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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peach Jam Player Recaps: Bluff City Legends and CP3 All-Stars

Getting to see Theo Pinson again, one of the most exciting player at the Nike Global Challenge was a must. Plus, I didn't get a good read of Nick King the first time I saw him so I wanted to focus on his game. King was joined by JaJuan Johnson on the wing and Pinson teamed up with Ja'Quel Richmond.

Theo Pinson didn't disappoint. He looked great on his way to 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and the win. I pretty much covered his entire game in my earlier report (see link), but being able to see him put together solid outings consistently is great reinforcement. He really has a great feel for the game. In the second matchup I saw him play, against Justice Winslow, he was outplayed in the 4th quarter, but Winslow is a special talent in his own right. Both are arguably top 10 players of the class of 2014.

Pinson's teammate Ja'Quel Richmond played well in my first look at him. He had 13 dimes and shot the ball well. He played really solid, just a point guard that you can count on that also provides some upside.

Seeing Nick King again allowed me to finally figure him out. In the game against Pinson, he really struggled. He tried to force his way to the basket, but King just isn't explosive enough to get there at will. He ended up shooting 2-13 from the field with only one 3-pter. Most his shots were awkward shots that were a result of not getting all the way to the basket.

I got another look at King against Marcus Lee and Cal Supreme though, and he played better. He had 13 points in 23 minutes while leaving 6 points at the charity stripe (he only went 2-8 from the FT line). King got the to basket, but struggled converting his free throws. It is weird considering he is a good 3-pt shooter, but it helps confirm my suspicions that King may be a trained 3-pt shooter and less of a pure shooter. He does like to catch the ball in that area though, operating out of the high post. Against Marcus Lee, this turned out to be effective  He took advantage of Lee playing off of him and hit some face up jumpers. He prefers to get to the hoop though, where he does a great job keeping his dribble alive and trying to force his way to the rim. King has a solid body, but he isn't a guy Id considering an imposing physical force or a great athlete. He is determined and displays great footwork and body control to find his way to the hoop. Overall, King isn't as impressive as some of the other wings I have seen.

JaJuan Johnson came out very aggressive in the game against Theo. King was struggling and he took over. Johnson showed some spot PG skills, bringing the ball up and being able to drive and dish. Johnson is a pure SG though, as he is the definition of a slasher with an eye to score. I love his ability to finish around the rim. He is very springy. He packs a lot more explosiveness then you would expect out of his slender frame. Creativity is the main name of his game, perhaps learning from his cousin Lou Williams. Johnson has a nice motor and will attack the glass and defend. In the second game I saw him in, he was a lot less aggressive for some reason. He could have just been tired, or he didn't feel the need to impose his will since Nick King and company were doing just fine against Cali Supreme. Either way, I am sure positive that Johnson generally is a very aggressive scorer and I like his mentality.

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