Thoughts on the Final Day of the G-League Elite Camp

June 22nd, 2021

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch the third game of the 2021 G-League Elite Camp, as I managed to see that with thanks to the NBA G-League’s Twitch stream.  It was a defensive battle as Team Two and Team Three were battling to go undefeated in this tournament, but Team Two was able to prevail to get the win.  In this game, Duane Washington Jr., A.J. Lawson, and Jose Alvarado looked to be the standout performers of this match.  Here are my thoughts on how they fared, as well as how a couple of other players played on this day. For those that are interested in the box score, the link is here.

Ohio State’s Duane Washington Jr. was consistently a solid performer for Team Two, as he helped lead them to an unbeaten record in the 2021 G-League Elite Camp.
(Photo:
David Banks/USA Today Sports, via Eleven Warriors)

Thoughts on the Third Game of the G-League Elite Camp: (Team Two vs. Team Three)

Team Two’s Duane Washington Jr. had a strong showing, as he primarily excelled as a shooter and scorer to lead his team to a close win over Team Three.  Washington did a good job of scoring on aggressive drives to the hoop.  He is a crafty player that can use hesitation moves, and he can use either hand to score quickly at the rim.  He also showed a knack for making pull-up jumpers from the mid-range.  Washington also was able to make a pull-up three from way out, and he also ran off the ball to make a quick, spot-up three another time.  However, he was also quite streaky with his outside shot, as he ended up missing his fair share of three-pointers that he hoisted up.

Also, Washington was able to make a drive and kick pass to show off some playmaking skills, and he would ably create his own shots to get them up on offense.  He also played above average defense in this game.  He also managed to intercept an errant pass to get a steal.  On the downside, he also was called for committing a foul when guarding an opposing ball-handler.

Overall, Duane Washington Jr. played well to help lead his team to both get the win and to help his team stay unbeaten in this tournament.  He had a good tournament overall, as he made big shots, and he is a shot maker that may have been the most consistently solid performer on a 2-0 team in this tournament.

South Carolina’s A.J. Lawson is a very athletic swingman that made a slew of impressive, highlight reel-worthy plays, and he had a very good showing at the 2021 G-League Elite Camp.
(Photo:
Gamecocks Athletics, via 247Sports)

Team Three’s A.J. Lawson also played fairly well in his team’s loss to Team Two in this game.  He is a very athletic swingman that made a slew of highlight reel worthy plays, and he was very effective for his team in the first three quarters of this match.  Strangely, he didn’t play much in the fourth quarter, which may have thrown off his timing, as he had trouble re-adjusting to play when returning late in crunch time, but Lawson still was able to have some really impressive moments in this game.

Lawson really excelled at scoring on hustle plays in this game.  He was able to throw down a scintillating dunk off of a backdoor cut from the baseline.  He also caught a lob pass to score on a high flying, alley-oop dunk on the break.  He also excelled as a scorer on drives in transition, as he also managed to throw down a thunderous dunk another time.

He also did a adequate job of knocking down spot-up threes off the catch, but sometimes he would be streaky with his jump shot.  He also struggled to score more off the dribble in the half court, as he would miss on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also missed on a rushed layup off the glass.

Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Lawson would make quick drive and kick passes to get the ball to open shooters, and he also managed to run down an inaccurately thrown pass by a teammate, as he saved it to another teammate due to making a good hustle play.

He also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played solid defense.  Lawson was able to jump a pass to get a steal.  He also heavily pressured an opposing ball handler to force his man to lose the ball on another play.

Overall, A.J. Lawson is a very athletic swingman that had a strong tournament overall, and he was able to make a positive impression to help his team in both games.  He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter in games, but he is a terrific athlete that could project well into a 3 and D type of role in the NBA.

Team Two’s Jose Alvarado put forth a solid performance, as he generally had a good all-around game to help lead his team to a win over Team Three.  He generally shot the ball well, especially from downtown.  Alvarado showed a knack for making threes, especially off the dribble.  He also managed to use off-ball motion to score on a smart, backdoor cut.  However, he struggled more to score on floaters and off the dribble when taking the ball to the rim, as he had a tough time trying to score consistently in traffic. 

