Thoughts On The G-League Ignite’s Loss To Capital City

January 28th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Today, I decided to take the time to watch the G-League Ignite against the Capital City Go-Go in a non-regular season NBA G-League basketball game, with thanks to YouTube via NBA G-League.  It is a little odd that it is technically a non-regular season game, especially considering that last year’s G-League Ignite team competed for and made the playoffs last year.  In this game, Jaden Hardy and Michael Foster Jr. both played very well, especially from an offensive standpoint, but the G-League Ignite really struggled to defend in their loss to Capital City.  Here are my thoughts on how Hardy, Foster, and other various prospects fared in this game.  For those that are interested in the box score, here is the link.

Jaden Hardy put forth an impressive performance, as he scored 31 points and had 9 assists in his team’s loss to Capital City.
(Photo:
Rich Kessler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jaden Hardy had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Capital City.  He really thrived as a shooter and scorer on offense, and he also thrived as a facilitator in this game.  Though he also committed his fair share of turnovers and also made a slew of defensive mistakes, Hardy played very well overall, as he ended up scoring 31 points and dishing out 9 assists in this game.

Hardy shot the ball very well to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He did a great job of making threes and mid-range jumpers, as he especially excelled at making pull-up jumpers.  He also managed to use a Euro-step move to score on a mid-range floater on the break.  He also would calmly knock down open, spot-up threes, as he was able to make one from way out.  Hardy also did a great job of scoring off the dribble.  He would score on strong drives to the hoop, and he can make tough, fall-away layups effortlessly in traffic.  He also was able to use a spin move to score on a fall-away layup once.  Plus, he also showed a penchant for scoring on strong drives in transition.  He was able to score on a switch of hands layup, and he also managed to score on a magnetic dunk another time.

Also, Hardy showed off good playmaking skills in this game.  He did a very good job of throwing accurate, timely interior passes to find his teammates on the move to notch assists.  He played unselfishly, and he generally made good reads throughout this contest.  He also handled the ball very well, which enabled him to get any shot he wanted on the floor.  On the downside, he would sometimes throw inaccurate passes, as he had several get intercepted, and another sailed out of bounds.  Another time, he had a ball stolen away from him that led to another turnover.

He also was able to chase down several balls to help his team get a few defensive rebounds.  He also was able to push the ball up the floor off of a defensive board once.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, Hardy was able to successfully draw a charge when defending a drive once.  He also would catch deflected passes to help his team get steals, and he also deflected a pass to nearly get another.  On the downside, sometimes he would be caught ball watching and be late on his rotations, and he would give up too much space to shooters, which would cause him to allow them to score on outside shots.  He would sometimes struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, as he would sometimes over-rotate or get beat off the dribble.

Overall, Jaden Hardy played very well in his team’s loss to Capital City.  He is a very athletic, combo guard that really excelled at making plays on offense in this game.  He really struggled to shoot the basketball early on, but he is a talented shot maker that has really improved at the G-League level over the course of the season.  He’ll need to keep playing well, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the late lottery of the 2022 draft.

Michael Foster scored 28 points, and he also had 9 rebounds and 7 assists in his team’s loss to the Capital City Go-Go.
(Photo:
Rich Kessler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Michael Foster Jr. also brought forth a very good performance in his team’s loss to Capital City.  He did a great job of scoring and passing the basketball, and he really filled up the stat sheet as he also grabbed a handful of rebounds in this game.  Defensively, he was up and down in this contest, but he was active as an interior defender, and he was able to get some stops for his team late in this match.

Foster showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He especially showed a knack for scoring on rolls as well as in transition.  He would run the floor and catch lobs on off-ball motion plays to score on powerful, alley-oop dunks.  He also would get down court to score on emphatic jams, and he also used a hop step move to score in traffic off of a roll to the rim.  He also went coast to coast to score on a speedy layup on a drive on the break.  Plus, he also managed to score on a backdoor cut, as well as on a tip slam.  He also managed to score on a fadeaway, baseline jumper off the dribble due to possessing a solid touch.  He also used a crossover move to score on a right-handed floater from the high post.  He struggled to consistently knock down mid-range jumpers, but Foster really excelled at scoring inside the arc on all of the other offensive possessions.

Also, Foster displayed good playmaking skills in this game.  He showed a knack from passing out of the mid-post to find open shooters, and he can kick balls out to them to notch assists due to possessing solid court vision.  He did a good job of finding open teammates on the move, and he also can make swift drive and kick passes.  He also showed some ball-handling skills, as he would push the ball up the court every once in a while.  He also would set good screens, as he was able to help a teammate get an open jump shot to score afterwards.  On the downside, sometimes Foster would be called for traveling violations when getting the ball on the move.  When getting the ball in the high post another time, he threw a weak pass that ended up getting intercepted.

He also showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  Foster would also sometimes bring the ball up after getting defensive boards for his team.  On one play though, he bobbled a ball off his hands on a defensive rebounding attempt before losing it to an opponent, which led him to give up a put back dunk afterwards.

