Thoughts On The G-League Ignite’s First Game Against Ciudad de México
January 9th, 2022
By Alan Lu
I decided to take the time to watch the G-League Ignite play against the Ciudad de México Capitanes in a January 7th game, as I was able to see this with thanks to YouTube via NBA G League. The G-League Ignite managed to get a strong, near triple-double performance from Scoot Henderson, who scored 19 points and had 10 assists and 7 rebounds, and they also received 18 points each from MarJon Beauchamp and Jaden Hardy. Still, Ciudad de México was able to hold on to get a narrow, two-point victory, and they received a solid performance from 6-8, 2002-born forward, Phillip Wheeler. Here are my thoughts on how they and other various prospects fared in this game. For those that are interested in the box score of this match, here is the link.
Scoot Henderson had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Ciudad de México. He is a very athletic point guard that thrived as a scorer throughout the game, and he put forth a strong, all-around performance against them. He did commit a crucial offensive foul in crunch time when the game was tied, but Henderson played very well overall.
Henderson did a great job of scoring off the dribble. He has an explosive first step, and he can finish plays using either hand. He would score on quick layups and emphatic dunks, and he can absorb the contact that can enable him to draw extra fouls upon his defenders. He also was able to score on a speedy, switch of hands layup while getting fouled, and he also drove on the break to score on a thunderous dunk while drawing an extra free throw another time.
He also showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers. Henderson was able to pull up to make a smooth, mid-range jumper from around the left elbow. He also moved off the ball to get it, and he managed to score on a wide-open three-point shot off the catch. On the downside, he was a bit streaky with his outside shot, and he was a little bit inconsistent as a scorer off the catch.
Plus, Henderson also showed off solid playmaking skills. He can make an assortment of passes off the dribble, as he can kick balls out to shooters, and he also drove in and made a quick, wraparound pass to set up a score for a roll man another time. He is quite adept at finding his teammates on the move. Sometimes though, he’ll try to do too much and rush his moves, which can lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers. He also threw a low pass that got intercepted another time. Also, Henderson did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He showed a knack for chasing down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would bring the ball up the court after getting his team defensive rebounds.
He also played adequate defense in this game. Henderson is an active help defender that would get his hands on passes to get steals, and he also would recover to poke balls away to nearly get others. He also has good feet to stay in front of his opponents, and he also would contest shots to force misses. Sometimes though, he would sag too far off of shooters and be late to close out on them, which would lead him to allow scores. He also had trouble fighting through or getting around screens or guarding bigger players in the post. Other times, he would take a bad gamble and have a misstep when guarding opponents off the dribble on occasion, which would lead him to wind up out of position.
In general, Scoot Henderson played very well, and he is a very athletic playmaker that excels at attacking the hoop to score, pass, and rebound the basketball. He did just about everything well, but he did seem to make some costly mistakes in crunch time. Still, Henderson is a very talented player, and he projects to be a top 5 pick in the 2023 draft.
Dyson Daniels had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Ciudad de México. He excelled at driving to the hoop to get scores and assists, and he was able to play well on both ends of the floor to help his team in this game. Daniels showed a solid ability to score off the dribble. He was able to drive hard to his left to score off the glass. He also excelled at scoring on quick drives in transition. On one play, he used a Euro-step move to score on a crafty layup in traffic due to possessing solid speed, body control, and finishing ability. He also showed a decent scoring touch in the post, and he managed to score on a floater once. However, he didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well from the outside, though. On one good play though, he drove off of a screen, used an overhead ball fake, and scored on a mid-range floater while getting fouled. On the other hand, he didn’t make mid-range floaters consistently, and he also missed on both of his three-point attempts.
Also, Daniels displayed good playmaking skills in this game. He is a patient player that passes the ball well off the dribble, and he can find teammates on the move to rack up assists. He also was able to drive to the hoop and execute a spin move before setting up a score for a teammate on a backdoor cut. Daniels can throw accurate lobs and swift drive and kick passes, and his size, athleticism, and strong playmaking skills makes him a valuable player for his team to have, especially on offense.
He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball. Daniels has a keen nose for the ball, and he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor. Also, he played adequate defense. Daniels was able to rotate to swipe a ball away to get a steal, and he also jumped on a loose ball to help his team get another. He has solid feet to stay in front of his man, and he would use his length to contest shots to force misses.
