Sunday, December 26, 2010

D League Notes: Maine Red Claws vs. Idaho Stampede

In this contest, several players' efforts were noteworthy. This blog entry will chronicle any trends or improvements exhibited by these D League talents. While Maine jumped out to an early lead, Idaho was able to come back in the third quarter. Their run was extended into the fourth quarter, where the gap was closed to within 3 points. The Idaho Stampede bench really came alive during this run. Idaho took the lead on a running shot from Babbitt. After the Red Claws responded with a run of their own, Walker hit a three point basket with one minute left to play- effectively keeping them in the game. The Red Claws traded baskets when Tiny Gallon threw a pass to the cutting Jamar Smith. On the next possession, an Antoine Walker three point basket rimmed out, resulting in Maine Red Claws free throws to close the game.

-Antoine Walker's post defense looked good early in this contest. However, one has to wonder whether or not he plans to play SF at the next level, or play spot minutes as a PF. Either way, he is not quite in shape enough to defend either position at the NBA level. Walker was aggressive attacking the basket and was able to move without the ball. He also hit a big three with a minute left that kept the Stampede in the game.

-Luke Jackson is an effective all around player. He shared the ball and was able to attack the basket on occasion. He is an unspectacular player, but he does a lot of things well. It is clear that Jackson might be a call up candidate due to his all around team mentality and high basketball IQ. Jackson is a capable spot shooter as well.

-Carlos Wheeler attacked the basketball relentlessly and drew a lot of fouls. He also was aware of spacing and moved without the ball pretty effectively. Wheeler is a strong athlete who can bully his way inside as well.

-Tiny Gallon hit some really tough shots in the post- however, he tried to avoid contact and shot some fadeaway hook shots against Antoine Walker. This is somewhat alarming considering the fact that he possesses the girth to really assert himself as a back-down post player. Tiny Gallon was able to score inside and even pass the ball to open teammates. His pull up jumper was fairly effective and this is a promising sign for his long run potential. He did get in foul trouble, and this limited him on the defensive end late in the game.

-Mario West was fairly consistent throughout, hitting open three point shots, and playing solid defense. Although he has a fairly unorthodox shooting form, West was able to hit three point shots with some consistency.

-DeShawn Sims demonstrated his skillset by hitting shots from the perimeter, while also going inside. Sims was effective at times, but also tended to disappear for large stretches early in the game. This was partially due to the fact that his minutes were inconsistent. In the second half, Sims was dominant on the glass, and created countless additional opportunities for his team. He responded to the Idaho run,and helped the Red Claws regain the lead in the fourth. Overall, Sims was the most valuable contributor to this win.

-Babbitt was strong attacking the basket, but struggled mightily shooting the ball from the field. He displayed ideal elevation and a nice touch on his jumper, but his shots just did not fall early in this contest.

-Champ Oguchi is a fairly streaky shooter, and was able to hit his shots early in this contest.

-Sherron Collins was effective on all fronts in this contest. He was able to rebound the ball despite the fact that he is under 6'0. Additionally, he was capable as a spot up shooter. Further, Collins was able to draw charges and also get in the lane. He must continue to shed weight in order to adapt to the more up-tempo game of the NBA.

-Seth Tarver is a decent role player whose defense was worth noting in this game.

-Eugene Spates really came alive in the third quarter and demonstrated a highly diversified skillset. He grabbed numerous offensive rebounds, cleaning up inside. Spates also hit a few three point shots, and was able to get in the lane because Idaho had to respect his shooting. Despite his production, Spates was in foul trouble throughout the third quarter, and this limited his impact.

-Willie Jenkins's defense and rebounding were pivotal during the Stampede run throughout the fourth quarter.

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