Mar 03, 2014 12:57 PM EST
RealGM’s Player of the Week: Jae Crowder (Texas Legends)
The Dallas Mavericks assignee recorded a pair of triple-doubles in both of his games this week to earn RealGM’s Player of the Week honors. He averaged 22.5 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists per game while shooting 44 percent from the field in two wins. The 6-foot-6 small forward out of Marquette was a second round pick in 2012 and has seen a decent amount of action in the NBA rotation. He’s a glue guy who can do a little bit of everything, shown in his stat-stuffing line with the Legends. This past week should boost his confidence going forward.
Game of the Week: Texas Legends 137, Los Angeles D-Fenders 126 (OT)
In a game that featured 11 players with NBA experience, it was only fitting that it needed an extra period.
The game was tied at the end of the second and third quarters with little separation between the two squads. With 47 seconds left the D-Fenders trailed by five, but a three from James Southerland and a lay-up by Manny Harris tied it at 121. P.J. Hairston missed a tough runner at the buzzer as the game went into overtime. Texas dominated the extra period after opening with an 8-0 run and when it was all over, the Legends walked away with the 137-126 win.
Hairston led all scorers with 36 points (11-18 FG, 7-12 3FG) while teammate Damion James added 34 points (15-22 FG, 3-4 3FG) and nine rebounds. Crowder had 22 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists while fellow Dallas assignee Shane Larkin impressed with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Manny Harris led the way for Los Angeles with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Terrence Williams (27 points), Shawne Williams (20 points), and Xavier Henry (19 points) also made strong contributions. Josh Magette ran the point well with seven points and 11 assists.
Vander Blue (Delaware 87ers): Blue averaged 41 points, nine rebounds, and three assists per game in a pair of losses. He made a case for Player of the Week honors while shooting 52 percent from the field and 47 percent from three. After leaving Marquette as a junior, Blue was undrafted and spent time overseas in the Israeli Basketball Super League. He returned to the States and earned a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics earlier this season but didn’t stick with the squad. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is a quality scorer which showed in his eye-popping scoring totals this week.
Jamaal Franklin (Fort Wayne Mad Ants): The Memphis Grizzlies assignee was able to see plenty of action this week after only playing seven NBA minutes in February. Franklin averaged 24.5 points, 8.5 assists, and 6.5 rebounds per game in a pair of Mad Ant victories. His most impressive display was on Saturday where Franklin scored 31 points (8-15 FG, 4-7 3FG), dished 11 assists, and grabbed seven rebounds. The ultra-athletic 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of San Diego State is still working on his three-point jumper, but his motor and defensive ability give him loads of upside.
Bernard James (Texas Legends): Another Dallas Mavericks assignee, James was absolutely dominant in his lone game in the D-League. In 37 minutes, the 6-foot-10 big man had 38 points (18-20 FG), 18 rebounds, and four blocks in a win. The former second round pick out of Florida State was unstoppable for the Legends and was quickly recalled back to Dallas. He’s only averaging 4.9 minutes per game for the Mavericks but showed why he’s held onto an NBA spot.
Othyus Jeffers (Iowa Energy): The scrappy 6-foot-5 small forward averaged 25.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this week while shooting 54 percent from the floor. He’s a tough defender and earned a brief call-up with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this season. Jeffers can still improve on his three-point jumper, as he’s shooting 27 percent from deep.
Kevin Jones (Canton Charge): Jones recorded a double-double in all three of his games. He averaged 25.7 points and 14.3 rebounds per contest this week on 54 percent shooting. The D-League All-Star has recorded five straight 20+ point, 10+ rebound performances and proves to be a double-double machine. He’s slightly undersized at 6-foot-8, but the power forward out of West Virginia has been one of the most productive players in the league since the All-Star break.
Chris Babb (Maine Red Claws): After spending the preseason with the Boston Celtics, Babb played well enough with the affiliate Maine Red Claws to earn a 10-day contract in Boston. Babb was averaging 12 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists on 38 percent shooting in the D-League and although Babb’s stats may not stand out compared to other recent call-ups, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard is primarily known as a defender. He’s played two NBA minutes and hasn’t recorded a stat.
