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NBA 2K23 Summer League Standouts: Tari Eason, Rockets’ young roster shine


No. 17 pick Tari Eason leads the best way for Houston with 22 points and 11 boards in Monday’s 97-84 victory.

LAS VEGAS — Five days down, six to go on the NBA 2K23 Summer League. Listed here are Monday’s Summer League Standouts:

Matt Ryan, Boston Celtics

Ryan hits a protracted 3 to win it for Boston just before time expires.

As watchable as Matt Ryan was through the game against Milwaukee on the Cox Pavilion, he was twice as compelling afterward when his afternoon heroics were put of their proper and poignant perspective. Ryan, who went undrafted in 2020 out of Chattanooga (and Vanderbilt and Notre Dame), scored 23 points and nailed 6 of his 11 3-point attempts. That included the last one in the ultimate seconds, a frantic, high-arcing bank shot for the game-winner.

But during his postgame interview, Ryan couldn’t completely hold back the emotions that flooded him as he took another step toward earning a roster spot with Boston.

🎥: @ASherrodblakely asked Matt Ryan about the way it feels to see his exertions beginning to repay.

He got choked up a bit while reflecting on the incontrovertible fact that a yr ago he was driving for Door Dash and know he’s on a Celtics roster pic.twitter.com/GBRk9ya2rQ

— 𝕂𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕚 𝔸. 𝕃𝕦𝕟𝕚𝕤 (@KwaniALunis) July 12, 2022

“It’s been a crazy 11 months,” Ryan said, choking up a bit. “I used to be home for a yr and half. I don’t know if you happen to had heard my story, but [I was] driving Door Dash a yr ago. To be here, to be a part of the Boston Celtics roster, it’s special.”

The Eastern Conference champion Celtics could use more perimeter shooting – who couldn’t? – and Ryan’s smooth stroke and work ethic could make him a viable option.

Up to now yr, he has gone from a Summer League spot with Cleveland to a preseason stint with Denver, then a move to the G League in Grand Rapids, Mich. He caught on with Boston in February as a two-way player and logged time with the Maine Celtics within the G League, with a five-minute taste of the NBA in an April game.

Sandro Mamukelashvili, Milwaukee Bucks  

Sandro Mamukelashvili (28 points) Highlights vs. Boston Celtics, 07/11/2022

Mamukelashvili, a 6-foot-11 big man from Recent York, made 41 appearances for Milwaukee in 2021-22, and that seasoning showed against the Celtics. He scored 28 points with nine rebounds, two assists and a pair of blocks as he demonstrated his mobility together with ball skills up and down the ground. Then, in the sport’s most rousing moment (until Ryan’s game-winner), Mamukelashvili threw down a ferocious slam over Boston’s Mfiondu Kabengele with 24 seconds left. How monstrous was it? Bucks veteran big man Bobby Portis, seated courtside, sprang up from his chair flexing and shouting.

Mamukelashvili also got locked in to a little bit personal duel with Boston wing Juhann Begarin, who pestered the Milwaukee big within the open court. At one point, when “Mamu” got here over to assist defensively, the 6-foot-5 Begarin dunked throughout his taller foe. No thought of creating the so-called “business decision” to avoid a posterizing moment? Nope. “I’ve seen Giannis [Antetokounmpo] get dunked on,” Mamukelashvili said. “The Bucks don’t make ‘business decisions.’”

Trey Murphy III, Recent Orleans Pelicans

Trey Murphy III (30 points) Highlights vs. Atlanta Hawks, 07/11/2022

Looking very very similar to a man who knew where he was and what he was doing – that is his second trip to Summer League, in spite of everything – the Pelicans’ 6-foot-9 forward dominated early and late in his team’s blowout win against Atlanta. Murphy scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the primary half, then added 10 more within the fourth quarter because the Pels stepped on the gas with 34-16 domination within the period. The No. 17 pick within the 2021 Draft, Murphy III got as his reward a little bit post-buzzer ribbing from veteran teammate Brandon Ingram.

BI had jokes for Trey Murphy III 😂 #NBASummerLeague #Pelicans pic.twitter.com/ZEaesFhX4i

— OutOfSightSports🚀 ™️ (@OOSSports) July 12, 2022

Tari Eason, Houston Rockets

Houston had a handful of players loading up the stats sheet because it beat San Antonio. There was No. 3 pick Jabari Smith with 19 points, nine boards and two steals. Second-year shooting guard Josh Christopher, with 18 points, 4 steals and two blocks. And Dashien Nix, chipping in 18 points, 4 boards and 6 assists. However the top contributor was Eason, a 6-foot-8 forward whom some already are predicting can be the steal of the 2022 Draft. The No. 17 pick from LSU went for 22 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks, notching his third consecutive double-double of Summer League play.

Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder

Chet Holmgren (16 points) highlights vs. Orlando Magic.

It had been billed – and sold on the box office – as a clash of the 2022 Draft’s No. 1 and No. 2 picks. However it didn’t play out that way, because Orlando shut down top pick Paolo Banchero before the night even began. The Magic saw enough from the Duke power forward in his first two games here, through which he averaged 20 points, five rebounds and 6 assists. Besides the pointless risk of injury, Banchero’s freed-up minutes could mean opportunity for others in Orlando’s July squad.

That left it to Holmgren, who got here through with 16 points, 10 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots as Oklahoma City beat Orlando. The ultimate margin was three points, however the rookie’s 7-foot-1 length and weak-side help defense showed up within the incontrovertible fact that OKC was plus-15 with Holmgren on the ground.

Jabari Walker, Portland Trail Blazers  

Walker was the next-to-last pick in last month’s Draft, but he looked much more promising against Recent York late Monday than a typical bottom-of-the-barrel selection. The son of former NBA lottery pick Samaki Walker (No. 9 in 1996) – and a dead ringer, including their shared 6-foot-9 height – the rookie scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Knicks’ Quentin Grimes led all scorers with 24 points and former NBA forward Richard Jefferson grabbed the highlight along with his stint as a referee within the second quarter, but Walker and his squad got the victory.

* * *

Steve Aschburner has written in regards to the NBA since 1980. You may e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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