Thoughts on Victor Wembanyama, Leonard Miller, and Mojave King in the 2nd Metropolitans 92-G League Ignite Game

October 6th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Today, there was a marquee basketball game that went on earlier today, as Victor Wembanyama and the Metropolitans 92 squared off once again against Scoot Henderson and the G-League Ignite in their second exhibition game against each other in Las Vegas.  There was some early rust, and both players and teams got off to relatively slow starts.  Scoot Henderson ended up colliding into Wembanyama and hurting his knee in the middle of the first quarter, which forced him out of the game.  As for how the rest of the game turned out, Victor Wembanyama dominated to help get his team the win over the G-League Ignite.  Meanwhile, Leonard Miller turned in a much better performance this time around, and Mojave King was impressive in this game.  Here are my thoughts on how Wembanyama and other various prospects fared in this match.

Metropolitans 92’s 7-4 center, Victor Wembanyama scored 36 points, made two threes, and he also had 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 4 assists in his team’s 112-106 win over the G-League Ignite today.
(Photo: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images, via New York Post)

Victor Wembanyama had a tremendous showing to lead the Metropolitans 92 to a win over the G-League Ignite.  He made a number of highlight reel-worthy plays on both ends of the floor, especially down the stretch, and he was dominant in this game.

Wembanyama is a very good scorer out of the post.  He is a very tall, agile center that has great footwork and shooting touch, and he was able to score on a couple of smooth, fadeaway jumpers.  He also has great hands, which would enable him to catch lobs and score on alley-oop dunks.  He also would use dribble moves to get past his man to draw fouls on them to frequently get to the free throw line.   He also used a pump fake and managed to score on a smooth drive to the hoop.  Sometimes though, he would take tough, rushed shots inside, which would lead to some misses, especially when he wouldn’t be able to get foul calls.

He also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He did a great job of scoring on thunderous dunks off of rolls and in transition.  Wembanyama also shot the ball fairly well.  He was able to knock down a couple of pull-up threes effortlessly, and he has a lot of range on his shot.  Wembanyama also utilized a shake move to score on a long two off the dribble.  However, he would sometimes be streaky with his jump shot, as he would tend to miss on spot-up threes in this match.

Also, Wembanyama showed off solid playmaking skills in this game.  He did a good job of throwing sharp interior passes to find the open man, and he showed a penchant for finding cutters to notch assists.  He excelled at passing off the dribble and on the move, and he would also set fairly solid on-ball screens to help his teammates get open driving lanes.  He also handled the ball very well, and he was able to get to where he needed to go on the court.  Every once in a while though, he would throw inaccurate, loopy passes that would get intercepted.

Plus, Wembanyama also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to frequently crash the glass to help his team get multiple boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he would bring the ball up off of defensive rebounds.  He didn’t always secure balls on defensive rebounding attempts, but he was able to tip it to a teammate once, but a ball went off his hands and went out of bounds another time.

Wembanyama also played tremendous defense in this game.  He did a great job of blocking shots due to possessing great size, length, timing, and instincts, and he has a very long reach combined with having very good athletic gifts that enable him to frequently swat shots to help his team protect the paint.  He also would get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections, and he also was able to jump on a loose ball to help his team get another.  He also would contest threes to force misses, and he also would chase shooters off the three-point line to make it more difficult for them to operate on offense.

In general, Victor Wembanyama turned in another superb showing to help lift his team to a win over the G-League Ignite.  He did everything very well on the court, and he looks to be the hands down favorite to be the top pick for the 2023 draft.  Wembanyama is a generational talent, and he has the skills to develop into being a superstar in the NBA.

Leonard Miller turned in a much better performance in this game, and he turned in a solid showing in his team’s loss to the Metropolitans 92.  He is a tall, athletic forward that shot the ball well, and he showed off solid all-around skills to help team on both ends of the floor.

Miller shot the ball well to help his team space the floor on offense.  He showed a solid ability to knock down jumpers.  He was able to make a pair of spot-up threes off the catch, and he also was able to make a smooth, step-back mid-range jumper from the baseline.  He showed a better feel for his jump shot in this game, which enabled him to get going on offense in this game.

