LAS VEGAS – The good news for the Trail Blazers: Caleb Swanigan continues to impress at the Las Vegas Summer League.
The bad news: Both Zach Collins (right quadriceps contusion) and Pat Connaughton (left hamstring strain) were injured Tuesday after playing only 11 minutes in the Blazers’ 99-85 loss to San Antonio.
Swanigan, whose relentless effort has been eye-catching throughout Portland’s first three games, has been the standout player for the Blazers in Las Vegas, his effort and activity as impressive as his statistics.
On Tuesday, the 26th overall pick had 19 points and 13 rebounds while hitting 8-of-13 shots. His offensive arsenal on Tuesday included a three-pointer, an offensive rebound putback, a mid-range jumper and a layin in transition, and he continued to be active and agile on the defensive end.
Swanigan, who has had double-doubles in two of the three games, is averaging 15.6 points and 11.0 rebounds at Summer League.
How would Swanigan describe his mentality when he steps on the floor?
"Just balls to the wall, that’s my biggest thing … pardon my French, but play hard, man,'' he said.
Summer League hasn’t been as memorable for Collins, Connaughton or Jake Layman, the four players who will be, or are in contention to stick, with the NBA club.
Collins came up lame in the second quarter and went to the bench, where he slammed a towel to the ground in frustration. At halftime he limped to the locker room, then was the last to return to the court, where he didn’t take part in warmups. Shortly after, the team announced he would miss the rest of the game with a bruise to his upper right leg.
Collins finished with four points and four rebounds while making two of three shots. In three Summer League games, the No. 10 overall pick averaged 6.3 points and 5.7 rebounds while hitting 6-of-23 shots.
"I don’t know if I got hit, or pulled something, or what,'' Collins said. "I just know it hurts"
Collins said he was feeling discomfort in the leg after Sunday's game, and said that same discomfort "flared up" on Tuesday.
"Which kind of sucks because I felt like I was getting into a little but of a rhythm offensively, fianlly,'' Collins said. "Then, my leg gave out.''
Connaughton, who is trying to show the Blazers he deserves a $1.4 million contract before the July 25 deadline outlined in his contract, had his best game shortened when he pulled up lame in the second quarter. Connaughton had seven points, two rebounds and three assists in 11 minutes, hitting 3-of-6 shots, including 1-of-3 from three-point range.
The Blazers (1-2) did not say how long Collins or Connaughton would be out, but Collins said his hope is to return at some point in Vegas.
"If I'm good to to go, I'm going to play,'' Collins said.
Meanwhile, Layman continued to struggle with his shot on Tuesday. After going 1-for-13 on Sunday against Boston, Layman went 1-for-9 against the Spurs, finishing with three points and three rebounds. Layman in three games has made only 6-of-30 shots.
San Antonio (2-1) was led by guard Bryn Forbes who had 35 points on 11-of-26 shooting.