Assessing the G-League Ignite In Their Last Regular Season Game
March 6th, 2021
By Alan Lu
Today was a definite must-win game for the G-League Ignite, and they squared off against the Austin Spurs in their last regular season game. For the Ignite, it was win and they’re in the playoffs, but if they lost, that would be the end of their season. Fortunately for the G-League Ignite, they really brought it today to get a much-needed win to earn a playoff berth against the Raptors 905 that will be played on Monday.
After starting off down 11-4 early on, the G-League ignite was able to go on a massive run, and they ended up defeating the Austin Spurs by 35. They received strong play from all of their players. Most notably, Amir Johnson scored 27 points, as he was perfect from the field, and Isaiah Todd scored 25 points, as he also turned in a terrific showing in this game. Here are my thoughts on how Todd, Jalen Green, Daishen Nix, and Princepal Singh fared, as well as how they may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA. Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.
Isaiah Todd had a strong showing in his team’s win over Austin. He put forth a very good, all-around performance, as he scored 25 points, made 4 three-pointers, and he also had 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in this game.
Todd did a terrific job of knocking down threes to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. He excelled at making open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he also was able to make a couple of threes off of pick and pop plays. He has very good size to shoot over the top of defenders, and a very good shooting stroke that enables him to make a barrage of outside shots when he gets into a rhythm.
He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Todd runs the floor well, and he would sprint down court hard to get the ball, and he was able to throw down a couple of powerful dunks on the break. He also managed to score on a powerful put back dunk after grabbing an offensive rebound.
He also showed a satisfactory ability to score in the post. Todd was able to go to his right to score on a strong layup while getting an extra free throw after getting the ball on the block once. Sometimes though, he would take tough, difficult shots, which would occasionally lead to misses.
Todd also was able to make a couple of long, two-point shots, and he was able to run off the ball quickly to make one in this game. However, he struggled to consistently score on mid-range shots, and he would sometimes be quite streaky with his jump shot from that range.
Also, he displayed solid playmaking skills in this game. Todd is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man, as he would get the ball to open shooters, and he would throw accurate entry passes to set up scores for his teammates. He also would set screens to help his teammates get open jump shots. Also, he did not turn the ball over on offense in this game. Plus, Todd did a very good job of rebounding the basketball. He especially excelled at collecting defensive rebounds, and he would consistently haul in boards to help his team on the glass.
He also played solid defense in this game. Todd did a very good job of blocking shots off of drives to his teammates due to possessing solid athleticism, length, and timing. He also would poke balls and deflect passes to nearly get steals on other occasions. He excelled at rotating to contest shots in the paint to force misses, and he also would successfully challenge three-point shots to force misses. Sometimes though, he would over-help in the paint and be late to rotate back to his man, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots. Other times, he would take bad gambles when defending out on the perimeter, which would put him out of position defensively. A couple of times, he wasn’t able to contest shots in time or make timely rotations.
In general, Isaiah Todd played really well, as he put forth a terrific performance in his team’s double-digit win over Austin. He had a strong all-around game, and he is a talented prospect who has been building a strong case to go in the first round of the upcoming draft. If things break his way, he could end up being a solid player in the NBA.
Jalen Green also played fairly well in his team’s win over Austin. He didn’t quite dominate as expected, but he consistently made solid team plays, and he ended up scoring 18 points in this game. Green did a good job of knocking down threes to space the floor for his team on offense. He was able to make an open, corner three off the catch. He also was able to make a nifty, step-back three another time.
Plus, he also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Green ran the floor and caught a lob pass to score on a thunderous, two-handed jam on the break. He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble. Green was able to score on a couple of speedy, right-handed drives to the hoop. He also showed a knack for drawing fouls to get to the free throw line, and he also used a spin move to do so once. However, sometimes he would take tough, rushed layups, which would lead to misses, especially when he wouldn’t get foul calls. Though he did make a long two after running to get the ball on a dribble handoff, Green had trouble consistently scoring on mid-range jumpers in this contest.
Also, he showcased adequate playmaking skills in this game. Green tended to throw solid interior passes, as he can find teammates on the move to set up scores for them. He can throw accurate passes to roll men, and he also can throw crisp, long outlet passes. On the other hand, he did commit one turnover, as he threw a hasty lob pass that ended up getting intercepted. Green also was able to leap up to get his fair share of rebounds, as he was able to collect a handful of defensive boards, and sometimes he would bring the ball up after getting them for his team.
Defensively, he looked to be fairly average. Green was able to contest a handful of threes to force misses. On another play, he was able to actively fight through a screen to get back to his man. He looked to be more active defensively than in the previous game, which is a plus. Sometimes though, he would not contest shots or get back on defense, as he had a tendency to give up on plays, especially when his team would be defending in transition. Another time, he over-committed and ended up getting beat off the dribble to allow a score. On another, he struggled to get around a screen, as his team ended up allowing a three-point basket that time.
In summary, Jalen Green had a fairly good, all-around performance to help lift his team to a double-digit victory over Austin. He was able to help his team get a much-needed win to help his team get to the playoffs. Green has consistently played solid basketball as of lately, and he could end up being a top 3 pick in the 2021 draft.
