Thoughts on the Second Combine Scrimmage Game

May 16, 2019

by Alan Lu

I was able to see the second game of the NBA Draft Combine scrimmage game, and Team 4 Gray was able to defeat Team 3 White, 72-65.  Nicolas Claxton appeared to be the standout performer as he had 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 blocks, and four other players managed to reach double-digits in terms of points scored in this contest.  There were a lot of missed shots though, but the players that participated each seemed to show some solid skills in some areas of this match.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared today.  For those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

Georgia’s 6-11 sophomore big man, Nicolas Claxton had a very good showing to help Team 4 get the victory.  He showed off terrific shot blocking and defensive skills, and he also showed off versatile scoring skills.  He excelled as a scorer in the low post, as he showed off good footwork, strength, agility, and scoring touch, and he also managed to score on a strong put back off of an offensive rebound while getting an extra free throw another time.   Plus, Claxton also managed to knock down an open spot-up three to showcase his range.  He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  He was able to pick up a pair of assists, including one where he threw a long outlet pass in transition to set up a score for a teammate.  However, he did commit one turnover, as he held the ball for too long once before a defender ended up taking the ball away from him.

He also rebounded the ball well, as he would leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and Claxton can get tough rebounds in traffic.  Claxton also played great defense.  He would tend to swat shots in the post as well as off of put backs to get numerous stops for his team, and he also would actively contest jumpers to force misses.  Claxton is an athletic, agile player that possesses very good timing to block a wealth of shots to help his team protect the paint.  In general, Nicolas Claxton played very well, as he had a strong all-around game to help get his team the win.  He really has helped himself by playing well here, and he is a skilled big man whose blend of athleticism, scoring ability, and very good defensive skills could potentially enable him to be a late first round pick in the upcoming draft.

Wake Forest’s freshman forward, Jaylen Hoard played fairly well to help Team 4 get the win over Team 3.  He made shots early and he was able to make them in a variety of ways, and he also rebounded the ball well.  Hoard shot the ball well when he would look to take jumpers, and he was able to use a pump fake move prior to making a three-point shot from beyond the arc.  He also showed a decent ability to get scores off of drives to the basket, as he was able to score on a floater, and he drew free throws another time.  Hoard also excelled as a scorer off of cuts to the basket, but sometimes, he would miss shots in traffic, as he would tend to miss more when opponents would rotate to help on him.

Hoard rebounded and defended well in this game.  He was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also intercepted a pass to get a steal.  Hoard generally handled the ball well, but he did commit one turnover, as he threw a high pass that ended up getting intercepted once.  In summary, Jalen Hoard had a fairly good showing to help Team 4 get the victory over Team 3.  He was able to make shots from all over the floor, and he also showed off good rebounding and defensive skills.  In a game where not many players shot the ball well, he did an adequate job of knocking down shots and scoring the basketball, and Hoard could be a likely second round pick for the upcoming draft.

Ole Miss’ 6-4 senior guard, Terence Davis showed off solid scoring skills to help Team 3 in this game against Team 4, and he also helped out on the boards as well as on the defensive end.  He really excelled at scoring on fast breaks, as he would score on numerous drives in transition.  He has good dribble moves to score in the open court, and he also managed to score on a high-flying jam in transition.  He also used a hesitation move to score on one fast break drive while getting an extra free throw on that play.  Plus, he also showed off a decent ability to shoot the basketball, as he was able to make a spot-up three off the catch.  However, he also missed a couple of long two-point shots off the dribble.  Davis also excelled at grabbing defensive rebounds, and he also managed to block a shot to help his team defensively.  Overall, Terence Davis had a fairly good showing, and he is an athletic combo guard that can score and rebound the basketball, and he is an intriguing prospect that could end up being a second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Brian Bowen II played fairly well for Team 3, as he showed off a variety of skills when he was on the court.  He excelled at knocking down spot-up threes to space the floor for his team on offense, and he also managed to score on a put back.  However, sometimes he would miss shots on the move, and he also struggled to score off the dribble.  Plus, he also was fairly turnover prone, as he would tend to be called for traveling as he would tend to take one too many steps.  He did do a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Bowen has a very good motor, and he would chase down balls to get offensive boards for his team.  Plus, Bowen also defended well, as he would contest jumpers to force misses, and he also jumped on a loose ball to get a steal.

