Assessing the G-League Ignite’s Win On the Second Game of a Back-to-Back Against Stockton

November 30th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch the G-League Ignite play in the second game of a back-to-back against the Stockton Kings.  17-year old point guard, Scoot Henderson has been phenomenal in the NBA G-League, and he’s looked to be a surefire top pick of the 2023 draft ever since the second game he’s played this season.  The G-League Ignite were able to rack up another win in Jaden Hardy’s absence, and they received strong performances from Scoot Henderson, MarJon Beauchamp, and their veteran players.  Here are my thoughts on how Henderson, Beauchamp, and other prospects fared on this day. Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

Scoot Henderson scored 27 points, had 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals, and was a +26 in his team’s win over the Stockton Kings.
(Photo:
Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty Images)

Scoot Henderson had a terrific showing in his team’s win over the Stockton Kings.  He played very well throughout this game, and he especially excelled as a scorer, playmaker, and help defender in this match. Henderson did a great job of scoring off the dribble.  He has a very good first step to the hoop and handles the ball very well, and he would score on crafty layups and thunderous dunks.  He was able to use a crossover and drive in to score on a switch of hands dunk, and he also ran off of a screen to drive in in order to score on a smooth, finger roll layup.  Plus, he also excelled at scoring on speedy drives in transition.  He also managed to score on a crafty, reverse layup early on, and he has terrific balance, body control, and finishing ability to regular score around the basket.

He also did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  Henderson was able to draw free throws after getting the ball on a quick, backdoor cut to the hoop.  He also managed to score on a tip-in after leaping up to get an offensive rebound.  Henderson also showed that he can seamlessly knock down pull-up jumpers from the mid-range.  On the downside, he missed on all of his three-point shots, and Henderson still has struggled to adjust to the longer three-point line at this level.

Also, Henderson showcased adequate playmaking skills in this game.  He is a speedy guard that can quickly get up the floor, and he showed that he can throw solid interior passes to find teammates on the move to set up scores for them.  He passes the ball well in transition, and he also will look to find the open man.  He also can draw in defenders and find teammates around the basket to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  Sometimes though, he would over-dribble into traffic, which would lead him to get balls stolen away from him.  He also threw a lazy pas that got intercepted.  He also ran the floor but dropped a pass that went out of bounds on a separate possession. Plus, he did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Henderson did a great job of chasing down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would push the ball quickly up the court after getting his team defensive rebounds.

He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Henderson did a great job of running in to intercept passes to get steals, and he also would poke balls away to help his team get others.  He also was able to jump on a loose ball that an opponent lost, and he was very active in helping his team force turnovers.  He also was able to contest a couple of threes to force some misses.  On the downside, he would be too aggressive in trying to make plays at times on the defensive end.  He would sometimes commit fouls when defending opponents off the ball.  Other times, he would gamble too much and go for steals, but it would lead him to wind up out of position.  He also had some trouble getting around screens, which would lead him to be late on his rotations.

In general, Scoot Henderson played very well, as he scored 27 points in his team’s win over Stockton.  He’s been very crucial to the recent emergence of the G-League Ignite, and his strong play has helped lead them to get back-to-back wins over the Stockton Kings.  Henderson is a very athletic scoring point guard that can make highlight reel-worthy plays on both ends of the floor, and he was able to throw down numerous dunks in this game.  He is a very talented player that has an immense amount of upside, and he looks to be a very strong contender to be the top pick in the 2023 draft.

MarJon Beauchamp had a decent showing in his team’s win over the Stockton Kings.  He excelled at attacking the rim to score on offense, but he also was very turnover prone in this game. Beauchamp showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to score on a couple of put backs, and he also drew free throws on a quick cut to the hoop.  He also did a very good job of scoring off the dribble.  He has a good first step, and he also can use subtle dribble moves to get past his man to score on quick layups.  He also showed the willingness to absorb the contact to get fouled in order to get to the free throw line.  While he was able to make a pull-up jumper after using a spin move to do so, he struggled to consistently make shots from that range, and he did not take a single three-point shot on offense.  He also attempted to score in the post, but had his shot blocked when hoisting up a turnaround jumper.

On the downside, Beauchamp was very turnover prone on offense.  He is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man.  On the downside, he would tend to throw weak, careless passes that would get intercepted, and he also threw a hard interior pass that sailed out of bounds.  He also was called for pushing off on a drive that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover another time.

