THE ALL-STAR GAMES
The last time Nike Camp featured an All-Star game was 1997 and this year there were two. Rather than splitting the games up among underclassmen and seniors to be, Nike mixed up kids of all ages among the four teams and tried to set up intriguing matchups. The first game between Team Flight and Team Force featured a rematch between Tywon Lawson and Sherron Collins and a Kevin Durant versus Brandan Wright tussle.
Co-MVP’s Durant and Collins were able to lead their Team Flight to a 121-117 victory. Understand that Wright played very well in going for 13 points and three boards in just 19 minutes, but Durant was on another level. Showing a ridiculous ability to put the ball on the floor and create open jump shots, Durant also got some easy buckets around the rim and wowed with some clever passing. Yes he needs to get stronger, but his 19 point, seven rebound and four assist effort was the best of either game.
In another entertaining battle with Lawson, Collins finished with 11 points, five assists and a couple of impressive blocks. He did have five turnovers as well but brought a ton of energy and wowed the crowd with his ball-handling prowess. On the other hand you have to give it up to Lawson for managing to stay with Collins on a large number of his drives. Lawson had 10 points, five boards and seven assists -- versus only one turnover -- himself and the debate about which player is the better guard continues to rage.
Of course Texan Gary Johnson of Team Flight may have had a legitimate claim to the MVP trophy. The ultra tough and quick 6-7 BF finished with 21 points (on eight of nine from the field), and eight rebounds. While others fought fatigue, Johnson kept bringing it.
The second game between Team Uptempo and Team Shox was a bit more ragged as Team Uptempo streaked to a 122-90 victory. Leading the way were 6-6 WF/WG Isaiah Dahlman who had 19 points and six rebounds and Ohio wing Raymar Morgan who finished up with 20 and six. Spencer Hawes finished up a good camp with 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Finishing up strong for Team Shox was Virginia power forward Vernon Macklin. Just when folks were starting to write him off, he came through with a terrific camp that he capped off by going for 18 points and 15 rebounds.