Here's a link to a detailed box score from the Team USA scrimmage from last night: http://statsdmz.nba.com/pdfs/2013072...SBUSW_Book.pdf
I watched bits and pieces, mostly the first half after Kemba subbed in for the first time.
Some thoughts and tidbits:
Kemba led his team in assists (including two sick alley oops). He also played more minutes than anyone in the game, despite not starting. I'm not really sure what to make of that fact (Thibs played him and Anthony Davis the most, so I think that's a good sign).
His one turnover came on a pass he threw out of bounds, his teammate cutting unexpectedly to the hoop. Most of the other guards turnovers were the bad pass getting picked off kind, so I thought Kemba did a good job of handling the rock, and his handles were tight as usual.
For whatever reason he played off ball a lot, with John Wall running point with him (I thought Wall made some bad decisions and forced the issue a bit). He was matched up against Ty Lawson (the only smaller looking dude out there), who unfortunately got into the the lane pretty easily and found open teammates. Nevertheless, Kemba had some nice steals and deflections.
I didn't see the 4th quarter (when Kemba went 1-4 from the field), but the box score confirmed what I thought, that Kemba didn't look for his own shot much at all through 3 quarters (took only 1 field goal attempt, a miss), preferring to get others involved. Most of the other guards were out to get theirs. Like I said though, Kemba didn't handle the ball much compared to when we see him.
MKG had his usual all around game. He rebounded well and had some nice blocks. I didn't get to watch him as much as Kemba though. If I'm remembering MKG's team went on their big run in the 2nd quarter while he was in the game (which I'm thinking isn't a coincidence, teams consistently play better with him out there).
MKG finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds in 18 minutes, which I thought was pretty good, along with 2 blocks and 2 steals. Overall, I thought he got to play the type of game he likes to play. He was also the youngest player out there.
If anyone else watched they should put their own thoughts down. As I've mentioned, I watched only sparingly after half time.
Also Kemba > Lillard, who got trashed by Kyrie.
Kemba alley-oop at the 1:05 mark in this video and an MKG assist to Paul George as the last hightlight:
Thought both players represented well . MKG seemed to be the best player out their on defending . Kemba played off the ball a lot and looking to pass . With most others looking to get their own .
By far last night K I was the best player on the court.
I really like the way both our guys played. MKG got to the rim much more often than he did in SL (playing his game instead of working on game-time jumper). There was once, in the second quarter I believe, that he took his man off the dribble on the wing and finished with a strong two-handed dunk. Kemba looked slick and nearly put his defender on the floor with his crossover step-back but missed the shot. You could tell the crowd appreciated the ball handling though which was nice to see. The game is on NBATV again tonight at 9 and again at midnight for anyone who wants to try and watch it.
Wait.... I thought Kemba was a shoot first point guard.
Into the crevasse!
"Climb down Lemon, Climb down"
Into the crevasse!
"Climb down Lemon, Climb down"
In one of the interviews during the Team USA camp, he was saying how he finally had pieces around him with Al and Z, and the improvements of everyone else. So when he has to carry a team, like at UCon and with us, he'll take what he can get and lead the team in scoring. But when there is talent around him that can score, I really truly think he is looking to find them first and get others going. I actually expect his scoring average to maybe stay the same or go down, and his assists to go up a couple this year.
Kemba is a point guard first, who also is extremely talented at scoring. He's just still learning how to become a better playmaker.
As to the scrimmage, I was annoyed that Wall had the ball as the playmaker every time with Kemba playing off the ball, and there wasn't really much crisp passing or sharing (especially Waiters - that guy is the definition of chucker). But he had a real nice drive and finish in traffic, and showed his quick hands on defense.
As for MKG, I was impressed with his play. He's one of those rare guys that you can actually see his impact on the floor without taking shots. If there was a loose ball, he got it. His feet are extremely quick, he has strong hands, long arms, and great anticipation and nose for the ball. I think he's going to take over Ronnie World Peace as the best SF defender, once the refs actually give him respect.
And that first step is killer. I know everyone is most concerned with his shot, and while thats still a big hole, he has no other weaknesses in his game. There was one play where he outquicked a little guard to chase down the rebound, saw a streaking player down court and threw a length of the court one handed pass in stride for a dunk. He also swallowed up Derozen pretty well, where he couldn't even get past MKG. He also had a couple nice blocks, one where he had Klay pinned under the rim, and his only escape was to shoot into MKG's long arm of the law.
I don't think either make the Olympic squad this time around, as Kyrie, Unibrow, and P George are probably first in line. But it's great experience playing with other good players, and to learn all the tricks from them and the great (but partially evil ) coaching staff.
Kemba had a good game: he got a couple of assists, but he had trouble getting to the rim. The same thing happened in the rookie/sophomore game so I guess it has something to do with circumstances.
MKG had a superb game: the stats don't tell the whole story, although they were pretty good too, they didn't gave him the credit he deserved. He had a +/- of +26!
When he entered the game early in the 2nd quarter, white was down by 9 points. When he was subbed out the white team led by 8 points. in the remaining 2 minutes after MKG was subbed out the lead shrunk to just 2 points, that's how big of an impact MKG had on the game.
"What's the purpose of your baby curls?"- Reggie Williams