Assessing the G-League Ignite In Their Seventh Game
February 21st, 2021
By Alan Lu
Today, I took the time to watch the G-League Ignite’s seventh game of the year, as they played against Greensboro in their attempt to end the losing streak. It was a very fast paced game, and the G-League Ignite were able to successfully get the win over Greensboro to improve their record to 5-2 in the NBA G-League.
In this game, the G-League Ignite had six players finish in double figures, Jalen Green scored 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting, and Isaiah Todd led players on his team with 23 points in this game. Here are my thoughts on how Green, Kuminga, Todd, and Nix fared, as well as how they may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA. For those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.
Isaiah Todd had a solid showing in his team’s win over Greensboro, and he scored 23 points and made two threes to help his team get the victory. He excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he is a very athletic, skilled big man that played well in this game.
Todd shot the ball fairly well in this game. He did a good job of scoring on mid-range jumpers. He showed a knack for making face-up jumpers from outside the left elbow, and he also was able to make a nifty, one-legged fadeaway jumper from the baseline. Plus, Todd also showed that he can move off the ball to score on open, spot-up threes off the catch, but he also was a bit streaky with his jump shot at times in this match.
He also did a fairly good job of scoring on hustle plays. Todd would run the floor to score on the break, and he also was able to score on a powerful dunk in transition. He also managed to score on athletic, two-handed dunk off of a backdoor cut. Plus, he also can draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line. Sometimes though, he would occasionally go up too soft in traffic, which would lead to misses, and he also had a couple of his shots blocked.
Also, he did a decent job of scoring in the post. Todd was able to roll to get the ball in the post, and he was able to throw down a powerful, two-handed dunk. Another time on a roll to the rim, he ended up missing on a turnaround, fadeaway jump hook, as he missed it too hard that time.
Plus, he also displayed fairly average playmaking skills. Todd will sometimes look to find the open man, and he can throw accurate passes from the post as well as off the dribble. He can throw quick, timely passes to find open shooters, and he also passed the ball from the high post to set up a scoring chance for a cutter once. He also will sometimes set screens for his teammates. However, he did commit one turnover, as he ran the floor quickly to get the ball down court, but he ended up pushing off to commit an offensive foul and a turnover.
Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, Todd was able to leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor. He was more active at helping his team get offensive boards, and he also was able to push the ball up the court after chasing down a ball to get a defensive rebound once. However, he would tend to forget to box out his opponents, and there were too many times where he would allow Greensboro’s 6-5 forward, Admiral Schofield beat him to the ball to get rebounds in his area.
Adding to that, Todd played adequate defense in this game. Todd would actively defend drives out on the perimeter, and he would contest shots to force misses. He showed fairly solid footwork to guard opposing ball handlers, and he also would contest threes to force misses. However, sometimes he would sag too far off of shooters to allow scores to them. Other times, he would be in the area to rotate, but wouldn’t make hard rotations or actively contest shots, as he would sometimes allow opponents to score around the basket.
In summary, Isaiah Todd played well in this game, and he excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game. He will need to improve his rebounding and be a more focused defender in games, but he is an athletic big man that can score the basketball, and he could end up being a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.
Jalen Green had a strong showing in his team’s win over Greensboro. He really excelled as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he also made solid plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. Green shot the ball very well, especially from downtown. He excelled at knocking down open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he gets good elevation on his jumper. He struggled a little more to make pull-up jumpers, but he especially showed a knack for making three-pointers whenever he would be given the space to shoot the basketball.
He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Green runs the floor very well, and he was able to catch a long outlet pass to score quickly on the break. He also caught a lob pass off of a backdoor cut to score on a thunderous, alley-oop dunk.
He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble. Green was able to drive hard to the hoop to score on a strong layup off the glass. He also managed to draw free throws on a drive in transition due to an opponent committing a clear-path foul. Though he struggled to make pull-up jumpers, Green would excel at scoring on strong drives to the hoop, especially when he would get all the way to the rim.
