Written by: Matthew Blunk
Day two of the Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series emanated from the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, NV, on Tuesday. The notch-above-pickup action was fast and furious (and no bad acting or senseless plot necessary), and the festivities were run seamlessly by Joe Abunassar and the good folks at Impact.
The first game had the Washington Wizards contingent of Rashard Lewis, Jordan Crawford, Shelvin Mack, and Larry Owens, teaming with Desmon Farmer to take on Corey Maggette, Sebastian Telfair, Kawhi Leonard, James Anderson, and Malcolm Lee. Crawford was explosive and Lewis fared better than he did on the first day. Team Wizards took a significant, double-digit lead in the third quarter only to have it cut down in the fourth. Ultimately, though, Team Maggette fell short in its comeback attempt, as Lewis and company fended them off, 101-94.
Next up was Indiana Pacers Dahntay Jones and Brandon Rush joining their former comrade T. J. Ford, Portland Trail Blazer Wesley Matthews, Melvin Ely, and Corey Stokes, to compete against Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan, Golden State Warrior Dorell Wright, Boston Celtic Avery Bradley, and Sacramento King rookie Isaiah Thomas. Ely once again was efficient and seemed to always be in good position. If and when the lockout ends, some NBA team needs to take a look at Ely. The man is just a solid basketball player. He got great looks at the rim. Wright showed off his accuracy from long distance, but it was not enough. The "Pazers" came out on top in a blowout victory.
Los Angeles Clippers Mo Williams, Ryan Gomes, and Travis Leslie joined forces with King J. J. Hickson and Memphis Grizzly Tony Allen, in a battle with Los Angeles Laker Derrick Caracter, Utah Jazz(man?) Jeremy Evans, Grizzlies rookie guard Josh Selby, Philadelphia 76er Xavier Silas, and Coby Karl. Williams showed playmaking ability and that he is absolutely ready for the NBA season. Selby erupted for a series-high 42 points, showing that he can at the very least compete in some kind of Association setting. Karl displayed his excellent basketball IQ, setting up teammates with good looks and getting good shots himself. Caracter was rock solid in the post. It was a close game to the end, but the synergy of Team Caracter was the difference. They took a few too many unnecessary long jumpers late, but free throws from Karl and Silas iced the game. Final score: 97-93.
It was another positive night of basketball at Impact, with guys like Crawford and Selby getting a chance to shine amongst their peers. Kind of makes the lockout tolerable.
Check out our videos from day 2!!
Checck out our Interviews with Melvin Ely and Mo Williams