Dewayne Dedmon (Santa Cruz Warriors): Dedmon earned his fifth 10-day contract this season after spending 20 days each with the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors this year. This time, it was the Orlando Magic who signed the 7-foot center out of USC. Dedmon was averaging 15.2 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in the D-League but hasn’t played a game in Santa Cruz since January. He was playing well with the 76ers, averaging 3.4 points and 4.5 rebounds on 51 percent shooting in 11 minutes of action, but Philadelphia ultimately let him go, stating that, “The whole year is about evaluating people.” Dedmon has played three minutes for the Magic so far where he scored three points and grabbed two rebounds.
Justin Hamilton (Sioux Falls Skyforce): One of the most underrated players in the D-League, the 7-foot center received a 10-day deal with the Charlotte Bobcats. Hamilton was averaging 19.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and two blocks per game on 49 percent shooting before receiving the call-up. He’s also been able to stretch the floor, shown in his 39 percent three-point shooting percentage. A second round pick in 2012, Hamilton yet to see NBA action after the Bobcats recently bought out Ben Gordon’s contract.
DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls Skyforce): Liggins was averaging 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game with the Skyforce before earning a 10-day contract with the affiliate Miami Heat squad. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard out of Kentucky has previously played in 56 NBA games, even starting one game for the Oklahoma City Thunder. In his lone NBA start he had 11 points (4-6 FG, 3-3 3FG) and nine rebounds in 40 minutes of action. Liggins was a D-League All-Star but has yet to log a minute for the Heat.
Adonis Thomas (Springfield Armor): After declaring for the draft following his sophomore season at Memphis, Thomas went undrafted and was sent to the D-League. Thomas has vastly improved his game since college, primarily in becoming a threat from deep. The 6-foot-6 wing was averaging 16.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Armor on 46 percent shooting, including a 47 percent clip from three. This was enough to earn a 10-day contract with the Magic where he’s scored five points (2-7 FG, 0-2 3FG) in 14 minutes.
Jarvis Varnado (Iowa Energy): The shot-blocking machine signed with the Philadelphia 76ers after spending the previous 10 days with the Chicago Bulls. He’s played 18 minutes with the 76ers and recorded two points, four rebounds, and three blocks.
And One: Joe Freeman of the Oregonian reported this week that the Portland Trail Blazers will end its one-to-one affiliation with the Idaho Stampede. Portland assigned C.J. McCollum earlier this season as he was recovering from a foot injury, but did not use its affiliate for any other purpose this year. With the lack of usage and distance between Portland and Boise, it’s understandable that the Trail Blazers ended its two-year-old affiliation and the Stampede will look for a new affiliate. Utah, Phoenix, and Denver seem to be possible partners as each team is in a multi-affiliation at the moment and are close in proximity. Utah was the only team of the trio to sign a D-League prospect this season in Diante Garrett, but he’s been a key player in the rotation this season. Perhaps his success can influence the Jazz to make a deal.
Feb 24, 2014 1:58 PM EST
RealGM's Player of the Week: Bo Spencer (Delaware 87ers)
Spencer was named RealGM's Player of the Week by averaging 33 points, 10 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.5 steals per game while shooting 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. His breakout performance came on Saturday when Spencer made his first start of the season. He finished with 43 points, 11 assists, six steals, and five rebounds while tying a D-League record with 10 three-pointers. The 6-foot-1 point guard from Nebraska will be a good one to follow the rest of the way as he adapts to a new role as the starter instead of a scoring sparkplug off the bench.
Game of the Week: Idaho Stampede 129, Los Angeles D-Fenders 128 (OT)
With plenty of deserving candidates, Idaho and Los Angeles earned Game of the Week honors after a peculiar ending.
Kevin Murphy drilled a jumper from the left elbow with 2.5 seconds left in regulation to give Idaho a 125-123 lead. James Southerland answered with a deep two to tie the game with less than a second left that sent the game into an extra period. It was a low scoring overtime, but it ended with a bang. After earning his sixth foul with 7.9 seconds left, Reggie Hearn was allowed to stay on the floor as the Stampede only had seven active players and two had already fouled out. As a result, the D-Fenders benefitted from a technical foul in addition to the two free throws for the shooting foul, but could only covert one of three. On the next possession, Hearn knocked down a turnaround jumper at the buzzer to earn the unorthodox victory.
Murphy led all scorers with 47 points and five assists. Derrick Caracter chipped in 22 points while Hearn added 17 for Idaho. Point guard Dee Bost had a triple-double with 12 points, 16 rebounds, and 15 assists and Jason Ellis had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
For the D-Fenders, Terrence Williams led the way with 33 points and six rebounds. Shawne Williams scored 21 while Josh Magette finished with 18 points and 12 assists.
