The first week of the highly-anticipated NBA G League bubble is officially in the books. The Austin Spurs, Delaware Blue Coats, and G League Ignite sit top of the standings, all holding perfect 3-0 records. Whilst the Iowa Wolves are placed at the foot of the table with a 0-3 record.
The Erie BayHawks possess the best Offensive Rating (126.2) and the Oklahoma City Blue have the highest Defensive Rating (98.5). In terms of players that played in all 3 contests, Vernon Carey Jr of the Greensboro Swarm places 1st in points per game (25). Being closing followed by the Delaware Blue Coats’ Paul Reed (24.7) and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers’ Kevin Porter Jr (24.3), respectively.
Most players have been playing competitive basketball for the first time in just under a year. Consequently, the opening week of action has been action-filled with many looking to impress onlooking NBA scouts.
Below we take a look at our top 5 player performances from week 1 of the G League bubble in Disney World, Orlando. This is no particular order.
Tyler Cook – 31P, 10R, 9A, 1S, 2B, 14-20 FG:
On the opening day of the bubble, Tyler Cook of the Iowa Wolves erupted for a near triple-double. The 23-year-old scored 31 points (70% FG), alongside 10 rebounds and 9 assists. His well-rounded effort was polished off by a couple of blocks and a steal.
The 6-foot-8 forward was unstoppable in-and-around the paint, with all of his work being done inside of the arc. He didn’t even attempt a 3-pointer. Out of his 10 boards, 5 were on the offensive end. The only downside, Cook’s effort came in a Wolves loss against the Long Island Nets.
Vernon Carey Jr – 32P, 13R, 1A, 14-28 FG:
On assignment from the Charlotte Hornets, rookie Vernon Carey Jr will be desperate to prove his worth in a bid to receive NBA playing time moving forward. After a solid 19 point, 11 rebound showing in his Greensboro Swarm debut, Carey Jr showed out against the Canton Charge on February 12.
The former Duke standout looked like a seasoned professional as he dropped 32 points, 13 rebounds, and 1 assist, on 50% shooting from the field. He bullied his way to the rim on countless occasions, converted a handful of mid-range looks, and knocked down a single 3-pointer.
Out of his 13 rebounds, incredibly 10 were on the offensive end. However, the 6-foot-10 forward’s effort did come in a loss for the Swarm. At present time, Vernon Carey Jr leads the entire league in points per game, with 25.
Jared Harper – 32P, 4R, 13A, 1S, 2B, 10-15 FG:
Sophomore Jared Harper was another that impressed in the season opener. The flashy guard proved himself to be a 3-tier scorer, as he knocked down 32 points against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Additionally, he had 13 assists to his name, highlighted by an impressive behind the back bounce pass to Louis King, who converted a corner 3.
Harper shot 66.7% from the field, was 4-5 from range, and was 6-8 from the free-throw line. He also collected 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks as he led the Westchester Knicks to victory. He did have 7 turnovers in this one. But he did play 40 minutes, collected the win, putting in a standout performance to kick-start the bubble.
Tre Jones – 30P, 11A, 3R, 1S, 8-14 FG, 11-11 FT:
21-year-old rookie Tre Jones is quickly establishing himself as one of the best players in the G League bubble. The NBA assignment is averaging 21.3 points and 11.3 assists through 3 contests for the Austin Spurs. His latest was a 30 point, 3 rebound, 11 assist, and 1 steal effort in a win over the Erie BayHawks on February 13.
Remarkably, the 6-foot-3 guard’s production was in just 29 minutes. Filled with speedy, confident bursts to the rim, Jones shot 57.1% from the field, all within the arc. At the charity stripe, he was a perfect 11-11. Just when the BayHawks thought Jones’ play was getting predictable, he drew defenders and dished out some easy dimes for his teammates.
Jeremy Lin – 29P, 9A, 2S, 9-12 FG, 7 3P:
One of the most notable names in the G League this season, all eyes have been on Jeremy Lin. After a strong 18-point performance in the season opener against G League Ignite, Lin had 7 points in a loss against the Delaware Blue Coats. On February 13, the NBA veteran had a standout performance against the Westchester Knicks.
The 32-year-old scored 29 points, knocking down 7 from downtown, on a 77.8 conversion rate. From the field, he was 9-12 (75%). Lin had a near double-double, dishing out 9 assists, as well as collecting 2 steals in the win.
All expectations are on Jeremy Lin to dominate in the G League in his quest for another NBA opportunity. Maybe, but maybe, Linsanity has arrive in Orlando after this huge outing.
Some honorable mentions:
Paul Reed, Delaware Blue Coats (Feb 14): 31P, 11R, 1S, 1B, 13-22 FG, 2 3P
Andrew Rowsey, Lakeland Magic (Feb 11): 30P, 5R, 9-16 FG, 5 3P
Moses Brown, Oklahoma City Blue (Feb 14): 26P, 17R, 1S, 2B, 12-21 FG
Jarrett Jack, G League Ignite (Feb 10): 23P, 2R, 2S, 9-10 FG, 19 mins
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