On the other hand, he would have trouble fighting through screens or defending opposing post players, and stronger opponents would overpower him. He also had some trouble defending opposing ball handlers, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. Overall, Dyson Daniels played fairly well in this game. He will need to improve his outside shot and add more strength to be able to defend stronger opponents in games, but his size, athleticism, and strong playmaking skills could enable him to be a lottery pick in the 2022 draft.
Ciudad de México’s 6-8 forward, Phillip Wheeler also played well in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite. He’s a strong, mobile high-motor player that showed a knack for making hustle plays throughout the game. Wheeler excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He would often score on quick, backdoor cuts, and he also would run the floor to score on powerful, breakaway dunks. He also nearly scored on an athletic, powerful tip slam off of an offensive rebound, but it didn’t count as the whistle had blown beforehand.
He also showed a decent ability to score in the post. Wheeler was able t post up off of an offensive rebound, and he managed to score on a fadeaway, right-handed jump hook. On the downside, he missed on a left-handed drive, as he didn’t quite get enough shooting touch that time. He also missed on both of his three-point shots, and he didn’t shoot the ball as well from further out.
Also, Wheeler showcased adequate playmaking skills in this game. He was able to use a behind-the-back crossover move on a left-handed drive, as he then threw an interior pass to notch an assist. He also set a good, on-ball screen on a smaller player, which helped set up a score for a shooter. He showed some playmaking skills, and he also showed that he can ably set screens on the court. Sometimes though, he would have trouble handling or protecting the ball when pressured. On one play when handling the basketball, he had a ball poked away, which led him to commit the turnover.
Plus, Wheeler showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball. He was active at crashing the glass, and he was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor. He also would tip and save balls to his teammates due to possessing a good motor. Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. For the positives, he was able to block a shot off of a cut to himself. He would also hustle and close out on shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses, due to possessing solid length and timing. On the downside, sometimes he would not move his feet well and be late on his rotations, which would lead him trail opponents when defending on cuts or in transition. He also would sometimes be late to contest outside shots, but he would then overcompensate other times by being too aggressive on the close out. On one play, he fouled a mid-range shooter by landing on his opponent’s body on the way down.
In summary, Phillip Wheeler had a solid showing, as he was productive in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite. He made smart cuts to the hoop, and he played solid team basketball. He will need to improve his outside shot and focus defensively. He could project to be a versatile role player in the association, and if he can continue to hone his game and develop as an overall player, he could end up being a similar player to Indiana Pacers’ forward, Oshae Brissett in the NBA.
MarJon Beauchamp had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Ciudad de México. He scored quite a handful of points, and he showed that he was comfortable scoring in the paint as well as on mid-range jumpers. He also was active as a rebounder and defender throughout the course of the game. Beauchamp did a good job of scoring on mid-range jumpers. He showed a knack for scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also would run off curl cuts to score on turnaround jumpers from the elbows.
He also showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble. Beauchamp would’ve scored on a high-flying, explosive dunk off of a speedy drive, except that he was called for a controversial traveling call that time. He also managed to go to his left to score on a strong layup. On the downside, he would tend to take tough, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses in traffic. He was able to score off of a cut and a put back, but he also had a couple of his shots blocked. Also, Beauchamp was able to make a wide-open three off the catch. Though he didn’t take many threes, he was able to knock one down from beyond the arc.
As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average. Beauchamp can pass on the move and out of the post to find open shooters. On one play though, he threw a rushed pass on the break that got intercepted. He also was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor to help chip in on the glass. Beauchamp was able to push the ball quickly off of a defensive board. He also tipped a ball to a teammate to help his team get another.
Also, Beauchamp played satisfactory defense in this game. He did a very good job of blocking shots, as he would swat shots to help his team protect the paint, and he also swatted a three-point shot. He also would tend to swat balls to his teammates. He also was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal. He also was active in contesting shots out on the perimeter, as well as in the paint to force misses. On the downside, sometimes he would be too aggressive and make a misstep, which would lead him to trail his man and wind up out of position. He also would sometimes get beat on plays and be late on his rotations. Late in this match, he got beat on a sharp cut, which led to a scramble and his team to give up the basket.
