Thoughts on the G-League Ignite’s Loss Yet Again On a Second Game of a Back-to-Back

November 11th, 2021

By Alan Lu

The G-League Ignite had been disappointing and frustrating to watch all season long in the post-Jalen-Green era for them, and it’s clear that no one on their roster comes close to a player of that talent level. I didn’t really want to watch this game, and I’m not even sure if the G-League Ignite will get a win this season, especially since there are no real stakes for them, and they were not even included in the regular season or playoffs this season, unlike last season. The G-League Ignite came into the game winless this year (and they are still winless this season), and they have played poorly and continually made sloppy mistakes in every game I’ve seen from them this season. Still, I wanted to track the progress of their draft prospects, and I figured that I should tune in to check this game out, in case if it ended up being somewhat entertaining.

On the second game of a back-to-back against the Agua Caliente Clippers, the G-League Ignite played an inspired brand of basketball for 3 quarters before everything seemed to fall apart for them in the fourth quarter.  Early on, Michael Foster was scoring early and often, and he was excelling against NBA veteran and Los Angeles Clippers’ forward Serge Ibaka, who was here in the G-League on a rehab assignment. 

Jaden Hardy, MarJon Beauchamp, and Dyson Daniels were able to hit some tough shots, make some nice passes, and they were active defensively in this game.  But in the fourth quarter, unfortunately the G-League Ignite came unglued, as they started taking bad, rushed shots, and they played sloppy defense, and they ended up losing once again to the Agua Caliente Clippers.  For those that are interested in the box score, here is the link.

Michael Foster had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente.  He dominated in the first half, and he ended up providing solid shooting and scoring skills, and he also made solid plays on both ends of the floor.  On the downside, his big weakness appeared to be his inability and reluctance to get out to defend shooters however, as he would often allow opponents to score on open jump shots.

Foster shot the ball fairly well in this game.  He showed a solid ability to knock down mid-range jumpers, and he also showed an improved ability to make three-pointers.  He drew three free throws by getting fouled by Ibaka on a three-point shot, and that combined with making shots early seemed to give him the confidence to be able to take more shots from beyond the arc.  Foster also was able to make an open spot-up three off of a pick and pop play later on to showcase his improved range and shooting skills.

He also did a decent job of scoring off the dribble and in the post.  Foster scored on a turnaround jumper early in the post due to possessing solid blend of footwork, strength, and shooting touch.  He also managed to use a pump fake to score on a right-handed drive.  He also dribbled in off of a cut to score another time.  Sometimes though, he would miss on drives in traffic.

Also, Foster displayed solid playmaking skills.  He would throw swift passes to find cutters, and it enabled him to notch an assist in this game.  He also was able to pass out of the post to set up a score for a shooter.  He also did a very good job of setting screens to help teammates score on open jump shots.  In addition, he did not commit a single turnover on offense in this game.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Foster would chase down balls to get plenty of defensive boards, and there was one occasion where he pushed the ball up the court.  On the downside, he would forget to block out his man, which would allow opponents to get offensive boards in his area.  He also was called for committing and over the back foul when going for an offensive rebound another time.

Foster looked to be fairly average defensively in this game.  He defended well early, and he did a good job of blocking and contesting shots in the paint to force misses.  He also was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal, and he also chase down loose balls to get other steals for his team.  He would rotate to contest two-point shots, and he would apply ball pressure to make it difficult for them to handle the basketball at times.  He also was able to poke balls away to nearly get other steals.  On the downside, there were plenty of times, especially in the fourth quarter where he would sag too far off of shooters, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on jumpers.  Sometimes, he would give up too much space, other times he would not even contest the shot or be in the area to be able to do so.  He also would sometimes get beat off the dribble, and he would also commit fouls when he would be out of position.

Overall, Michael Foster played fairly well in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente.  He showed off versatile scoring skills and an improved outside shot, and he showed more offensive versatility than he showed in previous games.  He still needs to be a more consistent shooter and focused defender in games.  Still, his solid performance in this game probably helped his draft stock, and he could end up going in the mid to late first round range in the 2022 draft.

Jaden Hardy was able to have some good moments in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente.  He was able to hit some really tough shots, he looked to facilitate more, and he was active defensively.  On the downside, he took some really bad shots that resulted in some clunky misses, and his shot selection was still not great in this game.

Hardy did a decent job of knocking down outside shots to provide some floor spacing for his team on offense.  He is a quick guard that has good handles, and he was able to make a couple of pull-up threes.  He also was comfortably in handling the basketball in either direction to score on smooth pull-up jumpers from the mid-range.  Hardy also ran off of a curl cut and made a quick mid-range jump shot off of a pindown.  On the downside, he was quite streaky with his jump shot, and he still took too many mid-range jumpers, and his penchant for taking tough, contested shots ended up hurting his shooting percentages.

He also showed that he can draw fouls on aggressive drives to the hoop.  Hardy would flail and contort his body in order to get foul calls, and he was able to drive hard to his left to draw free throws once.  On the other hand, there was one play where he tried in vain to get a foul call, but he didn’t get it and instead threw up an air-ball when hoisting up a mid-range shot off the dribble.  He also attempted to score on a quick baseline cut, but got his shot blocked that time.

Also, Hardy displayed fairly average playmaking skills in this game.  Hardy was able to throw an accurate outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate on the break.  He also showed a solid ability to make drive and kick passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he looked to involve his teammates more on offense.  On the downside, sometimes he would balls poked away shortly after handling it off the dribble, which would lead him to commit turnovers.

Plus, Hardy also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He showed a knack for leaping up to get defensive boards, and sometimes he would bring the ball up after getting them.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Hardy was able to rotate to poke a ball away in order to get a steal.  He also showed a solid ability to contest outside shots to force misses.  On the downside, sometimes he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit touch fouls.  He also got lost on a cut once, which led his team to allow a dunk another time.

