RJ Nembhard Jr. made his presence felt immediately in Sunday afternoon’s Charge game after spending the last month up with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He filled out the stat sheet in the first quarter as he came out with four points, three boards, three assists and was a team high +8 after the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks affiliate College Park Skyhawks.
“It’s definitely different being up with the Cavs,” said Nembhard after not playing for the Charge since Feb. 23. “You play some games. You don’t play some games. You’re working out a lot but nothing beats game reps. Being able to come down here and play was definitely needed. Instead of playing 5 to 10 minutes with the Cavs you’re playing 35 or 40 minutes here. Being able to maintain that consistency for four quarter is needed.”
The Charge kept things close through three quarters, but they didn’t have the needed consistency to close the game. The Skyhawks opened the fourth up three, but an 11-4 run midway through the quarter pushed the lead to 14 which proved too much for the Charge to overcome. Seven-year NBA veteran Langston Galloway contributed 14 points of his 25 points in the final frame to lead the Skyhawks to a 10-point victory.
Nembhard looked confident offensively on Sunday afternoon even if he wasn’t as efficient as he would’ve liked.
“I wasn’t efficient in the minutes I played but I like how I valued the basketball most importantly.” Valuing the ball more and growing as a point guard has been one of the main things he has worked on during his time with the Charge. He finished the afternoon with 26 points on shooting nine of 26 shooting with six assists, nine rebounds and two turnovers.
“I learned a lot [this last month with the Cavs] about playing at a different pace as a lead guard.” Nembhard said. “How to compete. How to read coverages, mismatches. Just things having to do with the IQ part of the game.”
Cameron Young was the Charge’s leading scorer yet again on Sunday, as he finished with 28 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal on 10-19 shooting which included going six of 12 from three. This was the third game in a row Young has finished with 28 or more points.
“I love playing with him,” said Nembhard when asked how his first game playing with Yong went. “He’s very smart and doesn’t force things. He lets things come to him and is a big time shot maker.”
The Charge were without Brandon Goodwin (not with team), Malik Newman (wrist) and Justin James (ankle) on Sunday. Wes Iwundu went down with an apparent ankle injury in the third quarter. He needed help to the bench but was able to return to play shortly afterwards. He finished with 11 points and a steal