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Top-pick Sanders plays well, but others struggle in Vegas

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McClatchy Tribune
July 22, 2010
— The Milwaukee Bucks’ three 2010 draft choices experienced a mixed bag last week in the Las Vegas summer league.

First-round draft choice, 6-foot-11 Larry Sanders, had a good week, averaging 14.0 points and 8.4 rebounds, and was named to the 14-man all-league team.


But it was a different story for second-round picks, another big man in 6-9 Tiny Gallon and 6-7 guard Darington Hobson. Gallon had what coach Scott Skiles termed a “rough week,” while Hobson could only observe as he was sidelined with a groin injury that already has set him back in his short NBA career.


Sanders started every game and averaged 3.2 blocked shots and 33.6 minutes per game as the Bucks went 1-4. He shot 44.6 percent from the floor and made 10 of 17 free throws (58.8 percent).


“I thought he was good offensively,” Skiles said. “He showed a nice feel offensively for what we’re trying to do. He has a nice touch. He moves around the floor well. But he’s got to defend better, and he’s got to be a better defensive rebounder… nothing that he’s not capable of doing.


“The thing is you’re going to throw a lot at guys and then to expect them to just go out and free their mind and play… a lot of times guys are thinking (too much) and they want to do the right thing. Over the course of an exhibition season, most of that melts away as guys can gain a comfort level. But I thought Larry had a really nice week.”


Sanders finished with 17 points and five rebounds in 33 minutes in a victory over Cleveland on Sunday, and Skiles said Sanders could have rebounded better in that game.


“All the way up until almost the end of the third quarter he only had one defensive rebound,” Skiles said. “No question, there are things—and he knows it—that he has to work on and get better at. But he has length and athleticism and a nice offensive imagination, so some of the things he can do are definitely great things to build on.”


Gallon started in three of the five games and averaged 6.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 19.4 minutes per game. He shot 36.8 percent from the floor, hit 2 of 7 three-pointers (28.6 percent) and made 3 of 5 free throws (60.0 percent). But Gallon committed 23 fouls and turned the ball over 20 times.


The Bucks continue to work with Gallon on conditioning.


“He’s got an awful lot to learn,” Skiles said. “An awful lot to work on. He’s a really good kid and is a fun guy to be around, but he’s got an awful lot to work on.


“We’re taking strides to help him get better. He’s going to need to be a lot better to make our team and do anything. Right now, he’s got a long way to go. We’re going to have some patience when working with him, but on the other hand we’re going to be firm because we think he has a nice skill set. But there’s a lot to learn.”


Hobson missed not only the five summer league games but also the practice time in Las Vegas and the three-day, five-practice minicamp that the Bucks conducted in Milwaukee before they headed west.


The Bucks had been eager to get a look at Hobson under game conditions in Las Vegas.


“It does (set him back),” Skiles said. “At least he got to go out and see what we’re trying to do, but other than that, it’s a setback. No doubt about it.


“So we’ll see what happens the rest of the summer.”


and see what he can do to kind of catch up and make up for it.”


Skiles said not much should be read into the Bucks’ summer league record.


“We’re just trying to get guys that we drafted to learn our stuff and play well,” Skiles said. “And then look at some other guys. We lost the first two games on buzzer-beaters, but it was a good week overall.”



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