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Santa Cruz Weekly Write-Up: Patrick McCaw Coming to Surf City this Weekend
by Kevin Danna
Santa Cruz Warriors broadcaster Kevin Danna provides an update on what's going on with the Sea Dubs.
1. How's the team doing?
“Could be better” is the phrase of the day. Following a nice 111-98 win over Maine to conclude a six-game homestand on Wednesday, the Sea Dubs dropped both of the games on their mini two-game road swing, losing 122-113 at Northern Arizona on Saturday and 117-108 at Salt Lake City on Tuesday. Now as we all know, no lead is safe in the G League, but Santa Cruz did have a 17-point lead in the third quarter against the Suns (Northern Arizona) and was up 13 in the second quarter against the Stars (SLC) last night. There is no doubt this team has the talent to make a serious playoff push down the stretch, and they’ve shown in just about every game that they have the talent to win big, but it’s a 48-minute game.
But here's some good news -- Golden State's Patrick McCaw will be assigned for Friday's game against the Texas Legends. The second-year man out of UNLV played in two games for Santa Cruz last season, averaging 12.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists to go along with a steal and a block per game. From what I've been told, McCaw asked to go down to Surf City for some G League action. The Big League Dubs don't play Friday night, so why not get some extra work in?
2. A Protest?!
The 1-2 week leaves the Sea Dubs at 18-16 on the season, a half game back of the final playoff spot.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, “but hey Kevin, didn’t you say the Sea Dubs were 17-15 going into the Maine game last week? Shouldn’t they be 18-17?” And you would be right…
On Monday, the G League granted the Warriors’ protest of an end-of-game situation in what was – up until Monday – a 116-113 loss to the Iowa Wolves on Jan. 19. I’ll try to explain this in as few words as possible, but here’s what happened:
In the G League, you have your normal timeouts and what is called a “reset timeout,” meaning you can advance the ball into the frontcourt to either 28-foot line (but it doesn’t need to be used to advance the ball). You can sub but not huddle, and it doesn’t show up on the scoreboard as an allotted timeout, but you can do this once in the last two minutes of the game or overtime. The game was tied at 111 with 17.5 seconds left, Santa Cruz inbounds. Quinn Cook was running up on a five-count, so he called timeout. Santa Cruz didn’t have a regular timeout left, but had a reset. The team signaled for a reset timeout, but head coach Aaron Miles was told after the game that the refs ruled that the signal for a reset didn’t come quickly enough, basically meaning that in the refs’ eyes, Santa Cruz called a timeout it didn’t have; hence a technical foul and a free throw and possession for Iowa.
Now G League rules can be screwy, but nowhere in the rules – as far as I know -- does it say you have X amount of time to signal reset after calling timeout. The protocol for calling a reset timeout is to call timeout and then signal reset, and you do not need a normal timeout to call a reset timeout. I talked with an official who shall remain nameless the next day and he said if he were in that situation, he would have granted the reset timeout. It was pretty apparent right after the Iowa game that a protest could be on the horizon, and Monday, it was granted.
So wipe off a loss on the ledger, and the teams will replay the final 17.5 with the score tied at 111 on March 23 before the regularly-scheduled Santa Cruz-Iowa game that night. Seeing as Iowa is currently 18-14, this replay could be huge for both teams.
This isn’t the first time a protest has been granted in the G League; it also happened in the 2013-14 season between Fort Wayne and Texas for another timeout issue and in the 2008-09 season for a Utah Flash-Colorado 14ers game due to an incorrect assessment of a sixth foul on Bill Walker (now Henry Walker). There might be more, but those are the two I’m aware of. Alright, enough protest talk for one season.
3. How are the Golden State guys doing?
Damian Jones had arguably his most well-rounded offensive game in Tuesday’s loss against Salt Lake City, going for 27 points on 13-of-15 shooting. He showed an array of back-to-the-basket finishes from both sides of the lane – left shoulder baby hook from the right block, baseline fadeaway from the left block, running baby hook in the lane over left shoulder from the left block. He also hit two mid-range jumpers in the second quarter. Now, you’d like to see him finish with more than three rebounds, all on the offensive glass, but it’s tough to get a defensive rebound when the other team shoots 56 percent from the floor.
Chris Boucher played 26 minutes in Saturday’s loss to the Suns and filled up the stat sheet with nine points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and four blocks, but only played six minutes against the Stars on Tuesday. It was good to see him go for 26 on Saturday though.
Quinn Cook is still amazing.
4. Who else is performing well?
I said last week it was only a matter of time before Damion Lee broke out of his shooting slump, and later that night, Lee went 9-of-13 from the floor – including 3-of-3 from 3-point range – for a team-high 23 points in the win over Maine, his former team. After a 13-game stretch in which he was 7-of-51 from downtown, Lee has hit six of his last 11 3-point attempts. Beyond that, he has great touch on a floater and can get to the basket at will.
Terrence Jones scored a season-high 28 in Saturday’s loss. He’s just too strong for a lot of guys in this league. There was a media report out there that he was going to sign a 10-day contract with New Orleans, but the Pelicans decided to give the 10-day to veteran big Emeka Okafor.
5. What's next?
Come on down to the KPA this weekend for home games Friday and Sunday against the 21-14 Texas Legends and 21-12 South Bay Lakers, respectively. Seeing as both teams are ahead of the Sea Dubs in the standings, these are huge games as far as playoff implications are concerned. There’s still 14 games left, so the Sea Dubs have time to make up the ground, but they gotta start making it up soon.
And don't forget, McCaw will be suiting up for the Sea Dubs on Friday; you're not gonna wanna miss out on that.