On Monday Alfonzo McKinnie contradicted some of what I saw two days earlier. Still no conclusions to be drawn, but it now seems clearer which aspects of McKinnie’s game I need to focus on to make an informed evaluation. Let’s take a look at a bunch of clips to help get there.
On Saturday, it seemed McKinnie looked reluctant to take the outside shot. On Monday, at times McKinnie had a quick trigger – with two nice-looking three-balls from the top of the key:
The shots look pure – nice elevation, balance, and follow through – but these were hardly in the flow of the offence. I imagine Coach Stackhouse would have much preferred he shoot this open corner three, instead he decides to drive, leading to a last second shot clock miss:
McKinnie’s game off the dribble looked shaky for much of the night. On the following two plays he drives baseline, gets cut off, and finds himself with nowhere to go:
In the coming games I’ll try to see if McKinnie lets the game come to him, or, like the above cases, forces the issue.
Defensively, after Saturday, I noted McKinnie had a few issues with on-ball defence. On Monday McKinnie guarded Greensboro’s 21 PPG scorer Jalen Jones, and he was torched. Jones put up 36 points while adding his best Carlos Boozer impression. (see the second and third clips below)
McKinnie seems a little antsy on all three of these possessions, not setting his feet, or putting his feet in inefficient positions to keep Jones in front of him.
Off-ball McKinnie looked solid again – providing excellent help, and recovering well when the driver kicked to his man. I also liked how vocal McKinnie was on defence. The stands at Hershey Centre weren’t exactly packed, but it was impressive to hear him yell out cues from my seat half way up the arena on a number of defensive possessions.
Overall no clear picture of what McKinnie can be offensively for the Raptors – we need a bigger sample of threes attempted, which I think would be what’s asked of him if gets the call from Toronto. I’m also interested to see if the game can slow down for him over the next few contests. The decision making from the perimeter has seemed a bit rushed, but he’s got the handle and athleticism to take his time.
On defence I’ll be watching his footwork and patience against other crafty forwards, and gather some more “data” to try to confirm that his help defence is as good as it’s looked thus far.