He also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  Miller ran the floor to score on the break.  He also used a spin move to score on a put back off of an offensive rebound.  Also, Miller showed a decent ability to score off the dribble.  He also managed to score on a left-handed drive, but had his shot blocked another time.

Also, Miller passed and handled the ball well.  He is an unselfish player that would make the extra pass to find the open man, and he would get them the basketball to set up scores for them.  Plus, he also did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would chase down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he would tend to push the ball up the court off of defensive boards.  He also played decent defense in this game.  Miller would actively play passing lanes, which would enable him to deflect passes and force passing turnovers.  He also would apply solid ball pressure when defending opposing ball handlers to force turnovers and misses.  He also did a good job of contesting shots both out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses.  On the downside, sometimes he wouldn’t contest shots despite making rotations to be able to do so, which would lead his team to give up scores around the basket.  Other times, he would take bad gambles on the defensive end, which would lead him to be out of position defensively.

In summary, Leonard Miller quietly turned in a very good game, and he played much better than how he performed in his team’s October 4th match.  While he will still need to be a more consistent player in games, his strong performance in this contest is a good sign for things to come, and he is a very talented prospect that could end up going in the late lottery in the 2023 draft.

Mojave King also played very well to help the G-League Ignite in this game.  He shot the ball very well from all over the floor, and he excelled at making plays on both sides of the ball when he was on the court.

King shot the ball very well from beyond the arc.  He showed a knack for making open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he also moved off the ball to make a movement three early on.  He also ran off of a pin-down to make a quick, baseline jumper from the mid-range.

He also showed a knack for scoring on off-ball motion plays, and he thrived as a finisher around the basket.   King ran the floor to score on a fast break dunk.  He also made a quick backdoor cut to get the ball, and dribbled in to score and draw an extra free throw afterwards.  He also ran in to score on a thunderous tip slam after leaping up to get an offensive rebound.  King showed off surprisingly strong athletic gifts, as well as the smarts to score on movement plays throughout this contest.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  King is an unselfish player that would make timely passes to find the open man, and he showed he can find open shooters out on the perimeter as well as make interior passes.  On the downside, he also threw a hasty pass once that got deflected and intercepted. 

Also, King did a good job of grabbing rebounds.  He especially showed a penchant for getting offensive boards, and he showed good instincts to get the basketball.  He also defended well in this game.  King did a good job of contesting threes to force misses, and he would consistently challenge shots when he was on the floor.

Overall, Mojave King has been impressive in the two exhibition games that he played for the G-League Ignite against the Metropolitans 92.  He is an agile, skilled swingman that has been known for his ability to shoot and score the basketball, but he’s shown that he can consistently score on the big stage, he’s also shown the ability to score without needing a lot of touches, and he’s also defended well.  King is a solid prospect that could quickly move up draft boards, and he could end up being a first round pick in the 2023 draft.

If you’re looking for a great game write-up on Scoot Henderson, you should read about his tremendous performance on October 4th instead. In today’s game in his team’s second exhibition game against the Metropolitans 92, he didn’t really do too much, and he got hurt midway through the first quarter after banging his knee against Wembanyama, which caused him to miss the remainder of the contest.

He had put forth a marvelous performance on October 4th, and surely, it would be difficult for him to follow that up in the October 6th game, especially one that had been played so early in the day.  He was passive for most of the game and he struggled to match his incredible feats days ago.  Henderson still was able to make a few good plays in this particular game, but he then banged his knee against Wembanyama, and Henderson ended up missing the rest of the game.

Henderson was superb as a scorer a few days ago.  In this particular game though, he didn’t get much game action as he ended up getting hurt midway through the first quarter.  He missed on a couple of pull-up jumpers, and he was held scoreless in this match.

