On Sunday night, the Drew League hosted the Goodman League in a rematch between the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. based pro-am leagues. After losing by a point in D.C., the Drew league were able to even the summer series against the Goodman league with a 151-144 win featuring over a dozen NBA guys.
*The Goodman league was led by John Wall (55 points) and Kevin Durant (50 points) who both put on a scoring clinic. Wall’s on-ball speed might have been one of the more impressive things I saw during the game as he was able to make the Suns ’06 “7-seconds or less” offense seem like a lifetime by comparison. Wall got in the paint at will using his ability to change pace and a variety of crossovers, and when he got in the paint, he put on a show finishing off a few dunks that got the attention of the crowd.
*Durant, who spent the whole summer burning down gyms and arenas, scored 50 with a barrage of three-pointers, fade away jumpers, turn-around fade aways and dunks. A few guys took a shot at guarding him, but Durant was able to go to work in almost every isolation situation and find a way to get a bucket.
*It was nice to see Rudy Gay back on the floor. Gay suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last year and Sunday’s game was one of the first times he’s been able to get back on the floor and play. He wasn’t the scorer that we’re used to seeing, but he had a few nice moves off the dribble and threw down a couple of mean dunks.
*On the Drew side, James Harden had the most impressive night in terms of the box score. He poured in 48 points, taking on all defenders. No, seriously. James Harden took on everyone as he was shooting the ball almost every time he touched it, leading to an exchange with a fan who pleaded for him to pass. Nonetheless, Harden was incredibly difficult for any of the Goodman league guys to handle individually. His strength and athleticism definitely set him apart from almost everyone else on the floor. His beard was a bit tough to handle, too.
*Early in the game, Nick Young was a bit frustrating to watch as he tried to run the show at the point, but he had a few nice dunks and played very well down the stretch. His jumper was falling when the game’s intensity started to pick up. The game was tight with just a few minutes left, and Young helped the Drew League pull away from the Goodman league with a couple of contested jumpers from around the pinch post.
*Finally, the Lakers own Matt Barnes may have been the single biggest reason the Drew League was able to pull away from the Goodman League. Barnes was assigned to guard Durant down the stretch, and only gave up five points to Durant during the last 4-plus minutes. After Durant nailed a three in Barnes grill, Barnes ripped a Durant crossover which led to a fast break bucket. A few possessions later, Barnes picked up a loose ball that would have easily led to a Goodman dunk on the other end and was able to lay it end extending the Drew lead to two possessions. I don’t have a copy of the official box score, but I believe Barnes finished 2nd in scoring for the Drew League with 20.