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Clones In the Pros: Burton Brings the Thunder

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Plus, former teammates face off in international play.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

NBA

Georges Niang (Utah Jazz)

Somewhat disappointing after a strong start, Niang’s minutes have been cut back in the last few weeks as the Jazz have struggled offensively. His numbers still look good. He’s shooting 45 percent overall and 40 percent from 3 point range, but he has really struggled in November, making only 30 percent of his field goals and shooting 3-13 from 3. Perhaps the Jazz will find more ways to get him involved as they try and sort out good offensive lineups.

Monte Morris (Denver Nuggets)

Morris is continuing to impress in an expanded roll with the Nuggets. He was given his first career start against the Hawks on November 15th after regular starter Jamal Murray was benched for disciplinary reasons. He reached a career high of 10 assists against the Bucks in a high profile matchup on November 11th and scored 19 points against the Rockets in the team’s next game. His numbers in November: 52 percent shooting, 44 percent from 3, 85 percent free throws. Now for the season, while playing 24 minutes per game, Morris is averaging a respectable 8.8 points and 4.1 assists. After making his name by taking care of the ball in college, Morris has carried over his absurd assist-to-turnover ratio, leading the NBA at 7.36. The ultimate sign of respect for an NBA player is when he gets his own dedicated highlight video on YouTube.

Deonte Burton (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Deonte is starting to arrive. After playing minimal minutes through the first few weeks of the season, Burton got his chance on November 23rd against the Hornets. In 21 minutes, he scored 11 points, and made sure his presence was felt above the rim.

How about another?

The follow up was an 8 point night on 4-6 shooting against Morris and the Nuggets. And yes, there were more eye-opening plays.

Abdel Nader (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Nader is still hanging around at the end of the bench for the Thunder. Through 7 total appearances, he has 6 total points scored in about 15 total minutes. The Thunder are rumored to be involved in a number of trades where his contract could be used as salary filler, so stay tuned.

G-League

Naz Mitrou-Long (Salt Lake City Stars)

Officially with the Stars, Naz has started all 7 games that he’s been with the team. He is currently 2nd on the team in both points and assists per game, averaging 18.7 points and 6.4 assists. His best game thus far came against the Northern Arizona Suns on November 20th, scoring 29 points with 9 rebounds.

Bubu Palo (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

Bubu is still hanging around! He’s appeared in 10 games and started 3 for the Skyforce, the affiliate of the Miami Heat. His statline for the year: 9.7 points and 3.4 assists per game in 28 minutes.

Jameel McKay (Windy City Bulls)

After 2 games with the minor league Bulls, McKay is no longer on the roster. No particular reason was given, but reading between the lines on Twitter gives the impression that he is a free agent for hire.

For anyone interested, G League games are available to watch on Facebook Live for free or occasionally ESPN+ if you have a subscription.

International

  • Dustin Hogue and Matt Thomas went head-to-head in EuroCup. Thomas’ team won the game. Hogue had 13 points and 4 rebounds in the game. Thomas had 14 points on 3/6 shooting from 3.