Coat Check | 2.29.20
Each week, “Coat Check” will highlight the Delaware Blue Coats, the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 50-game NBA G League regular season is set to enter its final month.
Despite a recent skid since returning from the NBA All-Star Break, the Delaware Blue Coats (19-18) remain in the hunt for the G League playoffs. The 12 upcoming games in March represent the busiest month of the entire season for the squad. Six home games in the final month of the regular season matches the team’s largest monthly total of the current campaign (also played six home games in November).
Delaware’s next victory will mark its 20th win of the season. Last season, the team finished with a 21-29 record. The franchise record for wins is 26, set during the 2016-17 campaign.
After a stretch of eight days without a game, the Blue Coats returned to action last Friday at 76ers Fieldhouse and donned navy blue alternate uniforms on Beau Biden Foundation Night to support the protection of children. Doral Moore started for the home team and posted 14 points (7-9 fg), seven rebounds and a career-high nine (!) blocked shots in defeat. Moore currently ranks second in the league in field goal percentage (.728).
Zhaire Smith, playing in his 20th G League game of the season with the Blue Coats while on assignment from the Philadelphia 76ers, scored 17 points (7-12 fg, 2-6 3fg, 1-1 ft) in just 18 minutes. Smith is averaging 15.3 points per game since returning to the Coats and has recorded at least two 3-point field goals and one steal in each of the last three contests.
17 points in 18 minutes.
— Delaware Blue Coats (@blue_coats) February 22, 2020
On Tuesday night in Oshkosh, Wisconsin against the Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks), 76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok scored a game-high 33 points (13-23 fg, 3-8 3fg, 2-2 ft) with a season-high 14 rebounds and a season-high-tying seven assists in 34 minutes for the Blue Coats. Shayok has now registered four 30-plus point games and three double-doubles this season. In a five-point loss to the first-place Herd, Zhaire Smith scored 11 of his 13 points (5-10 fg, 3-6 3fg) in the second half for the Blue Coats. The G League’s leading shot blocker Christ Koumadje recorded six of Delaware’s 11 total blocked shots. The league-leading Blue Coats have swatted 10 shots or more 11 times this season.
Koumadje (4.0 blocks per game) added three more blocked shots in Thursday’s rematch against Wisconsin, bringing his rookie-season total to a staggering 121 rejections. The G League single-season record for blocks is 168, set by Kurt Looby a decade ago. Do the math and Koumadje is chasing history.
The G League trade deadline came and went on Thursday afternoon. Last Saturday, the Blue Coats acquired 7-foot-1 big man Dennis Clifford from the Austin Spurs in exchange for a 2020 second-round draft pick. On Deadline Day, the club acquired the returning player rights to Michael Frazier, Xavier Johnson and Hakim Warrick in three separate transactions.
Obligatory G League scoring leaderboard update: Shayok currently ranks third (through Thursday night’s games) with 23.2 points per game.
Without comparing the playing style of the two players below, check out Shayok’s G League scoring/shooting numbers next those of a guy who was featured right here in the Coat Check Two-Way Tracker all last season while with the Blue Coats—current 76er Shake Milton.
Shayok: 29 games played, 23.2 points per game, 8.9 field goals made per game, 19.6 field goals attempted per game
Milton: 27 games played, 24.9 points per game, 9.2 field goals made per game, 19.0 field goals attempted per game
Oh yeah, here are those Shayok highlights from his 33 point, 14 rebound double-double on Tuesday:
— Delaware Blue Coats (@blue_coats) February 26, 2020
Marial Shayok, on what excites him for the rest of this season:
“I’m excited to just come together as a team and hopefully make that playoff push. I think if we can get into the playoffs and just take it a game at a time, we have a pretty good chance.”
Zhaire called for it…and got it.
Delaware returns to 76ers Fieldhouse for its Black History Month Celebration on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls). The game can be seen on DETV and Twitch and heard on 1450 WILM.
The team then hits the road for three games before returning home next weekend for a Sunday afternoon meeting with the Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic) on March 8 at 2 p.m. The March 8th contest will air on NBA TV.
For information on Blue Coats tickets, visit SIXERS.COM/BlueCoats.