Also, Alvarado passed and handled the ball well in this game.  He would often throw long outlet passes to find teammates on the break, and he would swing the ball to open shooters to notch assists.  He also was able to haul in rebounds on both ends of the floor, and Alvarado was able to quickly push the ball up the floor after getting a defensive rebound once.  He also played solid defense when he was on the court.  Alvarado would poke balls away to help his team get steals.  On the downside, there was one play where he didn’t contest a three-point shot, which led him to allow a score that time.

Overall, Jose Alvarado is a smart, skilled point guard that can reliably run the team, and he defended very well in both games.  He also showed a solid jump shot in this game.  He seemed to help his draft standing by playing well in this tournament, and he could project to be an effective backup point guard in the NBA.

Team Two’s Ja’Vonte Smart played well, especially in the first half of this game.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also generally passed the ball well.

Smart showed a satisfactory ability to knock down jumpers, as he especially excelled at making pull-up threes.  However, he was fairly streaky with his outside shot, and he also missed a couple of times on pull-up, mid-range shots.  He also excelled at driving hard to the hoop to draw free throws.  Plus, he also ran in to score on a tough, fall-away put back in traffic after leaping up to grab an offensive rebound.

He also generally passed and handled the ball well.  Smart would make drive and kick passes to get the ball to open shooters, and he also threw a nifty, behind-the-back pass to a teammate on the break to notch an assist.  He also did a good job of finding teammates on the move to get the ball to them.

He also did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  Smart would crash the glass to help his team get numerous boards on both ends of the floor.  He also was able to poke a ball when defending in the post, as he dove for it on the ground to nearly get a steal on the defensive end.

Overall, Smart is an athletic, physical combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he played well in this game, especially in the first half.  He had a fairly good showing in this tournament, though he may not have stood out as much as some of the other prospects did here.  If he makes it to the NBA, he could project to be a shooting specialist in the league.

Team Two’s Eugene Omoruyi had a decent showing, as he especially played well in the second half to help his team get the victory.  In his team’s first game, Omoruyi struggled to make shots, but he defended well.  In this game against Team Three, he excelled at attacking the rim to score on offense.

He did a great job of running the floor to score in transition.  He also showed a decent ability to score in one-on-one situations when he elects to do so.  He used a strong drop step move and an overhead ball fake to score in the post.  He also drove hard to the left to score while drawing an extra free throw.  However, he would sometimes take tough shots that would lead to misses. 

Omoruyi also didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from the outside.  While he also made a spot-up three, he really struggled to knock down outside shots or to make threes in this game.

He also was quite turnover prone in this game.  Omoruyi was able to find a cutter from the post, due to making a good read and find on that play.  However, he tended to get the ball poked away when handling the ball under pressure.  He also threw an inaccurate pass that sailed out of bounds.  Defensively in this game, he looked to be perhaps above average.  Omoruyi was able to block shots to make it difficult for his opponents to get their shots up.  However, sometimes he would overdo it, as he would commit aggressive fouls when contesting shots or looking to defend his man.

Overall, Eugene Omoruyi started off slowly, but he really started to pick it up in the second half, as he played well late in the game to help his team get the win.  He struggled to shoot the ball overall, but his defense and motor could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season.

Maryland’s Aaron Wiggins played very well at the 2021 G-League Ignite Camp, and he received an NBA Draft combine invite recently.
(Photo:
Nick Wass/The Associated Press, The Oklahoman)

Thoughts on the Fourth Game of the G-League Elite Camp: (Team One vs. Team Four)

In the fourth and last game of the 2021 G-League Elite Camp, this game took place between Team One and Team Four in a battle to see which team would snag a win in their final game of the tournament.  It was close for awhile, but Team One pulled away to get a blowout win over Team Four.  In this game, the top performers appeared to be Aaron Wiggins, Dalano Banton, and Mac McClung, and Orlando Robinson Jr..  Here are my thoughts on how they and other notable prospects fared in this game. Also, for those that are interested in the box score, the link is here.

Team One’s Aaron Wiggins quietly played well to help lead his team to a win over Team Four.  He especially excelled as a shooter and scorer in this game.  He showed a knack to score on mid-range jump shots.  He also managed drive up the court and split two defenders to score on the break while getting an extra free throw.

He also showed a fairly solid ability to score off the dribble.  Wiggins used a hesitation move to score on a crafty floater, but he also missed on a finger roll layup another time.  He also shot the ball fairly well, and Wiggins was able to make an open, spot-up three from beyond the arc.

