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NBA G League Alumni Report: Harrell, Dinwiddie Emerge As Elite Second Unit Scorers

By Keith Schlosser | March 15, 2019

This week’s NBA G League Alumni Report features a handful of players with varying motivations. There are a couple of Sixth Man of the Year candidates, athletes who are rising back from respective injuries, one who is getting hot right in time for the postseason, and another who hopes his strong play will leave a lasting impression heading into next season.

All in all, these NBA G League alums have all found success while remaining humble and playing a vital role for their teams. Sometimes that means doing the dirty work, serving as a complementary piece, or coming off the bench to provide a scoring boost. Here’s a look of which athletes, with minor league roots, rose to the top this week.

Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers alum)

Ranked fourth in NBA field goal percentage at 61.8%, Harrell’s been on a tear all season long. But even he has seen the temperature rise on his games in Los Angeles this past week. He put up elevated numbers, logging 20 points in just 21 minutes against the Celtics, and then following that up with a 22-point, 11-rebound, three-block stat-line against Portland the very next night. As a member of the RGV Vipers, Harrell used his height and strength advantages to serve as an imposing post presence. Now that he faces a different level of competition at the next level, he can step back along the perimeter and/or absorb more contact and have the benefit of a visit to the charity stripe. The big man has gone to the line an average of 5.7 times in his last three games.

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Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (Northern Arizona Suns and Sioux Falls Skyforce alum)

Jones Jr. suffered an injury that kept him out for multiple weeks through late January and mid-February. Since, he’s been back in action a bit and it’s clear his bounce has returned. He tied a season-high by scoring 18 points on March 2nd while stepping back in as a key cog in Miami’s rotation. The Heat have won six of their last eight games, with the 22-year-old averaging 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in his last three appearances. Well beyond the numbers, Jones Jr. strutted his stuff and put on quite a show earlier in the week, throwing down an emphatic alley-oop that could easily qualify for the dunk of the year up in The Association.

Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets (Grand Rapids Drive and Windy City Bulls alum)

Much like Jones Jr., Dinwiddie too had to play the waiting game after an injury sidelined him for 14 games this season. The guard took some time to find his footing once again, but now that his groove is back, Dinwiddie is continuing to prove himself as a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate. The offensive fireball is averaging 23.8 points in his last four games, making that all too familiar (but miraculous) impact off the pine. Dinwiddie’s injury ensured he was unable to defend his Skills Challenge title from last season during this year’s NBA All-Star break, but it’s safe to assume he’d take just as much pleasure in hitting his stride now and using that momentum to help the Nets charge into the postseason instead.

Seth Curry, Portland Trail Blazers (Santa Cruz Warriors and Erie BayHawks alum)

Curry’s a sharpshooter who’s been on a hot streak, averaging 13.3 points in his last three appearances. Such a stretch includes a 22-point outing, tying his season high, against the Suns on March 9th. His point production in recent games is seeing him more than double his season’s average, which could make him a valuable piece of the puzzle as the Blazers continue to jockey for valuable playoff positioning in the Western Conference. As a two-time NBA G League All-Star, Curry has long been recognized as someone who can score in bunches and such an ability is helping Portland pace its second unit down this important stretch.

Damyean Dotson, New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks alum)

Dotson continues to let his play do the talking as he states his case for more significant minutes next season. Over the course of the campaign, it’s clear he’s made improvements to his overall perimeter game. Hungry for more scoring opportunities, Dotson has made a special effort to crash the boards, tallying at least six rebounds in each of his last four games. This past week was a big victory in the offensive column as well, scoring 26 points and dishing out six assists on March 10th, then adding 18 points on March 12th. Dotson has zeroed in on the mechanics of being a 3-and-D guy, and is now expanding his game by keeping active with and without the ball.

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