Observations from the G-League Ignite’s Third Game
February 13th, 2021
By Alan Lu
Today, I was able to watch the G-League Ignite play in their third regular season basketball game against the Raptors 905. It was an entertaining, hard-fought match that went back and forth, and the Ignite were able to rally to get a comeback win. The G-League Ignite’s four draft prospects struggled at first with turnovers, but they ended up playing very well to finish the contest. At the end of this game, Nix, Kuminga, Todd, and Green combined to score 83 of their team’s 113 points to help lead their team to a win over the Raptors 905. Here are my thoughts on how they fared, as well as where they may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA. Also, for those that are interested in the box score, the link is here.
G-League Ignite’s 6-5 point guard, Daishen Nix turned in a strong showing in his team’s win over the Raptors 905. He played a very good all-around game, and while he committed some early turnovers, and he consistently was able to make solid plays on both ends of the floor. In this game, he managed to score 25 points, as he also collected 8 rebounds, and 6 assists to help his team get the victory.
Nix shot the ball very well to provide floor spacing for his team. He is a powerful guard that excelled at making shots from the mid-range. He was able to spin right to make a bank shot off of a mid-range floater. He also managed to score on a one-legged, fadeaway floater another time. Plus, Nix did a very good job of making threes in this game. He made a deep pull-up three heave to beat the buzzer near the end of the first quarter, and Nix was able to make a corner three on a separate possession.
He also showed a knack for scoring on opportunistic plays. Nix was able to run in to score on a tip-in after grabbing offensive rebounds, and he showed a penchant for crashing the glass to get offensive boards. He also managed to score on a layup after being open around the basket, and he also was able to get an extra free throw. Plus, Nix also would get fouled by opposing defenders to get to the free throw line often. Also, he was able to draw free throws on a turnaround jumper that he took after posting up on the block.
Also, he did a decent job of scoring off the dribble. In addition to being able to comfortably score on pull-up jumpers, Nix was able to drive hard to the hoop to score on a double pump layup in transition. He also managed to use a quick spin move to score on a half-court drive another time. Sometimes though, he would occasionally rush his moves and go in a bit out of control, which would occasionally lead to misses.
He also displayed adequate playmaking skills in this game. Nix is an unselfish player that can throw solid passes off the dribble and in transition, and he will look to find open shooters to set up scores for them. However, he committed a lot of turnovers early on. He would tend to throw hasty entry passes that would get intercepted, and he also threw a weak crosscourt pass that was picked off. He also threw a couple of passes that ended up getting dropped out of bounds by his teammates. Plus, Nix did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor, and there was one play where he pushed the ball quickly up the court off of a defensive board.
Adding to that, Nix played satisfactory defense in this game. He was an active defender that was able to make numerous plays to help his team on this side of the ball. Nix ran in to block a shot in the paint due to possessing solid timing and instincts. He also ran in to take a ball away from an opposing ball handler to get a steal another time. He was active in the passing lanes as he was able to deflect a pass, and he also pounced upon a loose ball that a teammate poked away to help his team get another steal. Plus, he also rotated to contest a shot off of a drive in transition to force a miss another time. However, sometimes he would struggle to defend quicker opponents off the dribble, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.
In general, Daishen Nix played very well in his team’s win over the Raptors 905. After a slow start in the first quarter, Nix ended up playing terrific basketball as the game wore on, and he consistently made solid plays throughout the contest. He excelled at scoring on strong drives to the hoop, and he also shot the ball well. He also is an unselfish player that sees the floor well, and he also generally excelled as a rebounder and defender in this game. He did commit a lot of turnovers, but he did everything else well when he was on the court. Nix is a solid prospect, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the latter half of the lottery in the 2021 draft.
Jonathan Kuminga also had a strong showing in his team’s win over the Raptors 905. Similarly, he had a fairly slow start, but he ended up playing very well on both ends of the floor, and Kuminga had 23 points and 13 rebounds to help his team get the victory.
Kuminga did a fairly good job of scoring off the dribble. He was able to use a pump fake move to score on a strong, left-handed high post drive, and he also scored on another high-post drive after using a pump fake to be able to score around the basket. He also did a terrific job of drawing free throws when posting up, and he showed a knack for being able to get defenders in the air and getting them to foul him. On the downside, sometimes he would take tough shots that would miss when he would not be able to get foul calls.
