Summer League: Midway Point Awards

By Maurice Brooks
A lot of general managers, coaches and fans are hoping that what happens in Vegas, doesn't really stay in Vegas when it comes to the performances of their players at NBA Summer League. They want some of the experiences and lessons learned to carry over to October when the basketballs get rolled out for real -- that goes for the positive experiences and the negative ones, too.

Since we are at the midway point of the 10-day, 53-game extravaganza, let's take a quick look at some of the best and worst so far.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Jerryd Bayless, Blazers
In both of the games he has played, he has been the best player on the court and it hasn't been close. Using his speed and exceptional handle to set up defenders, the combo guard has made a living at the charity stripe, attempting a two-game total of 39 freebies (making 31). He followed up his 28-point, four-rebound debut against the Wizards by hanging 26 and six on the Kings.

His 40-point outburst against the Suns may have been the greatest game in NBA Summer League history. How can you argue? In 36 minutes, he didn't commit a turnover, needed only 20 shots to get his 40, drained 50 percent of his 10 3-point attempts and added three rebounds, three assists and two steals. And his team won.

WORST SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCE: George Hill, Spurs, and Julian Wright, Hornets
When training camps open, nobody will remember, but for now it's hard to forget Hill missing all 10 of his shots against the Hornets from both close range and afar. Throw in the fact that he was floored by a Hilton Armstrong pick and it just wasn't a good night.

Wright's opening day line of 12 points on 4-for-17 shooting with 11 turnovers was as ugly as the numbers seem.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Bobby Brown, Hornets
He has faced the Grizzlies' Mike Conley, the Bobcats' D.J. Augustin and the Spurs' George Hill and come out as the best point guard on the floor each time. The unheralded playmaker is good not only at dialing up his own number -- scoring 46 points on just under 50 percent shooting -- but also at getting good looks for his teammates (18 assists).

BEST REBOUNDER: Kevin Love, Timberwolves
Houston fans may have beef with me on this selection since Mike Harris is tied with Love for the rebounding lead -- although they have played only one game each. But Love gets the nod because I watched him fight for every ball that came off the glass/rim like his life depended on it and because Harris' numbers are inflated since they came in the how-quickly-can-we-shoot-game between Houston and Phoenix.

BEST PLAYMAKER: Ramon Sessions, Bucks
He is very good at changing up the speed of play, controlling the game and taking what the defense gives him. Against the Grizzlies, he took just four shots, but handed out a game-high nine assists. He was more shot-oriented yesterday against the Pistons, scoring 21 points on 6-for-11 from the field, but still found time to give out four helpers, while reducing his turnovers from seven to two.

BEST DEFENDER: Julian Wright, Hornets
On offense, he has been turnover prone. Luckily, he has a tendency for making up for his miscues on the other end of the floor. He has thrived at jumping into passing lanes and picking up loose balls. Through three games, he is averaging 1.3 blocks and 3.0 steals per outing.

BEST INJURED PLAYER: Eric Gordon, Clippers

Although he didn't shoot well, Gordon gave L.A. fans a glimpse of the future, averaging 19 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games before shutting it down with a strained left hamstring.

BEST DUNK: O.J. Mayo, Grizzlies
Here is some friendly advice to the Hornets' Hilton Armstrong. Next time get out of the way. Watch

BEST BUZZER BEATER: O.J. Mayo, Grizzlies

Proof that practice does make perfect, the third pick made a 69-foot heave at the buzzer against the Spurs. Watch
"I thought it wasn't going to make it to the rim," Mayo said. "I was surprised. After practices recently, we have been practicing half-court shots. I made a few there."

  • Maurice Brooks is an NBA editor for ESPN.com. He can be reached at mbrooksnba@gmail.com.