All-Star Candidates: Western Division Guards
By Matthew Brennan, NBADLeague.com
The inaugural D-League All-Star game takes place in a few weeks and fan voting is currently underway at NBADLeague.com. Here is a look at the top guard candidates in the Western Division. The West is not quite as deep as the East when it comes to scoring guards, but there are still many quailified candidates to choose from at the point.
Von Wafer, Colorado 14ers - Wafer is obviously one of the top candidates, as he has been one of the league's best players this season. The second year pro, a former second round draft pick of the Lakers, ranks second in the league 20.1 points while converting nearly half of his three-point attempts (.480, 49-102). He has helped lead the 14ers to an 11-5 record and first place in the division.
Randy Livingston, Idaho Stampede - A veteran point guard with plenty of NBA experience, Livingston is currently ranked second in the D-League with 9.4 assists while also contributing 10.8 points. He is close to joining Colorado's Elton Brown and Fort Worth's Pops Mensah-Bonsu as the only D-League players who are averaging a double-double on the season.
Gerry McNamara, Bakersfield Jam - McNamara joined the Jam in early December and has stepped in as one of the league's best point guards. The former Syracuse standout ranks third in the D-League with 6.9 assists while ranking second on the Jam with 14.4 points. McNamara has also been impressive at the charity stripe, missing only one free throw in 30 attempts.
Pooh Jeter, Colorado 14ers - Jeter has been running the show for the first place 14ers, scoring 12.4 points while dishing out 6.0 assists per game, good for fourth in the D-League. One of three players to start every game for the 14ers this season, Jeter has also been a presence on the defensive end with 1.1 steals per game.
Tony Bland, Albuquerque Thunderbirds - Bland has been a bright spot for the struggling Thunderbirds, posting an average of 5.5 assists, ranking sixth in the league. A great deal of Bland's contributions can't be measured by the box score, as he has provided veteran leadership for a team that has seen plenty of players come and go from the roster throughout the season.
Andre Owens, Anaheim Arsenal - Owens is enjoying a solid season for the Arsenal, who made him a second round pick in the 2006 D-League Draft. The 6-4 guard ranks third on the team with 15.7 points and second with 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
Brian Chase, Los Angeles D-Fenders - Chase, who started this season with the Utah Jazz, has taken over for the departed Devin Green as the D-Fenders' leading scorer, averaging 15.2 points per game. Chase has also contributed in other areas, chipping in with 3.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals for a contending Los Angeles team.