He also shot the ball fairly well in this game. Kuminga was able to use a side step move to his left to score on a corner three. He also showed a knack for drawing free throws after hoisting up pull-up jumpers from the mid-range.
He also showed that he can score on hustle plays. Kuminga would run the floor hard to catch long passes, and he was able to score on powerful, two-handed dunks twice. He also caught a long outlet pass and drew free throws on a speedy layup on the break. He also was able to draw free throws on a curl cut another time. However, sometimes he would miss shots on drives in transition, as well as on tip-ins, as he would not always finish plays under control.
Also, Kuminga displayed fairly average playmaking skills in this game. He was able to find an open shooter to notch an assist. He also drove to the hoop and threw a nice lob pass to set up a scoring chance for a teammate around the basket. He also generally handled the ball well in this game. However, he also committed a couple of turnovers early in this game. When posting up, he lost the ball in mid-air, as the ball slipped out of his hands. He also threw a pass that was intercepted another time.
Plus, Kuminga did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball. He would often leap up to get rebounds, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and he was able to leap up high to get a couple of them. He also was able to bring the ball up off of a defensive board once. However, sometimes he would forget to box out his opponents, which would lead his team to allow them to score on put backs.
Defensively, he looked to be fairly average in this game. For the positives, Kuminga is a rangy defender that can cover a lot of ground defensively. Kuminga was able to run in to intercept a pass to get a steal. He also rotated to alter a shot in transition. He also was able to stay in front of a guard on a drive to force a ball-handling turnover due to possessing solid length, quickness, and instincts. He also contested a three to force a miss another time. Sometimes though, he would be a bit too undisciplined on this end of the floor. He will get sloppy and try to cheat to go for the ball, which can put him out of position, as he may lose focus on guarding his man. Sometimes he would miss on steal attempts, which would cause him to get beat off the dribble when defending out on the perimeter. There were also a couple of times where he didn’t make much of an effort to get back or to actively contest shots when defending in transition.
Overall, Jonathan Kuminga is a very athletic, skilled basketball player that can really score the basketball, and he can help his team in a number of ways. He is a versatile player that can play multiple positions, and he also has a solid set of all-around skills. He has consistently played well in the NBA G-League, and Kuminga is looking like he could be a lock to be a top 3 pick in the 2021 draft, as he could end up being a very good player in the NBA.
G-League Ignite’s 6-10 forward, Isaiah Todd put forth a sterling performance in his team’s win over the Raptors 905. He put forth his strongest showing yet to date, as shot the ball very well, especially from downtown, and he also was effective as a rebounder and defender in this game. In this game, he scored 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting, he made 4 threes, and he also had 6 rebounds to help his team get the victory.
Todd shot the ball really well, especially from beyond the arc. He excelled at knocking down threes to provide floor spacing for his team, as he can do so off the catch or dribble, and he also can make them off of pick and pop plays. He took advantage of getting the space to shoot, and he was very efficient at scoring on three-point shots in this game. Plus, he also ran off the ball to score on a nifty, one-legged, baseline jumper from the mid-range.
He also showed the ability to score in the post. Todd was able to use a pivot move to draw a non-shooting foul once. He also drew free throws on a put back after grabbing an offensive rebound late in this game. However, he missed on a contested turnaround jump hook when posting up another time.
Also, he showed off 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 handles the ball well. He was able to throw a sharp interior pass to find a cutter, and he also passes well out of the post. However, there was one play where he quickly threw an inaccurate pass that sailed into the backcourt that led to an over and back violation.
Todd was able to leap up to get his fair share of boards, and he was able to aggressively get a handful of defensive rebounds in this game. He also was able to tip a ball to a teammate to help his team get a defensive board once. However, sometimes he would forget to box out his opponents, which would lead his team to give up offensive rebounds to the opposition.
Plus, he also played fairly good defense in this game. Todd was able to rotate to block a mid-range shot from the baseline due to possessing good length, athleticism, and timing. He also intercepted an errantly thrown pass to get a steal. Todd also did a good job of contesting jumpers to force misses, and he also would use his length and quickness to stay in front of opposing ball handlers to make it difficult for them to get their shots or passes through. He also successfully defended a drive on a switch when initially guarding out on the perimeter to force a miss. Sometimes though, he would give up on plays when defending out in transition, and other times he would be late on his rotations. On one play, he was too aggressive on a closeout, and he ended up fouling an opponent on a three-point shot. Another time, he fell asleep on a cut to allow a score to his man.
