Tag Archive for: skyforce

Next up from the Skyforce: who could be in NBA soon?

As I’ve stated numerous times, this Skyforce team had a ton of talent. The Skyforce had 5 players get NBA call-ups, but that is not all the talent they had. There are 2 players that I believe are next in line for the NBA. For today’s installment of the Skyforce season review, we will look at those players and see why they deserve the promotion.


Caleb Daniels

Caleb Daniels has quickly become one of my favorite Skyforce players, and no it’s not because he joined the podcast. Daniels is a player that always makes the right play. These players are valuable because you always know what you will get from them. Too many players try to force things and that gets them into trouble, but Daniels consistently takes what the defense gives him. He never tries to do too much. If a play is not there, he won’t try to force it. Daniels is also capable of hitting open threes at a high clip. Daniels is a good defender and is willing to do the dirty work on the defensive end. Maybe my favorite thing about Caleb Daniels is his physicality and his willingness to rebound. He is never shy of contact. One of the most underrated aspects of basketball is guard rebounding and Daniels excels at it, simply because he prioritizes it. 

Daniels has the mindset of an NBA player already as well. He loves to work hard, and he understands that to earn minutes you have to put in the work with no one watching. This was evident as he was able to expand his role throughout the season and by the end of the year, Daniels was one of the most important players on the team. Another thing I love about Daniels is that he’s willing to do whatever the team needs. If the team needs a spot-up shooter, He’s willing to do that. If the team needs a guy to play physical defense in the next game, he’s willing to do that. If the team needs someone to facilitate, once again he is willing to do that. He is willing to sacrifice any part of his game for the betterment of the team. If I’m scouting for an NBA team and I see a guy willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team, even for the detriment of his stats, that is the guy I want. 

There’s a large misconception out there that all you have to do is score and that’s how you’re going to become an NBA player and that is just not true. Teams are looking for players to perform a specific role and supplement their roster. When Daniels joined my podcast, The Force with Matt and Major, he discussed how Villanova prepared him for the NBA. He started his NCAA career at Tulane and was the go-to guy that could do whatever he wanted. Then he went to Villanova, and it was a wake-up call. He learned that you’ll have to sacrifice if you want to win and if you want to even play. Daniels said he learned over time how to sacrifice, and I would argue that this has been one of the biggest benefits to his pro career so far. This is because everyone who is a professional basketball player is incredible at the game. They’re all used to being the go-to guy at some point in their basketball lives, but not everyone understands how to play team basketball and understands that sometimes it is better to sacrifice a part of your game for the betterment of the team.

Daniels has proven quickly that he not only has the skills required to be an NBA player, but that he also has the mindset. I believe any team would be thrilled to have a guy like Caleb Daniels on the roster. He is a perfect plug-and-play type player, and you never will have any doubts about his work ethic. 


Check out the podcast with Caleb Daniels right HERE….



Josh Christopher

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I love Josh Christopher. He’s a flat-out bucket-getter, and when he has it going, he’s unstoppable. Christopher is a former first-round draft pick by the Houston Rockets, so we know the talent is there. He has plenty of NBA experience, so adjustment to the NBA should not be a problem. Christopher also was on a two-way contract this year with the Salt Lake City Stars and the Utah Jazz. NBA teams recognize the talent Christopher has; we just need a little bit more consistency from him. Once he gets that consistency then he is in the NBA for good.

 When I watch Josh Christopher play, I see a smooth player. His movements are fluid on the offensive end and plays like a player in control of his body. There are not many times you feel like Christopher is out of control and put himself in a bad spot. He plays at his pace and dictates the speed at which the play will go. He does not allow the defense to rush him, he understands the defense has to react to him. This was displayed even more towards the end of the year when Christopher became more of the go-to scorer. 

When Alondes Williams was up with the Miami Heat, Christopher was relied on to fill that role. This is the role he is most comfortable with, though on the Stars he did play more of a point guard role and was playing rather well. So, it is not unreasonable to think that he could develop into an all-around playmaker. I could very much see Josh Christopher developing into a microwave scorer off the bench for an NBA team. Think of a guy that you put in when you just need points. Christopher can make tough shots which allows him to combat the defense no matter what they throw at him.

