July 19, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Will Barton (5) in the first half of the game against the Atlanta Hawks at the Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Summer League: Day One Struggles


The Blazers hit some early snags in their Las Vegas Summer League debut. Despite a strong first half, they fell to the Phoenix Suns, 69-82. McCollum was easily the strongest Blazer, scoring 15 points in the first half alone, but when the Suns started to double team him (a good sign at least), he struggled mightily and the chaotic semblance of a team fell apart.

Thomas Robinson was a bright spot for the scattered Portland squad, though he could not escape the slippery slope of the 2nd half. He took only 5 shots, but finished the game with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals; the most well-rounded Blazer stat-line.

Meyers did alright as well, though he took full advantage of the Summer League 10 foul limit and finished the game with 7 sloppy fouls. This was disappointing, as the greatest liability he posed to his team last season was biting on the wrong shots. He did however, haul in 9 rebounds, which was nice to see.

Will Barton was… Will Barton. I.e.: a gaudy stat-line rooted in garbage time solo-work. He was far more relevant than Allen Crabbe, but whether that was good or bad is up for debate. Sometimes it’s better to lose as a team than salvage personal numbers with erratic play and volume shooting.

Overall, day one was a disappointment. If you missed the game, you can punish yourself with the replay at 10:00 pm on NBA TV. Hopefully the Blazers will perform better as a team against the Lakers tomorrow at 3:30 pm, but they look to have a long road ahead of them to develop chemistry.

Top performers:

CJ McCollum – 22 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds
Markieff Morris – 18 points, 1 assist, 5 rebounds


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