Nissan #ProJackets Basketball Report
Thaddeus Young hits game-winner for Pacers
Thaddeus Young added a double-double and a game-winner in Indiana’s victory over Washington this week … Derrick Favors is building confidence in his return from a troublesome knee injury in Utah … Anthony Morrow and Iman Shumpert will both take the court on Christmas Day in nationally televised match-ups … All of that and more can be found in this week’s Nissan #ProJackets Report.
The Chris Bosh blood clot drama has caused several unforeseen consequences, the latest appearing in the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement. Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck dissected the new deal’s “medical panel” designed to mediate future disagreements between teams and players. According to Bleacher Report, the CBA offers “an independent medical panel to settle life-and-death cases.” However, the deal does not take effect until July 2017, meaning that Bosh’s case is not susceptible to the newly formed committees. Beck explains that Bosh could voluntarily initiate the process if he so chooses, but a negative decision could effectively end his career. Bosh has not yet commented on the agreement’s new panel.
Derrick Favors returned to the court from a 13-game absence last Thursday. In four games since, the power forward has averaged 14 minutes per night while shooting 43.8 percent from the field. Favors’ best single performance last week was on Sunday against Memphis. The big man added five points on 2-of-4 shooting and a season-high four blocks. Head coach Quin Snyder gave positive reviews on Favors following the 82-73 victory.
Marcus Georges-Hunt continues to lead the Maine Red Claws in minutes through the first 15 games of the D-League season. In his 37.6 minutes, Georges-Hunt is averaging 15.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists. After four days off, the Red Claws returned to action tonight against Grand Rapids.
It was an up-and-down week for Oklahoma City’s Anthony Morrow. The guard lit up the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, drilling three treys in four attempts in his first start of the season. But in the following two games, Morrow, starting both, hit just two total shots. The 31-year-old’s three-game start streak is his longest stretch since November 2015. The Thunder traveled to Boston Thursday night seeking a season sweep over the Celtics. Oklahoma City will then play Minnesota on Christmas Day at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Iman Shumpert will be asked to take on an even larger role upon the announcement of J.R. Smith’s imminent thumb surgery. Through the first third of the season, Shumpert is putting together the best shooting effort of his career. The guard is hitting 46.0 percent from the field, 43.6 percent from three, and 81.3 percent from the free throw line – all career-highs. Thus far, Shumpert will continue to serve Cleveland in a sixth man capacity, a role in which he has thrived. The guard played a season-high 33 minutes on Tuesday night adding six points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. First-place Cleveland hosted cellar-dwelling Brooklyn Thursday night, and then on Christmas Day, the Cavaliers battle the Warriors in an NBA Finals rematch on ABC at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Thaddeus Young delivered four consecutive gems across the Pacers’ four-game week. On Saturday night against Detroit, Young turned in one of his most efficient outings knocking down 6-of-8 shots for 12 points and plus-minus rating of +11. Two nights later, the southpaw added a double-double and played the role of hero by hitting the game-winning shot in the final second against Washington. On Tuesday night, Young submitted his fourth 20-point game of the season and second in as many weeks with 21 points and seven rebounds. Then just last night, the forward greeted the crowd pre-game before compiling his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. At 15-16, the Pacers play the Bulls next in Chicago on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV.
As an added bonus to this week’s Nissan #ProJackets Report, Stephon Marbury received international recognition on ESPN’s The Undefeated this past week with a long form feature from senior NBA writer, Marc J. Spears. The piece chronicles Marbury’s journey from “NBA outcast to international trailblazer.” It ran in conjunction with an ESPN.com article and a SportsCenter television hit yesterday morning. Through 18 games for the Beijing Shougang Ducks, Marbury is averaging 21.8 points and 6.3 assists in 34.7 minutes at the age of 39 (Marbury turns 40 in February).
— I AM PEACE STAR (@StarburyMarbury) December 24, 2016