Overall, MarJon Beauchamp played fairly well in this game, and he was able to make some solid plays over the course of this contest. He will still need to improve his three-point shot, and he will need to improve his ball handling and discipline on defense. Still, he is a very athletic, energetic swingman who has played well in the G-League, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the 2022 draft.
Jaden Hardy had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Ciudad de México. He was inconsistent as a scorer at times, but he showed some athleticism in scoring the basketball, passing skills, and he also thrived as a three-point shooter in this game. Hardy showed a solid ability to knock down jumpers, especially from downtown. He showed a knack for making open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to make a couple from way out. He also was able to make a smooth, step-back three to show his ability to knock down outside shots off the dribble. He also took a quick, open mid-range shot, but missed that time.
He also displayed an adequate ability to score off the dribble. He was able to drive hard to his left, as he utilized a strong hop step move to score that time. He also was able to score on strong drives in transition. He can accelerate and kick it into a second gear to score, and he also managed to throw down an emphatic dunk another time. Sometimes though, he would rush his shots, and he also had trouble scoring more against help defenders, which would lead him to miss wildly in traffic.
Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills. Hardy is a very athletic guard that can use swift dribble moves and throw crafty passes off the dribble, and he can find teammates on the move to set up scores for them. However, he also would sometimes tend to over-dribble, which would lead him to commit ball handling turnovers. He lost the ball after getting the ball once on a curl cut. He also drove off of a screen, but was called for an offensive foul when he cleared out with his off arm. He also drove into traffic and tried to split a double team, but then had the ball stolen away from him.
He also was able to get a defensive rebound off of a tap out. He didn’t come away with many rebounds, and there was one ball that went off of his hands when going for a defensive board once. Defensively, he struggled in this game. On one good play, Hardy managed to leap up to intercept a crosscourt pass to get a steal. However, he would tend to struggle and take bad angles when defending screens. On one play, it led him to foul a mid-range shooter from behind. Another time, he gave up too much space as he was late to get back to his man, which led him to allow a three-point basket to his opponent. He also would sometimes commit reach-in fouls.
Overall, Jaden Hardy had his ups and downs, but he also showed a good three-point shot in this game. He will need to continue to shoot well from beyond the arc and he will need to consistently take good, smart shots on offense. He is a very athletic and talented combo guard that can create his own shots at will, and he currently projects to go in the lottery in the 2022 draft.
Ciudad de México’s 6-2 point guard, Moises Andriassi had his ups and downs in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite. He is an agile combo guard that can knock down outside shots. He did an adequate job of knocking down three-point shots. He showed that he can comfortably dribble to his left to score on pull-up threes, and he also ran off of a ball screen to make an open, spot-up three off of a pin-down. However, he was too streaky with his jump shot, and he also missed on both of his pull-up, mid-range jumpers from inside the arc.
He also was a bit turnover prone on offense. For the positives, Andriassi can throw long, interior passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates on the break. However, he also struggled to handle the ball when heavily pressured. He dribbled around before being called for traveling. On another play, he took too long to bring the ball up across half court, and he tried to back his way up the court, as he was then called for an 8 second violation.
He did not grab any rebounds in this match. Also, he played adequate defense in this game. Andriassi ran to intercept a pass to get a steal. He also managed to force a ball-handling turnover when guarding an opponent another time. He also would contest outside shots to force some misses. Sometimes though, he would sag too far off of shooters and not contest jumpers in a timely manner. He also took a bad angle when defending a screen, and it led his team to allow a score around the basket.
Overall, Moises Andriassi is a mobile combo guard that can knock down jumpers. He will need to strengthen that skill set in order to increase his odds to make it to and succeed in the NBA, and he will also need to improve in the other facets of the game. If he can make it to the NBA, he could project into a backup point guard role similar to Golden State Warriors’ former point guard, Ian Clark in the association.
Fanbo Zeng had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Ciudad de México. He didn’t shoot nor play very well on offense, but he did a good job of rebounding and defending when he was on the court in this game. Zeng was active as a scorer on hustle plays. He was able to make a quick cut to the hoop in order to score on a tough, finger roll layup in traffic. On the other hand, he missed on a tip-in off of an offensive rebound another time. He also missed on two spot-up threes from beyond the arc, as he was unable to find his rhythm from out there.
