Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
Day One of the 2013 NBA D-League Showcase featured two savvy floor generals lead their respective teams to victory. With the different styles of play from Sean Singletary and Jerel McNeal propel either point guard to a call-up in the future?
There are an abundance of NBA executives here in Reno for the 2013 NBA D-League Showcase. As each one continues to observe the talent present strutting their stuff, it's safe to say these staffers aren't quite on the lookout for the next LeBron James or Kevin Durant.
With that said, it's all about the little things. Which of the young guns can stand out by grabbing the boards, being a defensive enforcer down low, serving as facilitator for their teammates, or even emerging as that necessary bench spark-plug?
As the Showcase tipped off on Monday morning, a pair of D-League floor generals put on two different, but all the while, still very impressive displays to prove they each may be worth another look.
What's perhaps more important, in fact, is that both Sean Singletary (Texas Legends) and Jerel McNeal (Bakersfield Jam) put on a show while managing to lead their respective teams to victory on day one of the Showcase.
Singletary's effort was perhaps the more traditional stat-sheet stuffer one would expect from that of an efficient point guard. In addition to pouring in 14 points, the speedster also dished out a team-high 11 delicious dimes, and grabbed 4 steals too, which also was a team-high.
Statistics may be one thing, but actually looking good while putting up that same production is another. Luckily for Singletary, he looked masterful. Controlling the Legends' offensive tempo to perfection, he knew when to speed things up in order to catch the opponent off guard, or when to slow it down to calm his teammates. Not only did five of the floor general's teammates score in double-figures, but Singletary was a +18 in his team's 104-84 win over the Stampede.
While it may work for Singletary at times, slow and steady certainly isn't Jerel McNeal's style whatsoever. Instead, the Jam's fireball likes to run and gun at all times, full speed ahead. The guard was tied for the team-lead with 18 points, and also added 5 assists.
The way McNeal lights it up offensively is as infectious as it is exciting. Though he's only shooting 41% from the field so far this season, the young gun has the type of streaky shooting touch that when he's on, the Jam is an incredibly tough team to beat. Bakersfield pounded the Skyforce by a score of a 103-88 later Monday afternoon.
Many NBA teams employ sixth men on their bench (like J.R. Smith or Jamal Crawford) that the squad may ultimately end up riding or dying with, for better or worse. With the ability to serve as a savvy spark plug off the pine, it would be interesting to see what kind of boost McNeal would provide a big league squad with if given a ten-day contract.
Both Singletary and McNeal know just how to propel their respective teams to victory. They simply do it in different ways. It'll be interesting to see if such styles are seen as a fit by an NBA team following the Showcase.