He also didn’t fare nearly as well as a playmaker in this contest.  For the positives, Henderson played unselfishly, and he showed that he can make drive and kick passes to find open shooters.  He also was able to throw a bounce pass to a roll man.  He also set an off-ball screen to help his teammate get an open jump shot.  On the downside, Henderson would sometimes telegraph and force passes, which would end up getting intercepted.

Also, Henderson was able to get a defensive board in this game.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  He was able to deflect a pass to nearly get a steal, and he also actively contested a mid-range jumper to force a miss.  On the downside, he had trouble defending opponents off the dribble.  He rotated but got beat off the dribble to allow a score, and he also would commit touch fouls when defending out on the perimeter.  He had some trouble staying with opposing ball handlers on the defensive end.  It’s unfortunate that he got hurt in this game, but he will need to improve his on-ball defense in the future.

Overall, Scoot Henderson got off to a slow start, and he wasn’t able to pick up the steam in this game, because he got hurt midway through the first quarter.  This game won’t negatively impact his draft stock, especially since he played so well in the October 4th exhibition game just days ago.  Right now, it’s clear that Henderson is the second-best player in the 2023 draft, and while he suffered a setback in today’s game, he still is a very talented player that could also develop into a superstar in the NBA.

It was not a great game for Sidy Cissoko. He was able to make a few plays in this game, but he turned in yet another underwhelming, disappointing performance in recent days.  While he’s an athletic point forward that can pass, handle the ball, and defend, he’s really struggled to shoot or score, and he will need to find a reliable way to score in order to prevent himself from being a potential offensive liability at the NBA level.

Cissoko showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  He didn’t take many shots in this game, but he managed to drive quickly to the hoop to score on a crafty layup due to possessing solid balance, body control, and finishing ability.  He also took a couple of threes but he missed both of them, as he was unable to make a long-range jumper from beyond the arc.  Also, another note, he didn’t really look to move off the ball, so he didn’t give himself any opportunities to score off cuts, in transition, or off put backs.  As he’s most likely going to be a lower volume offensive player at the NBA level, Cissoko will need to be able to know when to cut to the hoop to score in the half-court, he’ll need to run the floor harder to get transition scoring opportunities, and he will also have to add a reliable jumper to his game in the future.

Also, Cissoko showcased satisfactory playmaking skills.  He is a very unselfish player that was able to make an assortment of passes to continually get his team the basketball.  He also drove quickly to the hoop and made a no-look, drop-off pass to notch an assist on the break.  On the downside, he would sometimes throw hasty, rushed passes that would end up getting intercepted.

He didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, but he was able to get a defensive board when he was on the floor.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average at best.  Cissoko was able to get his hands on a pass to help his team get a steal.  He also stayed in front of an opposing ball handler, and cut off penetration to help force a ball-handling turnover.  He also actively contested a fadeaway jumper to force a miss another time.  On the downside, he tended to get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores, and he had some trouble staying in front of quicker guards.  Another time, he was a bit late to contest a mid-range shot, which led him to give up the basket.

Overall, Sidy Cissoko is an athletic swingman that has showed some playmaking and defensive skills, but he’s really struggled to knock down shots in these two games, and he’s also been inconsistent as a player at times.  He will need to improve his ability to make shots, and he will need to know how to play off the ball on offense.  Currently, he projects to be a second round prospect for the 2023 draft.

Efe Abogidi also didn’t play very well in this game.  He had trouble scoring on offense, and he had trouble dealing with the length and athleticism of Victor Wembanyama.  Abogidi also had trouble getting rebounds or defending, and he will also need to expand upon his skill set offensively.

Abogidi was able to run the floor to score on a high-flying dunk.  However, he had several of his shots blocked around the basket, and he also missed on a running layup off of a drive to the hoop.  Abogidi was able to set an on-ball screen to help his teammate get an open jump shot, but he didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes in this game.

He didn’t grab many rebounds, but Abogidi was able to leap up to get a defensive board.  Defensively, he struggled in this game.  He was able to hustle back to deflect a pass out of bounds, and he generally gave solid effort.  However, he tended to  be late on his rotations, and he would sometimes not contest shots despite being in the area to do so.  He also had some trouble defending opponents off the dribble, as he had trouble staying in front of his man or cutting off penetration at times.

