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Santa Cruz Weekly Write-Up: More NBA Call-Ups
By Kevin Danna
Santa Cruz Warriors broadcaster Kevin Danna provides an update on what's going on with the Sea Dubs.
1. Not Mathematically Eliminated Yet, But...
Following a 111-95 loss to the Texas Legends Tuesday night, the Sea Dubs find themselves at 22-23 with five games remaining in the regular season. Texas' Tuesday win gave the Legends a 26-20 record and the season series tiebreaker against Santa Cruz, so the Sea Dubs' best hope is to pass up both 25-20 Rio Grande Valley and 25-21 Oklahoma City. Santa Cruz plays RGV Thursday night in Texas, so if the Sea Dubs lose that one, they are pretty much eliminated. They'd be down to needing 25-19 Reno and Oklahoma City to lose out and Santa Cruz winning out to make the postseason. Either way, it's going to be a tough road to hoe, considering all the talent that has left the Sea Dubs over the last few days (Damian Jones and Quinn Cook have been back with Golden State for a few days, and a few more other moves to note in the coming paragraphs). BUT… there's still a chance. Santa Cruz is mathematically still alive, and until the Sea Dubs are mathematically eliminated, they're still in the playoff chase.
2. Boucher's Impending Debut?
Fresh off a 22-point, 16-rebound, four-block effort against Texas Tuesday night, Golden State two-way forward Chris Boucher was at shootaround with Golden State in Oakland Wednesday morning and he is expected to be active for Wednesday night's game against the Lake Show. What a return it has been for Boucher, who went 10 months without playing in an organized game after tearing his ACL in the Pac-12 Tournament as a member of the Oregon Ducks last March. Head coach Aaron Miles and staff eased him back into playing in January, capping his minutes at about 15 per game for the first handful of contests. He has always been active whenever he has touched the floor for Santa Cruz, but he has been special as of late, averaging 22.7 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks over his last three games. Considering all the people who are likely to be unavailable for Golden State's game against the Lakers, I wouldn't be surprised to see Boucher get some run at Oracle for the first time tonight.
3. Damion Lee Called Up To Atlanta
If he didn't tear his ACL last year with the Maine Red Claws, Damion Lee would most likely be currently working on his second year of NBA experience. That said, it was great to see Damion get his first cup of Gatorade in the Association when the Atlanta Hawks announced that they had signed him to a 10-day deal on Tuesday. Lee had been playing very well for the Sea Dubs as of late, averaging 18.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals in his last 11 games while shooting 54 percent from the floor, 41 percent from three and 91 percent from the foul line during that stretch and put up 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in his last game with Santa Cruz, a 126-122 win against the Memphis Hustle Saturday in Mississippi (where the Hustle has its home games).
Sometimes guys get called up and never get to see the floor (that was the case with former Sea Dub Travis Leslie, who did not appear in a single game with the Utah Jazz during his 10-day call-up from Santa Cruz in the 2012-13 season), but with Atlanta out of the playoff picture and former Sea Dub Kent Bazemore out for the rest of the year with a knee injury, Damion got a chance to get some serious burn. In 17 minutes, Lee went for 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal on 4-of-8 shooting and 2-of-4 3-pointing and was a +9 in the Hawks' 119-107 loss to the Thunder. Not too shabby, huh?
Lee's arrow up to Atlanta gives Santa Cruz its third call-up of the season, marking the third time in franchise history that the Sea Dubs have had three separate guys called up in a season after Antonius Cleveland was called up to Dallas in November and Georges Niang got the call from Utah in January.
4. Welcome to Surf City, Quinton Chievous
With all the recalls to Golden State, Santa Cruz needed another body and claimed the 6'6", 225-pound Quinton Chievous from the player pool. Chievous had a solid season with the Iowa Energy last year but was waived by Iowa after appearing in five games for the now-Wolves this season. He's a good high-energy guy off the bench and has definitely brought a bit of a spark to an undermanned Sea Dubs team that has seen a lot of its talent go to the NBA and a lot of other talent sidelined by injuries. In his second game with Santa Cruz, Chievous scored 13 points off the bench in the 16-point loss to Texas Tuesday night.
5. What's Next?
The Sea Dubs play their final road game of the regular season Thursday night at RGV before wrapping up the 2017-18 campaign with three home games...plus the final 17.5 seconds of the protest game from January against Iowa. Santa Cruz starts its final homestand Sunday against Northern Arizona, so come on out to Kaiser Permanente Arena for your last few chances to see the Sea Dubs in action this year.