Anyone watching the finals? Stanley Johnson, Jahlil Okafor and Reid Travis look the most impressive to me. All should have major impacts next year due to their bodies and skill set. Anyone impress you guys in particular so far?
Okafor looked every bit the number one player in the 2014 class. Advanced skill set and post moves, and improved conditioning. Dude will be a beast next year...
I thought he played like a pro.
I thought he played like a pro.
Yeah Charles Matthews played the best for the 2015 team. He's got a great all around game. Very slithery, long and under control. Looks like he has a good idea of what he's doing on the floor Can attack off the dribble, made some nice mid-range jumpers and passed it well. He was good defensively as well.
That Sidy Ndir kid from Team Africa did his best Brandon Jennings impersonation: attacked in transition, bombed away from the perimeter. Kid looks like he has no conscience, but he got hot at the right moments. He's got a pretty looking lefty stroke and really good athleticism.
The rest of that 2015/2016 team was just outmatched physically though. Team Africa outplayed them defensively and on the boards. 2015's most physical player was 2016's De'Ron Davis and he didn't play all that much.
Would've liked to see Aaron Holiday play more. I thought he was better than that Conway kid who did a whole lot of meaningless dribbling and bricked everything he shot. They could've used Malik Newman who sat out with a mystery injury. The rumor is that Nike officials told him to sit out, which I don't really believe. Zimmerman hardly got any touches but converted some dump offs and made a couple of impressive passes. Jaylen Brown certainly looks the part physically, but didn't do much in the game. Also, didn't appear as though Team USA coach coached to win. There was no sense of urgency. He was out-coached and his players were outplayed.
As far as the 2014 game went, I agree that Okafor stood out. He saw doubles all game but handled them fairly well. Made some good passes, made some not so good passes but overall looks improved in that area. One area I'd like to see him improve is his jumper, at least the technique on it. He's got a really slow release on his jumper and it gets slower the further out he shoots.
Myles Turner was definitely a factor defensively, blocking numerous shots. But he was passive offensively and bobbled a few boards, losing them to others. The potential is there, but he has a long way to go to surpass Okafor as this class' top big. Maybe if he puts on more weight he'll be able to hold his position and command more touches.
Although his shot wasn't falling like it has been recently, I thought D'angelo Russell was easily the best guard in this game. His floor game was fantastic. Made some really nice passes off the PnR until they starting doubling and trapping him hard. He even did a good job in the 2nd half defensively on Stanley Johnson, who's got 2 inches and maybe 30 lbs on him.
Stanley Johnson had a great first half, scoring like 15 pts but then spent rest of the game forcing the issue unsuccessfully. His left hand is weak and Russell and Co were forcing him that direction in the 2nd half. I really like Johnson, but I think he's putting too much emphasis on scoring. What put him on the scene originally was his all-around game and it appears as though he's sacrificing some of that in an attempt to be a dominant score.
Reid Travis is gonna be a great college player He's a bully on the interior, got a few of his shots blocked but kept coming. He also stepped away and hit a couple of 3's so maybe down the line he could be a power SF or a good tweener. If he was only an inch or two taller though. IDK, Anthony Bennett just went first overall and he's got similar size and this kid plays harder and more physically than Bennett.
-Theo Pinson made some nice plays but he's gonna have to drastically improve his strength if he's primarily going to be a slasher.
-Melo Trimble plays with great poise and control. His stroke is sweet too. I don't think he's fast enough for the PG position though.
-Kevin Looney showed some inside out ability. He's long and has sneaky athleticism, but he's a bit soft and does too much standing around.
-Trey Lyles just looks solid, but unspectacular. Very workman-like but I'm unsure if he has the physical tools to stand out at the highest level.
-Justise Winslow is a jumper away and his form isn't that bad. He does everything else fairly well. Defends hard, rebounds well, can handle the ball, pass it, is an explosive, powerful finisher. He also knows how to get easy points off of cuts and o-boards.