Dee Bost (Idaho Stampede): Bost has proven to be the most important piece for the Stampede. He isn't a pure scorer, but runs the offense well and can create for others. This past week, the point guard out of Mississippi State averaged 20.5 points, 14.5 assists, and 11.5 rebounds per game. Bost can improve on his scoring efficiency, as he's shooting 38 percent from the field and 30 percent from three this year, but has proven to be one of the top point guards in the D-League.
Robert Covington (Rio Grande Valley Vipers): The Houston assignee is becoming a regular on this list. This week, he averaged 30.3 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting 48 percent from the field and 46 percent from three. Covington has a legitimate chance to contribute as the backup small forward for the Rockets next season.
Damion James (Texas Legends): A part of the Devin Ebanks-James Nunnally trade, James has had a nice start to his Texas career. James averaged 26.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while shooting 64 percent from the field and 4-of-5 from three. The 6-foot-7 small forward was a first round pick in 2010 and is becoming one of the top players in the D-League.
Kevin Murphy (Idaho Stampede): With the departure of Pierre Jackson, Murphy will be looked upon to be Idaho's top scorer the rest of the season, that is, if he doesn't get called up. He averaged 37 points, 4.5 rebounds, and four assists per game this week while shooting 56 percent from the floor. Murphy has a nice pull-up jumper that allows him to convert from mid-range on a consistent basis.
Ronald "Flip" Murray (Austin Toros): Murray averaged 31 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game the past week while shooting 54 percent from the floor and 36 percent from deep. He's a good scoring guard who's averaging 19.5 points per game. The 34 year old is having a nice season in Austin after an eight year NBA career.
Hilton Armstrong (Santa Cruz Warriors): Armstrong signed his second 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors this season. He's an athletic, 6-foot-11 center who was averaging 12.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game for Santa Cruz. Offensively, he has a decent mid-range game but gets most of his looks around the basket. The Connecticut alum should add a defensive presence with Andrew Bogut (shoulder) and David Lee (flu) out of the lineup.
Troy Daniels (Rio Grande Valley Vipers): Known as the best shooter in the D-League, Daniels signed a two-year deal with the Houston Rockets. He broke the league's record for made three-pointers in a season already and the Rockets didn't want to risk losing Daniels to another NBA team. Daniels will continue to play in the D-League for the time being, but is now on contract with the Rockets and can only be called up by Houston.
Arinze Onuaku (Canton Charge): Onuaku has been a double-double machine this season for the Charge and earned a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 27 games, Onuaku has recorded 12 double-doubles while averaging 14.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in only 24.2 minutes per contest. The former Syracuse big man is shooting 62 percent from the field although 239 of his 244 shots have come from inside of eight feet. At 6-foot-9 and 275 pounds, Onuaku gives Cleveland a tough interior presence.
Dexter Pittman (Austin Toros): The Atlanta Hawks signed Pittman to a 10-day contract after releasing former first-round pick Jared Cunningham. Pittman was averaging 9.5 points and six rebounds per game for the Toros this season, but capped his recent D-League stint with a couple quality performances. In his last two games, Pittman combined for 47 points and 27 rebounds while shooting 17-of-23 from the field. All of his offense comes close to the basket, but his 6-foot-11, 285 pound body makes him an intriguing replacement for Paul Millsap.
Jarvis Varnado (Iowa Energy): Varnado was averaging 14.1 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Iowa Energy before earning a 10-day contract with the Chicago Bulls. His calling card has always been on the defensive end, as he was averaging 4.7 blocks per game, but he's impacting the game more on the scoring and rebounding departments. He's only played two minutes for the Bulls thus far.
And One: As the trade deadline passed without a move that involved Pierre Jackson, the D-League's top prospect has decided to sign a contract in Turkey with Fenerbahce Ulker. He was averaging 29.1 points and 6.2 assists per game this season and broke the league's single-game scoring record with a 58-point showing earlier this month. Jackson never earned a call-up from the New Orleans Pelicans and, as a result, he decided to head overseas with the opportunity to earn more money for his family. It's a disappointing situation for NBA and D-League fans, but the exciting 5-foot-10 point guard will likely be playing in Turkey for the rest of the season.