Overall, Jaden Hardy had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente.  He was able to make some tough shots to impress the crowd, and he also missed on plenty of quick, contested shots in other junctures of this game.  He looked to distribute the ball more, and he was more focused as a defender when he was on the court.  He still needs to improve his shot selection and play more of a team-oriented style, but Hardy is a very talented prospect that will likely go high in the first round in the 2022 draft.

Dyson Daniels had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente.  He didn’t shoot the ball well at all, but he did a much better job as a facilitator and defender than how he fared early on this season. Daniels did a good job of scoring in the post.  He was able to turn and score on a layup early on, and he also made a smooth, fadeaway jumper another time.  He also was able to use a hesitation move to score quickly on a drive in transition.  He also was able to dribble off of a screen to make a pull-up, mid-range jumper.  On the downside, he struggled to make mid-range jumpers off the dribble consistently, as he would miss due to rushing and inconsistent shooting.  He also missed on all of his three-point shots, and he also had trouble consistently scoring in traffic.

He did a good job of passing and handling the basketball.  Daniels showed a knack for finding cutters to rack up assists, and he excelled at passing off the dribble to get the ball to open teammates.  He played more patiently and under control, and he did not commit a single turnover on offense in this game. Also, Daniels did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to haul in multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and he also leapt up to get an offensive rebound in traffic once.  On the downside, there was one play where he didn’t box out his man, and he ended up committing the foul and allowing the score afterwards. 

In addition, Daniels played adequate defense in this game.  He looked to be more focused as a defender, and it helped the G-League Ignite more as a result.  Daniels was able to poke a ball away to get a steal.  He also would actively contest three point shots to force misses.  He also would apply considerable ball pressure, as he was able to deflect a pass, and he also closed out on a shooter to help force a traveling violation another time.  On the downside, he had some trouble defending opponents off the dribble.  he would frequently get outmuscled by stronger opponents, and he ended up committing a couple of blocking fouls as a result.  Other times, he would not contest shots in time, which would result in his team allowing scores.

Overall, Dyson Daniels had some good moments in his team’s loss to Agua Caliente.  He struggled to knock down shots, but he made good reads and decisions when he would look to distribute the basketball, and his effort on the defensive end has been much better recently.  He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter and he will need to continue to work on his defense in the meantime.  Currently, he may project to go in the late first to the second round range for the upcoming draft.

MarJon Beauchamp did not play very well in his team’s loss to the Agua Caliente on November 11th.  He was able to make some impressive plays, as he was able to score on some high-flying dunks, but he did not shoot the ball very well, and he also was fairly turnover prone in this game. Beauchamp was active at scoring on hustle plays in this game.  He ran the floor to score on a high-flying dunk, and he also managed to throw down another impressive jam off of a backdoor cut another time.  On the downside, he had trouble scoring in traffic, as he had a couple of his shots blocked due to the impressive interior defensive play of Agua Caliente’s big men.

He also showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  Beauchamp showed a knack for scoring on left-handed drives to the hoop.  On the other hand, he drove right off of a screen another time, but he ended up missing on a tough, off-balanced shot in traffic.  He also tried to score in the post another time, but missed on a turnaround jumper.  He also had trouble knocking down threes or mid-range jumpers in this game.

He also was quite turnover prone on offense.  Beauchamp was able to make a patient drive and kick pass to set up a scoring chance for a shooter once.  On the downside, he would sometimes play too fast and out of control.  He struggled to handle the ball under pressure, and he would lose the ball and get it stolen away from him to commit turnovers.  He also threw a hasty pass from the post that got intercepted another time.

Also, Beauchamp was able to leap up to get his fair share of defensive rebounds to chip in on the glass.  He also was able to tip a ball to a teammate to help his team get a defensive board on a separate possession.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Beauchamp would poke balls away to help his team get steals and deflections.  He also defended an opposing ball handler tightly and applied heavy ball pressure to force his man to commit an over-and-back violation.  He also blocked a shot off of a drive due to possessing good athleticism, timing, and instincts.  He also was able to rotate to contest a mid-range shot to force a miss.  On the downside, sometimes he would be late on his rotations and give up too much space to his opponents, which would lead him to allow scores to his opponents.  He also struggled to fight through a screen another time, and he ended up committing a reach-in foul as a result.

Overall, MarJon Beauchamp didn’t have his best game, but he has been one of the more consistent performers on his team amongst draft-eligible prospects, especially prior to this game.  He didn’t play very well tonight, but he is a very athletic swingman that can shoot and score the basketball, and he is a very talented prospect that could end up getting picked in the mid to late first round range on draft day.

Other Notes:

Harry Giles played very well in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite.  He shot the ball really well, and the very athletic center was making threes and mid-range jumpers effortlessly, especially down the stretch.  He also played solid defense and he was able to get a big block to help his team in this game.  He scored 17 points, made 3 threes, and he also had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in this game, and based on his strong performance in this match, he would be well-deserving of a call-up to the NBA.

Brandon Boston Jr. shot the ball very well, and he scored 23 points in this game.  Keon Johnson is an extremely athletic swingman that made high-motor plays to score often early on, and he scored 12 points in this game. Serge Ibaka had his ups and downs in his team’s win, but he played better as the game wore on. He struggled in the first half, as he had trouble defending Foster early on and ran into foul trouble, but he turned it on in the second half by scoring and making sound defensive plays later on.   He had one nice drive to the hoop that he scored on late in this game, and he finished the game with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite.  Also, in the November 10th game, Amir Coffey impressed by making smooth jumpers throughout in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite on that day.

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