NBA G League Ignite: Kuminga, Green lead the way while Isaiah Todd emerges in Game 2
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Coming off a strong performance in his professional debut, Jonathan Kuminga followed that up with yet another dominating outing on Friday.
Kuminga scored a game-high 24 points, while adding six rebounds, four assists, two steals and one blocked shot in 30 minutes of work to lead the NBA G League Ignite to a 109-103 win over the OKC Blue.
The 18-year-old shot 7-of-15 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range.
While Kuminga once again played well, Ignite guard Jalen Green scored 21 points and five rebounds in the contest. Green erupted for 11 points alone in the third quarter, going a perfect 4-of-4 from the field.
With the second game in the books for the Ignite, Rookie Wire took a look at how each of the high-profile prospects performed on Friday from AdventHealth Arena.
https://twitter.com/nbagleague/status/1360333201655427080?s=20 After scoring 11 points in his professional debut on Wednesday, Green bounced back on Friday and looked much better during his time on the court. Ignite head coach Brian Shaw said after the season opener that Green appeared to do too much on the court and that hurt his play a bit. Shaw revealed that Green, in an attempt to bounce back, hit the gym on Thursday night and put up extra shots. The extra work put in by Green appeared to pay off in his second game. Green finished the contest by shooting 8-of-12 from the field, including 1-of-3 from 3-point range. He once again had a number of impressive finishes in transition and even threw down a couple of alley-oops to begin the game in the first quarter. "I felt like today he did what good players do -- they bounce back when they have a subpar night," Shaw said. "Jalen got in the gym last night, got some extra shooting in without anybody prodding him to do that. I thought that he bounced back today and really showed what he was made of." From his first to the second game, Green noticed how the game slowed down a bit for him. He felt more comfortable on Friday and, while he is still making the transition, believes he has only shown off about 50% of his overall game to this point. "I'm still learning the game. I'm still young," Green said. "I was in high school last year. This is my whole transition over to here. I'm just going to take everything I can, soak it in, and just be the best version of me on and off the court."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kin1G0791o4 After leading the Ignite in scoring, Kuminga once again proved to be the best player on the court. He hauled in six rebounds, four assists, two steals and one blocked shot while he went 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. Through two games, Kuminga has totaled 43 points and has been the most complete prospect. He is still working to find his 3-point shot, but has seemingly excelled in every other area on the court and had perhaps the play of the game on first-round pick Aleksej Pokusevski. https://twitter.com/nbagleague/status/1360335997574258688?s=20 Kuminga was active on both ends of the floor and showed off his ability to lead the fastbreak and find his teammates. He has put in a strong effort on the defensive end of the floor in both contests to this point, and it is still an area he wants to improve upon.
https://twitter.com/nbagleague/status/1360323478952550403?s=20 Nix went scoreless on Friday, missing all five shot attempts from the field. He dished out five assists and hauled in five rebounds in 21 minutes of work off the bench. On Wednesday, Shaw mentioned that Nix often makes the little plays, including those that don't show up on the box score and that was once again the case in his second game. Nix connected on a couple of lobs to Green, and even one to Amir Johnson, as he seemingly knew where each of his teammates would be on the court. Although he was scoreless, Nix had a few strong drives to the rim, including one in which he went right past Ty Jerome in the first quarter. The opportunity to play in the G League this season will be a process for the young Ignite prospects, but Nix still managed to impact the game on Friday despite finishing with zero points.
https://twitter.com/nbagleague/status/1360325099111514115?s=20 On Friday, Todd was asked to bring energy in the fourth quarter and the 19-year-old did just that. After scoring just two points on Wednesday, Todd bounced back in a big way, producing 12 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes of action, including seven points alone in the fourth quarter. The Ignite outscored the Blue by 12 in the final period, and the play of Todd helped spark the team to its second straight win. While he turned in a big fourth quarter, he made several plays throughout the game and helped get his teammates involved. "Isaiah, if I'm being honest, has been our most consistent player over the last three weeks in practice," Shaw said. "That little stretch tonight was kind of a glimpse of what he has been doing on regular basis for us. A lot of the things that he does goes unnoticed. He does a lot of the intangibles. "He can stretch the floor, knock down 3s and make plays for his teammates as well. He is kind of a jack of all trades. I wish that he got a lot more recognition and notoriety for the type of player he is. I think as people start to see him, that part of his game will unfold and I think he'll start to rise up the ranks." Todd, who believes that he hasn't even scratched the surface yet, was happy with how he performed in his role on Friday. Coming into the bubble, Todd wants to show that he is comfortable in any role asked of him because that will help translate into future success. "The biggest thing I wanted to be able to show is that I can literally do whatever my coach needs me to do," Todd said. "Whether that means being the scorer, or being a role player for the betterment of my team for us right now, that's all I've been preaching to the guys. If we all win as a group, that's how we'll win individually."
Photo via NBA Academies
Singh, who did not play in the season opener, was a DNP-CD on Friday. Shaw said on Wednesday that Singh didn't quite fit into the team's rotation and that was likely the case again on Friday versus the Blue. "It was completely my call," Shaw said on Wednesday. "I didn't feel like, in today's game, there was a situation I could really get him in the game. I have a rotation and when there are opportunities for me to get him in the game, I will."