Even in a disappointing loss, Filipino-American guard Jalen Green found a way to impress Ignite head coach Brian Shaw.
Green bounced back from a slow start to finish with 20 points in Ignite's slim 116-111 defeat to the Agua Caliente Clippers on Wednesday night in Orlando. The loss dropped the team to 7-6 in the NBA G League season, putting their playoffs hopes in peril.
Shaw lamented their execution as well as their energy, noting that the team missed at least five point-blank layups that could have changed the complexion of the game.
"We were just stuck in the mud the whole game," the coach observed.
Despite the defeat, Shaw saw some silver linings including Green's performance. Though he shot just seven-of-17 from the field, Green also added six rebounds, five assists, and two steals against only one turnover in 32 minutes.
His playmaking drew praise from Shaw as the head coach noted that Green was learning to impact the game even when his shot isn't falling.
"You know, he's improved a great deal," said Shaw of the 19-year-old guard, who traces his roots to the Philippines through his mother.
"He is one guy that just finds a way to get stuff done when he's out there on the floor," the coach added. "In the first half, he didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but I think he saw where his shots could come from."
"They were keying on him defensively, and you know, so I'm proud of the fact that he made the right plays when the defense was on him, he was able to drop it off the guys," Shaw said.
His playmaking opened up the floor for Green in the second half, where he played better and helped Ignite close in on the Clippers.
It was a three-pointer from Green with under a minute left that made it a two-point game, 110-108, but they could not make stops on the other end and free throws from the Clippers allowed them to secure the win.
Green, who is averaging 17.6 points per game for Ignite, will try to lead the team to a much-needed win tomorrow against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Both teams have a 7-6 record for joint eighth in the standings.