Overall, Efe Abogidi didn’t play nearly as well as he did in the October 4th game, and he had more trouble finishing around the basket in this match.  He didn’t seem to play with nearly as much unbridled energy that he brought offensively to the prior game.  He’ll also need to improve his position defense, and he’ll have to add more range to his jump shot.  He projects to be an energetic, rim-running big man that could be a backup center at the NBA level, and he is currently a second round prospect for the 2023 draft.

Metropolitans 92’s 6-6 swingman, Bilal Coulibaly was able to make some energetic plays towards the end of this game, and while he didn’t shoot the ball well, he played well down the stretch to help his team seal the victory.

Late in the game, Coulibaly was able to leap up to score on a tip-in off of an offensive board.  However, he also missed a couple of corner threes from beyond the arc.  He also managed to set an off-ball screen to help his teammate get an open driving lane.  Coulibaly also rebounded fairly well when he was on the floor.  He also played adequate defense, and he was able to rotate to force a miss when contesting a shot in transition once.

Overall, Bilal Coulibaly didn’t have a great game from a box score standpoint, but he played energetically and gave his team good minutes late in the fourth quarter to help his team seal the win.  He’ll need to improve his jump shot considerably, but he is an athletic swingman that could end up being a second round, draft and stash pick sometime in the future.

Metropolitans 92’s 6-8 forward, Armel Traore had his ups and downs in his team’s win over the G-League Ignite.  He is an athletic, combo forward that would look to make hustle plays, but he also didn’t shoot the ball well and struggled with turnovers in this game.

Traore showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  He was able to go to his left to score on a smooth layup.  On the downside, he missed on a corner three.  He also utilized a Euro-step move to his left, but missed on a fast break dunk.

He also was turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, he is an unselfish player that would look to find the open man.  Sometimes though, he would throw hasty, inaccurate passes that would go astray, which would lead him to commit passing turnovers.

Also, Traore was able to leap up to get a defensive board.  He also managed to chase down a ball to poke it off of an opponent to help his team get another defensive rebound.  On another play though, a ball went off his hands on an offensive rebound attempt.

He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Traore rotated to block a shot off of a drive due to possessing solid length and timing.  He also stayed with an opposing ball handler on a drive from the mid-post and contested the shot to force a miss.  When doubling a ball-handler in the backcourt, he also poked a ball away out of bounds.  On another play though, he was caught ball watching, and he got beat on a backdoor cut and gave up the basket.

Overall, Armel Traore hasn’t been the most consistent player on the court in the past couple of games, but he also hasn’t been given as much run as some of the other prospects out here, and he’s also been able to make some solid hustle plays at times.  He will need to improve his jump shot and take better care of the basketball.  Even if he doesn’t, he could carve out a solid playing career overseas, and he’s already shown that he can make some solid defensive plays on the big stage.

On another note, during the live feed, the game had cut away with about 6 1/2 minutes left to go, and they didn’t show footage during the ESPN or Hulu re-broadcast. For those that are interested in watching the last 6 minutes of this game, it can be seen on YouTube via NBA.

Victor Wembanyama had another tremendous showing for the Metropolitans 92, and they were able to bounce back by getting a win over the G-League Ignite today.
(Source:
Twitter/@NBA)

In conclusion, those are my thoughts on how Victor Wembanyama and other various prospects fared in this game.  This game was much earlier, so it was expected that there would be some rust from Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, but after midway through the first quarter, Wembanyama turned in a dominant performance from there on out. 

Wembanyama has clearly separated himself from the rest of the pack as the clear-cut choice for the top pick in the 2023 draft so far.  Both Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson played very well in the two games in Las Vegas, as they are expected to go first and second overall in the upcoming draft.  It was good to see that Leonard Miller played much better, and Mojave King turned in impressive performances in both games.  It was fun watching the players play, and this is quickly shaping up to be a very strong draft class.  Thanks for reading.

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