Washington’s sophomore guard, Jaylen Nowell had a decent showing for Team 3, as he excelled at attacking the basket to garner scores, and despite not shooting the ball well from beyond the arc, he did everything else pretty well in this game.  Nowell excelled at getting scores on drives to the basket as well as in transition.  He would often score on dunks on fast breaks, and he also managed to score on a floater in transition while getting an extra free throw.  He also managed to use a quick hesitation move to score on a left-handed drive, as he also drew an extra free throw afterwards.  Nowell also dribbled quickly to the baseline to knock down a mid-range shot from the baseline, but he tended to miss more on pull-up jumpers, as he struggled to make jump shots consistently when he was further away from the paint.

He also passed the ball well, as he displayed fairly good playmaking skills in this game.  Nowell threw a nice behind the back pass as well as a no-look pass on a drive in transition to set up scores for his teammates, and he has solid court vision as he sees the floor well.  He did commit a couple of turnovers, but generally Nowell showed off very good passing skills in this game.  He also helped out on the boards, and he also picked off a pass to get a steal to help his team on the defensive end.

Overall, Jaylen Nowell is an athletic combo guard that can play either backcourt position, and he showed a fairly solid all-around game to help his team, as he generally played well, even if he didn’t make a three-point shot in this game.  Nowell is a skilled player that can score and distribute the basketball, and he could end up being a solid value pick for an NBA team in the second round range of this year’s draft.

Other Notes:

Darius Bazley played fairly well in this game, as he especially excelled as this contest wore on.  He excelled at scoring on quick, smooth drives to the hoop, as he was able to go left to score on an acrobatic scoop layup, and he also went right and used an overhead ball fake to score on a floater while getting an extra free throw another time.  He also was able to knock down an open spot-up three, and he also generally handled the basketball well, but sometimes, he would throw hasty passes in traffic, which would cause him to commit some turnovers.  Still, Bazley had a solid showing as he helped Team 4 get the win, and he is a skilled swingman that could end up going in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.

Ky Bowman also quietly played well in this game.  He excelled at scoring on quick drives to the basket, as he has dribble moves that he can use to get past his man, and he would score on floaters and layups.  He also showed off an adequate ability to pass the basketball, and he also deflected a pass out of bounds defensively.  Bowman did not make a three-point shot, but he still ended up playing fairly well on the offensive end.  Overall, Bowman is an agile playmaker that can score the basketball, and he could end up being a potential second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Tacko Fall had a decent showing in this game.  He rebounded and defended well, as he would leap up to haul in numerous boards on both ends of the floor, and he also would swat shots to help his team protect the paint.  He also managed to hold his ground when defending in the post, and he is a very strong player who was able to help force his opponent to lose the basketball on that possession.  However, sometimes he would also be prone to committing fouls due to over-aggressiveness.

He didn’t seem to make as big of an impact on this game on the offensive end, but he still was able to score efficiently, albeit in limited touches.  Fall managed to score on a put back dunk, and he also was able to score in the post another time.  But he also missed on a dunk early on.  He also had some trouble protecting the basketball on offense when he was around the basket, as defenders would swarm him to force a tie-up as well as a turnover once.

Overall, Tacko Fall showed some solid skills, and even though he didn’t stand out on the offensive end, he excelled as a rebounder and interior defender in this game.  He is a very tall center that has good mobility, and he could end up being a solid rim protector at the next level.  If he continues to play well in the combine at Chicago, as well as in workouts, he could end up being a second round pick this year, and in a favorable scenario, he could end up being a solid role player in the NBA.

For Shamorie Ponds, his performance was a mixed bag.  He played well early on, as he was able to make a couple of open threes to space the floor for his team, and he also made a pull-up, mid-range jumper.  Plus, he also blocked a mid-range jump shot to a teammate, as he made a solid defensive play that time.  In addition, he also made some good passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  However, he tended to miss threes later on, as he had some trouble knocking down shots late in this contest.  Overall, Ponds is a quick playmaking point guard that can shoot the basketball, and he also showed some solid defensive skills, but he was streaky with his jump shot today.  Still, he is a skilled player that can put up points in a hurry, and he could end up being a second round pick on draft day.

Devon Dotson had an up and down game today, but he did show a fairly good ability to score on quick drives to the basket.  There was a stretch run where he was scoring on strong drives in transition, but sometimes he would also miss shots wildly off the dribble, and he was unable to make any of his three-point shots.  Dotson did defend fairly well, as he was able to take a ball away to get a steal, and he also forced another turnover on a separate play.  Overall, Dotson is a speedy point guard that excels at attacking the basket to garner scores, but he will need to be a more consistent shot maker and playmaker in games.  Still, he is an intriguing prospect whose athleticism and scoring ability could allow him to be selected by an NBA team in the second round of this year’s draft.