Watching this replay right now after the very tight, somewhat disappointing loss (whatcha gonna do? Playing against one of the best frontcourts with KG cold, Pierce cold and AB out). Yes, it left a sour taste in my mouth but it was a great basketball game.
What a stat line by Fab Melo two games after his concussion (http://www.nba.com/dleague/games/20130118/IWAMNE/gameinfo.html?ls=gt2hp2021200142
). 26 points, 3 blocks, 7 boards, a steal and insane efficiency. All this against the NBA-tested Josh Boone.
I suspect Melo's production has something to do with the return of Chris Wright, him being pretty much the only NBA-ready player there. Outside of Wright you have a team of mostly shooters.
The defensive pressure on Fab Melo has been noticeably increased after his breakout games and Wright might have helped alleviate that.
Game starts at 16:00. There is an interview with their head coach (I believe?) at about 9:00 minutes. He says Fab Melo will be evaluated against certain goals (apparently some to do with conditioning) and could very well get called up once he reaches them.
Updates (all timestamps are with reference to the youtube video): 19:50 Melo hustles down the floor, ends with a nice JAM on the break.
I remember someone calling Fab slow. I'd say he's not fast but he's definitely not slow for a 7 footer. Runs the floor for a 7 footer very well. I'd say as fast as Pierce is right now.
20:30 Wright is a do-it-all kind of guy. Lost the handle there but he's probably the only player who can finish that on the team. Apart from Melo, most of these guys are D-League role players who spot up for the jumper mostly.
21:20 Boone scores against Melo. Might be one of the goals that the coach(?) was talking about at the start - the little things in post D that Fab Melo's still missing.22:00 Fab Melo with the HUGE rejection.
Although, again, Boone with great position. I think the nuances of the game might be one of the things that they want to see from Fab before calling him up. Although that was raw athleticism by Melo there.
22:10 Chris Wright with the cut. Wish Jeff Green could cut like that.
24:00, 24:30 Here's what I was talking about. Players outside of Chris Wright are mostly jump shooters right now even at this level. 3 possessions spoiled with the ball not even sniffing the 3 point semicircle.27:45 Very nice stroke by Melo on the jump shot after facing up his man. I love his confidence.
28:20 Here's what I was talking about. Major mismatch and they're unable to capitalize. Their offense revolves around spot up shooting. I admire their defensive effort and hustle, however, on most nights, which is half the reason they win (the other being Fab).28:40 Bad call on Melo. Great positioning by Fab on that charge attempt though (who was a good charge taker in college too if I recall correctly).
33:00 Maine digging themselves a bit of a trench with sloppy basketball, Melo benched for foul trouble
(and Wright on the bench as well I believe).37:40 Green could also use that move. I don't think Wright's handles are amazing but that explosive first step and the left hand dribble, one dribble drive could open up Green's game a lot.
39:30 Here's how inept the roster is on offense without Melo and Wright. It's hustle, spot up shooting, fast breaks and defense but very little ability to create.
41:40 Ugly quarter for Maine. Knowing the result, I am very excited for the next three quarters and Fab Melo's takeover of the game.44:42 Fab Melo back for the 2nd quarter.
44:48 Downs has a pretty good up and under move that he doesn't go to enough. Wish him best.46:25 Another thing Fab Melo's good at is passing. Nice two man game. Too bad Wright wasn't able to finish. (But they get it right back for the dunk).47:10 Good rotation by Fab I think. Guard defense was bad and Melo can't exactly defend 2 players.47:30 Great cut by Melo leads to free throws.
48:00 1-2 on free throws by Fab. But Wright hustles for the free throw rebound. Again, Jeff Green could learn a thing or two from this guy.
49:20 Melo going for the offensive rebounds. Unsuccessful but I like.49:44 Melo intimidates the guard into not driving then draws the charge. Great defense!50:27-51:01 Melo fumble starts a chain of events. Micah Downs with the very nice drive, Iowa throws it up the floor, Wright rejects Boone, Micah Downs throws it away...more fumbles and Boone ends up with the bucket. Nice hustle by the Red Claws, though.
51:15 Again, Jeff Green with the Chris Wright mentality would be so awesome. Rebounds his own miss and shows hustle.51:20 Fab Melo just appeared underneath the basket out of nowhere. More free throws.
Edit: that was actually poor communication by the defense
52:10 Commentators talk about Fab Melo's rebounding. While it would be nice if he got double digit rebounds, I think he's been boxing out Boone pretty nicely so far. I'm fine with him not grabbing boards if he's denying the other team of rebounds.
