The Showcase Prospect Watch is taking its final shape -- but one big performance in tonight's nightcap could turn everything upside-down
After his triumphant return to the Charge lineup on Tuesday night, Manny Harris is still in the top spot, but with the 2011 MVP back in the NBA D-League and debuting on Wednesday night, the Prospect Watch is prepared for a shake-up. He's at No. 8 now. Where will Curtis Stinson finish the night?
Believe it when you see it: Andre Emmett can score
Last week's Co-Player of the Week Andre Emmett will be featured in tonight’s Reno-Iowa game. Emmett is an offensive force and is instrumental to his team’s success. His per-game scoring average of 23.1 is impressive but his offensive APBRmetrics are even better. Emmett’s offensive rating is 114.6, third best in the NBA D-League, and when he is on the floor, the Bighorns outscore their opponents by an average of 15.3 points per 100 possessions (NetRtg) which ranks fourth in the league.
Finally, Emmett’s TS% of 61.2% indicates that he is not only scoring the basketball, but doing so efficiently. To put his numbers in perspective, the NBA D-League’s average offensive rating is 104 while the average TS% is 54% - clearly Emmett is the cream of the crop.
With his dad sitting amongst the scouts, Anthony Mason, Jr. explodes in another Skyforce loss
Anthony Mason, Jr. – Mason played in streaks on Wednesday, but the final picture saw him post 28 points, nine rebounds (including seven on the offensive end) and two assists to go along with just three turnovers in 40-plus minutes. The Skyforce climbed out of a big hole in this one, and without Mason, they wouldn’t have had a shot. He tried to do it all himself a little too much, but to his credit, he was up to the task today.
A Step Back
Charles Garcia – For as in-control as Garcia looked in a dominating effort on Tuesday, he looked lost, disjointed and often absent on Wednesday. The effort was there, it was just misplaced. He forced up too many shots and often brought the offense to a halt. But the biggest proof of how far Garcia has to go in developing his basketball IQ – a big focus of his – he fouled out on a charge with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Patrick Ewing, Jr. played his first game with the Skyforce on Wednesday, scoring six points in 16 minutes and bringing about a reunion of sorts, as Ewing's father and Mason's father were teammates on Pat Riley's great Knicks teams.
Bakersfield's reserve forward stands tallest in Jam win
Juan Pattillo: Pattillo, a 6-6 forward out of Western Kentucky, was the last guy to enter the game for Bakersfield. But once he did, he made sure he wouldn't be leaving. With a game-high 33 points and nine rebounds, he led all scorers and finished second in rebounding (behind teammate Adam Koch's 11) on the day.
A Step Back
Jeremy Wise: Wise had an OK day scoring, picking up 16 points. But it took 11 shots to get there, at a severe creation cost. On a night when Bakersfield had only nine assists as a team, its point guard was one of the worst offenders, with only one dime in 30 minutes.
Armon Johnson: The Stampede's point guard, on assignment from the Portland Trail Blazers, struggled mightily from the floor, shooting only 1-for-13 on the day. He did chip in seven assists and five boards, however, and got to the basket effectively -- the shots just didn't fall.
Veteran point guard back in NBA for first time since 2010
Following his impressive performance on Monday at the NBA D-League Showcase, the Chicago Bulls have called up Erie BayHawks point guard Mike James.
James, (6-2, 190), appeared in three games for the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA D-League, posting averages of 15.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.3 apg 34.7 mpg, .386 from the field and .727 from the free throw line. He is the 14th GATORADE Call-up of the 2011-12 NBA D-League season.
ESPN's sports and pop culture blog wraps up the second day in Reno
Sitting courtside in Reno, NBA Draft Express writer Jonathan Givony writes about the complicated, sometimes confusing process that lifts prospects from the NBA D-League. It's not always the best player that heads up. Rarely is it the top scorer. More often than not, NBA teams are looking for role players that can plug a hole in the roster, which means prospects must bide their time until that hole opens up.
In a perfect world, the NBA would be made up of the top 450 basketball players, scattered about evenly on 30 rosters. That’s not always the case, though. Gladness, Johnson, and Harris have what teams are looking for at the end of their benches. They're hard-working, ego-less players who can lift the level of practices and won’t complain if they don’t see a single minute.
