Assessing the Thompson Twins in Game 2 of the 2023 Overtime Elite Finals

April 8th, 2023

By Alan Lu

Recently, I decided to take the time to watch the Thompson twins and City Reapers play in a March 4th game against YNG Dreamerz in Game 2 of the 2023 Overtime Elite Finals, with thanks to YouTube via OTE.  Ausar Thompson was a standout performer while his twin brother Amen Thompson made the game-winning field goal to win the game, and there were a couple of other strong performances in the mix as well.  Eventually, the City Reapers would go on to win the OTE championship this year.  Here are my thoughts on how the Thompson twins and other various prospects fared on this day. Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

Amen and Ausar Thompson were two of the best players on the City Reapers and in the Overtime Elite League this past season, and they led their team to win the championship. Both of them could end up being top 5 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft.
(Photo: Overtime Elite/ESPN)
Ausar Thompson had a strong showing to lead his team to a close win over YNG Dreamerz.  He is a very athletic, versatile playmaker that had a very good all-around game, and he also showed a much improved outside shot by making threes from beyond the arc.

Thompson really excelled at making threes in this game.  He showed a knack for making open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also thrived at scoring on fast breaks, as he would throw down high-flying dunks and also score off layups.  He also ran the floor and posted up, and utilized a drop step move to draw free throws.  Plus, he also did a satisfactory job of scoring off the dribble.  Thompson was able to utilize a Euro-step move to outmuscle his opponent to score and draw an extra free throw.  He also did a good job of drawing fouls on his opponents.  He did miss on a quick give and go layup off of a drive late in this game, but he generally shot the ball very well overall.

He also showed off decent playmaking skills in this game.  Thompson is an unselfish player that can make solid plays with the ball in his hands.  He would often throw long, accurate outlet passes to find his teammates ahead on the break to notch assists, and he also can throw solid passes off the dribble.  Sometimes though, he would throw rushed passes, which would lead him to throw balls inaccurately and to go astray at times.  Another time, he was called for taking too many steps while trying a step-back move off the dribble, which led him to be called for traveling on that possession.

Plus, Thompson also showed a satisfactory ability to rebound the basketball, and sometimes he would push the ball quickly up the court afterwards.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Thompson would poke balls and jump passes to get steals and deflections, and he would apply significant ball pressure when defending opposing ball handlers.  He also contested a deep three-pointer to force a miss another time.  Sometimes though, he would wander too far off his man, which would put him out of position, and it led his team to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also took a bad angle went too high over the screen another time, and his team ended up allowing a score to an opponent on a back cut early on.

In general, Ausar Thompson played very well, and he is a very athletic, energetic player that shot the ball very well in this game.  His three-point shot has been middling this year, but he’s shown a marked improvement from beyond the arc compared to last season.  He also thrives on making hustle plays, is a good ball mover, and can project to be a shutdown defender.  He’ll need to keep shooting the ball well, but it’s clear that he has an immense amount of upside.  Ausar Thompson is a very talented prospect, and he could end up being a top 5 pick of the 2023 draft.

Amen Thompson had a decent showing in his team’s win over YNG Dreamerz.  He is a very athletic, skilled playmaker that can make a wealth of highlight reel-worthy plays on the court.  He didn’t shoot well from the outside in this game, but he generally did a good job of passing the basketball and making clutch plays to help his team get the victory.

Thompson showed a good ability to score off the dribble in this game.  He has a very quick first step, and he would score on strong, speedy moves to the hoop.  He was able to run quickly off the ball to get it out on the perimeter, and he drove quickly to his left to score on an acrobatic, scoop layup to get the game-winning field goal.  He also will drive in hard to draw fouls upon his defenders, which can enable him to get to the free throw line.

He also was able to make a open, three-point shot from deep.  Thompson also drove off of a screen to score on a smooth, pull-up mid-range jumper another time.  However, he had trouble making shots consistently from the outside regardless if he would take them off the catch or dribble.  He also struggled to make shots from the post, and he ended up misisng on a couple of fadeaway jumpers.

