Evaluating the G-League Ignite in the 1st Round of the Playoffs

March 8th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Today, I decided to take the time to watch the G-League Ignite play in their first playoff game against the Raptors 905.  They were without Jonathan Kuminga yet again, who was still hurt due to knee soreness.  From a team standpoint, they tried to stay in it, but things fell apart in the fourth quarter, and they ended up losing by double digits by the Raptors 905.  Jalen Green played very well, as he scored 30 points, made 3 three-pointers, and he also had 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals in his team’s losing effort.  Daishen Nix also did a good job of making shots in this game.  Here are my thoughts on how Green, Nix, and Isaiah Todd fared today. For those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link.

Jalen Green scored 30 points in his first G-League playoff game in the 2021 G-League playoffs against the Raptors 905.
(Photo:
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images, via The Rookie Wire-USA Today)

Jalen Green had a strong showing in his team’s loss to the Raptors 905.  He primarily excelled as a scorer, facilitator, and rebounder, and he did a very good job of scoring the basketball in this game. Green did a terrific job of scoring on speedy drives to the hoop.  He has a lightning quick, first step and he would frequently get to the hoop to score at the rim.  He was able to split two defenders to score, and he also was able to score on acrobatic layups other times.  He also was able to use a nice hop step move to score, and he also scored on a floater.  He has tremendous speed, and he also has good body control and finishing ability that allows him to often score off the dribble.  Plus, he also would absorb the contact to often get to the free throw line. 

He also showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team.  Green was able to make several pull-up threes, and he also showed that he was able to make a step-back, corner three early on.  He also pulled up to make a long two from the corner.  However, he also was fairly streaky with his outside shot, as he also tended to miss his fair share of three-pointer as well.

Also, Green displayed solid playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man, and he can throw solid passes off the dribble, as well as throw interior passes to find teammates on the move to rack up assists.  He has good court sense, and he can throw timely passes to set numerous scores for his teammates.  On the downside, he would sometimes throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he also had a ball that ended up being poked away that led him to commit another turnover.

Plus, he also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball.  Green was able to collect his fair share of boards, as he was able to leap up to get them on both sides of the ball.  He was able to chase down a ball to quickly get an offensive board, and he also would sometimes push the ball up the court after getting defensive boards.

He also played adequate defense in this game.  Green would quickly jump passes to get steals, and he also managed to poke a ball away to collect another.  He also would contest three-point shots to force misses, and he also was able to rotate to successfully challenge a shot in transition another time.  Sometimes though, he wouldn’t run hard back on defense, as his effort would sometimes be lagging on that side of the ball, and his team would tend to allow scores around the basket.  He also sometimes will not pick up a man and can get confused as to who to defend on screens, which can lead his team to allow scores.

The G-League Ignite’s Jalen Green scored 30 points in his team’s first-round playoff loss to the Raptors 905.
(Source: Twitter/@nbagleague)

In general, Jalen Green played very well, as he scored 30 points, and he had a strong all-around performance in his team’s loss to the Raptors 905.  He had a very good season this year, and he could end up being a top 3 pick in the 2021 draft.

Daishen Nix had a fairly good showing in his team’s loss to the Raptors 905.  He did a very good job of scoring the basketball, and he also passed and rebounded the ball well when he was on the court. Nix did a very good job of scoring in the post.  He would use powerful moves to score around the basket, and he has good strength and scoring touch to frequently score on the block.  He also was able to score on a strong drive in transition.  Sometimes though, he would try to rush his moves when driving to the hoop, which would lead to misses.

Also, he showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team.  He dribbled off of a screen and pulled up to make a three-point shot from beyond the arc.  However, he also missed on a long two-point shot another time.

He also showed off fairly good playmaking skills in this game.  Nix would tend to throw solid interior passes off the dribble, as he can find teammates on the move to set up scores for his teammates.  He is a solid passer off the dribble, and he has good court vision.  He did commit one turnover, as he over-dribbled into traffic once, and had the ball ripped away from him to lose the basketball.

Also, Nix showed an adequate ability to rebound the basketball.  He was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he also flew in to get an offensive board in traffic due to possessing a good motor to do so that occasion.