Also, Green showed off solid playmaking skills in this game. He is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he would get the ball to his teammates in a variety of ways. Green passed the ball well in this game, as he would throw good passes off the dribble as well as throw solid interior passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates. He also would sometimes bring the ball up the court. There was one play where he committed a charging foul on a drive in transition that led him to commit his lone turnover due to recklessness. Plus, he also did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball. Green would chase down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would push the ball quickly up the court afterwards.
Adding to that, Green also played fairly good defense. He would jump passes to get steals, and he also would catch deflected passes thrown his way to help his team get other steals. He is an active defender that will aggressively play passing lanes, and he also managed to poke a ball off of an opponent on a drive to force another turnover. He also was able to aggressively fight through a screen once to force his opponent to commit a traveling violation, and he also contested a three from way out to force a miss another time. However, sometimes he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, which would lead his team to end up committing fouls as a result. Other times, he would not fight hard through screens, which would put his team in scrambling situations.
In general, Jalen Green played very well in his team’s double-digit win over Greensboro. He excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he especially excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game. He is playing very good basketball as of lately. He is making a strong case to be a top 3 pick in the 2021 draft, and he is a very talented prospect that could likely end up being a very good player in the NBA.
Jonathan Kuminga had a decent showing in his team’s win over Greensboro. He scored 18 points in this game, but he was quite streaky with his shot, he didn’t grab many rebounds, and his defensive effort seemed to be uneven in this game.
Kuminga shot the ball fairly well, as he especially excelled at knocking down pull-up jumpers from the mid-range. He also was able to make threes both off the catch and dribble, but he also missed on his fair of long-range shots, and there were times where he would miss wide-open threes from beyond the arc.
He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. Kuminga would run the floor to score in transition, and he also was able to throw down an athletic, two-handed dunk on the break. He also used a quick misdirection to score on a two-handed jam off of a quick backdoor cut early on. Plus, he also ran in to score on a tip dunk after grabbing an offensive rebound. Sometimes though, he would not always go up strong, which would occasionally lead him to miss shots in traffic. He also tried to score on a half-court drive once after using a crossover, but he ended up missing on a rushed layup around the basket.
He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills. Kuminga is an unselfish player that tended to throw accurate entry passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates. Also, he was able to run the floor and throw a nice, behind-the-back bounce pass to drop it off to a teammate to set up a score him on the break later on. Plus, sometimes he would bring the ball up the floor. Sometimes though, he would throw inaccurate entry passes that be a bit off target. Another time, he tried to drive towards the hoop after getting the ball in the post, but he ended up getting the ball ripped away from him that led him to commit a turnover.
Kuminga didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, but he was able to leap up to get a pair of offensive boards, as he looked to give a more concerted effort to help his team on the offensive glass. However, he didn’t grab any defensive rebounds, and there would be times where he would let other players get boards in his area.
Also, he played adequate defense in this game. Kuminga was able to rotate to block a shot in the post off the glass due to possessing good length, athleticism, and timing. He also would contest jumpers to force misses. However, sometimes he wouldn’t hustle back hard enough or make plays on the ball defensively, which would lead his team to allow scores around the basket. Another time, he ended up getting beat off the dribble, which forced his teammate to rotate to foul his opponent instead.
Overall, Jonathan Kuminga played fairly well in his team’s win over Greensboro. He showed that he can knock down jumpers, and also make solid hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. He will need to be a more consistent shooter and be a more focused defender, but he is a very athletic swingman whose solid all-around skills likely will enable him to be a top 5 pick in the 2021 draft.
Daishen Nix had his ups and downs in his team’s win over Greensboro. He didn’t take many shots, and he struggled to be effective as a shooter or scorer, and he also struggled at times defensively. On the plus side, he did a very good job of distributing the basketball to help his team, and Nix was able to dish out 13 assists in this game.
Nix showed a solid ability to score off the dribble. He was able to score on a powerful, left-handed drive to the hoop. He also drew free throws on a strong drive in traffic late in this game. He also ran in to draw free throws on a tip-in after getting an offensive rebound, and Nix showed a good ability to draw fouls upon his defenders. On the downside, he was unable to make any of his three-point shots, and he was unable to connect on any of the outside shots that he took from beyond the arc.