Also, Wiggins was able to throw an interior pass to find a roll man to notch an assist.  Overall, he is a very athletic swingman that can shoot and score the basketball.  He played well in both games in this tournament, and he could project to go in the late first to the second round range in the 2021 draft, and he could end up being a similar player to New York Knicks’ swingman, Reggie Bullock in the NBA.

Team One’s Dalano Banton also had a strong showing to help lead his team to a win over Team Four.  He excelled more as a scorer around the basket, he showed off strong playmaking and rebounding skills, and he also defended well in this game.

He excelled at attacking the basket to score in the paint.  Banton would often score on put backs after leaping up to grab offensive rebounds.  He also drove to his left to score on a nifty, switch of hands layup.  He also showed some low post scoring skills by scoring on a turnaround jump hook.  However, Banton didn’t shoot the ball well from the outside, and he was unable to make any of threes he hoisted up from beyond the arc.

Also, Banton displayed very good playmaking skills.  He passes the ball well off the dribble as well as in the post, and he would throw accurate interior passes, as he would consistently make good reads to set up scores for his teammates.

Plus, he did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball.  Banton also played satisfactory defense in this game.  He was able to block a shot off of a drive in transition, and he also managed to poke a ball away to nearly force a turnover.  However, he got outmuscled when defending in the post off the ball, which led him to foul his man that time.

In summary, Dalano Banton is an athletic, skilled point forward that has strong playmaking and rebounding skills.  He will really need to improve his jump shot, but he may be an intriguing prospect that could potentially develop into being an effective rotation player in the NBA.

Team One’s Mac McClung played very well to help lead his team to a blowout win over Team Four.  He did a great job of shooting and scoring the basketball in this game.  He excelled at making spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to make one from way out.  He also did a decent job of scoring off the dribble, and he also will go hard to the hoop to draw fouls upon his defenders.  He struggled to make pull-up, mid-range jumpers, but he excelled as a scorer in this match.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  McClung showed that he can throw accurate interior passes to find his teammates on the move. However, sometimes he would throw inaccurate passes that would go astray.  He also had a ball knocked away to lose it when handling the ball once.

Also, McClung did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He also defended well.  He was able to poke a ball off of an opposing ball handler out of bounds to force a turnover.  Plus, he also successfully drew a charge when defending a drive another time.

Overall, Mac McClung had a solid showing, as he especially played well in the first half to help his team get the win over Team Four.  He is a very athletic combo guard that can put up points in bunches, and he is an aggressive defender.  He will need to be a more consistent shooter and show that he can reliably run the point, but his athleticism and scoring skills could enable him to project into a microwave type of scorer role in the NBA.

Fresno State’s 7-0 sophomore center, Orlando Robinson Jr. played well for Team One in his team’s win over Team Four.  Robinson shot the ball very well, especially from the outside.  Robinson showed a knack for making mid-range jumpers, and he also used a crossover move to make a long two-point shot.  He also was able to make an open three to show his range.

Plus, he also generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Robinson managed to score on a strong put back after grabbing an offensive rebound.  He also was able to score on a roll to the rim.  He also would look to score using drop step moves in the post, as he was able to draw free throws once, but he also missed another time.

He also was a bit turnover prone on offense.  Robinson was called for traveling on a drive to the hoop.  He also was called for a push off on another drive, which led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover that time.

Robinson also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played adequate defense.  When defending in the post, Robinson didn’t bite on a pump fake, and he managed to block the shot to a teammate.  He also managed to pounce upon a loose ball to get a steal.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to defend opponents in one-on-one situations, which would lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, Robinson is a strong, physical center that showed off strong shooting and scoring skills to help his team in this game.  He quietly played very well to help his team get the win.  Though he may not be an elite athlete, Robinson has shown an improved outside shot, which could enable him to be a skilled, stretch big in the NBA.

Team One’s Mike Smith played very well to help lead his team to a win over Team Four.  He shot the ball really well, especially from downtown.  He showed a knack for making threes, especially when pulling up to score off the dribble.  He also managed to score on a quick backdoor cut.  Smith also scored on a crafty, mid-range floater, but he struggled more to score when driving the ball to the basket.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  He was able to make drive and kick passes to notch assists.  However, he also telegraphed a pass that ended up getting intercepted another time.  Defensively though, he seemed to struggle.  On one good play, Smith was able to contest a three to force a miss.  However, he generally struggled to defend his man.  He got beat on a spin move when defending in the post to allow a score.  He was too small to defend an opponent on a cut, as he allowed a basket to his man that time as well.