Defensively, Foster looked to be about average.  For the positives, he is an active help defender that can force turnovers and block shots.  He would rotate to block shots in the paint to his teammates due to possessing underrated quickness and solid timing.  He also would poke balls away to get steals and deflections, and he also managed to get his hands on a pass to get another steal.  He also would look to contest shots in the post, and he also contested a mid-range shot to help his team force some misses.  Sometimes though, he would tend to over-help in the paint and not rotate back to his own man or contest shots, which would lead him to allow scores.  He would sometimes be late on his rotations, and he also had trouble defending opponents in the paint.  He also struggled to defend in screen situations at times, as there would be instances where he wouldn’t communicate effectively to his teammates on how they should defend them.

Overall, Michael Foster played well, especially on offense and as a rebounder for his team.  He especially showed a knack for scoring on rolls and in transition, and he is a deceptively athletic big man that would often score on powerful dunks on the move.  He also passed the ball very well, and he played patiently and would find open shooters to get assists.  He will still need to improve his defense.  He will need to be a more disciplined defender on the court, and he will need to talk more and communicate to his teammates more effectively in screen situations, but it was encouraging to see him play with energy, and to get steals and blocks late in this game.  He has been a solid player in the G-League thus far.  He will still need to improve his outside shot and defense, but his athleticism, inside scoring skills, and rebounding skills combined with some playmaking potential could enable him to go in the get selected by an NBA team in the late first to the second round range in the 2022 draft.

Dyson Daniels had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Capital City.  He struggled with turnovers and on the defensive end for most of this game, but he also thrived as a shooter, scorer, and rebounder when he was on the floor. Daniels showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  He didn’t look to score very much, but he was effective when he would take the ball to the rim.  He showed that he can use either hand to score on speedy drives off of screens, and he has a quick first step that can enable him to get all the way to the basket.  He also managed to dribble in to draw free throws on an acrobatic, reverse layup off of a put back.  On the downside, sometimes he would not go up strong enough, which would lead to some misses.

Also, Daniels shot the ball very well when he would look to hoist up shots.  He was able to score on a couple of open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also managed to get the ball, as he then turned to score on an open, mid-range flip floater.  He was very effective as a spot-up shooter, which certainly could bode well for him at the next level. On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense in this game.  For the positives, Daniels is an unselfish, tall ball-handling guard that will look to find the open man.  He can throw solid passes off the dribble, and he also was able to find a roll man on the move to get an early assist.  On the downside, sometimes he would telegraph his passes, which would get intercepted.  He also would tend to throw passes into tight windows, and he threw a bad wraparound pass that got picked off another time.  He also was called for stepping out of bounds when he was in the corner once.

Also, Daniels was fairly active at crashing the glass to help his team get rebounds on both ends of the floor, and he would usually push the ball up the court off of defensive rebounds afterwards.  He also generally struggled on the defensive end.  For the positives, Daniels would jump passes and get his hands on them to get numerous steals for his team.  He also would look to contest shots in the paint, and he also successfully challenged a mid-range shot to help his team force some misses. 

Sometimes though, he would not look to actively stay with his man, and there would be times where he would get beat off the dribble or not contest the shot, which would lead him to allow scores.  Other times, he would take bad gambles, as he would miss on steal attempts when he would try to poke balls away from opposing ball handlers, and he also bit wildly on a pump fake, and it would lead him to wind up out of position and his team would end up scramble situations.  Other times, he wouldn’t hustle back down the court, which would lead his team to give up baskets on fast breaks.

Overall, Dyson Daniels didn’t have his best game, even though he did a fairly good job of shooting and scoring the basketball.  But he didn’t pass the ball well enough, as he was too turnover prone in this game, and he didn’t play very good defense in this game.  Sometimes he wouldn’t give enough effort on the defensive end, and other times, he would take bad chances that would make things much more difficult on the rest of his team.  Right now, he will need to be a more consistent shooter and defender in games, but his size, athleticism, and playmaking skills makes him an intriguing prospect for the NBA.  Currently, he projects to go in the mid to late first round range in the 2022 draft.

Scoot Henderson didn’t play well in this game, and he got off to a very slow start due to committing three fouls in the first quarter.  The athletic point guard was able to attack the basket to throw down high-flying jams, and he also passed and defended much better later on, but he still didn’t shoot well from the outside, and the early foul trouble prevented him from having more of an impact on this match.

Henderson showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to throw down thunderous dunks by running the floor to get open in transition, and by making a nice backdoor cut to get the ball around the basket.  Plus, he also pulled up to knock down a smooth, mid-range jumper off the dribble.  on the downside, he still didn’t shoot well in this game, as he struggled to consistently knock down mid-range jumpers, or spot-up threes off the catch.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  Henderson is a fleet-footed guard that can swiftly make passes off the dribble to find open shooters to notch assists.  On the downside, sometimes he can rush plays, and he was called for a charging foul on a drive to the hoop once.

Also, Henderson was able to chase down a couple of balls to get a pair of defensive boards for his team.  On the downside, he also dropped a ball another time that could been a defensive rebound late in the third quarter that led to a scramble situation and to his team to give up a three-point basket to an opponent.

