Class of 2021 guard Nasir Dunbar had an impressive outing on the first day of USBA Nationals, setting the tone for his Philadelphia Blue Magic squad both defensively and offensively in a chippy 71-57 win over the Diamond City All-Stars.
“We played very aggressively, and they tried to match our aggression,” said Dunbar after picking up the hard-fought victory, one that featured a heavy dose of trash talk relentless amounts of hustle from both squads.
When it comes to Philly Blue Magic, Dunbar feels as if he’s the main one tasked with bringing that force, and he alluded to that fact after the contest.
“I set the tempo in the energy department most of the time,” a calm, but fatigued Dunbar stated, standing amongst teammates and family cheering him on.
Blue Magic ratcheted up the intensity from the outset of the game and their assertion defensively paid dividends, as it knocked the Diamond City All-Stars off their kilter in addition to helping power their offense.
Dunbar often found himself unattended, standing idly behind the three-point line ready to knock down a triple, and he also sprinkled in some layups and floaters to keep the defense on their heels, showing a nice balance to his offensive game.
— BJ Boyer (@wcb94) July 16, 2019
Some of Dunbar’s most noticeable contributions in the victory came on the defensive end, where he spearheaded things for Blue Magic, forcing Diamond City into several miscues that flipped into easy opportunities for Philadelphia.
Dunbar’s activity was contagious, which was evident by his teammates following his lead, as there was a clear concentrated effort to establish themselves defensively to spin the game in their favor.
Blue Magic found themselves in control for most of the outing, but the Diamond City All-Stars were able to regain some traction in the second half when they began to match Philadelphia’s zest.
Despite getting within striking distance a few times in the second half, Diamond City found themselves unable to climb out of the hole they dug themselves in the first frame.
Although they dropped their opener, Diamond City should be encouraged by their showing in the second half, where their defense was much more resistive and their offense a lot cleaner.
They forced Blue Magic into a significant amount of turnovers and were able to find some wiggle room from the perimeter and execute with comfort, something they weren’t able to do in the first half.
As for Dunbar, his main focus at the USBA Nationals is to walk away with as many victories as possible.
“I just want to win. Make it as far as possible… Possibly win the whole thing.”
If the Philadelphia Blue Magic continue to steamroll squads defensively, they’ll find themselves in the winner’s circle quite often during their stint at Nationals.