With Vegas Summer League winding down, head coach Steve Clifford decided to let the inmates take over the asylum as he sat the main players (Kidd-Gilchrist, Zeller, Biyombo and Taylor) in favor of the unsigned rookies and other players they took a flier on for the Summer League competition. The future looked bleak for our unsung and unsigned combatants as they were scheduled to face against the D-League Select Team. Despite the lack of any high-profile players, they have been making a name for themselves because of their hard-nosed and high-energy style of play that has lead them to an impressive 4-0 record.
The real game plan of the D-League Select team throughout this showcase has revolved around an extremely efficient brand of basketball that featured their guards (Elijah Millsap and Stefhon Hannah) working their way around screens to penetrate to the rim or kick it out to a perimeter shooter. Much to Charlotte's delight, that efficient play quickly went out the window as Hannah broke away from his gameplan and was dead-set on taking perimeter shots, which is not part of his game. Charlotte's temporary starting frontcourt duo pounced on those opportunities with Patrick Ewing Jr. and Jamie Skeen corralling a combined 15 defensive rebounds which allowed the Bobcats to score in transition.
While Ewing Jr. and Skeen were collecting their fair share of rebounds in the opening quarters, the rest of the two teams were playing a ridiculous brand of basketball that mainly consisted of ugly mid-range shot attempts or unsuccessful drives to the basket. Charlotte went into the locker room at halftime with the 38-31 advantage but it was nothing really to be excited about after the awful offensive performance that both teams displayed.
Thanks to the aggressive Abdul Gaddy, the Bobcats engineered a second half run. Either by working off screens or using his ball-handling skills to get around his opponent, Gaddy was absolutely persistent on penetrating inside the perimeter for high-percentage looks, which is apparent in his stellar line (16 points on 6-7 shooting from the field).
Despite the real lack of any high impact players, the D-League's bench duo of Kyle Weaver and Ron Howard kept the team in the game in the second half because of their aggressive play around the rim but Charlotte's team defense and Gaddy's offensive production was more than enough to seal the 85-75 victory.
Besides the aforementioned play of Abdul Gaddy, there really wasn't a member for either team who stood out as potential NBA faces. With the upcoming matchup tomorrow against the Warriors, eyes will be on Steve Clifford to see if he'll continue to bench his key prospects which seems probable for at least Kidd-Gilchrist, who is preparing for Team USA mini-camp.