Feb 17, 2014 12:35 PM EST
RealGM’s Player of the Week: Tiny Gallon (Delaware 87ers)
Gallon averaged 29.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game on 58 percent shooting this week for Delaware including a game winner over Maine in the Game of the Week. He has been dominant since joining the D-League two months ago, averaging 18.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season. The 6-foot-9, 290 pound power forward was a second round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, but never played a game in the league. He’s bounced around in the D-League and even played three games in Puerto Rico before appearing for the 87ers this year. Gallon has been impressive enough to receive a near six-figure proposal from Liaoning in the Chinese Basketball Association but turned it down in hopes of making an NBA roster, as reported by RealGM’s Shams Charania. With his improved conditioning and addition of a consistent jumper, Gallon is making strides in the D-League.
Game of the Week: Delaware 87ers 100, Maine Red Claws 98
The nationally televised game on CBS Sports Net resulted in the most exciting matchup. In a contest highlighted by big swings, Delaware used a 15-6 run to tie the game at 91 with 3:45 remaining. The teams traded baskets from there on out and Delaware had possession with 15 seconds left. Bo Spencer was off on a jumper, but Gallon’s putback with 1.6 seconds left gave Delaware the win.
Gallon scored a game-high 32 points to go with 16 rebounds. Matt Bouldin, Kyrylo Fesenko, Damian Saunders, and Spencer were also in double-figures. For Maine, Daniel Orton had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Frank Gaines scored 15 while Tyshawn Taylor chipped in 14.
Seth Curry (Santa Cruz Warriors): On a night that featured Golden State assigness Kent Bazemore, MarShon Brooks, and Ognjen Kuzmic, Curry was expected to be overshadowed by the amount of talent surrounding him. The 6-foot-2 point guard, however, scored 28 points (10-16 FG, 6-10 3FG) to go with five rebounds and two assists in the win over the Idaho Stampede. He was the most impressive player for Santa Cruz by playing within his role, getting others involved, and knocking down his open looks. Curry had 20 points (6-15 FG, 4-8 3FG), six rebounds, and four assists in his other game this week. He’s shown improvement as a floor general and still possesses the lights-out jumper he showed at Duke. After a brief 10-day stint with the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this season, Curry could see NBA action again.
Courtney Fells (Austin Toros): Fells averaged 26 points, five rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.5 steals per game this week while shooting 55 percent from the field. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from N.C. State has been a good slasher from the wing with a 54 percent two point shooting percentage this season.
Darius Johnson-Odom (Springfield Armor): Johnson-Odom finds himself on this list again after averaging 28 points, 6.5 assists, and six rebounds per game this week. He continues to get a majority of his points around the rim or at the free throw line although the Marquette product nailed six of his 15 attempts from deep. Turnovers continue to be an issue, but there’s no doubt that Johnson-Odom has made a major impact for the Armor as of late.
Kevin Murphy (Idaho Stampede): In a very consistent week, Murphy had a pair of 28-point performances while shooting 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. He’s becoming one of the top scorers in the league and has an NBA body with a 6-foot-5 build. He can improve in limiting turnovers, as he had 10 in two games this week, but he’s an aggressive shooting guard who can score from all three levels.
James Nunnally (Bakersfield Jam): Nunnally went for 43 points in a loss to Fort Wayne while shooting 15-of-24 from the field and 4-of-8 from three. The 6-foot-7 wing from UC Santa Barbara has good length on the defensive end and if he shows this type of scoring ability on a consistent basis he’ll find himself back in the NBA very soon. He signed two 10-day contracts with the Atlanta Hawks this season.
With no call-ups this week, we take a look at this week’s All-Star festivities.
Three-Point Contest: Idaho’s EJ Singler won the three-point contest that required a sudden death round with Rio Grande Valley’s Troy Daniels to break a tie. Singler nailed the final money ball on the last rack at the buzzer to give him the trophy. The rookie out of Oregon has had a nice season for the Stampede thus far, averaging 14.1 points per game while shooting 48 percent from three. Daniels, on the other hand, went on to score 21 points in the All-Star game and was 6-of-7 from deep with some makes that might have been closer to half-court than the three-point line.
Slam Dunk Contest: Fort Wayne’s Tony Mitchell defended his crown with another Slam Dunk Contest victory. He had a good week before the All-Star break as well, averaging 26 points and four rebounds per game in a pair of victories. The D-League’s Dunk Contest turned out to be much more entertaining than the NBA’s, as each dunker had more than one attempt, although that may not be saying much.