He also was fairly turnover prone, and he ended up committing a couple of ball-handling turnovers. He was called for a charging foul on an aggressive drive on the break, which was a shame, because he would’ve otherwise scored if that call had not been made. He also was caught shuffling his feet while catching the ball and driving to the hoop, and he was then called for a traveling violation.
Also, Zeng showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball. He would chase down plenty of balls to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor. Plus, he also played solid defense in this game. Zeng managed to hustle back to make a chase down block in transition due to possessing good athleticism, timing, and instincts. He also would contest shots both out on the perimeter as well as in the paint to force misses. He also managed to deflect a pass out of bounds another time. On the downside, there was one play where he was called for a reach-in foul when he tried to intercept the ball on a cut.
Overall, Fanbo Zeng didn’t have a great game, but he played much better defense than how he had performed in previous games. He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter, scorer, and defender in games, and he’s still a rather unpolished player, but he is a talented, versatile forward that could warrant a selection in the late second round of the 2022 draft.
Michael Foster Jr. didn’t play well at all in his team’s loss to Ciudad de México. While he managed to provide some scoring in the fourth quarter, he didn’t shoot the ball very well overall, and he committed too many turnovers and played bad defense in this game. Foster was at his best as a scorer on rolls to the rim. He would roll hard to the hoop, as he was able to score on a quick, right-handed jump hook, and he also made a good catch to score on a tough shot in traffic late in this match.
Plus, he also used a quick ball fake prior to making a wide-open, three-point shot to show his range. On the downside, he still missed too many outside shots, especially from the mid-range. He also struggled to score in the post or off the dribble, as he would often miss on tough, fadeaway jumpers, and he seemed to lose his scoring touch when he would look to score on the block. He also threw up an air-ball as he slipped and missed on a wild, fall away layup off the dribble. Foster struggled to score against length and athleticism, and he did a poor job of making his shots, as he just couldn’t make shots efficiently in this contest.
He also was quite turnover prone on offense. For the positives, Foster would set on-ball screens to help his teammates score on open jump shots. When posting up once, he threw a sharp interior pass across the paint to find an open teammate. On the downside, he had trouble handling the ball under pressure or making plays in the paint. He tried to post up off the ball, but hooked his arm underneath, and committed an offensive foul and a turnover. He tried to push the pace when handling the basketball, but he got back tapped, as he had the ball stolen away from behind to lose it to an opponent. He also took too long to get a shot off another time, and he committed a shot clock violation just as he was about to shoot it off the dribble. On top of that, he also was called for setting a moving screen another time.
Also, Foster did a decent job of rebounding the basketball. He would leap up to get plenty of defensive boards, and sometimes he would push the ball up the court afterwards. However, he would not always properly box out his opponents, and he would allow them to get offensive boards in his area. Unfortunately, Foster was terrible defensively over the course of this game. For the positives, he is an active help defender that can make some plays on the ball. He managed to block a mid-range jumper to a teammate. He also deflected a pass hard out of bounds. He also stayed with an opposing ball handler, and contested a mid-range shot to force a miss.
On the downside, he really struggled in screen situations, as well as when he had to defend in space. Foster would not effectively communicate screens to his teammates. He would either sag too far back, which would lead his team to give up jumpers. Other times, he would over-hedge onto opposing ball handlers, and no one would get back to the roll man, and he would be too late in trying to get back, which would lead his team to allow baskets at the rim. He also would tend to get beat off the dribble and on cuts, which would often put his team in scramble situations. Other times, he wouldn’t even try to pick up a man or contest the shot despite being the closest defender to the shooter, and he would allow opponents to score on open shots. Foster was a defensive liability in this game, and that he continually struggled against screens, jump shots, and in one-on-one situations made it tough for his team to get stops, especially late in this match.
Overall, Michael Foster is a strong, mobile big man that has generally provided low post scoring and rebounding to his team this year, but he has struggled to knock down outside shots or to defend this season. He really struggles to guard in screens and out in space, and he’ll need to continue to refine his overall game. Currently, he projects to be a second round prospect, and he could project to be a similar player to former NBA player, Brandon Bass in the association.