He also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  Thompson showed a knack for throwing long, accurate passes to find open teammates on the break, and he also can make passes off the dribble.  He would swing the ball to find the open man, and he also can find teammates on the move.  He also was able to throw an accurate lob pass to set up a score for his teammate on the break.  Sometimes though, he would over-dribble and do too much on offense, which would lead to ball-handling turnovers.  Other times, he would throw rushed passes that would go astray.  He also tried to post up once, but lowered his shoulder and ended committing an offensive foul and a turnover that time.

Plus, he also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  Thompson was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor, and he would sometimes push the ball quickly up the court.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, Thompson was able to jump on a loose ball that was poked away to help his team get a steal.  He also was able to rotate to contest a shot on the break to get a stop, and he also closed out on a corner shooter to force a miss another time.  He also was able to stay with an opposing ball handler on a drive to force a miss.  However, he can tend to lose track of his man off the ball, which can lead him to wind up out of position.  He also would sometimes get beat off the dribble to opponents that shouldn’t be able to get a step on him, and other times he would be late on his rotations and give up too much space to allow them to score on outside shots.  On one play late in this game, he gave up too much space and didn’t even contest a three-point shot, which led his team to give up a game-tying basket just moments before he made the game-winner later on.

In summary, Amen Thompson had his ups and downs in this game, but he was able to score on a game-winning drive to the hoop to get his team a crucial win in the 203 OTE Finals in Game 2.  He’ll need to improve his outside shot and be a more focused defender in games, but he is an extremely athletic, tremendously talented prospect that can score, distribute the ball, and defend, and he will likely be a lottery pick in the 2023 draft.

YNG Dreamerz’s 7-1 center, Alexandre Sarr had a strong showing in his team’s loss to City Reapers.  He is an athletic, skilled big man that showed off an impressive set of skills on offense, and he is a skilled player that can shoot, pass, and handle the basketball.  He especially played well in the first half to help his team in this game.

Sarr showed off versatile scoring skills on offense.  He showed a satisfactory ability to make shots from the outside, and he was especially comfortable at making mid-range jumpers.  He excelled at making face-up, mid-range jumpers, and he was able to dribble in to score on a floater once.  Sarr also was able to make an open corner three to show his shooting range.  He also managed to draw three free throws on a corner three after moving off the ball to get it, but he also was fairly inconsistent in making threes, as he didn’t always get good touch on his shot.

Sarr also was able to score on a strong, powerful dunk.  However, he had trouble scoring in the post consistently, as he also missed on a couple of fadeaway jumpers.  He also scored on a quick cut to the hoop, but he had apparently taken a step after he caught it, and was called for a traveling violation that time.

He also showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  Sarr is a good passer that can throw sharp, accurate passes off the dribble and out of the post, and he can throw solid passes to find cutters to notch assists.  Sometimes though, he would mishandle the ball or get a bit sloppy with his footwork, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.

He also was able to get his fair share of rebounds to help his team on the court.  Sometimes though, he would be too aggressive at times, which would lead him to foul in rebounding situations.  Plus, Sarr also played satisfactory defense in this game.  He is an athletic, rangy defender that can make plays to get blocks and steals.  Sarr would rotate to block and alter shots to help his team protect the paint.  He also would get his hands on passes and was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team get steals.  He also was able to hold his ground and contest the shot when defending in the post to force a miss.  On the downside, he would tend to sag too far off of shooters, which would lead opponents to score on open jumpers.  He also would sometimes be late on his rotations, and he would get beat off the dribble to allow scores to them.

Overall, Alexandre Sarr played well in his team’s loss to the City Reapers.  He is an athletic, skilled big man that showed off a solid set of all-around skills, and he could be a definite prospect to watch for the 2024 draft.  He’ll need to be a more consistent outside shooter and tighten up his handles, but he is a talented big man that could potentially be a first round pick in 2024.

