It’s playoff time, people.
This weekend marks the final leg of the NBA Las Vegas Summer League postseason, and we’re down to six teams. Below you can find a schedule for the quarterfinals on Saturday, as well as some numbers to keep in mind as the action unfolds.
- Blazers @ Spurs—4 p.m. ET
- Heat @ Grizzlies—6 p.m. ET
- Celtics @ Mavericks—8 p.m. ET
- Lakers @ Nets—10 p.m. ET
- July 16
- July 17
After stumbling out of the gate in his first professional contest, former UCLA Bruins point guard Lonzo Ball has been as good as advertised.
Again, though, that first game was rough.
The 19-year-old Ball tallied five points on 2-of-15 shooting to go with 1-of-11 from deep. It was a clangfest. He added five assists, four rebounds and three turnovers.
Los Angeles lost, prompting Lonzo’s dad, LaVar—perhaps you’ve heard of him—to call it his firstborn’s “worst game ever”:
Since then, Ball has…well…balled.
The Lakers have gone 2-1 behind a trio of dominant statistical outings, including the first triple-doubles in a decade, per Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver:
Following a 36-point, 11-assist, eight-rebound effort against the Philadelphia 76ers, Ball discussed his sneakers. He rocked some Kobe Bryant kicks, not his own line from Big Baller Brand:
While Lonzo’s footwear will always draw eyes, it’s his play that’s got the Lakers fanbase buzzing. This SportsCenter graphic illustrates how effective Ball has been this summer:
Ball’s 9.8 assists are by far a league-best; Kendall Marshall is No. 2 with 7.8 an outing.
There has been a lot of “it’s only Summer League” talk from those LaVar would deem “haters.” And they’re right—this does not, in any way, guarantee dominant stat lines from Ball once the fall rolls around. But you can only play who’s against you, and Ball has proved worthy of being the No. 2 overall pick.
Team president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka put health above Summer League trophies, so don’t be surprised if Ball, who already missed one game with a groin injury, gets pulled out soon. He’s done enough.
After getting taken with the No. 2 pick of the second round last year, the former Kansas Jayhawks forward faded away from most fans’ memories.
He saw just 17 NBA games with the New Orleans Pelicans, with six of those featuring double-digit minutes. This was a guy who once radiated star potential after being named MVP of both the 2015 McDonald’s All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic.
Diallo’s lone season at Kansas was a dud, too: 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and one assist total in 27 games.
This summer, we’ve seen a new player.
In five Summer League contests, Diallo has averaged 18.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. His boards rank third among all Summer League players, and his scoring average ranks 13th.
Diallo, still 20 years old, seems worlds more confident heading into pro year No. 2, per Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com:
As with Lonzo, Summer League stats only carry so much weight. But Diallo seems to be coming into his own and looks ready to contribute to the Pelicans in 2017-18.
Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com