Defensively, he struggled in this game.  Nix was able to deflect a pass, and he also poked a ball away to nearly get steals.  He also hustled back to help indirectly force an opponent to commit a ball-handling turnover on the break, as his man lost the ball on his own.  On the downside, sometimes he would tend to get beat on moves to the hoop, as he would struggle to defend quicker players.  Other times, he would struggle to get around screens, which would put his team in scramble situations.

Overall, Daishen Nix played fairly well in his team’s loss to the Raptors 905, and he was able to get some valuable minutes in his team’s first playoff game.  He is a solid facilitator that can score off the dribble and in the post, but he will still need to improve his outside shot and defense.  Right now, he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round range of the 2021 draft.

The G-League Ignite’s 6-10 forward, Isaiah Todd was coming off his strongest game of the year, and he is a very talented player that has generally flown sort of under the radar.  On the downside, he’s also tended to be a very streaky shooter in games, as he can have really good shooting nights, and some bad ones.  His performance against the Raptors 905 would be categorized as among the latter.  Though he showed a lot of confidence in his shot and abilities, he just did not shoot nor play very well in his team’s loss in the 2021 G-League playoffs.

Todd did a good job of scoring in the post.  He was able to score on a turnaround, fadeaway jumper.  He also used a pump fake to score on a strong, drop step move.  Plus, he also utilized a crossover to score on a floater off of a drive to the hoop.

He also was able to make a deep three from way out once.  However, Todd struggled to consistently score on three-point shots, and he also would tend to miss on mid-range jumpers, as he also seemed to take too many mid-range shots in this game.  He also ran the floor to get the ball on the break, but he missed a dunk too hard on that possession.

He also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  Todd is an unselfish that will look to find the open man, and he also can throw solid passes out of the post.  Plus, he also set a good on-ball screen to help his team get an open jump shot another time.  He did commit a couple of turnovers, though.   He threw a weak interior pass that got intercepted once.  He also over-dribbled into traffic and then had a ball ripped away from him another time. Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, Todd was able to leap up to get several defensive boards, as he was able to chip in on the glass in this game.

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, Todd was active at contesting shots in the paint as well as on a three-point shot to help his team force misses.  Other times, he would rotate and actively guard opposing ball handlers, as he would apply considerable ball pressure to help force them to commit ball-handling turnovers.  Sometimes though, he would over-hedge onto opposing pick and roll ball handlers and he would then be too late to get back to the roll man, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would sag too far when defending on screens, and his team tended to allow opponents to score on plenty of threes.  Other times, he would struggle to defend in one-on-one situations, which would result his team committing fouls.

Overall, Isaiah Todd did not play very well in his team’s loss to Raptors 905.  He struggled to consistently make plays in this game, and he wasn’t quite able to get into a rhythm offensively, which seemed to negatively affect him for the rest of the game.  Still, he is a talented prospect whose size, athleticism, and shooting skills could make him a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range, and he could end up being a solid role player in the association.

Other Notes:

With a loss to the Raptors 905 in the playoffs, the G-League Ignite are now eliminated from the playoffs, and their season is over.

It was a fun season, and I enjoyed watching them play, and I feel like they definitely have four players that will be drafted. Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga will most likely go in the top 5, and Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix probably will go in the late first to the second round range of the 2021 draft.

Princepal Singh did play two minutes in this game, but he didn’t really do anything worthy of note in his team’s loss to the Raptors 905. At the moment, he has shown some offensive skills in a very limited amount of minutes, but he didn’t see the floor much this year, and he is likely a long shot to be drafted.

For the Raptors 905, Henry Ellenson scored 35 points, as he made 5 three-pointers, and he had 8 rebounds and 4 assists in this game. Alize Johnson scored 18 points, and he also had 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. Matt Morgan scored 25 points on 9 of 11 shooting, and he made 5 threes. Nik Stauskas scored 23 points, and he made 3 three-pointers in this game. Matt Mooney scored 11 points.

For the G-League Ignite, Bobby Brown scored 15 points, and Amir Johnson scored 11 points.

Santa Cruz defeated Rio Grande Valley to advance to the second round. For Rio Grande Valley, former New Mexico State star swingman, Trevelin Queen scored 35 points, as he made 7 three-pointers in his team’s losing effort. I definitely feel like he’s at least played his way to get a two-way contract from an NBA team this season, and an NBA team should definitely sign him.

In the other games, Lakeland defeated Erie to advance, and Delaware defeated Austin to also advance to the second round of the 2021 NBA G-League playoffs.

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