In this week’s edition of the OKC Blue review, I go through each player’s performance to determine both progress and team success. The Blue only played two games this past week, against the Memphis Hustle and Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The Blue won the Hustle game 121-113, but lost to the Vipers 134-125.
As mentioned before, G-League games are less about the results of the game and more about the player performance, and that’s what I plan on focusing here.
Hopson was easily the Blue’s best player this week, as he was the leading scorer in both games. Against the Hustle, Hopson scored 22 points on 9-15 shooting. Against the Vipers, Hopson scored 21 points on just 7-10 shooting.
Hopson loves to attack the basket and is an efficient finisher around the rim. The 30-year old G-League vet really has shown his experience in both these games compared to his younger and still green counterparts.
Another G-League vet played well this week. This might be a common theme as the older the player, the more experienced and sharpened his game is.
Jack’s big game was against the Hustle, as he had a massive 24 point and 19 rebound double-double. Jack had a quieter game against the Vipers with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Jack seems to be your prototypical lobbing big who lives in the paint on offense and gets most of his points off of assisted dunks and layups. But unlike a those type of bigs, Jack isn’t afraid to let it fly from three, as he shot three three’s in these two games. Jack is shooting less than 30% from three, but it’s still encouraging that he is willing to take that shot.
Hall shows on some of his drives some glimpses that he has potential. Hall scored 22 points on 18 shots against the Hustle, but only 12 points on nine shots against the Vipers. Hall’s offensive strengths come with his drives as he has had some acrobatic finishes around the rim these last two games.
Hall has been a good outside shooter this season, but struggled this week with his outside shot, going only 4-14 from three.
From what I’ve seen so far, Brown appears to be one of those streaky and super confident shooters with a short term memory.
Brown really stood out to me last Saturday with how much confidence he has with his shot, and the box scores show it this week as 20 of his 23 shots were from three.
We had two great examples of how when you are hot it’s great, but when you’re cold you can hurt your team. Against the Hustle, Brown scored just eight points as he went 2-12 from deep. But against the Vipers he had 15 points while going 5-8 from deep.
Akoon-Purcell scored 12 points on 5-11 shooting against the Hustle and eight points on 4-8 shooting against the Vipers. A lot of those points came in drives and floaters. Akoon-Purcell seems to have a bit of a turnover issue as he averages more of those than assists a game this season. Another interesting note is him being the successful recipient on a couple of lobs. Get him out in transition and his value increases a ton.
Despite being a starter, Henry played relatively low minutes in both contests, with only 24 and 23 minutes, respectively. In the Hustle game. Henry was pretty quiet with just six points and nine rebounds — he had trouble finishing around the rim. But in the Vipers game, he bounced back in limited time as he finished with 15 points and going perfect on twos.
The 27-year old is having a down year from three, shooting just 28.9% despite being an above average shooter the past three seasons on higher volumes.
Hervey only played the Vipers game and finished with seven points in 21 minutes. Hervey has the player profile of a stretch big and in today’s NBA those are super valuable if his player profile can materialize. Hervey didn’t make any of his four threes Friday night, and is shooting just 25.8% on nearly seven attempts a game from the perimeter.
Cook came off the bench in both games and scored 21 points and 16 points respectively. Cook doesn’t take any threes and is one of those players that lives in the paint for his scoring. The only issue with that is Cook eventually has to grow his game out and take jump shots.
Roby only scored a total of 15 points and grabbed nine points this week in nearly 40 minutes of action. Roby showed that he can shoot from deep, as he shot a couple of threes against the Hustle.
Gaddy only played 12 minutes against the Vipers and scored nine points on 3-6 shooting, including going 1-3 from three.
Barefield only played 12 minutes against the Hustle and scored five points and fouled four times.
This upcoming week the Blue play four times on the road: on Sunday in Austin against the Spurs; pn Wednesday in California against the Kings; on Thursday in Santa Cruz against the Warriors; and finally Saturday night in Arizona against the Suns.