Also, Nix displayed good playmaking skills in this game. He looked to pass early and often, and he would tend to throw crisp, accurate interior passes to set up numerous scores for his teammates. He also would throw solid passes off the dribble, as he would sometimes quickly get to the hoop, and he also showed that he can throw acrobatic passes on the move to rack up assists. Sometimes though, he would throw inaccurate passes that would go astray. Other times, he would commit ball-handling turnovers due to carelessness. Another play, he took too much time to bring the ball up past half court, which led him to commit an eight-second violation. Plus, Nix did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to get defensive boards, and sometimes he would push the ball quickly up the court.
Defensively though, he looked to be about average at best. For the positives, Nix is an active help defender that can help his team force turnovers. He was able to intercept an errant pass thrown off the glass to get a steal. He also went in to force a tie-up on an offensive rebounder to force a jump ball another time. He also would apply considerable ball pressure, as he also deflected a pass on a separate play, and he would make it difficult for his opponents to get their passes through. On the downside, he would tend to get caught on screens and would not make much of an effort to fight through them, and he would give up on plays that would put his team in scramble situations. Other times, he would not make much of an effort to contest shots. Also, sometimes he would struggle to defend quicker players out on the perimeter.
Overall, Daishen Nix is a smart, skilled playmaker that can effectively run the team at the point, and he also rebounds the ball very well. He’s been up and down as a shooter and he will need to improve his defense. Still, he has very good size to play the point, and he is a skilled, high IQ basketball player that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range on draft day.
According to Rappler, G-League Ignite’s rookie center, Kai Sotto has made his trip return to the United States, but he is believed to still not be with the G-League Ignite team in Orlando yet. He’s hit a string of bad luck lately, as the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers ended up getting canceled this month, and he would have to sit through COVID-19 protocols and would have to pass six coronavirus tests to even be able to enter the Orlando bubble.
As the G-League Ignite is already fighting for a playoff spot in their league as they stand at 5-2, and as they have a stacked roster, it is starting to look unlikely that they will give much playing time, if any to Sotto this year, as it would be tough for them to incorporate him into their rotation midway through the season.
His team has already played 7 of 15 regular season games, and so their regular season is nearly half way completed. My prediction is if Sotto doesn’t rejoin the team soon, his team probably will leave him to be inactive, and then seek to activate him next year to give him a full season in 2022. That probably doesn’t bode well for Sotto’s draft prospects, as he may spend a full season without getting into any meaningful basketball games, but he still may be a talented enough player to potentially warrant a selection in the late second round as a talented project big man for an NBA team to take in the 2021 draft this year.
Other Notes, Part II:
It was good to see the G-League Ignite get back on track, and they were able to win handily by getting a double-digit victory over Greensboro. Also for the G-League Ignite, former NBA veteran center Amir Johnson played very well, as he scored 18 points on 7 of 9 shooting, and he also made a three-point shot in his team’s win over Greensboro. Former Georgetown star center, Jessie Govan scored 12 points off the bench, and former Arizona Wildcats forward, Brandon Ashley had 11 points in this game in the G-League Ignite’s win over Greensboro.
For Greensboro, current Charlotte Hornets assignee and rookie center, Nick Richards scored 26 points on 9 of 10 shooting, he made 2 threes, and he also had 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in his team’s losing effort. Kobi Simmons scored 27 points, as he made 4 three-pointers, and he also had 10 assists and 5 rebounds. Vernon Carey Jr., Admiral Schofield, and Grant Riller also scored in double figures in their team’s loss to the G-League Ignite.
In another game, Austin Spurs’ rookie guard, Anthony Mathis scored 33 points on 10 of 15 shooting, and he made 5 three-pointers off the bench in his team’s loss to the Delaware Blue Coats.
Meanwhile, Delaware improved their record to 7-0, and 2020 second round draft pick, and rookie forward, Paul Reed has thrived for them, and Reed is currently averaging 20.9 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 1.6 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game while making 60% from the field and 38% of his threes in his team’s first 7 games of the season.