I guess I forgot to recap the actual game between the Erie Bayhawks and the Idaho Stampede. Once again the Stamps lost, and man, this game got out of hand at the end of the first quarter. Things looked fine time and again; however, and this is the larger issue here, this team isn't exactly playing the same way as the Utah Jazz. In the halftime interview of this game, Assistant GM Zanik talked about the transparency and similarity between what Coach Snyder (UTA) and Coach Cooper (IDA) are running. And, as a result, a player isn't going to be hypothetically assigned do the NBA-DL and then be left behind (like what happened to Morris Almond).
Cooper mentioned that this was because of the inherent differences in the roster and player level. I get that.
But Idaho looks a lot better on the court when they are running things the "Jazz way". We saw more of this in game 2, but there's still much work to be done.
True rookie Tre Bussey didn't start, but Nick Covington did. Nick was with the Jazz in Vegas, while Tre was an undrafted rookie that was selected in the NBA-DL draft by the Jazz brass. The offense runs smoother with Nick right now than Tre. (Bad year for Tre/Treys?) The other major factor for the Stampede offense in this game was that Toure' Murry is playing better. And when I say playing better, I mean he's playing like the Dwyane Wade of the NBA-DL.
Lastly, before we go on to the players, Jack Cooley did not play in this game as he was injured in the second half of Game 1, and did not return / was not cleared for action tonight. This meant more Quinton Doggett, and he is showing some impressive things in the paint.
- Kevin Murphy, once again the scoring leader from last year had a poor shooting night. Only 3 of his 12 shots went in, and was a -25 in +/-. If he's not scoring he's trying to facilitate, and it's not quite second nature to him. And if he's not doing that he's not doing much else. His defense appears to be the biggest flaw right now. We know he can score. He's just not doing it right now. We don't know if he can defend at the "next to the NBA" level yet. Murph finished with 10 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. His main benefit on the floor seems to be a guy who can draw fouls and get to the line. But he was supposed to be more than just that at the NBA-DL level. Furthermore, he has shown that he is more with his play last season.
- Toure' Murry had a much better game, finishing with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. He shot 7/15, but missed both of his 3PTA. Here he is being used in a more natural way as a combo guard from the two position. He has the physicality to bully a lot of smaller guards and plays like his college self, not his muted NBA form that was just a pick and roll passer. I am beginning to think that he could be better than Ian Clark -- but Clark distinguished himself in the DL last year as being obviously too good for it. Time will tell if Murry will prove that this year.
- Jack Cooley, was injured.
- Nick Covington went 6/11, had 17 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. I was more impressed with him in Game 2 than Game 1, obviously. But it's just clear that Erie is a very bad matchup for him. Peyton Siva and Seth Curry just torched him (and the rest of Idaho) all game long.
- Trey Bussey only played 17 minutes, and got to the line and made a three. His 9 points off of 5 shots was impressive, but he did not do much else.
- Joel Wright added 16 and 3, while Quinton Doggett had 11 and 8. Neither of them look like NBA ready prospects just yet.
Furthermore, it's easy to see why in previous seasons the Jazz did not call up guys from the Utah Flash, the team gunned for the best defenders. And that's who Sundiata Gaines / Othyus Jeffers were. Right now none of these cats look like solid defenders, save for the potential of Murry right now. And he may only appear that way because he was just physically that much bigger than his opponents on Saturday night.
The Stamps don't play again until a FRI/SAT back to back in LA against the Defenders.
Kevin Murphy needs to shake it off and start making some of his shots.