Daishen Nix also had a solid showing in his team’s win over Austin. He scored 12 points, and he also collected 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 1 steal to help his team get the victory. Nix did a great job of scoring on strong, right-handed drives to the hoop. He would tend to favor going to his right, and he showed both a solid first step, and he would over-power his defenders to consistently score around the basket. He also managed to use a drop step to score in the post. He also was able to score on a quick, backdoor cut another time. On the downside, he really struggled to knock down jumpers from further out, and he also missed on all of his three-point attempts.
Nix also displayed solid playmaking skills in this game. He is an unselfish player that has good court vision, and he can make a variety of passes to rack up assists. He would tend to throw accurate entry passes, and he also can find teammates on the move to set up numerous scoring chances for his teammates. He is a good passer off the dribble that plays with great patience. He did commit one turnover, as he threw a pass that got intercepted once. Plus, he did an excellent job of rebounding the basketball. Nix would often leap up to get defensive boards, and he was able to push the ball quickly after getting a defensive rebound once.
Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. Nix was able to chase down a loose ball to help his team get a steal. He also would contest threes to force misses. However, he would tend to get beat off the dribble, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores, and he would sometimes not move his feet well when guarding opponents out on the perimeter. Also, late in this match, he did not contest a three-point shot, which led his team to give up the basket that time.
Overall, Daishen Nix played well in his team’s double-digit win over Austin. He especially excelled as a facilitator and rebounder when he was on the floor. He will need to improve his outside shot and defense, but regardless, he has shown that he is a high IQ basketball player that tends to make sound decisions in games. He has played an instrumental role in helping his team get to the playoffs this year, and he could be a very good pick for an NBA team in the second round range on draft day.
Also, G-League Ignite’s 6-9 big man, Princepal Singh was able to get into the game late in the fourth quarter in his team’s win over the Austin Spurs. While he did struggle a bit defensively, he showed some solid offensive skills, to the point where he could warrant looks as a late second round pick in the 2021 draft.
Singh has good footwork and shooting touch, and he was able to utilize a jab step to effortless score on a smooth, mid-range jumper from the baseline. He also showed some post up skills, as he was able to draw free throws on a turnaround, fadeaway jumper. He also tried to score on a drive, but after using a pump fake, he ended up missing on a turnaround, fadeaway jumper another time.
He also showed off some solid ball handling skills. Though he did not pick up an assist, he did not commit a turnover either, and Singh showed off some agility and ball handling skills when he was on the floor. Also, Singh did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He was able to run in to get a defensive board in this game.
Defensively though, he struggled. On the plus side, he looked to be fairly active as a defender in this game. On the downside, he generally struggled to defend out on the perimeter. On one play, he dropped too far back into the paint when guarding a shooter, to the point where he was unable to contest the shot, which led his team to allow a long two-point basket. He also had trouble guarding quicker players off the dribble. He was unable to cut off penetration once, and he ended up fouling his man on a drive. Another time, he rotated but got beat quickly off the dribble to allow a dunk.
Overall, Princepal Singh played well in the limited amount of minutes he was able to get when he was on the court, and he has shown why he has earned his place on the G-League Ignite’s roster this year. Though he’s not exactly a high profile prospect nor has as much upside as the other draft-eligible prospects on this roster, Singh is an offensively skilled big man that plays with a solid motor. He might not see many minutes in the G-League playoffs, if any, as he has only played in four games this year, which includes this one, and he has only received a double-digit number of minutes once in a regular season game. Still, Singh may have shown enough of a skill level to warrant looks from NBA teams late in the 2021 draft, and in a favorable scenario, he could project to be a rotational big man in the NBA someday if he can continue to polish up his overall game.
G-League Ignite’s veteran center, Amir Johnson scored 27 points on 12-of-12 shooting, and he also made a three-point shot to help his team get a double-digit victory over Austin. He was unstoppable as a scorer in the post, and he also showed some range by making a three-point late in the third quarter to lead his team to get the win.
Also, Cody Demps was able to score 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting, he also made both of his threes, and he also hauled in 7 rebounds and dished out 4 assists to help his team get the victory.
For the Austin Spurs, four different players scored in double figures, and second-year guard, Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 22 points in his first G-League regular season game off the bench.
Long Island’s point guard, Jeremiah Martin scored 36 points on 16 of 23 shooting, and he also made 3 three-pointers in his team’s win over Canton. Canton’s rookie guard, Ty-Shon Alexander scored 30 points and made 7 three-pointers in his team’s losing effort to Long Island.
Other Notes, Part II:
The G-League Ignite were able to make it to the 2021 NBA G-League playoffs, and the 8-7 Ignite squad will square off against the first-seeded, 12-3 Raptors 905 team on March 8th, at 3:45 EST (Eastern Standard Time) on ESPN2. It is unknown if Jonathan Kuminga will be healthy enough to play, but Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, Daishen Nix, and the G-League Ignite will be ready to square off by gametime. That will be a fun game, and it will be interesting to see if they can defeat the Raptors 905 once again to advance to the second round.