When the Delaware 87ers and Maine Red Claws went head-to-head, so did two of the premier guard in the NBA Development League in Sean Kilpatrick and Terry Rozier. While the two guards could not have taken more different paths to get to this point, it was Kilpatrick and the 87ers that came out on top of Sunday's match-up. He finished with 34 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal on 11-18 from the floor and Rozier netting 22 points to go with 13 assists and six steals. Kilpatrick's impressive performance was just one of many for the two-time NBADL player of the week, who is also tied for second in the league in points-per-game with 26.1.
There is no question that Kilpatrick is the driving force behind this 87ers win. He played a total of 42 minutes — by far the most out of any player on the floor. He shot a decent 40 percent from distance but where he was the most impressive was off the drive. Even when things broke down, his ability to create his own shot served him well. He shot a perfect six of six from the paint and hit one jumper from mid-range. Of all the shots he took from within the arc, he only missed one.
While he is a very accomplished player and can create his shot at this level almost at will, Kilpatrick has a long was to go before he is a complete player. He is a shooter and scorer and that is it. He leaves much to be desired on defense and does not contribute much outside of scoring. If he wants to be a complete guard, and more importantly an NBA guard, he will need to start racking up assists and steals.
Terry Rozier on the other hand, looked like a complete NBA player. The rookie out of Louisville is waiting to burst onto the NBA scene, but thanks to a crowded Boston Celtics backcourt he has been forced to the D-League and has made the most of his time. In addition to being the floor general, his fast hands on defense led to a lot of points in transition and helped create a lot of opportunities. He was equally impressive from behind the arc, nailing four-of-eight shots from distance in key moments to keep the Red Claws in the game.
It was not all positives for Rozier, who struggled with efficiency in this game. Although he shot great from distance, he finished with a dismal eight-of-twenty five from the floor. To go with his 32 percent shooting he also finished with a game-high five turnovers.
Both of these guards played a great game, but it is clear who is more NBA ready at this point. Rozier could get steady minutes on a team worse than the Celtics and find success while Kilpatrick is still a prospect. If Kilpatrick can work on making the players around him better as opposed to being just a shooter he will find success too. NBA teams, especially at this point in the season are not looking for Nick Young, they are looking for Patty Mills. Guys that can come in and run an offense and impact the game with more than just streaky shooting.