Also, Beauchamp did a very good job of grabbing rebounds for the G-League Ignite.  He would often chase down balls to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would push the ball up the court afterwards.  Defensively, he struggled in this game.  For the positives, Beauchamp was able to rotate to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he would look to contest shots to force some misses.  Sometimes he would be late to rotate or would not even look to contest shots, which would lead him to give up open shots to his opponents.  He also gave up too much space to shooters, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on three-point shots.  He also struggled to defend screens, and he had trouble getting around them, which would put his team in compromised situations. 

In summary, MarJon Beauchamp played fairly well in this game, and he especially thrived as an inside scorer and rebounder for his team.  He will still need to improve his outside shot and be a more focused player in games, but he is a talented, athletic swingman that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the first round of the 2022 draft.

Dyson Daniels had a decent showing in his team’s win over Stockton.  He showed off versatile scoring skills and he also was active as a rebounder and defender, but he also was quite turnover prone in this game. He did a decent job of scoring off the dribble.  Daniels was able to drive hard to the hoop, and he managed to score on a switch of hands, floater.  He also generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He ran the floor to catch a long pass, and scored on a tough layup once.  He also drove quickly up the court and scored on a fast break layup.  On the downside, he also missed on a rushed tip-in another time.  He did make an open corner three, but Daniels struggled to make threes consistently on offense.

He also was quite turnover prone.  For the positives, Daniels can throw patient interior passes to set up scores for teammates on the break.  He also showed that he can pass out of the post as well as find teammates on the move to set up scoring chances for them.  On the downside, he would tend to throw hasty, inaccurate passes that would go astray.  He also over-dribbled over time and it led him to get the ball stolen away from him.

Also, Daniels did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball.  He was active in crashing the glass to get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would push the ball up the court after getting defensive rebounds.  He also would play satisfactory defense in this game.  Daniels would play passing lanes to get steals and deflections, and he also dove on the ground to get a loose ball to help his team get a steal.  He also did a good job of contesting shots to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, and he would get outmuscled by stronger opponents.  Another time, he went away from guarding an opponent, and it led him to give up a long two to the other team.

Overall, Daniels played fairly well in this game, and he especially thrived as an inside scorer in this game.  He will need to improve his outside shot, cut on turnovers, and be a more focused defender in games, but his playmaking and defensive abilities could make him an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the first round of the 2022 draft.

Michael Foster had his ups and downs in his team’s win over Stockton.  He excelled as a scorer and facilitator on offense, but he didn’t grab many rebounds nor defend well when he was on the floor.  Sometimes he would get matched up against the taller and stronger Neemias Queta, and Foster would sometimes get over-powered by him in this game. Foster did a good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He ran the floor to get the ball, and he proceeded to score on an emphatic dunk.  He also received the ball on a short roll and then dribbled to score on a running floater.  He also dribbled off of an offensive rebound and managed to draw free throws on a put back. 

He did a good job of drawing fouls when he would drive the ball to the basket.  Foster also showed a decent ability to score in the post, and he also made an open mid-range jumper early on.  On the downside, sometimes he would miss on tough, contested shots, and he also had trouble knocking down mid-range shots consistently.  He also did not attempt a three-point shot in this game.

Also, Foster displayed satisfactory playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man, and he threw sharp, crisp interior passes to find teammates on the move.  He also did a good job of setting on-ball screens to help teammates get open jump shots and driving lanes.  On one play, he attempted to drive hard to the hoop, but had the ball stolen away from him as he tried to do too much that time.

Adding to that, Foster did not rebound the ball well in this game, but he was able to get boards on both sides of the ball, in which he would sometimes bring the ball up afterwards.  On the downside, there was one play where he got outmuscled by a taller, stronger opponent, which led him to foul him on a put back.

He also struggled defensively.  For the positives, Foster was able to poke a ball away to nearly get a steal once.  On the downside, he really struggled to defend screens in this game.  He didn’t effectively communicate to his teammates how they should defend screens.  He hangs too far back in drop coverages when defending screens, and so it leaves his teammates having too fight over a tough screen, which would lead them to give up open jumpers to their opponents.  He often had trouble defending in the post, Queta especially.  Despite normally having very good strength to hold position, he would often get overpowered by Queta, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also bit on a pump fake that led him to allow a basket another time.  He also would tend be late to rotate or to contest shots.