Gerald Green: The former NBA Slam Dunk champ blew up for 34 points, on 13-of-17 shooting (and a 4-for-5 mark from beyond the arc), to vault himself back onto the list of Top Prospects. Green, who played xx seasons in the NBA for four different teams, has consistently faced criticism since he entered the league for his often-selfish, defense-optional attitude, but went a long way toward quieting his critics today. He didn't have any assists, but he wasn't forcing shots, and ended up with three steals on the defensive end.
A Step Back
Elijah Millsap: Our No. 1 Prospect came out toady feeling, in his words, "out of rhythm." It was the second so-so game for the guy who'd previously been on a rampage around the NBA D-League. And while his skills spoke for themselves, a perceived lack of effort in the first half -- one he noted in a postgame interview -- might hold him back a little bit.
One Step Forward, Another One Back
Jerome Randle: The Red Claws' undersized point guard once again showed that the game doesn't always care about notches in the doorframe, going for 24 points in another explosive performance. He did, however, have eight turnovers, which raises flags as red as the Maine mascot.
Former SDSU star joins college teammate Kawhi Leonard in the NBA
It's been floating around the air the past few days at Showcase, but on Wednesday afternoon, the news finally came down:
The San Antonio Spurs today signed forward Malcolm Thomas of the Los Angeles D-Fenders for the 13th GATORADE Call-Up of the 2011-12 NBA Development League Season. With the signing, which came during the 2012 NBA D-League Showcase in Reno, Nev., the number of current NBA players with NBA D-League experience increases to 95.
Charles Garcia came to Sioux Falls on the cheap -- now he wants to prove he's worth a look
On Tuesday, Charles Garcia confirmed to 50-plus scouts and the rest of the NBA D-League world that the Skyforce made the right call. In an event that’s so far seen a lot of big men with size but little spring, Garcia’s twisting, leaping, 20-point, 13-rebound performance made him one of Showcase Day Two’s main attractions.
And this, just eight months after he was doing a whole lot of sitting.
After taking two different paths to get there, Lance Thomas and Da'Sean Butler are back together again in Austin
Austin Toros teammates Lance Thomas and Da'Sean grew up 10 minutes away from each other in New Jersey. So when Thomas, then a senior at Duke, stood on the court and watched Butler, a senior at West Virginia, tear his knee apart in the waning moments of the teams' 2010 Final Four semifinal, Thomas felt the pain, too.
Now, with Butler healthy and the two back together, they're both doing what they can to make sure both paths lead to the NBA.
The Charge point guard's looking more and more bound for a return to the NBA
Keith McLeod: McLeod’s value proposition right now has him as a savvy veteran point guard who can run an offense and make sure the ball ends up in the right hands, while still beating you when you leave him open. Check. Check. Check. With 18 points, nine assists and only three turnovers, he did his job – and could soon be doing the same with an NBA club.
Edwin Ubiles: Ubiles didn’t display the scoring knack he’s had over the past few weeks, when he seemed to score 30 every night, as he appeared to look more to distribute the ball against the Canton zone tonight. And if he was looking to show his passing skills, he did a pretty good job, notching eight assists on the day to go with 15 points.
Frank Hassell: Canton’s sturdy forward exploded for 14 points and 16 rebounds in a big coming-out performance for the 6-8 big man out of Old Dominion.
A Step Back
Antoine Agudio: Canton’s sharpshooter went only 3-for-8 from the field for 9 points. We must’ve jinxed him.
Manny Harris came back from a burn on his foot that held him out of Cavs training camp with a 15-point, 4-rebound night in 25 minutes – including a key jumper that put the Charge up 95-92 with 30 seconds left, then two more free throws after an ensuing Dakota miss to make it 97-92.
A day-by-day breakdown of our coverage from the NBA D-League's premier event
Names to Know
No other event on Earth brings together as many scouts, general managers and bona fide NBA Prospects as the NBA D-League Showcase. Before action tips Monday, get acquainted with these names.
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