RealGM's D-League Weekly Wrap-Up (Jan. 27-Feb. 2)
RealGM’s Player of the Week: Kevin Murphy (Idaho Stampede)
Murphy is probably known best for being involved in the Andre Iguodala sign-and-trade where both players landed with the Golden State Warriors, but the 6-foot-5 shooting guard made a name for himself this past week. He had the highest scoring output in the D-League this season with a 51-point performance (21-33 FG, 4-9 3FG) against the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Saturday. Murphy also had 34 and 23-point outings this week as he averaged 36 points on 62 percent shooting to go with 7.3 rebounds per game. The Tennessee Tech product does a good job setting up his looks with a crossover to create space. A second round pick in 2012, Murphy has a chance to return to the NBA after playing in 17 games with the Utah Jazz last season.
Game of the Week: Canton Charge 101, Fort Wayne Mad Ants 100
Fort Wayne nearly came back from four points down with 17.2 seconds left, but the Charge held on to win a close one. After a pair of free throws put the Charge up four, Tony Mitchell hit a deep three with 10.4 seconds left to pull the Mad Ants within one. Jorge Gutierrez was sent to the free throw line on the following possession, but missed both free throws to give Fort Wayne a chance to win. Sadiel Rojas brought down the rebound and took it the length of the court, but missed a contested lay up in transition as the ball bounced off a Canton defender with 0.3 seconds left. The following inbounds pass was stolen as the Charge held on at home.
Gutierrez had a career-high 32 points in the victory to go with nine assists. The former Pac-12 Player of the Year has improved in the D-League as a complete point guard highlighted by his signature defensive ability. Arinze Onuaku had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Fort Wayne was led by Mitchell’s game-high 35 points and 10 assists. The athletic shooting guard from Alabama has been a standout in the D-League this year averaging 17.5 points per game.
Dee Bost (Idaho Stampede): Bost had a stat-stuffing week with two triple-doubles in three games. The 6-foot-2 point guard averaged 17.3 points, eight rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game on an efficient 66 percent shooting from the floor. He can often get overlooked while playing with Pierre Jackson and Murphy, but Bost is a solid lead guard who can run the show.
P.J. Hairston (Texas Legends): Hairston has had a strong start to his professional career after his fallout at North Carolina. He averaged 30.8 points and 5.8 rebounds on 49 percent shooting this week although the Legends dropped three of four. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard has shown he can handle the ball well enough to play the off guard spot in the NBA and continues to solidify his first-round draft stock.
Justin Hamilton (Sioux Falls Skyforce): As a 7-foot center who can stretch the floor, Hamilton has been one of the most underrated players in the D-League this season. He had a double-double in both games this week with a 26 point-11 rebound performance followed by a 22 point-11 rebound showing, both in wins over Iowa. Hamilton is averaging 19.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game this year while shooting 49 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three. He was a second-round pick in 2012.
Tim Ohlbrecht (Rio Grande Valley Vipers): The 6-foot-11 German has been putting together a solid year for the Vipers. This past week, Ohlbrecht averaged 21.5 points on 54 percent shooting along with 13.3 rebounds per game. He has been key to a smaller Vipers lineup.
Terrence Williams (Los Angeles D-Fenders): Williams held the honor of the highest scoring output this season for just a day before his 50-point mark was eclipsed by Murphy. The Louisville alum averaged 34.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and five assists per game this week on 43 percent shooting. The 6-foot-6 wing is a good slasher who can get to the rim or pull up for a mid-range jumper. Williams was the 11th overall pick in 2009 and is currently the third-ranked prospect in the D-League.
There were no D-League call-ups this week, although free agents Shannon Brown (San Antonio Spurs), Sasha Vujacic (Los Angeles Clippers), and Cartier Martin (Atlanta Hawks) all signed 10-day contracts.
And One: Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones, a star with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season, was recently selected to play in the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. The former first round pick out of Kentucky played in 24 games for the Vipers during his rookie season where he averaged 19 points and nine rebounds per game. Jones only played in 19 NBA games during his rookie year, which led to some premature “bust” labels, but he’s had an extremely successful sophomore season. He’s averaging 11.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Houston Rockets and has proven to be a nice glue guy in the starting lineup. Jones is just another example of what the D-League can do for young players.