Evaluating the G-League Ignite in Their Sixth Game

February 18th, 2021

By Alan Lu

After the G-League Ignite suffered a devastating blowout loss yesterday at the hands of Erie, I wanted to see how they would respond today against Westchester.  They played much better today, as they fought hard, and they were able to get out to an early lead, as they played significantly better on both ends of the floor.  However, Westchester showed a steely resolve to stay in it, and both teams traded leads back and forth. 

This game went all the way into overtime, but Westchester was able to run away with the win, as former Detroit Pistons’ forward, Louis King scored 9 of his 18 points in OT, and also assisted on Myles Powell’s basket.  For the G-League Ignite, Jalen Green made the most highlight reel-worthy plays, but Isaiah Todd may have played the best.  Here are my thoughts on how Green and the others fared, as well as where they may currently rank as prospects for the NBA.  Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, the link is here.

G-League Ignite’s Jalen Green scored 15 points, and he also had 7 rebounds and 6 assists in his team’s overtime loss to Westchester.
(Photo:
Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images/Getty Images via AFP, via The Philippine Star)

Jalen Green had a fairly good showing in his team’s tough, overtime loss to Westchester.  He really impressed with by making very athletic plays on both ends of the floor, and though he didn’t shoot the three-ball well, he showed off strong scoring, playmaking, and defensive skills.

Green showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He is a speedy, electrifying playmaker that can get to the rim at will, and he would consistently score on quick layups.  He also used a crossover, a quick ball fake, and a spin move to score on a crafty, turnaround jumper.  Sometimes though, he would take tough, contested shots in traffic, which would lead to misses, especially when he would not be able to get foul calls.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Green did a great job of scoring in transition.  He runs the floor very well, and he was able to score on a strong layup while getting an extra free throw simultaneously.  He also managed to score on a high-flying dunk on the break late in this game.

On the downside, Green struggled to knock down jumpers in this game, especially from further out.  He was able to make a pull-up jumper from just inside the arc early on, and he also drew free throws on a pull-up jumper from the mid-range another time.  However, Green tended to miss on threes and mid-range jumpers, and he had trouble making them consistently against Westchester.

He also displayed very good playmaking skills in this game.  Green is a good passer off the dribble, and he is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to find the open man.  He also passes well out of the post, and he can consistently find teammates on the move to set up scores for them.  He was able to run off of a curl cut, and he threw a no-look, interior pass to set up a score for a teammate around the basket.  Green also handled the ball well.  He did commit one turnover, and he threw an inaccurate outlet pass that got intercepted once. Also, Green did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would leap up to get numerous defensive boards to help his team on the glass, and he would sometimes bring the ball up and push it up the court afterwards.

Plus, Green also played fairly good defense.  He is an active, rangy defender that can cover plenty of ground defensively.  He was able to run in to poke a ball away from an opposing ball handler to get a steal, and he also managed to get deflect a loose ball to a teammate to help force another.  Green also was able to successfully draw a charge to get a stop another time.  He also would actively contest jumpers as well as shots in the paint, and he would close out on shooters to force misses.  However, sometimes he can tend to gamble too much.  He had a tendency to over-help and over-rotate, which would lead him to get beat off the dribble and cuts to the hoop.  Early on, he got caught on a screen, which led his team to allow a three-point basket to an opponent.

In general, Jalen Green played fairly well in his team’s overtime loss to Westchester.  He made solid plays on both ends of the floor, and he made a slew of highlight reel-worthy plays that made for excellent entertainment.  He is a gifted scorer off the dribble, he can throw down magnetic dunks on fast breaks, and he also passed the ball very well.  He didn’t shoot the ball well from the three-point land or the mid-range, but he excelled in the other facets of this game.  He is a very talented prospect, and he may be the most athletic player in the G-League.  Right now, he is a solid all-around player that will need to make more outside shots consistently, but his strong scoring and defensive skills combined with having elite physical tools makes him a likely lock to be a top 5 pick in the 2021 draft.

Jonathan Kuminga had his ups and downs in his team’s overtime loss to Westchester.  He played very well early on.  He showed off a solid ability to shoot and pass the basketball.  However, he struggled to consistently make shots or his free throws down the stretch, and he put forth a middling defensive performance in this game.

