For most of the Las Vegas Summer League, Ray McCallum was the orchestrator of a balanced Sacramento Kings attack. But with most of his mates struggling through Monday’s championship, the second-year point guard took it upon himself to guide his squad to victory.
McCallum delivered a game-high 29 points, and the Kings stormed past the Houston Rockets, 77-68, to capture the Las Vegas Summer League championship.
From start to finish, the Kings leaned heavily on McCallum to produce points, a contrast to his distributing ways that got the team to the title match. McCallum was up to the task, flashing a stellar outside stroke while taking it right into the teeth of the Rockets defense.
McCallum also delivered the “championship shot” — his running 35-footer with the shot clock winding down to put the Kings up four with 1:25 to go. Sacramento never looked back, and McCallum was an easy choice for MVP.
Ray Mac finally got some help down the stretch from Ben McLemore, who played a terrible game to that point. After three quarters of out-of-control, thoughtless dribble drives, McLemore settled down to score seven points in the final 5:05.
Offensive output may not have been spread, but the Kings again got gritty performances from their roles players. Quincy Acy and Eric Moreland brought their hard hats, combining for 18 rebounds and tough defense around the rim. Ra’Shad James provided a big lift on the bench, scoring 12 points with an impressive “+29″ rating in 23 minutes.
McCallum goes out on the biggest high, and he’ll look to build on a solid finish to his rookie year by pushing Darren Collison for the starter’s role. His command of the offense has always been a plus, but the scoring ability that he showed in the title game would put him on another level.
You can preface it by saying “It’s only Summer League,” but any time a group of young players comes together and accomplishes the goal they set out to complete, it’s a big step in the right direction. It was great to see the team come together in Vegas and really enjoy playing with each other. The staff and players deserve a huge bunch of credit for their work, and it can only mean good things going forward.
Tags: Sacramento Kings