The Cleveland Charge were ran off the floor as the Delaware Blue Coats picked up an easy 110-94 win.
This one was over before it started. Cleveland was forced to play without three of their regular starters as Sharife Cooper (ankle), Isaiah Mobley (illness) and Sam Merrill (concussion) all missed tonight’s action on top of Mamadi Diakite being away with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jamorko Pickett tried to will the Charge to victory with his 27 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the talent disparity.
Delaware on the other hand is a very good team that played two two-way guys in Louis King and Julian Champagnie in addition to having Jaden Springer on assignment from the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Blue Coats used their length to disrupt a Charge team missing any reliable ball handling. Cleveland had a tough time generating consistent offense as they shot 39.8% from the field and 16.7% from distance. This allowed the Blue Coats to get out in transition early and often as they outscored the Charge 19-9 in fast-break points.
Delaware guard Mac McClung, who will be competing in this year’s dunk contest, provided the highlight of the night when he threw down a 360 fastbreak dunk.
MAC MCCLUNG @blue_coats pic.twitter.com/tKfPZYuHGj— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 6, 2023
While this seemed like a throw away game on the surface, an opportunity to get rare can mean the world for someone like Gabe Osabuohien who doesn’t typically get extended minutes.
“It’s a boost in confidence, but I know my game,” Osabuohien said. “Just tried to stay aggressive. I knew Isaiah wasn’t playing. He has the majority of our points in the paint. I just tried to stay aggressive. Get to the free throw line, I’ve been working on making my free throws, so it was good to see a couple fall through tonight. A lot of our offense was out so it had to come from somewhere.”
Osabuohien saw more than a couple fall through tonight. He came into this game never scoring in double figures in the G League. That changed as Osabuohien totaled 20 points on 5-10 shooting while going 5-6 from the line. He also registered a career high in minutes at 32 and tied a career high in steals with 3.
To the Charge’s credit, they competed the entire night even though they were short handed. Although they never cut the deficit below double figures, they were able to hold Delaware to just 39 points on on 32.5% shooting from deep. The Charge just didn’t have enough firepower to take advantage of that tonight.
“That second half they shot 2-11 from three. We shrunk the floor” said Osabuohien. “All those little positives from the second half [is something to take away]. We’re going to watch film tomorrow and see what we did that disrupted them in the second half that we weren’t doing in the first half. And use that to initiate our game plan for Wednesday.”
“We’re going to get them Wednesday for sure,” Osabuohien said as he cracked his first smile of the evening, “I hate losing and after a loss like this, all I can think about is Wednesday. I probably won’t even sleep until Wednesday.”
Up next: The Charge take on the Blue Coats again on Wednesday in their annual school day game. Tip-off at the Wolstein center is 11 a.m.