Kuminga showed a satisfactory ability to knock down jumpers, and he especially thrived at making threes from beyond the arc.  He was able to make an open spot-up three early on, and he also dribbled in to make a smooth, pull-up three another time.  He also was able to make a step back, pull-up jumper from the mid-range.  Though he made two threes fairly early in the game, he struggled to make them later on, and he did get a three-point shot very late in the shot clock, so he was forced to rush up an outside shot that missed late in this match.

He also did a fairly good job of scoring off the dribble.  Kuminga was able to use a pump fake to drive in and get fouled to get to the free throw line.  He also excelled as a scorer in transition.  He was able to score on a speedy drive in transition, and he also was able to draw free throws another time due to a clear path foul that was committed by a defender.  On the downside, Kuminga had trouble scoring in the post, and he would tend to miss on tough, rushed shots in traffic, despite showing solid footwork and moves to get those shots up.

Also, Kuminga displayed satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  Kuminga has solid court vision, and he tended to throw crisp, accurate interior passes to set up scores for his teammates.  He threw a very long outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate in transition, and he threw a near full-court length pass to get the assist.  He also made a hard cut to the hoop to get the ball, and he then threw a quick drop-off pass to set up a score for a teammate at the rim.  However, sometimes he would commit ball-handling turnovers, as he would over-dribble into traffic, and he also threw an inaccurate pass off the glass that got intercepted another time. Plus, Kuminga was able to leap up to get his fair share of defensive rebounds to help his team.  Also, he would sometimes bring the ball up and push the ball up the court after chasing balls down to get his team defensive boards.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  Kuminga was able to block a shot off of a drive to teammate late in regulation.  He also ran in to intercept a pass to get a steal.  He played good ball-denial defense to prevent James Young from getting the ball midway through this match.  He also managed to contest a long two to force a miss, and he would actively fight through and go around screens to stay attached to his opponents.  However, he had a tendency to over-help in the paint, which would lead him to be late on his rotations, and to allow opponents to score on open three-point shots.  Other times, he would not always stay in front of opposing ball handlers on drives, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Jonathan Kuminga played well early on, but he struggled late in this contest in his team’s overtime loss to Westchester.  He is a very talented prospect that played better today, as he showed a solid outside shot and generally passed the ball well, but he had trouble scoring late in this game, he especially struggled to make his free throws, and he ended up making some costly defensive miscues in overtime.  He will need to improve his free throw shooting and be a more focused defender in the meantime.  Right now, he is still a likely lock to be a top 5 pick in the 2021 draft, but he could be an even better player if he can make those improvements over time.

Isaiah Todd had a solid showing in his team’s overtime loss to Westchester.  He primarily excelled as a scorer in the post as well as off of hustle plays, and he was able to make some solid plays on both ends of he court, as he managed to score 14 points in this game.

Todd showed a solid ability to score in the post.  He excelled at scoring on one-legged, fadeaway jumpers due to possessing a very good shooting touch, balance, and footwork to do so.  He also managed to draw free throws when looking to post up off the ball.  He also missed on a couple of turnaround jumpers, and he had a couple of his shots blocked when he would look to score in traffic.

Also, Todd excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He runs the floor well and has good hands to catch long passes, and he was able to score on an emphatic dunk on the break.  He drew free throws after catching a long pass another time, and he also managed to score on a strong put back jam after grabbing an offensive rebound.

He struggled more to consistently score on jumpers from further out.  Todd was able to run off the ball to make a long two from just outside the left elbow.  However, he had trouble making mid-range jumpers consistently, and he also missed on an open corner three on his lone three-point attempt from beyond the arc.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills in this game.  Todd is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he also can handle the basketball.  He was able to quickly pass from the post to find an open corner shooter to set up a scoring chance for his teammate.  He also managed to set an off-ball screen to help his teammate get an open jump shot.  However, he also dropped an entry pass that led to a team turnover another time.

Todd did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was very active at crashing the glass, and he would often leap up to help his team get defensive boards.  However, there would be times where he would forget to box out his man, which would sometimes lead his team to give up rebounds and allow scores to their opponents.

