From the FanPosts, a view from the stands of Jimmer's All-Stars - Aykis
I was able to attend the Jimmer's All-Stars event with my wife the other night. Provo was buzzing with excitement at the chance to cheer on Jimmer Fredette (all-time leading scorer) and Jackson Emery (all-time leader in steals) one last time. Last season can only be described, for those who didn't follow it as it happened, by one word: Amazing. But I digress.
UPDATE: For those who didn't get to watch Jimmer's All-Stars live, it is now available on-demand here.
I'll break it down by player, with my impressions.
I could feel something special in the air as I walked into the Marriott Center Thursday night. It was a feeling of expectations. After so many memorable showcases during the college basketball season, many BYU fans came to the building expecting a Jimmer show. Every time Jimmer crossed the half-court line he was peppered with many, "Shoot it from there!" shouts. While Jimmer pulled the trigger a few times from distance, it was easy to tell that he was playing a different type of game.
Fredette was playing facilitator much more then he did in college. This was evident by the 10 assists he notched (He easily could have had 15 on many drive and kick-outs to three-point shooters that couldn't connect). It was nice to see develop into the role we will undoubtedly play in the NBA (If this lockout EVER ends). Aside from this new(er) roll for Jimmer, he got the crowd going with a few stop-and-pop threes and a couple nifty body-contorting lay ups. I see one "weakness" in Jimmer's game, and that is a consistant floater. I've seen Jimmer hit that shot but he doesn't go to it very often. Once "officially" in the Association, Jimmer will learn he can only twist his body and shield the ball so much against the likes of Dwight Howard and Serge Ibaka.
This kid is EXCITING!!!! He played off the crowd all night long. The BYU student section immediately latched on to him and chanted at Steve Fisher on multiple occasions, "We! Want! Tho-mas!" and "Thomas! Thomas! Thomas!" After the game Isaiah tweeted the following:
The BYU fans are GREAT!!!!! They showed me sooooooo much LOVE it was unbelievable, I felt like Jimmer out there today LOL!! Thank you PROVO!
I thought I would NEVER say this lol BUT Provo I gotta come back here again cuz the fans were GREAT and showed me crazy LOVE, see yall soon!
I have no doubt that if/when Isaiah returns to Provo he will be received as if he had played in Cougar Blue for 4 years and performed annual service projects in the community and saved an old lady's life while on a river. He has all the energy that Nate Robinson brings but can actually handle the ball and play the true point. He will be loved by the Sactown faithful. Also it seems like he can jump out of the arena! Every time he threw it down the crowd went crazy.
* Ultimately, I think the Sacramento backcourt will develop into a 4-man rotation kind of like the Dallas Mavericks (Kidd, Stevenson, Terry & Barea). I could see Tyreke and Jimmer starting with Marcus Thornton playing the Jason Terry-roll and Isaiah Thomas playing the JJ Barea-roll. I know that is not exactly Paul Westphal's MO, but who knows if he will last long enough to see these guys fully develop.
It took a while for Tyler to get in the game and once he did, it took him a little bit to feel the game out. He looked hesitant at times, but by the second half he got in to the flow and started throwing down a couple alley-oops. I was struck by how much he looked (physically) like Kevin Martin, just taller. Dude needs to bulk up for sure.
As I watched Tyler play, especially in the second half, I kept coming back to the same thought. I don't think Honeycutt will ever be a go-to guy. He doesn't create very well for himself but he does have good court vision and decent passing abilities. He has the potential to become a lockdown defender. I'm not sure how well his uppercut connects (say with Rick Fox), but I believe Tyler Honeycutt can become a Doug Christie-type of player with an extra 2 inches in height to spare. However, it will take him some time to compete for real rotation minutes.
The Other Guys
There were 2 guys that really stood out and impressed me. Tobias Harris and Kenneth Faried. Harris looked smooth as he moved with and without the ball. I don't think I had seen him play before but i think the Milwaukee Bucks found a gem right there. Faried is a MANIMAL! He absolutely owns the glass, whether it is on the offensive side or the defensive. He tried to do too much on offense at times but under George Karl in Denver he will learn his role and would be a great complement next to Nene (assuming he doesn't sign elsewhere).
Kemba Walker had 23 points but he seemed rather quiet on the night with the exception of a 3-4 minute explosion. That being said, he has a DEADLY crossover and is fast. I think Kemba will have a great career. Now I said Kemba was fast, I think Malcom Lee may be faster. Not sure how he will fit in behind The Chosen One. Chris Singleton reminded me of Donte Greene. He is huge, but is trigger happy from 3 (which would be fine of he were more consistant). If he can develop a some low post game, he could have some staying power in the League. Nolan Smith seemed to force the issue too much. He tried running the "Kobe-Five-on-One" Isolation play a lot, but . . . he's not Kobe. I think he is better suited to be a shooting guard and not in the creator/facilitator roll like he was forced in to at Duke last year. Bismack Biyombo is beyond raw. His low light was on the last play of the game, as the clock expired an alley-oop was thrown up for him and he lost the ball before he came down with it. Luckily, he had a good laugh about it as the other players gave him grief. He seems like a good kid who is still learning the game. I hope he gets there.
Overall, it was an awesome experience watching these guys play. I don't know if I have had that much fun at a basketball game before. Here's hoping these guys have great careers and contribute going forward, especially Jimmer, Isaiah and Tyler.