corrects teammates when they're not where they're supposed to be, the way encourages players to try things that might not be according to script, the way he barks instructions -- and the way they respond -- it's clear that he came to Las Vegas looking to hone his leadership skills. "That's one of the main reasons why I'm doing summer league this year," said Stuckey [...] "That's one of the main things I need to work on, because I know next year, I'm going to have a bigger role than I had this past year."
- Stuckey missed the second half of Sunday's game with a toe injury. Relax, it's not serious and shouldn't affect his playing time tonight.
- Need4Sheed asks, does Stuckey really make Chauncey Billups expendable?
- Michael Curry said Arron Afflalo will be the backup two-guard, and expects to reward Afflalo with more consistent playing time. From A.S.B.:
"I've always said, when Arron plays consistent minutes, he shoots the ball consistently," Curry said.
The numbers don't lie. Afflalo averaged 3.7 points and shot 41.1 percent from the field during the regular season, but he was better in both of those categories (5.6 points, 42.3 percent shooting) in the 45 games in which he played 10 or more minutes.
The number don't lie, but they also don't say much: 41.1% vs. 42.3% is hardly significant. On the other hand, the fact he shot 20.8% from three-point land versus 46.1% from inside the arc is. If he can learn to stay within his range (or extend it a step or two over the summer), no one will complain about his shooting. He scored 25 against the Clippers on Sunday (boxscore) on 8-10 shooting (9-9 from the stripe) without a single three-point attempt.
Afflalo said all the right things after his breakout performance Sunday:
"It's not work to me," Afflalo said. "I love the game of basketball with all my heart. I could stay in here all day. It's fun, and there's nothing I'd rather be doing. Although it's just one Summer League game, it's big for me because it lets me know this will pay off at some point, and I'm going to push even harder now."
A lot of guys just say stuff like that because they know it plays well in the media, but by all accounts is AA is the real deal. Granted, hearing him talk like this is nothing new, but it still makes me smile.
- Alex Acker, who pulled out of the summer league with a bum knee, still hopes to win a roster spot by impressing Curry and Joe Dumars during voluntary workouts in Auburn Hills in August.
- Curry talks about his coaching staff with Keith Langlois.
I happily served on BallHype's Board of Advisors from the very beginning so I admit I can't be completely impartial, but the site has become a daily (if not hourly) destination for me. That won't change now that the company has been sold -- it just means that Jason and Erin now have the resources behind them to continue making the site bigger and better while actually getting paid for their efforts. Congrats!