Coat Check | 02.07.19
Each week, “Coat Check” will highlight the Delaware Blue Coats, the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers.
As the February slate picks up for the Blue Coats (12-19), the team officially welcomed another fresh face to the fold —7-foot big man Justin Patton.
(Patton and rookie Zhaire Smith are currently on assignment from the 76ers to the Blue Coats.)
Acquired by the Sixers along with Jimmy Butler in a November trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Patton made his season debut in Tuesday’s matinee against the Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs). The former Creighton Bluejay was previously sidelined with a Jones fracture in his right foot.
The 21-year-old Patton posted eight points (4-10 fg, 0-2 3fg), three rebounds, one assist, and three steals in 12 first-half minutes.
.@sixers assignee @JustinPatton17 made his 2018-19 DEBUT with the @blue_coats on Tuesday afternoon, tallying 8 PTS, 3 REB & 3 STL in just under 13 minutes of action @BluejayMBB @sixers @blue_coats pic.twitter.com/joQaZCA66j
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 5, 2019
Prior to Patton’s debut, the Blue Coats closed out the month of January with a home back-to-back at 76ers Fieldhouse. They picked up their first victory at the new facility Jan. 29 against the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons), 108-100, then fell to the Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls), 119-110, the next night.
The Blue Coats opened February with a successful stop in Arizona, defeating the Northern Arizona Suns (Phoenix Suns), 117-107, last Saturday behind a season-high 22 three-point field goals.
The Blue Coats currently rank third in the NBA G League in rebounds per game (48.2), third in blocks per game (6.6), and seventh in assists per game (24.3).
A busy stretch for Milton ended in unfortunate fashion Tuesday afternoon, when he suffered a broken finger in Blue Coats’ loss to Austin.
Milton recorded six points and four rebounds in 20 minutes for the Sixers in Saturday’s 115-108 loss at the Sacramento Kings.
Highsmith appeared in last week’s Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back in Delaware, as well as Saturday’s win in Arizona. In 28 G League games this season, the 22-year-old rookie is averaging 12.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 33.0 minutes per game.
Highsmith dressed for the 76ers Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors.
76ers head coach Brett Brown, on Justin Patton:
“He’s one of these young guys who interests us because he has a bounce, he can shoot a long ball. He’s a good kid. I think he’s a smart, young player.”
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: RYAN ANDERSON (6-9, 215 LBS)
Last Five: 5 GP | 11.4 PPG | 11.4 RPG | 5.4 ORPG
Season: 28 GP | 7.5 PPG | 8.3 RPG | 2.8 ORPG
Basketball Fact: Has 10+ rebounds in 11 games this season (three games with 17 rebounds)
Basketball Fact II: Named California Mr. Basketball in 2011 at Long Beach Poly High School
The Blue Coats return to 76ers Fieldhouse for a Thursday night meeting with the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets) at 7:00 p.m. The team then welcomes the Iowa Wolves (Minnesota Timberwolves) on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday’s Black History Month Celebration will honor Delaware State University president Dr. Wilma Mishoe, while Saturday is Scout Night, featuring in-arena cookie sales and local scout recognition.
For the full 2018-19 promotional schedule or to purchase tickets, please visit SIXERS.COM/BlueCoats.
Photos: Wayne Terry