LAS VEGAS -- The first annual NBA D-League All-Star Game gave scouts the chance to see if any of these players, regarded as the league's finest, have the goods to make the NBA.
The players, eager to prove they can play at an NBA level, competed aggressively from the start of the game until the final buzzer. You probably won't see as much intensity from their NBA All-Star counterparts, who typically coast in the beginning of All-Star games and dial up the intensity during the last quarter.
These players managed to distinguish themselves during Saturday's game.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu, FW Flyers, MVP, 30 pts., 7 rebs., 2 blks.
Though undersized for the power forward spot, Mensah-Bonsu has impressive athleticism. He had a number of highlight reel dunks during the game, displaying his explosive jumping ability. Mensah-Bonsu also wowed the crowd with some emphatic block shots. Mensah-Bonsu did not show many moves in the post during the game. Dallas recently recalled Mensah-Bonsu and to remain in the league, Mensah-Bonsu will have to work on his shooting and play as an energy guy off the bench.
Brian Chase, Los Angeles D-Fenders, 15 points, 5 rebounds
The diminutive Chase, listed at 5-8, shot the ball well particularly from three-point range. He has good lift on his jumper and a smooth follow-through. Chase has good quickness and used it to keep defenders off-balance during the game. He also showed a knack for splitting the double teams when running the pick and roll.
Elton Brown, Colorado 14ers, 16 points, 6 rebounds
Brown has a playing style similar to a center, though he lacks the height of a center. He did most of his work with his back to the basket in the post, relying on footwork and pump fakes, to compensate for his lack of explosion off the floor.
Pooh Jeter, Colorado 14ers, 14 points, 5 assists
Jeter displayed deft ball-handling skills throughout the game. Jeter has good vision, hitting open teammates for shots. Though undersized, Jeter attacked constantly when he ran the offense.
Renaldo Major, Dakota Wizards, 14 points, 4 rebounds
Major exhibited the open court ability that earned him a brief stay with Golden State earlier this season. Major handled the ball very well on the break and finished on the break effectively. He also broke down defenders off the dribble and got to the rim.
Luke Schenscher, Fort Worth Flyers, 15 points, 6 rebounds
Schenscher ran the court effectively, receiving passes from teammates, finishing with lay-ups on fast breaks. Schenscher demonstrated good hands, catching some hard passes and converting them into baskets. Schenscher did not show much in the post.