Wednesday, July 05, 2023

California Classic

Larkin and I went to the California Classic. Over the course of two days, Golden 1 Center is hosting six teams [Kings, Warriors, Lakers, Heat, Spurs and Hornets] featuring rookies selected in the 2023 NBA Draft, sophomores and athletes competing to make the NBA and G League regular season rosters. Sharon and I went to some of the games in 2018.

With so many unknown players, I made a point of focusing on watching picks in this year's NBA draft. Although he initially indicated that he was going to attend, Victor Wembanyama dropped out.

In the first game, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Charlotte Hornets by the score of 98 to 83. I focused on watching Brandon Miller; he was the second overall pick. I was shocked at how badly he played. Miller looked lost and out of place. Playing 28 minutes of a 40 minute game, he had 6 points on 2 for 4 from the field, 1 for 2 from three and 1 for 1 from free throw line. Miller added 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 turnovers, 1 steal and 8 fouls. In the summer league games, a player get 10 fouls!?!

Brandin Podziemski (Santa Clara) was the 19th pick in the 2023 draft for the Warriors. He had 17 points in 26 minutes. Podziemski was 7 for 14 from the field, 2 for 6 from three and 1 for 4 free throw line.

The San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 109 to 99 in the second game of the night. I focused on Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana); he was drafted 17th overall by the Lakers. Hood-Schifino had a solid night. In 31 minutes, he hadd 20 points on 8 for 17 from the field, 0 for 4 from three and 4 for 7 from the free throw line.

The Spurs leading scorer was Malaki Branham. In 26 minutes, he had 32 points on 12 for 24 from the field, 3 for 6 from three and 5 for 5 from the free throw line. Branham was drafted by the Spurs with the 20th pick in the 2022 NBA draft. He apppeared in 66 games for the Spurs last year and started 32 games.

The final game of the night was the Sacramento Kings versus the Miami Heat. The Kings won by the score of 95 to 83. The Kings roster is here. Keegan Murray, Kessler Edwards and Jalen Slawson (Furman) played. Slawson was the 54th pick in the 2023 NBA draft; the Kings traded their first round pick. Having played in the NBA playoffs last year against Golden State, I felt like Murray and Edwards were head and shoulders better than any of the Heat players.

Keegan Murray was the high scorer for the Kings. In 31 minutes, he was 11 for 20 from the field, 6 for 11 from three and 13 for 15 from the free throw line.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. (UCLA) was drafted 18th in the 2023 NBA Draft by the Heat. He didn't impress me. In 16 minutes, Jaquez was 1 for 6 from the field, 1 for 2 from three and 1 for 2 from the free throw line.

Nikola Jovic was the high scorer for the Heat. He was drafted by Miami with the 27th pick of the 2022 NBA Draft. In 26 minutes, he was 6 for 13 from the field, 3 for 5 from three and 7 for 8 from the free throw line.

It was nice to have a chance to catch up with Larkin.

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