As you probably know by now, starting next Monday there will be an “organized” two-week, basketball league out in Vegas that will feature only NBA players. According to reports, more than 50 players will be crash Sin City to take part in a league at Abunassar Impact Academy, starting on Sept. 12
Games will be played in the afternoons and evenings, Monday through Friday for two weeks with the potential for a playoffs style tournament to follow. Whether or not the public will be able to watch the games held at Abunassar Impact Academy’s facility is still up in the air.
The two stretch of games has been given the title “Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series” and allegedly players such as Blake Griffin, Rudy Gay, John Wall, Jared Dudley, Chauncey Billups, Kyle Lowry and Zach Randolph have already committed to playing in the league.
With all of these details in mind, the scribes here at Philadunkia.com where charged with submitting a list of three Sixers players and/or draft picks they would like to see participate in the Vegas action. AKA…These guys need to be there so they can get better.
Our writers were also asked to provide a list of three 76ers players they believe are most likely to participate.
Lists after the jump.
Three Sixers Who Should be There
Turner’s game, thought to need a complete remodeling by many a pundit, could really just use some spit and polish—a jumper here, some confidence there. What ET needs to make a leap this fall is game-speed reps against stiff (but not too stiff) competition in a lineup where he’s the best guy—the guy who has to put the ball in the bucket. Situations where his offensive default mode, deference, isn’t an option. Situations where he has to come out of his shell.
In Sin City, he just might get some.
Brackins needs to improve. You need game-speed reps to improve. Brackins isn’t good enough to play in NBA games. Ipso facto, dude needs to be in Vegas.
That European Guy From USC
I don’t know a lot about Vucevic other than the mediocre numbers he put up in the PAC 10 (which, I’m told, has a slightly lesser level of play than the NBA’s Atlantic Division) and the fact that he isn’t Kenneth Faried. Whatever. We have a big hole on our roster at the center position, and so he has a puncher’s chance of getting minutes, however undeserved, whenever ’11-12 starts. So go west young man. Get better.
Holiday made major strides last year for the Sixers showing he can contribute from all areas on the floor. Two full seasons in, and as expected, Holiday is still developing into point guard form. He has the athleticism and ball-handling ability to be an elite point guard, but his court vision — and 6.5 assists per game – needs to improve. The more he can play against high-level competition, the better; all will help progress his court vision as the floor general.
I would love to see how ET’s game projects in a league with little coaching structure and more free-for-all playing style. In a league like this, there’ll be very few designed plays and a lot of isolation. Would Turner revert back to his old Ohio State mold where he controlled the rock? Or, would he practice working off the ball like he did for the 7-6 as a rookie.
Look at the other two players on the list and you’ll see a common theme. I want to see the young guns in this league. All three players on this list are far from reaching their potential, and the more competitive experience they can gain in the offseason, the more suited they’ll be for the regular season. A guy like Nikola needs as much experience as possible against guys who’ve played at the NBA level.
Outside of sleeping and eating, Turner should be doing nothing else but working on his game. This Vegas action is an opportunity for him to play against NBA talent in a game setting at night after he has worked on his individual skill sets through drills all day long at Abunassar.
Forget playing in Montenegro — I don’t care how good that Euro action allegedly can be. “Big Nik” needs to be stateside banging against NBA post players and getting a feel for the League. I’m still upset that he didn’t workout with the Sixers at EB’s week long event in Los Angeles. If he is going to have an immediate impact for the 7-6, he needs to be in Vegas for this league and then stay in the good ol’ USA to workout with any 76ers he can find.
Hopefully someone at Abunassar can teach him how to rebound, block shots and play with his back to the basket. That sure would add years to Doug Collins coaching career.
Three Sixers Who Will Be There
Remember all the stuff I said up there? He knows it.
I think he’s there. Whether he should be is another matter.
Jrue is at the stage of his development where reps are nice, and necessary, but what might be more so is an edge, a confidence, a cockiness that the best players have. Vegas is for kids and developmental players. It’s for guys that aren’t there yet. LeBron doesn’t play in Vegas. Neither does Wade, Kobe, Howard, Carmelo or any of the NBA’s other Alphas. There’s a risk, obviously, to fostering in a young player the sense that they’re better than Vegas, that they’re already “there.” But there’s also an upside. And I don’t think Jrue has autopilot in him.
Speights will go to Vegas to continue to hone the skills that have served him so well since he entered the league—playing cards and dominating all-you-can-eat buffets. Plus, while he’s there he might get in some basketball.
AI9’s days as a Sixer are numbered, and for a guy like Iguodala, he’ll want to take the time and showcase himself for NBA personnel. Although, this league is not affiliated with the Association, you can bet your piggy bank scouts, GMs and coaches will have an eye on the happenings.
No set plays on offense, little defense and a street ball like feel; this league has Lou-Will written all over it.
Speights has worked out with Impact Baskteball – the training company hosting the league – and will be one of the first people called upon to participate. Speights was a frustrating player to watch last season, at times he showed flashes of a strong starting center thanks to his athleticism and length, and at other times showed the unwillingness to do the dirty work which makes centers great (i.e. boxing out, fighting for low post position, attacking the rim with your back to the basket, etc. . .
Holiday is from Los Angeles and spends a lot of time in the off-season on the West Coast, so I don’t see it as much of a stretch for him to head to Vegas for a couple weeks of laying poolside at Rehab during the day and then some NBA hoops action at night.
Doug Collins and new 76ers owner Josh Harris will personally escort him to Vegas. If they don’t, I will.
Louis is salivating at the possibility of playing in this league. This type of game action is a perfect fit for his one-on-one, break your man down style of play. He’ll average 30 a game and be the talk of the gym. It would also give him a chance to promote his latest hip-hop efforts all over Sin City.