Last night was an eventful night for Jahlil watch 2015. First we had the Knicks, who went into the nations capital last night hoping to avoid a place in history. A loss would’ve meant 13 in a row, the longest such streak in New York Knickerbockers history. Who did we trot out there to try and beat the 3rd place Wizards? Well, our starting lineup was composed of
G: Jose Calderon
G: Pablo Prigioni
F: Tim Hardaway Jr.
F: Quincy Acy
C: Cole Aldrich
Despicable. If you actually think that anybody in our starting 5 would even be a role player for a playoff team, you’re crazy. Most of these guys could be swapped with D-league players and I don’t even think I would notice. Needless to say, this star studded lineup did not take down the John Wall and the Bullets.
The 2014-2015 Knicks are officially the worst team in the history of the franchise. We are now forced to look every day at the free agent pool of 2015, praying to whatever god has cursed the Knicks over the past 15 years, that a top flight free agent wants to come join this mess. There is one guy though who could help change the course of this Franchise for a long, long time, and he played last night. Just not in the NBA. Jahlil Okafor took Duke into Wake Forest for an ACC battle against the Demon Deacons. Here was his stat line for the night.
|Wed 1/7||@WAKE FOREST||W 73-65||31||4-6||.667||0-0||.000||4-8||.500||11||0||1||0||3||5||12|
Now, this wasn’t his most impressive statline of the year, but I want to look at a few things that he did that impressed me and didn’t impress me last night. For one, when watching that game, every time Jahlil got the ball, 3 Wake Forest defenders would collapse in on him. However, at times when this happened he panicked, tried to do too much with the ball and turned it over. He had 5 turnovers last night, which was way to many against a less than average Wake Forest team. There were positive elements of his game that I liked as well. Duke was tested against the Demon Deacons, Duke’s first real scare of the season, so when that happens somebody needs to step up. Last night that wasn’t Okafor. That was Quinn Cook the Senior point guard.
Why did this impress me? Because Jahlil knows his place. He knows where he fits into a team. He’s never gone through the rigors of conference play. These types of games are where Seniors win it for you and that’s what Okafor did. Every missed shot he would grab the rebound and kick it out to Cook, the Senior, for him to set up the offense. He stayed strong on the block and didn’t try and do to much when the game was on the line. Jahlil is a superstar, but that doesn’t mean that he has to score 25 and grab 20 rebounds every night. Sometimes being a superstar means doing what it takes to get the ball into the hands of the right guy who will win you the game.
It wasn’t Okafor’s best showing by any means last night, but what he did show was a steady hand. He showed that even on a night where he’s having trouble taking control of the game he can still score 12 points, grab 11 rebounds, get to the foul line and shoot over 60% from the field.
Next Game: Sunday @ NC State