In general, Mike Smith primarily excelled as a shooter and facilitator to help his team in this game.  He may be undersized at the point, but he made smart plays on offense, and his ability to shoot and pass the basketball could enable him to make a team’s roster in the NBA someday.

Team Four’s Aamir Simms also played well in a loss to Team One.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he shot the ball well especially from beyond the arc.  Simms was able to knock down a couple of open, spot-up threes to showcase his shooting skills. 

Plus, he also did a good job of scoring on strong, right-handed drives to the hoop, and he also managed to score on an acrobatic layup while getting an extra free throw once.  Simms also managed to score on a roll to the rim.  Simms struggled more to score in the post, as he had trouble scoring on turnaround jumpers when posting up.

He also generally passed the ball well.  Simms was able to pass out of the post to find a cutter to notch an assist.  He also was able to find a teammate on the break another time. 

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played adequate defense.  Simms was able to jump a pass to get a steal.  He also contested a three to force a miss.  On the other hand, he was overly physical when defending in the post once, which led him to commit the foul.

Overall, Aamir Simms had a solid tournament, and he generally excelled as a shooter and scorer at this event.  Unfortunately, his team lost both games, and he looked to be overshadowed at times, as his unselfishness sometimes led him to fade into the background.  Still, he is a skilled combo forward that can knock down jump shots, which could enable him to be an effective rotation player in the NBA someday.

Team Four’s Dawson Garcia played very well in his team’s loss to Team One.  He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he shot the ball well in this game.  He excelled at making spot-up jumpers off the catch, and he especially showed a knack for knocking down three-pointers.  He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Garcia managed to score on a roll, as well as on a tip-in off of an offensive rebound.  He also did a good job of scoring on strong, left-handed drives to the hoop.  He struggled more to score in the post, as he had a couple of his shots blocked.

He also passed the ball well, and Garcia was able to pass out of the post to find a cutter to notch an assist.  Also, Garcia was able to get boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he appeared to struggle on that end of the floor.  On one good play, he rotated to block a shot off of a drive out of bounds.  However, he would tend to overhedge when defending screens, as he committed a foul when defending a pick and roll ball handler once, and he was late to get back to a roll man to allow a dunk another time.  He also hustled back to get back on defense, but he ended up fouling his opponent that led his team to allow the basket and the extra free throw.

Overall, Dawson Garcia is a mobile, skilled combo forward that can shoot and score the basketball.  He had a solid tournament overall.  It’s unclear if he will get a combine invite, and he is a borderline second round candidate if he stays in the draft.  He is a skilled big man that could project to be a skilled stretch big in the NBA.

Team One’s Derrick Alston Jr. had a much better showing in this game, as he excelled as a shooter and passer on offense.  He showed off his sharpshooting skills, as he excelled at knocking down open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also passed the ball well, as he was able to make an assortment of passes to get assists.  Alston also played adequate defense.  He was able to contest a three to force a miss.  However, on another play, he bit on a pump fake and trailed his man on a drive to allow the basket.

Overall, Alston is an athletic, skilled swingman that struggled in his team’s first game, but he played much better in this game, as he did a good job of shooting and passing the basketball to help Team One defeat Team Four.  Alston may be a borderline second round candidate, but his athleticism and shooting skills could enable him to be an effective rotation player in the NBA.

Team One’s Hunter Dickinson played well to help his team get a win over Team Four.  He especially excelled as an interior player to help his team on both ends of the floor.

Dickinson generally excelled at scoring in the post.  He would often score on rolls to the rim, and he also managed to score on a powerful dunk.  He also posted up to score on a jump hook.

Plus, he also showed a knack for scoring on mid-range jumpers.  However, three-point range seemed to be just out of Dickinson’s vicinity right now, as he ended up missing an open three a bit too hard in his lone three-point attempt from beyond the arc.

He also displayed satisfactory playmaking skills.  Dickinson was able to find a cutter from the post to notch an assist.  He threw a bad pass that got intercepted another time, though.