Defensively, he looked to be about average.  Henderson did a good job of forcing turnovers, and he can apply significant ball pressure to make things difficult on his opponents.  He was able to rotate to poke a ball away to get a steal, and he also was able to get his hands on a pass to get another.  He was able to apply pressure to defend an opposing ball handler to help force a passing turnover, and he also would quickly fight through screens to stay with his man.  He also contested a three to force a miss late in this match.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to defend screens, as he would get caught and stuck on screens, and he would give up open shots to his opponents.  Other times, he would sometimes get confused as to who to guard when he would get back on defense, and then not always be able to contest shots in time.  Also, his lack of size would make it tough to guard taller opponents, especially in the post.  He also would struggle to stay in front of his opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit touch fouls.

Overall, Scoot Henderson didn’t have his best game, but he was able to play better in the second half of this match.  He will still need to improve his three-point shot, and he will need to be a more disciplined defender in games, as he will especially need to cut down on the number of fouls he commits when he is on the floor.  Still, he is a very athletic point guard that has played well in the G-League this season, and he is a contender to be the top pick of the 2023 draft.

MarJon Beauchamp did not play well in his team’s loss to Capital City.  He wasn’t involved much on offense, and aside from being able to throw a couple of nice passes to notch assists, he didn’t seem to stand out, as he struggled to shoot or defend in this game.

He did an adequate job of scoring off the dribble.  Beauchamp was able to drive off of a screen, where he then utilized a crossover to score on a floater.  On the downside, he also got his shot blocked hard on a drive another time.  He had a couple of his shots blocked around the basket, and he didn’t shoot very well from the outside nor shoot the ball very much overall.

Also, Beauchamp showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  He would throw crisp, accurate interior passes to find teammates on the move to set up scores for them.  He played unselfishly, and he demonstrated good court vision.  However, he also threw an inaccurate kick-out pass that ended up sailing out of bounds another time.

He didn’t grab many rebounds, but he was able to leap up to get a defensive board and push the ball quickly up the floor afterwards.  Defensively, he struggled in this game.  On one good play, he managed to rotate to poke a ball away from an opposing ball handler, and he then chased down the loose ball to get a steal.  He also contested a mid-range shot to force a miss another time.  Sometimes though, he would take bad chances, as he would miss on steal attempts or bite on a pump fake, and it would lead his team to wind up in scramble situations and give up open shots to their opponents.  He also would sometimes lose track of his man and be late on his rotations, as he had trouble defending opponents off of cuts.  Other times, he would struggle to defend drives, as he wouldn’t cut off penetration, and there were times where he wouldn’t actively contest shots on those plays.

Overall, MarJon Beauchamp just didn’t play well in this game, and he didn’t shoot or defend well in his team’s loss to Capital City.  He didn’t seem to be focused enough defensively, and his struggles as a shooter seem to plague him on offense.  On the plus side, he is a very athletic swingman that has had some good games this year, so he could end up getting picked in the late first to the second round range in the 2022 draft.

Other Notes:

Capital City’s swingman, Kyree Walker was an early-entrant in the 2021 NBA draft, and he went undrafted despite being a once highly touted recruit, because he did not play a year of basketball and he largely flew under the radar.  This season, he’s playing for the Capital City Go-Go and has quietly had a solid season on a deep and talented G-League team, and he turned in a strong showing in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite.

Walker is a very athletic, high-motor player that thrived at attacking the hoop to score the basketball.  He would often score on thunderous dunks, as he did so off of a backdoor cut and on a baseline drive in this game.  He showed a good ability to score off the dribble, and he also managed to use a crossover to score on a pull-up, mid-range jumper from the baseline.  He did take one three-point shot, but he ended up missing that time.

He also managed to jump a pass to get a steal, as he then drove up court and took on the contact to get a strong score around the basket.  Walker is an active help defender that can get steals for his team and force turnovers.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to defend or make plays on that side of the ball, which would lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, Kyree Walker played really well in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite, and he is definitely talented enough to get a call-up to the NBA, even possibly as early as later on in this season.  He’s a top-flight athlete that can really attack the basket on offense, and he plays energetically on both sides of the ball.  He’ll need to be a more consistent outside shooter, but his ability to make hustle plays and finish plays above the rim could enable him to be a solid rotation player similar to former NBA journeyman swingman, Alonzo Gee in the association.

I was really hoping to watch Washington Wizards’ forward, Isaiah Todd play against the G-League Ignite tonight, but he was suspended due to detrimental conduct. He is currently on a two-way contract, and he has not played much in the NBA, but it also seems that the Capital City Go-Go have a deep and very talented roster in the NBA G-League. Capital City played much better than the score suggested, and they did a great job of scoring the basketball, especially early on. Therefore, it could be hard for Todd to get minutes in the NBA, and he is still an unpolished player that has a longer way to go than anticipated, but his athleticism and size, combined with his shooting and defensive potential could enable him to be a solid rotation player similar to Mike Scott in the NBA, especially if he continues to work hard and develop his game. Also, Jordan Goodwin, who was called up earlier in the year by the Washington Wizards, nearly had a triple-double for Capital City, as he was one rebound away from doing so, and he had a strong, all-around game to lead his team to get the win tonight.

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