Vander Blue of the Los Angeles D-Fenders today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, Jan. 29.
Blue (6-4, Marquette) led Los Angeles to a 2-0 week, averaging 32.5 points (second in the league) on 45.0 percent shooting to go with 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. On Jan. 26, with the D-Fenders trailing 119-112 with 2:25 to play, Blue connected on back-to-back three-pointers and added two free throws to secure a 125-120 victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He finished the game with 37 points and seven rebounds. On Jan. 29, Blue tallied 28 points, nine rebounds and three steals in a 132-104 win over the Austin Spurs.
Blue, who has scored at least 30 points seven times this season, is averaging 25.5 points (third in the league), 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals. This is the second Performer of the Week award for Blue this season.
Other top performers considered included Canton’s Chris Evans and Eric Moreland, Delaware’s Shawn Long, Erie’s Kalin Lucas, Iowa’s Jarell Martin, Maine’s Jalen Jones and Ryan Kelly, Northern Arizona’s Elijah Millsap, Oklahoma City’s Daniel Hamilton, Rio Grande Valley’s Darius Morris, Santa Cruz’s Phil Pressey and Scott Wood and Texas’ C.J. Williams.
This is the sort of stat that many fans won’t care about, but it’s still impressive and says a lot about what kind of competitor Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas is. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:
Of all the ridiculous offensive numbers that Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas has put up this season, there may be none more impressive than this: Thomas is averaging a league-best 34.2 points per game on the second night of back-to-backs.
In a league that’s trying desperately to cut down on the number of back-to-backs and game-heavy stretches, Thomas is the anti-DNP Rest movement. The 5-foot-9 guard saves some of his best basketball for when he’s had the least rest. What’s more, Thomas is averaging more than three points better than his nearest competitor (Russell Westbrook, 30.9) for scoring on the second nights of back-to-backs.
The only player in the last 20 years to average more points per game on the second nights of back-to-backs is one of Thomas’ idols, Allen Iverson, who averaged 34.9 points during the 2004-05 season.
The Dallas Mavericks today released guard Pierre Jackson from his 10-day contract, and signed rookie guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell to a 10-day contract.
Jackson (5-11, 176) appeared in nine games (one start) for Dallas this season, averaging 3.9 points, 1.0 rebound and 2.1 assists in 9.3 minutes per game. He made his first career start in the Mavericks’ game at Oklahoma City on Thursday (Jan. 26), and recorded nine points, two rebounds and four assists in 13 minutes before leaving the game in the first half with a left hamstring strain.
Jackson was originally signed by Dallas on Dec. 27, before being waived by the team on Jan. 6 after appearing in four games. He then signed his first 10-day contract with Dallas on Jan. 15 and his second 10-day with the club on Jan. 25.
Before his first and second stints with Dallas this season, Jackson appeared in 13 games (all starts) for the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. In those 13 contests, he averaged a league-high 29.6 points to go along with 4.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 37.4 minutes per game.
Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter underwent successful surgery today to repair a fractured right ulna (in his right forearm), it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
Kanter sustained the injury during last night’s 109-98 victory over Dallas. During a timeout, he expressed his frustration by hitting a chair. The result? A fractured forearm.
This season, the sixth-year center has recorded 12 double-doubles and is averaging 14.4 points on .563 percent shooting from the floor, 6.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 21.6 minutes in 47 games.
Kanter has come off the bench every game this season for OKC, but he’s still one of their most important players. He’s third on the team in both points and rebounds per game.
He will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks at which time a further update will be provided.
The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Ronnie Price to a 10-day contract.
An 11-year NBA veteran, Price most recently played last season with the Suns when he averaged a career-best 5.3 points while appearing in a career-high 62 games. This is Price’s third tenure with the Suns as in addition to 2015-16, he averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 assists in 36 games with Phoenix in 2011-12. For his career, the 6-2, 190-pound point guard has averaged 3.8 points and 1.8 assists in 530 games with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix, Portland, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the NBA’s 2016-17 GM Survey, the 33-year-old floor general tied with Suns forward Jared Dudley as each received the second-most votes in response to the question, “Which active player will make the best head coach someday?”
Undrafted out of college in 2005, the Friendswood, Texas native was a four-year performer at Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) and the first player to enter the NBA directly from that school.
Price will wear uniform number 14. The Suns’ roster now stands at 15
The Miami Heat re-signed Okaro White to a second 10-day contract today.