 As I mentioned earlier, I would like to see some more consistency out of Josh Christopher. There are a few too many games where he has stretches when he struggles from the field. To get an NBA contract you have to be consistent. Another thing that would help Christopher land a contract would be to improve on the defensive end. He has all the tools to become a solid defender, so there is potential to do so, we just have not seen that part of his game blossom yet. 

Josh Christopher is an NBA player in my eyes. I predict a big leap coming from Christopher in the next year. I would not be surprised if he is on the Alondes Williams trajectory and by this time next year, we are talking about how his explosive scoring performances landed him an NBA contract.

Caleb Daniels and Josh Christopher are both players that deserve a chance at the next level. Though it is easy to overlook their contributions, they were both vital to the Skyforce’s success. On a team that had an enormous amount of talent, they were able to carve out their place and make a name for themselves. This time next year, I believe they both will have earned their chance in the NBA. 

Skyforce Report: The Call-Ups during a successful season

The Skyforce season is over after losing to the Oklahoma City Blue in the Western Conference Semifinals of the G League playoffs. This concludes a fabulous campaign from the Skyforce overall. They started the G League regular season 9-0 and used that to power them to the number two seed in the Western Conference. Most notably, there were five players on the team to get NBA deals. This was a stacked roster to start the year and like any good G League team, they had a lot of change. The change was mostly due to players getting deals. Let’s take a look at some of the players and their accomplishments this year.


Alondes Williams

Alondes Williams started the year with a great Heat camp and many were hoping he would get the last Heat roster spot. Unfortunately, Williams did not get the last spot and started the year with a standard G League contract. He quickly let everyone know that his NBA deal was coming soon though.  


When a two-way spot opened up with the Miami Heat, Williams was among the favorites to receive the deal. Quickly the Heat signed Williams, and this was because of his fast improvement and his polish on the offensive end. He is a flat-out bucket-getter and can score points in a hurry, but that is not all he can do. Williams can also dish out assists, making him an all-around offensive player who has the potential to be a long-time NBA player. Williams finished the year winning the Most Improved Player for the G League, which is quite an award to win in a league focused on development.  Alondes Williams has put his name on the map for Miami Heat fans, now he is trying to make sure no one forgets his name.


Jamaree Bouyea, Drew Peterson, and Justin Champagnie. 


Bouyea, Peterson, and Champagnie all received two-way contracts with other NBA teams this year and they all did it in different ways. 


Peterson got his first with the Boston Celtics after being a do-it-all guy for the Skyforce. Anyone who has followed my content knows how much I love Peterson. He just plays basketball the right way. Even though he’s in the Celtics organization, I still love him just as much. He is the ultimate plug-and-play player. There is not a more versatile player in the G League than Peterson


Justin Champagnie signed a 10-day deal with the Washington Wizards and then parlayed that into a two-way contract. Champagnie is a guard/forward that can get points in a hurry. Once he is hot there is no stopping him, especially from three. He invites contact and excels at driving, and maybe the best thing he did with the Skyforce was his rebounding from the guard/forward position. He was an offensive catalyst that could win any game by himself on any given night. 


Jamaree Bouyea signed a two-way contract with the San Antonio Spurs, and he earned this contract by being an excellent point guard in all facets of the game. In my opinion, Bouyea was the most important player on the Skyforce this season. Bouyea stuffed the stat sheet on the offensive and defensive end. He also was making sure guys were lined up correctly, and that the offense was running smoothly. Bouyea also knew when the team needed him to score or when they needed him to facilitate and set up other scores. He was a perfect fit for the Skyforce. 


Malik Williams 


Malik Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Toronto Raptors right before the G League playoffs, which was a huge blow to the Skyforce. Williams was a dominant rebounder and was always reliable down low. He was also willing to space out and shoot the three. Williams has a smooth shooting motion that made him trustworthy. Outside of Orlando Robinson, Malik Williams was by far the best center the Skyforce had this year. Another cool note was that Williams played against the Miami Heat in the final two games of the regular season. We will continue to keep our fingers crossed that Williams gets a longer NBA deal soon. 

