Week 2 of 2019 Kenner League play is in the books and there's a lot to be excited about. Check out the recap of Sunday's action below.
Jahvon Blair: 7 pts, 1-4 2pt, 1-7 3pt, 2-4 FT, 2 reb (1 off), 1 asst, 1 TO
-Blair really struggled with his shots around the rim/in the lane this weekend. He normally is solid on these shots, but he kept rimming them out both days
-He was not ever really in the flow of the game today, after being his team’s primary shooting option on previous games this summer.
-Had a great crossover move to blow by Pickett, but missed the contested layup
Jamorko Pickett: 16 pts, 3-4 2 pt, 7-7 FT, 4 reb (1 off), 1 asst
-Solid game from Pickett today. He played within the flow of the offense. Did not force anything. I think this is when he plays best - as a complementary piece rather than as a primary initiator.
-His shot looked good today - he seemed smoother and in more control of the shot, with more rotation than usual. Both on his 3s and his foul shots
-Had a nice drive from the top of the key for a +1, and hit a14 foot pull up jumper. These are the kind of plays he has not been able to make with any consistency. Both were good shots, in the flow of the offense, not forced at all.
Malcolm Wilson: 6 pts, 2-5 2pt, 2-2 FT, 5 reb (2 off), 1 st, 4 TO
-He guarded a GW center today who is a good shooter. Wilson struggled badly. He gave him too much room, allowing him to get off some very clean looks from 3. But he also did not defend the rim much. He kind of got caught in between, providing little impact either on the perimeter or at the rim. Then late in the game, he started closing out harder at the 3 point line - allowing the GW guy to blow by him easily for three uncontested layups/dunks
-He works hard to set good screens. Commits to them, gets his base wide and accepts the contact. He is so thin that his screening ability is limited, but his effort and focus on technique on his ball screens if very good.
-Missed an easy layup, got the rebound, then missed a dunk when he was called for hanging on the rim after he bounced the ball off the back rim on the dunk attempt
Galen Alexander: 12 pts, 3-8 2 pt, 2-6 3pt, 0-1 FT, 4 reb (2 off), 1 bl
-Galen’s team got blown out by Akinjo/Gardner’s team right from the start of the game today. Nobody on Galen’s team got into any kind of decent flow, including Galen
-Had a great Lebron-style chasedown block from behind on Akinjo.
James Akinjo: 30 pts, 3-6 2pt, 5-11 3 pt, 9-9 FT, 3 reb, 5 asst
-He was great today. Completely locked in on both ends.
- If teams don’t come ready to play against James this year, he is going to tear them up. On Saturday, Mac matched his competitiveness - and we got a really good, close (though sometimes a bit sloppy/ugly) game. In the other two games Akinjo has played - he blew up his opponent and completely controlled the game
-He looked to score much more today. He was hitting his threes early, so he kept firing when he had a good look.
-Threw two beautiful PnR bounce passes to roll man for baskets
-When his team was up 33 points, James was picking up his man full court and dogging him every step. Again, totally locked in
Myron Gardner: 29 pts, 8-12 2 pt, 2-4 3 pt, 7-9 FT, 11 reb (3 off), 2 asst, 1 st
-Gardner is a player. He is very strong and aggressive, always playing with force in all aspects of his game. This does lead to quite a bit of fouling, but the physicality he plays with is a joy to watch. We have not had nearly enough players with this kind of playing persona in recent years.
-Gardner played a really good game - but note that close to half his points came in complete garbage time during the final 6 minutes or so of the game. With both teams mostly just running up and down the court, Gardner was assaulting the rim at every opportunity.
-Had a strong drive with a left hand finish - +1. Absorbs a lot of contact on his drives and still finishes/draws fouls
-went end to end with a defensive board, finishing through contact
-Tried to go end to and later in the game - taking off from a step inside the foul line and extending fully for what would have been a spectacular dunk right over the top of a defender. He could not convert the dunk, but drew a foul on the defender. Big time athletic attempt
-It is getting hard not to be excited about Gardner. He is athletic, strong, and has a good skill set. Can handle the ball, finishes well with both power and touch around the rim. HIs foul shooting is solid, but the outside shot still needs work. HIs shooting reminds me a bit of Jabril Trawick - the form is a little awkward (low release, push shot), but he makes it often enough to offer hope. I think with time, his shooting could develop to the point where he is a solid open 3 point shooter, as Jabril was in his final two seasons.
Mac McClung: 25 pts, 6-12 2pt, 2-6 3pt, 7-8 FT, 3 reb (1 off), 3 asst, 1 TO
-Solid game from Mac today. He led the offense early and late, but for much of the second half Bryant Crawford (former Wake Forest PG) took the lead, and this is when Mac’s team struggled a bit. Crawford is very talented, but his Kenner play tends to be a bit casual. He tries tough shots/moves/passes and dominated the ball a bit. This led to some bad shots and turnovers. When Mac started getting more touches late in the game, things stabilized and they almost pulled it out.
-Followed his own missed 3 aggressively - grabbed the rebound, absorb ed contact, finished a contested shot at the rim
-Dribbled right into two defenders in the lane, got stripped - resulted in a fast break +1 on the other end
-Tried a crazy layup attempt - tried to lay the ball over a jumping defender very high off the backboard, and ended up tossing the ball over the backboard
-With the game tied and a minute left - he missed a quick three that was not a very good shot
Josh LeBlanc: 9 pts, 4-6 2pt, 1-3 FT, 5 reb, 1 asst, 1 bl, 3 TO
-More of a half court game today, and Josh still does not impact the offense in the half court consistently. He depends on getting passes on his hard cuts, and flying in for offensive rebounds.
-But Josh is working hard on his post up game. Not much result yet, but he is putting in the work.
-Refs let a lot of contact go. Josh had two shots at the rim on which he seemed to clearly have been fouled - that went uncalled.
-Caught a bad pass as he cut through the lane at full speed. It was thrown behind him, but he grabbed it and quickly laid it in at an awkward angle, through contact, for a +1.
-Grabbed a D board and instantly threw the ball to an open teammate at midcourt, leading to an uncontested layup. For the old-timers out there, it was a Wes Unseld-type play.
-Had a big block at the rim with the game tied at the 2 minute mark.
That's all for Sunday. More fun next weekend!