The Delaware Blue Coats have had some incredibly enjoyable matchups over the past week or so, most notably against the G League Ignite — the NBA’s team with rising prospects and veterans. The Blue Coats started off their season hot, and have continued their stellar play as of late with multiple key players having positive performances.
Paul Reed, the reigning G League MVP, has continued to dominate the league over the past few games. He’s rolled out of bed with averages north of 20 & 10, and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Just look at some of these absurd stat lines over the past five games:
1/27/22 vs. Greensboro Swarm: 33 MIN, 28 PTS, 14 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK
1/28/22 vs. College Park Skyhawks: 27 MIN, 25 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 3-4 3PT
1/30/22 vs. G League Ignite: 31 MIN, 19 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK
2/01/22 vs. Westchester Knicks: 31 MIN, 20 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK
2/03/22 vs. Greensboro Swarm: 37 MIN, 20 PTS, 15 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK
Reed continues to look like one of the best players in the G League, if not the best. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be with the Blue Coats, but a consecutive G League MVP award, something that’s never been done before, could very well be coming his way if he continues this production.
The Sixers have also assigned rookie Charles Bassey to the G League over the past few games as well. He hasn’t seen much action at the NBA level with Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond both being available and producing well. Bassey, like Reed, also had positive performances in his own right with the Blue Coats. There was even a two-game stretch where he registered 15 stocks (steals + blocks combined). His timing on blocks is textbook, and it’s been awesome to see him form such a lengthy rim-protecting frontcourt alongside Bball Paul.
CHARLES BASSEY 4 BLKS — 1-28-22 pic.twitter.com/RZnuOV2e7T— @Harrison_Grimm’s FilmBot (@76ersFilmRoom) January 29, 2022
Bassey’s stellar defense is well-documented, but he’s also been great offensively. He’s done everything you want out of a modern NBA big: rolling hard to the rim, setting good and legal screens, and even taking a few jumpers along the way. He established a career-high in points at the G League in his last game before being called back up to the Sixers: 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field.
Speaking of offensive performances, it would be a disservice not to bring up Myles Powell, one of the Sixers’ two-way contract players. He’s finally gotten a bit of time to find his footing with their G League team and it’s led to some of his best performances yet. Powell has appeared in three recent Blue Coats games recording two 19-point performances and a 28-point performance, respectively.
His performance against the G League Ignite was his best yet, in my eyes. He nearly had a triple double in only 26 minutes of play: 19 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. A huge key to Powell’s development is developing his playmaking and court vision — which he showcased in this performance. Having such a well-rounded stat line against one of the G League’s best clubs in a dominant win is pretty commendable. It’s cool to finally see him getting his rhythm back.
Jaden Springer had a few games where his shot was off, but he looked to be back on track after Thursday’s double overtime win against the Greensboro Swarm. Springer amassed a new professional career-high with 26 points. He excelled in the mid-range game, and got to the line quite a bit with 13 free throw attempts. He still needs to find more offensive consistency with his perimeter shooting, but that’ll likely come in due time.
I’ve enjoyed the various ways that Springer has been utilized at the G League level. Coby Karl, the Blue Coats head coach, has primarily used him as an off-ball scorer at the wing position. He’s been quick and sturdy enough to be extremely switchable defensively. Whether he’s defending on or off the ball, he’s been an active threat to steal the ball from the opposing team. He has legitimately good defensive instincts at such a young age.
I feel simplifying Springer’s role offensively in year one is great for his development. Having guys like Myles Powell, Shaq Harrison, Shamorie Ponds, and even Jarron Cumberland, to an extent, handling the playmaking burdens is a luxury the Blue Coats have.
The Blue Coats will play their next game on Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. EST against the Toronto Raptors’ G League affiliate, the Raptors 905. This will be a great opportunity for afternoon basketball lovers to witness Jaden Springer, Paul Reed, and company in action. Games can be streamed online on the G League’s website here.