All-Star Game MVP: Rio Grande Valley’s Robert Covington, who is currently on the Houston Rockets roster, was named MVP in the win with 33 points (12-23 FG, 4-8 3FG). The assignee set a new NBA D-League All-Star Game record for points in front of Houston’s GM Daryl Morey. Although he is on contract with the Rockets, Covington has played in more D-League contests this year than NBA games where he has consistently shown why he’s on an NBA roster with his scoring prowess.
And One: As the second half of the NBA season begins, it will be interesting to see which teams use this part of the year to evaluate talent for next year’s roster. New Orleans faces the Pierre Jackson dilemma approaching the trade deadline, with the option to call him up or ship him. He’s simply been too good to leave in the D-League and should have a chance to prove if he belongs in the NBA. In addition, Manny Harris had a nice stint with the Lakers this season and should be looked at if a contender needs an instant filler due to injury. Other names to remember are Devin Ebanks, Kevin Murphy, Seth Curry, and Troy Daniels. All of these players could see NBA action before the season is over.
Feb 13, 2014
As the best shooter in the D-League, Troy Daniels could see his NBA dream become a reality very soon. Until then, he’ll continue to rewrite the record books while raining threes for a championship contending squad.
Feb 10, 2014
For the second time in three weeks, Pierre Jackson has been named RealGM’s Player of the Week. Also, notes on Robert Covington, Devin Ebanks, Grant Jerrett, Adonis Thomas and Shawne Williams.
Feb 03, 2014
On Kevin Murphy's brilliant week, strong performances from Dee Bost, P.J. Hairston, Justin Hamilton, Tim Ohlbrecht, Terrence Williams and more.
Jan 27, 2014
On Pierre Jackson's pair of 40-point performances, Isaiah Canaan's development, Archie Goodwin's shooting, call ups for Vander Blue, Othyus Jeffers, and more.
Jan 19, 2014
P.J. Hairston finished with a team-high 22 points (9-16 FG, 4-9 3FG) and six steals in 28 minutes of action to lead the Legends to a 109-99 victory that wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated. He scored in a variety of ways, including high-flying dunks, mid-range jumpers, and his well-documented deep threes.
Dec 30, 2013
It isn’t often that a 5-foot-10 point guard is scoring 40 points at the professional level, but that’s exactly what Pierre Jackson has done this season for the Idaho Stampede. Three times this month, to be exact.
Dec 23, 2013
RealGM caught up with Luke Harangody to talk about his experience in Russia, playing under foreigner coach, NBA and more.
Dec 17, 2013
Seth Curry is more aggressive off ball screens and has been excelling in pick-and-rolls that he would see in the NBA. At Duke, Curry saw most of his time at shooting guard, but he’s the primary ball handler in Santa Cruz while averaging 36.9 minutes per contest.
Dec 04, 2013
Once the Grizzlies waived him in the 2010 training camp, Tre' Kelley played parts of two seasons overseas where he starred in Europe, and where he scored two 50-point performances in China. Through it all, his sights remained on finding a way back into the NBA, so he decided to return to the D-League with Austin.
Oct 15, 2013
As a career journeyman with seven teams, Stephen Graham had earned three multi-year contracts, but the NBA’s lockout in 2011 prevented him from working out for organizations in the summer and he eventually landed in the D-League and overseas.
Sep 14, 2012
After barely receiving a Division-I scholarship, going undrafted despite leading the NCAA in scoring two seasons, and playing a year overseas, Reggie Williams reached his NBA destination with a 10-day contract to prove he belonged for good.
Apr 03, 2012
Maalik Wayns made a surprising decision to declare for the 2012 NBA Draft. Here is why his basketball career would benefit from returning to Villanova for his senior season.
Feb 07, 2012
The Ryan Boatright situation proves once again that the only third party allowed to profit off college basketball players is the NCAA itself and they’ll fight to the bitter end to ensure it stays that way.
Jan 27, 2011
Trey Johnson is a rhythm scorer, liking to create off the dribble whether it is to get to the bucket or hit a pull-up.
Jan 24, 2011
The Blazers decided to use their hardship exception on Chris Johnson.
Jan 11, 2011
The four most recent NBA Finals winners have all relied heavily on the D-League.
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