In summary, Isaiah Todd had a strong showing to help his team get the win over the Raptors 905. He is a very athletic big man that has shown a very good jump shot, and he is a skilled big man that may possess considerable potential as a prospect for the NBA. He could be a good value pick for an NBA team especially in the late first to the second round range of the 2021 draft, and he may have the skills to thrive as a role player in the NBA.
Also, Jalen Green played well in his team’s win over the Raptors 905. He is a very athletic, energetic guard that especially excelled at scoring in transition. While he struggled with turnovers and some early foul trouble, he really hit his stride in the third quarter and got into a groove in that time span, and Green was able to score 21 points, as he also collected 3 steals in this game.
Green excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He would run the floor hard to score on high-flying dunks on the break, and he also caught a lob to score on an alley-oop dunk in transition. He also would score on quick drives in transition, and he also can take on the contact to draw fouls to get to the free throw line. He also managed to score on a strong put back after initially getting blocked by a defender, and he was able to get an extra free throw afterwards due to possessing a good motor. Plus, he also shot the ball well, especially from downtown. Green used a crossover move to score on a pull-up three from beyond the arc. He also was able to make an open, spot-up three off the catch.
Also, he showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble. Green was at his most effective as a scorer in transition, as he can score on strong drives in the open court, and he also runs the floor very well. He also managed to draw free throws on an aggressive, half-court drive another time. However, sometimes he would go in too fast and out of control, which would lead him to miss layups too hard around the basket.
On the downside, Green was quite turnover prone in this game. On one good play, he was able to drive in from the baseline to make a solid drop-off pass to find a teammate around the basket. He also handles the ball well, and he will sometimes bring the ball up. However, he would sometimes throw inaccurate, hasty passes that would get intercepted, and he also would over-dribble and lose the ball when pressured. He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball. Green was able to leap up to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to push the ball up the floor off of a defensive rebound late in this game.
Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. Green is an active help defender that excels at forcing turnovers. He was able to run in to poke a ball away off of a drive in transition to get a steal, and Green also showed a knack for intercepting passes to get steals. He also was able to get his hands on another pass to get a deflection. Plus, he will hustle back in transition, and he was able to force a miss due to making another good hustle play. However, he would tend to get beat off the dribble when defending out on the perimeter, and sometimes he would get outmuscled by his opponents, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. He also committed a foul once by trying to fight through a screen.
Overall, Jalen Green had a solid showing, as he scored 21 points in his team’s win over the Raptors 905, and he excelled as a shooter, scorer, and he also made solid plays defensively in the second half of this game. He will need to take better care of the basketball and be a more focused defender, and he can play terrific defense when he is dialed in. Green is an outstanding athlete and is a very skilled basketball player that has played well in the NBA G-League so far. Currently, he projects to be a lock to be a top 5 pick in the 2021 draft, and he could end up being a very good player in the NBA.
Former NBA journeyman guard, Nik Stauskas scored 23 points in a losing effort for the Raptors 905. Henry Ellenson scored 14 points, and had 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals in this game. Gary Payton II scored 15 points, and he also had 13 rebounds and 7 steals for his team. Breein Tyree scored 14 points. Malachi Flynn had 11 points, and he also had 4 assists for the Raptors 905.
Amongst the other G-League Ignite players, the veterans did not seem to play nearly as well as the rookies. It was an off night for Jarrett Jack, as he scored 5 points on 1 of 8 shooting, but he still had 9 assists and 6 rebounds in his team’s win, and he led his team with a +14. Cody Demps scored 9 points off the bench. Donta Hall had 8 points and 8 rebounds for the G-League Ignite.
In other G-League games:
Former New York Knicks’ star and current Santa Cruz point guard, Jeremy Lin scored 29 points on 9 of 12 shooting, as he made 7 three-pointers, and he also dished out 9 assists in his team’s win over the Westchester Knicks today.
Also, Rio Grande Valley’s Kenyon Martin Jr. scored 30 points on 12 of 17 shooting, and he also had 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 assists in his team’s loss to Fort Wayne.