While the Warriors already have gone through 25 games of this bizarre NBA season, the G League opened its Orlando bubble Wednesday with a bang.
The Santa Cruz Warriors' comeback attempt against the G League Ignite, a team featuring a handful of top 2021 NBA Draft prospects, fell short in a 109-104 loss. All eyes were on prospects Jonathan Kuminga, Jalen Green and Daishen Nix, as well as recent Warriors draft picks Nico Mannion and Jordan Poole, and former NBA stars like Jeremy Lin and Jarrett Jack.
Here's how the notable names performed to kick off this year's G League season.
Santa Cruz Warriors
Has it really been nine years since "Linsanity" took over the basketball world? It still feels like yesterday, but Lin now is 32 years old and fighting for a chance to get back into the NBA.
Lin was good, not great against the Ignite. He finished with 18 points and five assists, going 4-for-9 from the field over 30 minutes. There's no doubt he looked like he could provide solid minutes to an NBA team right now. At the same time, he might have to be lights out to get a real shot.
Though Lin is in the spotlight due to his past NBA success, the Warriors need Nico Mannion and Jordan Poole to play well for Santa Cruz to show they have bright futures as pros. Poole led Santa Cruz with 22 points while playing a game-high 33 minutes. He went just 7-for-22 from the field and 2-for-9 from deep but did finish with a game-high plus-22 in plus-minus.
Mannion played 32 minutes, scored 17 points and dished six assists. The second-round pick also struggled from the field (6-for-18, 3-for-9 from 3) and finished with an ugly minus-17 in plus-minus.
It was an up-and-down day for both young guards, and the Warriors will continue closely monitoring the two of them.
G League Ignite
Kuminga continues to put himself in the conversation for the top pick in this year's draft. Kuminga is a 6-foot-6, 210-pound wing who can do a bit of everything. He led the Ignite with 19 points while also finishing with four assists, two rebounds and two blocked shots. Though he went just 1-for-7 from deep, it's clear his potential is sky-high.
He also sealed the victory for the Ignite with a devastating block on Poole.
Green is the other prospect on this team who will generate the most noise when it comes to the draft. He's an elite athlete who knows how to rack up points. The 6-foot-6 shoot guard had 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. His shot needs some fine-tuning but his athleticism makes him a top pick already.
Remember, the Warriors own the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected pick and either one of these players could be bound for Golden State if they fall outside of the top three picks.
Nix isn't as highly regarded of a prospect as Green and Kuminga but could be a steal in the second half of the first round. The 6-foot-5 point guard already plays like a vet, and put up 12 points, three assists and three rebounds, and nailed his only attempt from beyond the arc.
Yes, the spotlight was on the youngsters. However, the Ignite also feature some seasoned veterans, including a former Warriors fan favorite.
Jarrett Jack, now 37 years old (!), stole the show in Orlando. The 13-year NBA vet led all scorers with 23 points in 19 minutes. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from long distance and went 9-for-10 from the field.
He last played in the NBA on April 11, 2018.
The G League bubble will be huge for draft evaluators figuring out what players like Kuminga, Green and Nix can be at the next level after skipping college. This also is a great opportunity for Lin and Jack as they look to continue their basketball lives.
For Game 1, the G League bubble brought all the fireworks at Walt Disney World.