YNG Dreamerz’s 6-3 guard, Bryson Warren played well in his team’s loss to the City Reapers.  He especially played well in the second half, and he showed a knack for making outside shots and throwing timely, accurate passes to set up scores for his teammates.  

Warren is an agile, skilled guard that excelled at making mid-range jumpers, and he also was able to make a pair of threes, both off the catch and dribble.  He didn’t always get all the way to the rim when driving to the hoop, but he was able to utilize a crossover move to get to the hoop to score once.  He was a bit streaky with his three-point shot, but he managed to pull up to make a game-tying three seconds before his team ended up losing in this game.

He also passed the ball well, and he would throw sharp, accurate passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates in a variety of ways.  He also rebounded the ball well.  He also played adequate defense in this game.  Warren was able to jump on a loose ball to get a steal.  He closed out on a three-point shooter to force a miss.  He also rotated to pressure an opposing ball handler and forced him into a trap near the sideline, which forced his man to call a timeout.  Sometimes though, he would give up too much space to shooters, which would lead them to score on open threes.  He also got beat off the dribble, which led to a scramble situation in which his team gave up a dunk.

Overall, Bryson Warren had a solid showing in this game, and he is a skilled playmaker that had a solid all-around game in his team’s loss to the City Reapers.  He has flown under the radar as a draft prospect, but he could end up being a player to watch for the 2024 draft.

City Reapers’ 6-9 forward, Nathan Missia-Dio had a solid showing to help his team get a win in this game.  He especially played well in the first half.  He is an athletic, versatile forward that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he was able to get a double-double to help his team get a victory.

Missia-Dio showed a knack for drawing free throws on strong, aggressive drives to the hoop.  He is a tremendous free throw generator, and he would often draw fouls to get to the free throw line.  Missia-Dio also was able to make an open three off the catch.  He also managed to score on a thunderous put back slam off of an offensive rebound.  He got his shot blocked late in this game and he was fairly passive on offense in the second half, but generally Missia-Dio excelled at making shots and getting to the foul line when he would decide to hoist shots up.

As a playmaker, he looked to be about average at best.  Missia-Dio is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man.  However, he was also fairly turnover prone on offense.  He took too long to try to make a play off of a drive, which led him to commit a shot-clock violation.  He also shuffled his feet when he got the ball in transition, which led to a traveling call.  He also was called for setting a moving screen later on.

He also did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  On the downside, Missia-Dio struggled defensively.  For the positives, he would sometimes rotate to contest drives to force misses.  He also defended an opposing ball handler on a drive and indirectly forced a ball-handling turnover another time.  However, he would tend to give up too much space when defending shooters to allow them to score on jump shots.  Early on, he closed out on a shooter, and then suddenly backed away off his man and allowed him to score on an open three-pointer.  He also would sometimes get beat off the dribble to allow scores.  Other times, he would be late on his rotations and then end up being called for goaltending when he would attempt to block the shot.

Overall, Missia-Dio is a strong, athletic forward that did a good job of scoring and rebounding the basketball.  He will need to improve his defense, but his ability to make plays in a variety of ways could enable him to be a prospect to watch for the 2024 draft.

YNG Dreamerz’s 6-10 big man, Jalen Lewis played fairly well in his team’s loss in this game.  He is a fairly athletic, skilled player that showed off an intriguing skill set on both ends of the floor.  Lewis was able to make a pair of wide-open, corner threes off the catch.  He also scored on a cut and on a smooth, left-handed drive to the hoop.  He also was active in getting his hands on passes and contesting shots to force some misses.  Sometimes though, he would be too aggressive in contesting shots, which would lead him to commit fouls. He didn’t grab many rebounds nor get an assist in this game, but overall Lewis played well, and he is a skilled, mobile big man that could be a prospect to watch in the future.

City Reapers’ 6-2 point guard, Trey Parker played fairly well in this game.  He is an athletic playmaker that showed off versatile scoring skills.  Parker was able to make a pair of spot-up threes from deep, and he also ran quickly off of a ball screen to make a three early on.  He also caught a lob pass to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk on the break.  He didn’t really look to score off the dribble, but Parker showed that he can make shots in catch-and-shoot, and catch-and-finish situations.