Skyforce report: Olin Carter making a name for himself

Do any players come to mind when you think of a microwave scorer? Is there one guy that comes to mind who never makes just one shot and always seems to make them in bunches? To me the first player I always think of is Max Strus, it never seems like he just made just one shot. Anytime he hit one three-pointer you knew another was coming shortly after. For the Skyforce, that would be Olin Carter, when Carter gets hot there is simply no stopping him, as a defense you just have to pray he misses from then on.

We saw that this past weekend.

Saturday, Carter had 23 points and 6 threes.  Sunday, Carter had a little bit more of a quiet game until he hit the biggest shot, draining the game-winning three in the final seconds to lead the Skyforce to a thrilling victory.

Carter has emerged to be one of the more important players on the Skyforce. He’s gone from being a secondary piece to being more of a focal point. They need his shooting and scoring mightily at times. Carter understands this and is always willing to get his shot off. Like any shooter he’s looking for his shot and hunting it, just waiting for one to go in to start a show. So, how has Carter risen through the ranks of the Skyforce in a short time? It’s simple, he always stays ready, he’s always prepared. That can be difficult in a league where there’s so much change from game to game and there’s so much focus on development.

Through the changes, Carter tries to keep a mindset that you can only control what you can control. Carter states, “I just try to stay ready for whatever situation I face through staying in the gym and making sure that I’m always locked in. The G League is a league where you can get DNPs at the end of the rotation one night, and then 3 days later you’re starting and playing 40 minutes. It’s a league where you have to always be ready for the opportunity and take advantage of it when it comes.” This mindset has been displayed on the court, by his important minutes. To earn a spot quickly one has to earn the trust of the coaches first. And that is by doing everything behind the scenes and having a good attitude about the situation. 


One thing I love about Carter is he knows what he’s good at and typically does not try to do too much. He knows his biggest strength is shooting, so that’s what he looks for, but there has been a recent development in his ability to do more than just shoot. I asked Carter what he’s been working on to improve his game and what his biggest strength was to see if he had another opinion he said “I think my biggest strength is my ability to shoot the ball. I think what I’ve improved on most and am continuing to improve on is my versatility. I want to be a guy who can score at 3 levels, play high-level defense, and be able to run a team. My versatility is something I’m always working on.”


What I like about Carter is that he’s been putting in the work behind the scenes to expand his game and then putting it into practice during games. Anyone can do work when people are watching and will work on the things they already do well because that’s more fun and easier. The hard thing to do is to work on something that you’re not as good as to try to improve it. That’s more frustrating and some people avoid that frustration, Carter embraces it and then displays it in real games. This improvement in versatility makes him more valuable because even when he’s not hitting shots, he can still find other ways to contribute. He’s been more of a ball handler instead of a shot hunter. Now yes, while he and I have said his best thing is still shooting, he now has versatility that makes him harder to guard because you’re not looking out for just one thing.

He’s not as one-dimensional, which is required to be a consistent difference maker. This aligns with Carter’s main goal of the year and his personal goal, “My personal goal is to set myself up to play at the highest level I can next year. And my team goal is to win that G League championship.” To achieve both of these goals Carter has to continue to expand his game and become more versatile. His understanding of this is a large reason why he has grown as a basketball player. His work aligns with his goals. Everything he does helps lead to the completion of them. He is decisive in his approach and is not wasting energy on things that don’t matter. I love it when a player is obsessed with improving, that’s how people make it in this world of basketball. I love the constant self-reflection and constant grind when no one is watching. Olin Carter is doing just that he’s putting in the work behind the scenes when no one will know and it’s starting to show itself on the court. Carter wants readers to know that it isn’t just him though. His teammates and coaches are putting in the work as well, this is why there has been so much success. Though it’s a team effort, he wants to shout out one of his coaches, Carter says “I want to give a shoutout to my coach Nate Wilson. He’s been in the gym with me grinding every day and has helped me find my rhythm since I’ve been here.”

So, if you’re wondering how Olin Carter has risen up the ranks of the Skyforce in such a short time, it’s because while I’m writing this and while you’re reading this Carter is in the gym working on his game.

