PROVO, Utah - Kings draft choice Isaiah Thomas summed up his feelings about the impending news NBA training camps will be postponed and preseason games canceled with no end to the NBA lockout imminent.
"It's going to suck," Thomas said.
That's how the rest of the rookies playing in Jimmer's All-Stars exhibiton game Thursday night at Marriott Center probably feel.
Same goes for anyone that is a fan of the NBA.
At least for one night, there were some games featuring NBA talent in front of a good crowd.
Thomas became a fan favorite quickly. He's sure to be someone Kings fans will love to watch.
Too bad we have no idea when that opportunity will come.
"This made it feel like you had something to play for and you're playing against pros," Thomas said. "You're playing with NBA rules and the crowd was out there cheering for you. Going home (Frday) it's going to be a little quiet in my little apartment."
Well on to the game, won by Team Leonard over Team Fredette, 140-26
I'll start with the three Kings
27 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, 9-of-20 shooting (3-of-8 on threes).
Fredette definitely showed he can make the NBA three, but we already knew that. Driving into the lane wasn't as easy, especially when Charlotte draft pick Bismack Biyombo was in the game for Team Leonard. Fredette will have to learn how to finish in the paint against the size he'll encounter in the NBA. Fredette's passing was impressive.
Here's Fredette on how he played:
"I thought I did all right. I've got to continue to get better. I think everybody in this gym wants to get better. First NBA game with the minutes played, the way the game is played with the three seconds defensively, with all the TV timeouts and everything. It's something you've got to get used to, a longer game. But it was tons of fun and I'll continue to keep working to get better because obviously we still have a lot to work on."
Here's Fredette speaking on being a point guard in the NBA:
"You've just got to be able to run the team, whatever it is that the coach wants on that given night. We'll have different game plans depending on the match ups and it's my job to as a point guard to find those match ups and exploit them as best as I can. So I'm looking forward to be able to do that. It's all about your basketball IQ, being a smart basketball player, taking your opportunities to score because I can do that well and that's a threat of mine. But also be able to get others involved so it's a fine line you've just got to go out there and find it."
Tyler Honeycutt (Team Fredette)
14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, 7-of-14 shooting
Honeycutt showed the versatile game he's advertised to have. He's a much better athlete than you'd know, which has become common for anyone that's played at UCLA under Ben Howland. Honeycutt finished around the rim well and with creativity.
Isaiah Thomas (Team Leonard)
19 points, eight rebounds, two assists, 8-for-18 shooting (3-of-6 on threes)
If any player left Marriott Center with more fans than when they arrived, it was Thomas. He wowed fans with his dunks (yes the 5-foot-9 guard can get up there) and showmanship. Thomas knew when to play to the crowd and they loved it.
Honeycutt, who played against Thomas in college, wasn't surprised by Thomas' dunks.
"I know he's got like a 40 inch (vert) and he's small so it might not look like that but he can get up there," Honeycutt said.
Thomas said getting up like that isn't a part of his gameplan.
"I don't know the last time I touched the rim," Thomas said. "I told the guys that (dunks happen) only every now and then. Today was a good day."
*There were several standouts from the game. Here's who stuck out the most from my perspective:
*Tobias Harris' (Milwaukee) game looked effortless at times. He scored 24 points for Team Leonard.
*Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio) looked good in getting to the rim (24 points, 10 rebounds).
Teams are barred contacting players, but Leonard figures the Spurs will see how he looked.
"I'm pretty sure they want to see what we've been up to," Leonard said. "I know for sure they've got an eye out."
*Biyombo (10 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots) looked comfortable controlling the paint. It will be interesting to see how he fits in with Charlotte.
*Kemba Walker (Charlotte) had 23 points and four assists for Team Leonard.
*Nolan Smith (Portland) led all scorers with 30 points. He also had a game-high 13 assists for Team Fredette.
"I just wanted to come out and be aggressive and make plays," Smith said. "My shot started to fall and I was really trying to as many assists as I could."
The lockout was still on Smith's mind, too.
"I just wanted to take this in knowing this might be the last real game I play for a long time," he said.
*Kenneth Faried (Denver) looked like the perfect player to replace Kenyon Martin for the Nuggets. He was active defensively and finished around the basket in finishing with 23 points, a game-high 17 rebounds and three blocked shots for Team Fredette.