He was fairly average as a playmaker in this game.  Parker was able to make quick, drive and dish passes to notch assists due to possessing solid court vision.  Sometimes though, he would be careless when handling the ball, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He also tried to weave a difficult pass in traffic that ended up getting intercepted once.

He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball.  Parker also played adequate defense.  Parker was able to hustle back to poke a ball away to get a steal.  He also would close out on three-point shooters to force misses.  However, sometimes he would be late on his rotations, which would lead him to give up three-point baskets to his opponents.  Other times, he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls.  Overall, Parker had a solid showing in his team’s win over YNG Dreamerz.  He is a very athletic point guard that can shoot the basketball.  He’ll need to be a more consistent player in games, but he is a talented prospect that could end up moving up draft boards in 2024.

YNG Dreamerz’s 6-2 point guard, Kanaan Carlyle played fairly well in his team’s loss in this game.  He shot the ball very well, especially in the second half and from downtown, and he showed that he can ably make threes both off the catch and dribble.  However, he struggled more to score off the dribble, and he especially had trouble scoring in traffic.

He was fairly average at best as a playmaker in this game.  Carlyle was able to throw an inbounds pass to a cutter to notch an assist, and he also showed that he can make a variety of passes off the dribble.  However, he would sometimes play too wildly on offense, which would lead him to commit turnovers.  He struggled to handle the trap when doubled, which led him to get tied up and fall that led to one turnover.  He also tried to throw a fancy, no-look pass, but he threw it inaccurately and it sailed out of bounds.

Also, Carlyle did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played decent defense in this game.  Carlyle drew a charge when defending in the post to force a miss.  He also would apply pressure when defending ball handlers, and was able to deflect a pass. However, he would sometimes struggle to defend in one-on-one situations due to his lack of ideal size or strength for his position, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Carlyle excelled as an outside shooter in this game, and he also rebounded the ball well.  He’ll need to take better care of the ball and show that he can guard taller, stronger opponents in games, but he could be a prospect to watch sometime down the road.

YNG Dreamerz’s 6-2 guard, Jazian Gortman had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to the City Reapers.  Projected by some to be a second round pick prior to the start of the season, I also wanted to watch Gortman play to get a sense of what he can do on the court.  He didn’t have a great game, but he was able to show some intriguing skills as a playmaking guard on offense.

Gortman showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  He has some blow-by speed, and he would sometimes score on quick, aggressive drives to the hoop.  However, he would sometimes struggle to score when help would arrive at the rim, which would lead to wild misses in traffic.

He also struggled to knock down threes, but Gortman also showed a knack for drawing fouls when pulling up to take outside shots to draw plenty of free throws.

He also showed off solid playmaking skills.  Gortman showed a knack for making swift, drive and kick passes to rack up assists.  However, he also threw an inaccurate pass that sailed back past half court that led to an over and back violation once.  He also lost the ball on a drive that led to another.

Plus, Gortman did a good job of rebounding the basketball, and he would sometimes push the ball quickly up the floor.  Defensively, he struggled in this game.  For the positives, he was able to poke a ball away from an opposing ball handler to get a steal.  He also jumped on a loose ball that was poked to him to get another.  He also was able to contest a couple of deep threes to force misses.  However, he had trouble defending opponents off the dribble, as he would get beat off the dribble or get outmuscled, which would lead him to commit fouls.  Other times, he would be late on his rotations and wouldn’t get to his man on time, which would lead him to allow opponents to score around the basket.

Overall, Gortman didn’t have his best game, but he is an athletic, skilled playmaker that can score and distribute the basketball.  He’ll need to be a more consistent outside shooter and will need to improve his defense, but he is an agile, skilled guard that could project to be a backup guard in the NBA.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how the Thompson twins and other various prospects fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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