Skyforce need to solve their defensive issues

The Skyforce still has the best record in the G League, currently sitting at 12-4. When having the best record in the league it can be hard to be disappointed, but that is the feeling when I think about the Skyforce’s recent play. Since starting the regular season 9-0, they are now 3-4 in their last 7 games and have been showing more weakness. Yes, they have been trying to integrate fresh players and figure out a new rotation, but that does not excuse some of the issues we see on the court.

I previously mentioned that to get back on track the Skyforce needs to tighten up their defense, this simply has not been the case. They have gotten worse. The Skyforce have let up 125.2 points per game in their last 5 games. That is simply unacceptable and there have been a couple of reasons for this. The biggest thing that stands out is the lack of personal passion in playing defense. Too many times guys are not putting in the extra effort needed to get stops. It is not uncommon to see players disengaged on the defensive end and looking like they don’t care.

There have been several instances of lazy defense being played. There have been many halfhearted “steal” attempts and throwing out their hands for “help” defense. The only way to fix this is to have personal pride in your match-up. It should hurt when someone scores on you, it should make you upset. Now I understand that defense isn’t sexy and doesn’t get fans as excited, but it is necessary to consistently win basketball games. If the Skyforce wants to get back to their dominant play, it has to start on the defensive end.

They can’t expect to just “out-talent” other teams. They have to earn each win, and recently they haven’t done the necessary things to get the wins. I asked Jamaree Bouyea about what he feels the team can do to turn this around and he stated, “I think we have a great group of talent and if we just take it day by day and game by game, we will get back to being ourselves as a team.” They need to take it game by game like Bouyea said, each game is important. They cannot get caught up in their record. This team truly has a chance to do something special, if they want to get back to championship form, they need to turn it up on the defensive end. 

Jamaree Bouyea

The Skyforce has been more fluid on offense recently. I feel a large reason for this is players sacrificing aspects of their game for the betterment of the team. The person who sticks out the most in this regard is Jamaree Bouyea. I previously wrote about how his role has changed to be more of a facilitator and how he is not having the number of shots he is used to, and this is still true. I was able to ask him about his thoughts on it and he said, “My role is a bit different than last year for sure, but I still think I have to find ways to contribute as much as possible. Overall, finding ways to score, make plays for others, and defending is what I take pride in and try to do on a nightly basis.” I love this answer because it shows that he understands that his game has to continue to adapt to best fit the team. The Skyforce have an abundance of scoring talent, but what they lack, at times, is a guy to set up easy baskets. Bouyea has taken on that role and has flourished. As for an NBA call-up, like I’ve been saying he deserves, Bouyea has the perfect attitude “All I can say is that I’ll continue to play the right way and play to win. Opportunities will come when they are supposed to.” 

RJ Hampton

RJ Hampton looks to have found his footing with the Skyforce. The past two games have been Hampton’s best games of the year. He’s finished with stat lines of 27/6/8 and 18/7/6 respectively. He has been attacking the basket more and having more energy when he plays. He looks much more comfortable and seems to understand his role better. His efficiency has spiked because of this. Hampton needs to continue to play to his strengths and rely on them more. Overall, a promising stretch for Hampton, the Skyforce have to be thrilled with his recent play. 

Malik Williams 

I have been impressed by Malik Williams in recent games. He has been a good stretch 5 and a weapon for the Skyforce. Through 16 regular season games, Williams is averaging 10.7 points and 7.2 rebounds on 49.6% from the field and 45% from three. He has made the most of every opportunity he has received and has become an important part of the team. There is not a game that goes by, that Williams’s impact is not felt. He has improved as the season has progressed and is playing his best basketball as of late. If he continues at this level of play, then he could receive NBA interest. 


Skyforce finally start to stumble some

After starting the G League regular season 9-0, the Sioux Falls Skyforce have now dropped 2 of their last three. The Skyforce still leads the Western Conference with 10 wins but has dropped to 2nd in win percentage. Let’s dive into some takeaways and player notes. 