White, who was signed to a 10-day contract on January 17, appeared in four games with the HEAT and averaged 3.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.00 blocks and 16.4 minutes while shooting 50 percent (5-of-10) from the field, 40 percent (2-of-5) from three-point range and a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line.
Earlier this season, White appeared in 23 games (all starts) for the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and averaged 18.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.09 steals and 33.0 minutes while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 86 percent from the foul line. He helped the Skyforce to a division best 16-5 record while ranking second on the team in points (424), rebounds (201), field goals made (144), three-point field goals made (38) and free throws made (98).
White, who was originally signed by the HEAT on July 15, 2016, previously appeared in six preseason games with Miami and averaged 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.5 minutes. Additionally, he appeared in five games with Miami’s Summer League team in Las Vegas this past summer and averaged 8.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.00 steals.
The OKC Thunder (now 28-19, 6th best record in Western conference) bring center Enes Kanter (zero starts in 47 games this season) off the bench, but he’s still one of the team’s key players. Kanter’s 14.4 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game both rank 3rd on the squad. But a quick showing of frustration will reportedly keep Kanter out of action for the near future. Here’s the Oklahoman:
The Thunder survived January. The same cannot be said of Enes Kanter.
A night of frustration ended in victory for the Thunder, who rode Russell Westbrook’s late flurry to a 109-98 victory over a makeshift Dallas team. But Kanter’s night ended earlier, in the second quarter, when the valuable sixth man suffered a fractured arm when he slammed it on the back of a chair in frustration.
That means the Thunder almost surely goes into February – and remaining January road games at Cleveland and San Antonio – without the scorer and rebounder who makes the Thunder bench bearable at times.
The Charlotte Hornets have themselves an All-Star. The reserves were announced earlier today. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:
Point guard Kemba Walker was named an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve Thursday, the first time the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats have had an NBA All-Star since 2010.
Walker was selected as one of seven reserves, in a vote of Eastern Conference head coaches. He is having his best of five NBA seasons, averaging 23 points, 45.9 percent shooting from the field and 41.4 percent from 3-point range.
The Hornets last had an All-Star when forward Gerald Wallace was selected as a reserve for the 2010 game in Arlington, Tex.
For the first time in a long time, Carmelo Anthony did not make the All-Star team. Here’s the NY Daily News reporting:
It’s probably not a very strong indicator, but Thursday night provided a hint of Carmelo Anthony’s trade value: the NBA coaches do not view him as an All-Star.
The 32-year-old was left off the reserves that were announced Thursday night, marking the first time since 2009 that he won’t be part of the game. It’s also just the second time in 10 years that Anthony isn’t an All-Star.
Anthony finished eighth among Eastern Conference frontcourt players — five below the cut for starting — in the voting that was divided up among fans, players and media. And after the coaches picked the reserves, it was John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Paul George, Kevin Love, Paul Millsap, Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker who made the cut.
The Utah Jazz will teach math to local students through basketball during an NBA Math Hoops Live event on Monday, Jan. 30 at the Zions Bank Basketball Center beginning at 4 p.m.
NBA Math Hoops is a fast-paced board game that teaches students fundamental math skills through basketball stats of their favorite Jazz and NBA players. A full-size, live version of the game will be played on the Jazz practice court with help from guards Shelvin Mack and Raul Neto.
The Jazz, with support from Larry H. Miller Charities, introduced this first-year program at the start of the season into 15 schools and non-profits in the Salt Lake Valley. More than 500 youth have been learning basic arithmetic, geometry, percentages and statistical analysis through an engaging curriculum.
The educational event on Monday will feature 40 students from Franklin Elementary and Bryant Middle School, who were selected to attend the event by showing exceptional dedication to the program, split up into two teams with Mack and Neto on each squad.
The court will be set up to mimic the board game, with numbers placed around the floor as shot locations. With two halves of play, students will be given fundamental math problems to complete, which will unlock different locations for the players to shoot from on the court. Once the math problem has been solved correctly, the students will direct their Jazz teammate to the shot location to earn points on the scoreboard.
At the end of the game, the Jazz players will talk to the attendees about the importance of math in their everyday lives, as well as take a group photo.
The Jazz Math Hoops program, in conjunction with the non-profit Learn Fresh, will conclude in early April with a regional tournament for all of the student participants.