Also, he played adequate defense in this game.  Todd was able to rotate to block a shot off of a drive in transition to a teammate due to possessing solid length, athleticism, and timing.  He also would contest three-point shots to force misses.  Sometimes though, he would have trouble guarding stronger players, as he would get backed down in the post, and would sometimes get caught on screens.  Other times, he would be late on his rotations when guarding out on the perimeter.

In summary, Isaiah Todd played well in his team’s loss to Westchester.  He showed a good shooting touch to score in the post and from the mid-range, and he also rebounded the ball well.  He will need to be a more consistent outside shooter and add more strength to be able to defend stronger opponents in games.  Still, Todd is an athletic, energetic big man whose versatile skill set could make him a solid pick in the second round range of the 2021 draft, and he could project to be a solid role player in the NBA.

Daishen Nix had his ups and downs in his team’s overtime loss to Westchester.  He struggled to make shots efficiently, but he was able to get several impressive scores late in this contest.  He generally passed the ball well, as he made smart passes to ring up assists, and he also rebounded the ball well, but he also seemed to struggle defensively in this game.

Nix did a good job of scoring on mid-range jumpers.  He would tend to go to his left to score on fadeaway, mid-range floaters.  Nix also was able to drive to his right, as he used an overhead ball fake to draw free throws.  However, he had trouble scoring consistently off the dribble, and he also had a couple of his shots blocked around the basket.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Late in this game, Nix was able to score on a put back after grabbing an offensive rebound.  Nix also took an open, corner three, but he ended up missing that shot on his lone three-point attempt that he hoisted up from beyond the arc.

Also, he showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  Nix is an unselfish player that will look to find the open man, and he did a good job of getting balls to shooters to set up scores for them.  He also would throw solid interior passes, and he can find teammates in stride.  He committed one turnover late in this contest, and he threw an ill-advised, behind-the-back pass that ended up getting intercepted, as he tried to be too fancy with his pass that time.

Plus, Nix did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball.  He would often leap up to get defensive rebounds, and he would usually bring the ball up after getting boards for his team.  However, he struggled defensively in this game.  On one good play, Nix managed to successfully challenge a three-point shot to force a miss.  However, he would tend to be caught ball watching, as he would get beat on backdoor cuts to allow scores.  Other times, he would struggle to defend quicker opponents off the dribble, and he also would sometimes over-help in the paint and be late to rotate back to shooters.

Overall, Daishen Nix had his ups and downs in his team’s overtime loss in this game, but he seemed to be at his best when he would look to score on strong drives to the hoop, as well as when would look to set the table to get his teammates involved on offense.  He will need to improve his three-point shot and defense, but he is an intriguing prospect whose size, physicality, and offensive skills could make him a solid pick for an NBA team in the late first to the second round range on draft day.

Other Notes:

Westchester’s 6-8 forward’s Louis King’s strong overtime play came up huge for his team, as he scored 9 of his 18 points in OT to help his team get a decisive victory over the G-League Ignite.
(Source: Twitter/@nbagleague)

For the Westchester Knicks, six different players scored in double figures in their team’s overtime win over the G-League Ignite. Former Detroit Pistons’ forward, Louis King scored 9 of his 18 points in overtime, as he made 3 threes in overtime, and he also notched an assist by getting the ball to Myles Powell on the break. King was unstoppable in overtime, as his terrific shooting in that time span really helped propel Westchester to a tough, well-deserved overtime win in this game. The G-League Ignite suffered their second loss of the season, and the G-League Ignite is now 4-2 on the season.

New York Knicks’ assignee and second-year forward, Ignas Brazdeikis scored 21 points, former Seton Hall guard, Myles Powell had 17 points, Jared Harper and Tyler Hall had 16 points each, and former NBA journeyman center, Justin Patton had 15 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and was a +23 in this game.

For the G-League Ignite, Donta Hall had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and he also blocked 3 shots. Amir Johnson also scored 11 points off the bench.

Also, in another G-League game, Golden State Warriors’ assignee and second-year guard, Jordan Poole scored 37 points for Santa Cruz in the Santa Cruz Warriors’ win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Adding to that, Toronto Raptors’ assignee and rookie guard, Jalen Harris scored 32 points and made 7 three-pointers for the Raptors 905 in the Raptors 905’s win over Salt Lake City.

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