54:08 Micah Downs again. This time he draws the foul. I remember him being a jump shooter mostly before today. Hope he gets a chance in the big league. And a steal after he hits the freebies (couldn't finish after going all the way though).55:40 Fab Melo with the jump shot. If you D him up close, he can blow by you with his solid footwork. 56:43 Melo with the outlet leading to the Wright alley-oop. Fab Melo showing his passing skills again
[/url]59:40 Fab Melo out.1:00:05 Sick rejection by Micah Downs.
1:07:30 Fab Melo, Wright back in.
1:08:00 Melo may have lost the ball but at least there's no Perk-wind-up.
1:08:30 This shot is what would be Melo's only miss for the night from the field.
1:09:00 Fab Melo draws the foul on the jumper.1:10:17 Fab Melo slips Boone as Boone attempts to front him and gets the easy lay in.
I feel like Fab has a far better feel for the game right now(not just in scoring the ball but overall. Right there was a great cut though) compared to summer league Melo.1:10:49 Melo was scored on but he seems to be contesting a lot of shots. On top of that, his rotations seem solid so far despite his aggressive help D.
1:12:07 Micah Downs really asserting himself tonight. Very nice shot then an emphatic block on Boone as the half ends.
1:28:20 Defenders sagging off Melo caused that turnover. Might be another one of Melo's "goals".1:29:25 And-1 by Melo. Crazy athleticism and nice awareness of Boone being out of position1:32:04 Nice hustle by the Red Claws's PG (Andre Barrett). I like.1:36:00 Fab Melo on the break off the turnover! Barrett with the very nice find again.1:36:22 Another turnover! Micah Downs posterizes someone!1:36:50 Fab with good positioning on D to complete 24 seconds of good D. Shot clock turnover.1:39:05 Nice handles by Barrett for the layup
1:40:10 Missed dunk by Wright. Nice display of athleticism.
1:41:20 Boone dunk on the break off the long rebound miss. He's making the best of his opportunities when Melo's not all over him.
1:42:07 Fab Melo out
1:42:20 Micah Downs with the floater, again.
1:46:07 Micah Downs on the break with the flush
1:49:30 Fab Melo back in.1:49:54 Fab Melo with the hook shot. Nice touch from a spot quite far from the basket.
1:52:00-1:55:00 4th quarter1:55:20 Fab Melo with the block and good help on D
1:55:35 Nice try by Fab on the offensive glass but he couldn't save that.
1:56:00 Poor rotation by Fab's teammates again
1:56:20 Fab Melo fouled on the jumper. Boone is getting owned tonight.1:57:35 Fab Melo prevented that Boone dunk.
[/b] Not sure if he was awarded the block. (Edit: He's not)
Melo is just not respecting Boone as he's very aggressively helping on D, leaving Boone in good position, and using his athleticism to get back. And it's been working too.
1:58:47 Fab Melo with the easy dunk. Love how he moves without the ball.1:59:00 Fab Melo nice steal but throws it right back. His only turnover of the night right here.2:00:40 Fab Melo with the oop dunk! Barrett again with the assist! Nice awareness by Melo to take advantage of the sleeping defense
2:01:15 First foul from bad positioning by Fab Melo from what I've seen. He's transitioned from the 'Cuse zone very nicely in my opinion.
2:03:33 Fab Melo promptly back in againfor the hurt Vandermeer.
2:05:26 Son of James Silas - Xavier Silas - tying up the game. Barrett with the Red Claws' record for assists on what I believe is his D-League season debut.
2:05:50 I like Fab Melo's positioning on the boards. Nothing for Melo but, like I've said, he prevents opposing rebounds.
2:07:57 Red Claws merchandise. Cute.
2:09:50 Downs with yet another bucket. He's been good tonight.2:10:05 Goaltend by Fab Melo as he shows his absurd athleticism appearing out of nowhere to nail that shot.2:10:48 Good job by Fab not fouling against the guard penetration. Good D.[/b]
2:11:07 Another block by Micah Downs.
2:11:50 Micah Downs with the weird shot that goes in somehow. Crucial shot.2:15:00 Hard screen by Melo and Silas hits the wide open J.
2:16:08 Fab Melo with a hard foul. 2:18:10 Fab Melo with another block and Wright converts a CONTESTED alley oop on the other end! (Edit: block was awarded to Wright. Both Melo and Wright went up for the block)2:18:38 Fab Melo with the nice rotation on the penetration and great recovery on Boone immediately after, preventing 2 potential buckets
2:20:47 Chris Wright with the sick block![/b]
2:23:30 Silas is a nice player. He should ice the game with these free throws.2:25:40 Hard foul by Fab Melo. Nice rotation by Fab Melo against a guard with a full head of steam.
Melo fouls out.
2:29:00 foul game here on out.