While Cyclone Nation recovers from the end of basketball season and eases into the offseason, the 5 alumni in the NBA will be giving us something to watch. All 5 will be appearing in the NBA playoffs, starting this weekend. Let’s take a look at how our guys performed over the course of the year.
Monte Morris (Denver Nuggets)
It was a transcendent 2nd season for Morris, appearing in all 82 games for the Nuggets as one of the best backup point guards in the NBA. Injuries early forced Morris into action, and he made the most of it. He scored 10.4 points per game on impressive shooting, making 49 percent of field goals and 41 percent of his 3s. He also shot 80 percent from the free throw line and dished out 3.6 assists per game. His 5.7 assists-to-turnover ratio was among the best in the league, although it shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who have watched him for years. Morris was at his best in the month of January, where he made 47 percent of his 3s and scored over 12 points per game while the Nuggets went 8-4. His set a new career high a number of times, with his high scoring game being a 22 point effort against the Jazz on April 9th. Could some hardware be in his future?
Georges Niang (Utah Jazz)
In his first full season with the Jazz, Niang appeared in 59 games and scored 4 points per game in 8.7 minutes per game. He made 47 percent of his field goals and 41 percent of his 3s. After a strong start to the season, Niang didn’t see much action until the end of the regular season. In April, Niang scored 11.7 points per game in 24 minutes as the Jazz cruised to a playoff spot. From this writers point of view, his greatest highlight of the year came off the court. He may not be the best athlete in the world, but Georges still knows how to dunk on trolls.
Here i gotta better video for you pic.twitter.com/sO0nagPXqk— Georges Niang (@GeorgesNiang20) March 12, 2019
Abdel Nader (Oklahoma City Thunder)
The Thunder were plagued by injuries all season, allowing Nader to play more minutes than expected. He played in 61 of the 82 games, and from Christmas day onward, Nader made his way into the regular rotation. He scored in double figures 8 times and averaged 4 points and 2 rebounds per game.
Deonte Burton (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Burton scored 17 points per game with the Oklahoma City Blue in the G-League before signing a standard NBA contract in March. He spent plenty of time with the Thunder throughout the season. His best performance was against the Blazers on February 11th, scoring 18 points with 3 blocks.
Burton scored 82 total points in 240 minutes with the Thunder.
Naz Mitrou-Long (Utah Jazz)
Naz spent a majority of the season on a 2-way contract with the Salt Lake City Stars of the G-League. While there, he scored 18.8 points per game, 2nd best on the team. After the Stars were eliminated from the playoffs, he got his opportunity to return to the Jazz. In an overtime loss to the Clippers in the regular season finale, Long played 34 minutes and scored a career high 9 points. He also handed out 9 assists.
Bubu Palo (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
Bubu played in 40 games and started 25 for the Skyforce, scoring 13.2 points per game and shooting 44 percent from 3 on the season. He also picked up 4.1 rebounds per game and averaged 4.5 assists. The Skyforce went 24-26 on the season and missed the playoffs.
Matt Thomas (Valencia, Spain) dunked for the first time in his professional career.
Valencia plays ALBA Berlin in game 2 the Euro Cup Finals on April 12th. Valencia leads the best-of-3 series 1-0. Thomas scored 16 points on 4-5 shooting from 3 point range in game 1.
Marcus Fizer(!) and Tyrus McGee will be playing for the Iowa United team in The Basketball Tournament later this summer.