Overall, Michael Foster did not play very well, and he especially struggled on the defensive end in this game.  He will need to improve his outside shot and ability to play out on the perimeter, but his ability to score and rebound in the paint could enable him to get picked in the late first to the second round range of the 2022 draft.

Fanbo Zeng didn’t have a great game, and like many of his previous games, he tended to pick up quick fouls, and he ran into foul trouble.  He also was held scoreless in this game, so that’s not great at all.  He did have one terrific block to showcase his athleticism and defensive potential, but unfortunately, that turned out to be just one good play in an endless string of errors and mistakes he seemed to make in his team’s win over Stockton.

He missed on all three of his shots in this game.  All of the shots he took looked promising, but he didn’t make a single one of them in this particular game against Stockton. Zeng made a good backdoor cut to the hoop to get the basketball, but he then missed on an open dunk due to rushing.  He used a crossover as he swiftly handled the ball, and Zeng was able to easily get his shot up, but he then missed on a long two off the dribble.  He also missed on an open, spot-up three in what was the lone three-point shot he hoisted up from beyond the arc.  Although Zeng is athletic and has flashed his versatility and potential at times, he doesn’t seem to have any one elite or special skill on offense, and his inability to consistently score combined with his lack of strength may make it difficult for him to get extended playing time in games. He also was able to set a screen on offense.  He threw an inbounds pass that was nearly intercepted, but he managed to chase down the loose ball in order to retrieve it for his team.  He was able to make another cut to the hoop, but he then dropped the pass that went to an opponent.

Though he didn’t get many rebounds in this game, Zeng was able to leap up to get a defensive board, and he then drew a non-shooting foul afterwards.  Defense was where he showed his most potential, and that could be his calling card if he is able to get to the NBA.  He is an athletic, high-flying forward that can roam to make big plays on the ball.  Zeng rotated to block a shot hard off of a drive, and he was able to swat it to a teammate.  He also was able to poke a ball away to help his team get a steal.

On the downside, he still struggled considerably on the defensive end.  Zeng’s rail thin frame makes it very hard for him to defend opponents down low, and he also tends to commit a lot of fouls that make it hard for him to stay on the floor for extended stretches.  He would get outmuscled when defending opponents in the post as well as off the dribble, which would lead him to pick up quick fouls.  He also would take bad angles when defending screens, and he also didn’t always move his feet well when defending opponents off the dribble.  He also would sometimes take bad gambles, as he would be caught reaching in or biting on pump fakes, which would then get him into trouble.

Overall, Fanbo Zeng is an athletic, high-motor combo forward that has some intriguing skills, and he’s shown flashes of his versatility in some of the games.  However, his recent and prolonged struggles with his shooting and scoring, combined with a strong tendency to pick up cheap fouls and an overall lack of playing time may make it hard for him to get selected in the 2022 NBA Draft.  He’s still talented enough to get picked in the mid to late second round, but he’s still very raw and unpolished as an overall player, so he’d most likely be a draft-and-stash candidate, or a two-way contract player in the future.  While the other G-League prospects seem to be considerably more polished, Zeng may be as raw of a prospect as there can be, and it seems that he would have benefitted much more if he had decided to play for Gonzaga, because he would spend multiple seasons there, rather than play in the G-League and immediately enter the 2022 draft.  Zeng has a lot of areas that he needs to work on, and it is not a guarantee that he will get drafted by an NBA team.

Other Notes:

I didn’t actively watch the players on the Stockton Kings, but they did have a couple of standout performers from their squad. Sacramento Kings’ 7-0 rookie center, Neemias Queta provided a strong interior presence on both ends of the floor. He did a great job of scoring in the post, and he manhandled the usually strong and physical Michael Foster as well as other players by scoring and drawing lots of free throws in this game. Also, former Duke guard, D.J. Steward showed off good athleticism, and he showed off his sharpshooting and scoring prowess by scoring 29 points, and he also made 5 threes, as he shot the ball very well in his team’s loss to the G-League Ignite.

In this game, the Stockton Kings received 83 of their 86 points from four players, which were Neemias Queta, D.J. Steward, Marcus Graves, and Ade Murkey. Unfortunately, only one other player scored, and their bench was held scoreless for the entire game. Stockton’s bench scored a total of zero points, and the G-League Ignite’s strong guard and bench play helped them get the win over Stockton.

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