Also, Dickinson rebounded the ball very well.  He also played satisfactory defense.  Dickinson would block shots when defending in the post.  He also managed to run in to tie up an opposing ball handler to force a tie up.  However, sometimes he would struggle to guard his man.  On one play, he got beat off the dribble, as he committed a reach-in foul that led his team to allow a score and an extra free throw.

Overall, Hunter Dickinson played very well, and he had a better showing in his second game at this event.  He will still need to work on his outside shot and show that he can guard more athletic defenders.  If he stays in this draft, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate.  If he returns to college, he would likely be well prepared to dominate on most nights and then turn in a strong sophomore season.  Right now, he is a strong, physical low post player that could provide some minutes as he can match up to other teams’ centers, and he could project to be an effective, rotational big man in the NBA.

Team One’s Scotty Pippen Jr. also played well to help lead his team to a win over Team Four.  He excelled at scoring on speedy drives to the hoop.  He also managed to quickly maneuver around defenders to score smoothly on a drive in transition.  He also showed a knack to draw fouls on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, but he struggled to make jumpers on a consistent basis.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  He is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man to notch assists.  However, sometimes he would be prone to committing ball-handling turnovers.  He kicked out his legs on a pull-up, mid-range shot that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover.  Another time, he dribbled around for far too long, and it led his team to commit a shot clock violation.  Also, he played adequate defense in this game.  Pippen was able to jump a pass to get a steal. However, he also got beat off the dribble another time, which led his teammate to have to commit the foul.

Overall, Scotty Pippen Jr. is an agile, skilled playmaker that did a good job of scoring on aggressive drives to the hoop, but he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers, and had some ball-handling turnovers in this game.  Still, he excelled as a scorer, and he could have scored even more if he made free throws at a good rate.  Right now, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate if he stays in this draft.  He will need to be a more consistent shooter, and he will need to show teams that he can guard upper-echelon players on a consistent basis.  In a favorable scenario, he could project to be an effective backup point guard that could score and effectively run the team in the NBA.

Ohio State’s Duane Washington Jr. was consistently a solid player for an unbeaten Team Two team in the 2021 G-League Elite Camp.
(Source: Twitter/@NBAGLeague)

Final Thoughts on the Final Day of the 2021 G-League Elite Camp:

There were a lot of missed shots and turnovers that were committed in the first game on the final day, but the last game seemed to be better played, at least on Team One’s end.  There were plenty of solid performances, but here are my thoughts on who looked to fare the best on this day.

The 3 Stars on the Final Day of the 2021 G-League Elite Camp:

  1. Duane Washington Jr., Team Two
  2. Aaron Wiggins, Team One
  3. A.J. Lawson, Team Three

Duane Washington Jr. just made shots as he shot the ball well, and he was effective as a floor spacer and scorer to help Team Two get the win and to stay unbeaten in this tournament.

It was really tough to decide which player from Team One should get the honor of being on the three stars list on the final day of games at this event, but Aaron Wiggins was consistently solid, and he played very well all-around to help his team get the win over Team Four.

Statistically, it may not make as much sense to put A.J. Lawson over some of the other players that looked to be more efficient in terms of scoring or overall production, but I felt that at times Lawson clearly looked to be the best player on the floor, and he made a number of impressive, highlight reel-worthy plays, as he would throw down tremendous dunks off of cuts and in transition against Team Two.

Also, here are my picks for the All-G-League Elite Camp first and second teams.

My Picks for the G-League Elite Camp 1st Team:
C Dawson Garcia, Team Four
F Aaron Wiggins, Team One
F A.J. Lawson, Team Three
G Carlik Jones, Team Three
G Duane Washington Jr., Team Two (My Pick for the 2021 G-League Elite Camp MVP)

My Picks for the G-League Elite Camp 2nd Team:

C Orlando Robinson Jr., Team One
F Aamir Simms, Team Four
G Ja’Vonte Smart, Team Two
G Marcus Carr, Team Four
G DeVante’ Jones, Team Two

Here are my picks for the next five best players, as they will make my honorable mention team below.

My Picks for the G-League Elite Camp Honorable Mention Team:
C Kofi Cockburn, Team Three, F Darius Days, Team Three, F Dalano Banton, Team One, G Mac McClung, Team One, G Jose Alvarado, Team Two

I would look to delve more into it, but it’s getting late for me, and it took me a long time to write this up, so I will decide to wrap this up.  Thanks for reading.

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