Yesterday, John Schuhmann took a look at the top 10 players that helped their stock during USA’s mini-camp over in Las Vegas. Devin made number 5, and Brook came in at number 9:
5. Devin Harris, PG, New Jersey
Showcase stats: DNP
Harris turned his left ankle on Friday and was held out of the Showcase for precautionary reasons, but it’s relatively minor. Before the injury, he was right there with Rose in the first two days of practice and it wouldn’t be a total shock if he beat out the Rookie of the Year for the third point guard spot next year. One of the real veterans among the group, he showed leadership all week.
9. Brook Lopez, C, New Jersey
Showcase stats: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 7-8 fg, 1-1 3pt, 3-4 ft
Until Saturday, none of the four centers in camp had really distinguished themselves. Greg Oden defended the rim well, but two steps behind offensively. JaVale McGee and Anthony Randolph showed flashes, but got pushed around by the bigger guys. And Lopez just never got a rhythm going. But he did in the Showcase, benefitting from the penetration of his teammates, rolling to the basket well and finishing strong (he had two and-ones). When he didn’t play well earlier, it was often because he was hesitant with the ball.
It is good to see Devin being competitive with some of the top point guards in the league. I really think he has a shot to make the team next year as the third point, and if he does he could turn some heads.
As for Brook, it should have been expected that he would be hesitant early on. I mean he is a young guy playing on a real big stage. From what I read, he had a great game and the fact that he was playing well off of penetration is a good sign for Nets fans. This is because we are going to be using the dribble-drive offense, so Brook will have plenty of chances coming off of dribble penetration. It was good to see him go 3-4 from the line as well.
All in all, it was great to see the Nets players represent in Las Vegas. I know the national media likes to bash the Nets any chance they get, so it was good to see them get some props.