The early months of 2016 were a special time for the D-League and its fans. On Jan. 26, Jordan McRae poured in a then NBA D-League record 61 points for the 87ers. Less than three months later, Russ Smith broke that record with 65 of his own for the same Delaware squad.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 24, 2016
It was fun while it lasted @Sir_Saudade
— Jordan McRae (@JordyMac52) March 24, 2016
Before either saw their name atop the record books, it was 58 points from Pierre Jackson in February of 2014 that stood alone for two years as the all-time points tally in a single game.
Pierre Jackson broke a new NBA D-League scoring record last night.. Scoring 58 points on 24-33 from the field! pic.twitter.com/3gVpvK4SZE
— NBA Family (@NBAFiles) February 5, 2014
All three guards have multi-faceted games and can score the basketball in a variety of ways. Each has plagued NBA D-League defenses in their own, unique way, establishing themselves as match-up nightmares all over the floor. While the trio has had their way in the D-League, the summer of 2016 hopes to be a time when they can showcase their scoring prowess on an NBA level. The talent show began on Saturday afternoon in the Las Vegas Summer League.
First up, it was Smith and Jackson in the backcourt for the Trail Blazers against the Suns. In their Vegas debut’s, both scored 11 points – Jackson did so in a starting role while Smith came off the bench.
Next, it was Jordan McRae’s turn to stuff the stat sheet. Fresh off helping to bring the first-ever NBA title to Cleveland, McRae followed up a 23-point debut with a game-high 27 points against the Nets.
All-in-all Smith, Jackson and McRae find themselves in similar predicaments. McRae was on the Cavaliers roster for their championship run but did most of damage in Delaware. Likewise, Smith spent the majority of the 2015-16 season with the 87ers before seeing his season end in late March due to injury. Jackson joined the Idaho Stampede in early January and spent the rest of his 2016 with them.
The uniting bond for each is that none played meaningful minutes on an NBA roster. It’s clear that each can score at will if firing on cylinders, and one thing the league is never dismissive of is proven scorers. The trio will hope to showcase their ability to get buckets in Vegas, and prove they belong in the Association.