The Skyforce recently played two close games against the Maine Celtics splitting the series 1-1. These were 2 of the toughest games the Skyforce have played all year and were a good learning experience. I asked Coach Powell about what the Celtics do specifically that makes them a tough team to play, and he said, “They are a very talented team and have a good mixture of young guys and vets. They are well-coached and play hard. They have all the elements to make a good team at any level.” This was clear as the Celtics were not lacking any firepower to keep up with a talented Skyforce team. Typically, you see the Skyforce pull away quickly from teams due to the sheer talent on the roster, but the Celtics were able to go blow for blow and even carried a 4-point lead at the end of the 3rd quarter in both matchups. One of the players who gave them trouble was Drew Peterson, who was on the Skyforce during the Showcase Cup part of the season. In the 2nd matchup, Peterson was simply on fire and finished with a career-high of 30 points.

I asked Coach Powell about what makes Peterson special, and he said “He is a versatile player. He can shoot from outside, has length, and can shoot from midrange. He is a confident player and got it going. The rim probably looked huge to him, it was not surprising what he did today, we know he can do it.” Peterson was showing his versatility, especially in his scoring. He was hitting threes as well as getting open looks in the midrange and at the rim. He consistently makes the right plays. Coach Powell also added a laugh and said, “I wish he didn’t have to do it to us.” That we can all agree on. 

For the Skyforce to get back on track I believe they need to tighten up the defense and find more chemistry. In their two losses, they gave up 129 and 131 points, respectively. There has been a lack of resistance to drivers and there have been too many ill-advised steal attempts. They need better discipline to know when it is okay to gamble. There were several instances of a failed steal attempt leaving the defense vulnerable. This was something they had balanced perfectly during their hot start, but now they are slipping into unhealthy habits.

On the offensive end, they need to continue to find ways to mesh. This team has an abundance of talent, numerous guys could be on an NBA roster right now. So much talent on one team can make it difficult to figure out who is the go-to guy and how to distribute shots. Though, I bet they will figure it out and get back on another long winning streak. Their next game is on January 30th against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, who are currently 1st in the Western Conference. 


Josh Christopher 

The Skyforce added to a stacked roster and picked up Josh Christopher. He is a former 1st round pick in the NBA Draft and played 2 years in the NBA. Skyforce fans might remember Christopher because on January 7th he lit up the Skyforce for 34 points. Having so much talent on one team can sometimes be challenging but Christopher is not worried about the chemistry saying that they “just need time” and he is “willing to sacrifice and adapt. To help the team.” For him personally, he is coming from the Salt Lake City Stars where he primarily had the ball in his hands, now he is taking on a completely different role. He is playing more off-ball and is not getting the same usage as he was on the Stars. I asked him how this adjustment would be, and he said “Playing in the flow of the game is something I have done all my life. With the Stars, I had the opportunity to be a PG and have the ball in my hands more. With the Skyforce I will go back to playing in the flow like I have done all my life.” This is clear as he is shooting 52% from the field in his three games with the Skyforce and it looks like he has been with the team all year. As for what the fans can look forward to the most about Christopher joining the team, “Fans can look forward to me being a workhorse. I can be an electric player and I will bring a hard-nosed mentality to the team.” 


Jamaree Bouyea

Bouyea is a Skyforce fan favorite and for good reason. Last year in his rookie year he was All-NBA G League 2nd team and NBA G League All-Rookie team. Bouyea has backed this up with another good season and is currently averaging 14.7/5.5/6.6 on 47% shooting and 39% from three. He is also doing work on the defensive end averaging 2.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Bouyea is the definition of an all-around player. There is not a thing on the Basketball court that he can’t do. Though he can do it all Bouyea excels at getting to the basket with his quickness. This not only gives him easy opportunities at the rim but also helps set up his teammates for easy buckets. His ability to blow by defenders makes the defense play back opening up good looks from three as well. With the addition of Christopher, Bouyea’s role has changed a little bit. He has had to sacrifice some of his shots and become more of a facilitator. He has excelled in this role and has been dominating games by controlling the flow of the offense. Bouyea has consistently broken down his defender and then dumped the ball off to a cutting teammate or has kicked the ball out for a wide-open three. Sometimes looking at the state sheet doesn’t tell the whole story about Bouyea, you need to watch the games to see all that he does. I’ll continue to say it, Jamaree Bouyea deserves to be on an NBA roster. It’s criminal he isn’t on one already.