Second-year wing Brandon Boston finally had his Las Vegas breakout game Friday afternoon as the Summer Clippers pulled off a huge fourth-quarter comeback to eliminate the Summer Jazz from championship contention. The Clippers had already been eliminated by virtue of their Wednesday night loss to the Denver Nuggets, but are now back at 2-2 after today’s win. They’ll play their final Las Vegas Summer League game tomorrow, Saturday night at 8pm Pacific Time on NBATV.

The Clippers trailed 56-50 heading into the fourt quarter against the Jazz before winning the final frame 32-9, just absolutely dominating Utah. Boston had 13 points in the final frame to lead the way, outscoring the entire Jazz team by himself. Second round rookie big man Moussa Diabate missed his second straight game with an ankle injury and is not expected to play tomorrow either, while second round sophomore point guard Jason Preston is also done for Summer League after entering health and safety protocols today. Here are some individual notes from today’s game:

  • Brandon Boston was the star of the show today, finishing with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals on an efficient 8-14 from the field, a very welcome improvement to his sub-30% field goal efficiency in the three preceeding games. It’s worth noting that his struggles early in the week felt like growing pains in real time, as he was expanding his game and trying out new skills. That paid off in gratifying fashion today, as he scored effectively at all three levels and made smart reads with the ball in his hands. If I had to bet, I would bet that Boston sits tomorrow on the second night of a back-to-back and last game of a 4-in-5 stretch after playing 32:33 today, but it would be fun to see him again.
  • Xavier Moon had a really nice showing stepping into the starting point guard role for Preston, finishing with 9 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals in 30 minutes of his own. This was the best complete game that a Clipper point guard has put together this week, which is probably not something to overreact to since Preston is a 22-year-old sophomore who missed his entire rookie year and Moon is a 27-year-old vet who has won multiple MVP awards in lower professional tiers. The prognosis for Moon with the Clippers long-term hasn’t changed, but I still like him. It wouldn’t shock me to see him also sit tomorrow, though he might want another audition in front of scouts from around the world since he doesn’t have a guaranteed contract for next year.
  • You have to take the good with the bad as far as Jay Scrubb is concerned. The third-year leftie guard had his first acceptable efficiency game of the week as he scored 14 points on 5-11 shooting, and he showed some scrappiness on defense, getting some deflections while mismatched against bigger players as the Clippers went small in the second half. But the decision-making offensively is just so, so far below this level that it’s hard to look past. There have been a lot of plays in every game this week where Scrubb has forced a drive into traffic instead of making a much simpler, unselfish pass for an easy shot for a teammate, but there were two in particular today that were truly astonishing–plays you would expect any backup high school guard to make. Once, he took on a bigger opponent at the rim and missed badly instead of making an easy pass through a wide-open lane to an egregiously wide-open Justin Bean (who shot 46.5% from three last year in the corner). Later, while pushing the tempo on a 2-on-1 fast break, he chose again to challenge a defender instead of making a simple dump off for an easy dunk… and missed. Scrubb is a talented basketball player but he’s the type of guy you hate to have as a teammate, and I can’t see a future for him unless he drastically changes his approach to the game. Like Moon, Scrubb could rest on Saturday after playing heavy minutes up to this point, but even more than Moon (who has had a long and accomplished professional career), the opportunity to get another game’s worth of tapes for scouts might be too good to pass up.
  • Reggie Perry got another start in place of Diabate, but underwhelmed. I feel a bit for Reggie, as he was stuck in a gimmick battle against 7’6″ backup Summer Jazz center Tacko Fall, who is a pretty bad basketball player but simply so big that he makes things very weird when he’s on the floor. But honestly, aside from one really nice move leading to a dunk in the first half (his only made field goal) Perry lacked good moments tonight with or without Fall on the floor opposite him, and despite being the Clippers’ only center he wound up playing just 14 minutes… with the team losing those minutes by 10 in a game they won by 17.
  • Jarrell Brantley continued to do a very solid job in the PF position for the Clippers, and spent much of the game matched up with Utah centers. His numbers haven’t jumped off the page this week, but he plays with a poise fitting for a guy with several years of pro experience (in the NBA, G-League, and Europe) and seems to mostly just be a very sound player on both ends of the floor. He’s undersized for a PF at 6’5″, but his strength and defensive headiness make him a good fit as an undersized defensive forward in today’s game. The real question is the shot, which hasn’t been at an acceptable level throughout his professional career and didn’t look like a threat tonight. At 26, he’s not an upside play, but I’d have him in camp competing for a two-way spot regardless, I think he has depth utility as a small ball defensive 4 in the Clippers’ system.
  • Cameron Reynolds is also intriguing and had maybe his best game of Summer League. He didn’t shoot the ball that well in this one (2-7 from three), but we have a career-long sample size that says he’s a capable shooter. What I liked in this one was his all-around game and how he performed defensively as part of an undersized unit, picking up 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. That’s a pretty nice line. For me, even though he’s taller than Brantley, he’s more of a 2/3 than a 3/4, and I trust Brantley’s strength to translate to effective NBA defense a bit more than Reynolds’ lengh. He’s 27 years old himself, so there’s no upside angle here, but he certainly seems like he has the right skillset as a 2/3 for a team to take a gamble on.
  • As far as the Exhibit 10 guys are concerned, Michael DeVoe got a few minutes as the backup point guard and really struggled. He did make a couple of shots, which helped redeem a shift where he was loose with the ball. He’s not a natural point guard, so it’s hard to hold it against him, but I’m not seeing the NBA player here. Likewise, Justin Bean got a couple good shifts in this game in the smallball look and just didn’t stand out. He did his job and was on the floor as the Clippers went on their huge run, but the 10th man who doesn’t do much but doesn’t tank you either isn’t exactly the Summer League archetype who finds his way to NBA success. Lastly, Lucas Williamson got another DNP. At this point, I don’t think any of them will be on the team after Summer League wraps up.

The Clippers have just one game left in Vegas, and it’s shaping up to be one of very little consequence for the franchise, as two of their three major prospects are out and the third seems likely to be given the game off as well. We’ll see several guys’ last-ditch attempts to make their case to be on the 20-man training camp roster, but for the most part it’s shaping up to be an audition game for members of the Summer Clippers to try and take their services elsewhere around the world next season.

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Lucas Hann

Lucas Hann

Lucas has covered the Clippers since 2011, and has been credentialed by the team since 2014. He co-founded 213Hoops with Robert Flom in January 2020.  He is a graduate of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA and St. John's University in Queens, NY.  He earned his MA in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University.

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