Photo by MattAzevedo.com
East Roster: Eric Moreland, Quinn Cook, Shawn Long, Anthony Brown, Alex Poythress, Jordan Crawford, Marcus Georges-Hunt, Jalen Jones, Abdel Nader, Edy Tavares, Axel Toupane, Alfonzo McKinnie.
West Roster: Cory Jefferson, Vander Blue, Justin Harper, Josh Magette, Dakari Blue, Reggie Williams, Joel Bolomboy, Dennis Clifford, Keith Benson, Briante Weber, Okaro White, Justin Harper.
East NBA D-League All-Stars def. West NBA D-League All-Stars; 105-100 | Box Score
Coach Jerry Stackhouse carried over his winning ways to New Orleans by helping lead the East D-League All-Stars to victory over their Western counterparts on Saturday afternoon. Edy Tavares also did himself a favour by picking a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Quinn Cook took home the MVP honours, pouring it on in the second half with 15 of his 18 points. He added 12 assists, seven rebounds, and three steals to his name, and the team win meant there was no other choice.
Starting the game, Tavares scored four of the East’s first six points by first beating his man down the floor and catching a lob by Quinn Cook ahead of the pack for the easy layup. His second bucket came off another lob inside, leaving the 905 centre with an easy hook from a couple of feet out. The early start got him a little too hype, as he then had the audacity to attempt a straight-on three towards the end of the half. It caught nothing but air.
Tavares showcased exactly what he brings to the table, but it was hard not to ignore that bigs like Alfonzo McKinnie and Eric Moreland are better suited to today’s NBA climate with their athleticism.
Okaro White of the Sioux Falls Skyforce threw down a nasty windmill in transition to give the West an early 13-12 lead. White was later in a giving mood, throwing a lob to Justin Harper for the throw down. Harper made his MVP intentions clear in the first half, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
Some NBA teams did their call-ups a favour by sending them back down for this game, which was a nice touch. Among them was Briante Weber, recent call-up for the Golden State Warriors, and he looked more interested in staying healthy for the big leagues.
Axel Toupane checked into the game with Tavares’ second run at about the 5:40 mark in the first half, and did what he does best, driving inside and getting to the free-throw line. He missed his second free-throw, but after the East collected the offensive board, Toupane found Tavares for a dunk for your 905 connection of the game. Toupane only saw seven minutes of action in the game, a bit of a surprise, but Stackhouse did show a preference for better spacing options such as Abdel Nader. Nader finished the game with 16 points off the bench in 19 minutes of action.
With Quinn Cook taking complete charge in the second half, the West never really looked like taking the contest, despite staying within striking distance for most of the game. Coach Stackhouse and the rest of the 905 will now be able to enjoy the rest of the weekend and take in the sights of what should be an exciting Saturday night.
2017 NBA D-League Skills Competition
The 905’s John Jordan went head-to-head with Iowa Energy’s Troy Williams in the final of the dunk contest, and the defending D-League Slam Dunk Champion fell well short of the lofty standards he set last season.
After two attempts to go between his legs, Jordan had to settle for a lob to himself for a 180 dunk that earned him a 39. Williams responded with a windmill off his own lob to take the lead after the first round.
For his second dunk, Jordan brought out the Canton Charge’s Eric Moreland, but to little effect. They wasted about 15 seconds of the allotted 30, before it ultimately ended with a simple lob to Jordan that you’re more accustomed to seeing in game action.
Troy Williams then sealed the contest with a two-handed 360 and you can see the best dunks from the afternoon here.
Scott Wood of the Santa Cruz Warriors defeated Devondrick Walker in the three-point contest final by a score of 23-21. Brady Heslip leads the D-League in three-point makes at 122, one ahead of Wood. Heslip declined his offer to participate.
- The D-League did a cool video feature on 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse. You can check it out here.
- It was a bit strange to see Stackhouse on the sidelines and not barking out instructions or getting on the referees. “NO MIDDLE!” has been a staple of the 905 games, and I thought we’d get at least one here. No such luck.
- Here’s the dunk that took John Jordan to the Finals, and probably his best dunk on the night:
He’s 5-foot-10! 😳
— NBA D-League (@nbadleague) February 18, 2017
- The 905 return to action on Thursday, Feb. 23 against the Erie Bayhawks at the Hershey Centre. 7:30pm EST start time.