NBA G League Alumni Report: Nick Nurse, Pascal Siakam Leading Way For Raptors

By Keith Schlosser | December 7, 2018

The NBA season is just over a quarter of the way through, meaning players and coaches alike have really begun to find their footing. Standouts are emerging as teams rack up the wins and players begin to cement themselves as statistical leaders in various categories. This is where a number of NBA G League alums find themselves today. Two are helping spearhead the Raptors’ championship hopes, another two are filling key roles for their teams, and a certain sharpshooter has emerged as one of the best three-point shooters in all of the NBA. Read on for more…

Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905 alum)

Before he begun his quest to becoming a household name in the NBA, Siakam prepared for the next level by playing a key part in the Raptors 905’s NBA G League championship victory in 2017. Less than 18 months later, and he’s already playing a perfect complementary role for Toronto, and another title run for the big man is very much within view. At 21-5, the Raptors have the best record in the NBA. They defeated the Golden State Warriors on national television last week, thanks to 26 points from Siakam.  His offensive prowess shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. His 63% shooting from the field is sixth-best in the NBA thus far.

Robert Covington, Minnesota Timberwolves (Rio Grande Valley Vipers alum)

Covington was a member of the 2018 NBA All-Defensive First Team because his lengthy and physical frame makes him a prime candidate to lock down an opponent’s primary offensive options at a variety of positions. He’s found his niche in the league, but it wasn’t before he earned G League Rookie of the Year honors back in 2014. As a key acquisition for the Timberwolves in the Jimmy Butler trade, he’s already become a fast favorite of defensive guru Tom Thibodeau. Minnesota is 9-3 since acquiring the forward and he’s thriving, averaging 14.6 points, 2.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks.

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

Still just 25 years old, Dinwiddie has had quite the career journey. He’s now in his fifth NBA season, having played in the G League in three different campaigns. The guard continued to work hard, taking advantage of the time he received on the minor-league hardwood, instead of simply watching from the NBA sidelines. Now a prime Sixth Man of the Year candidate, he’s averaging 15.7 points off the bench on a 46/36/77% shooting clip for the Brooklyn Nets. Earlier this season, he tied a career-high with 31 points against the 76ers.

Justin Holiday, Chicago Bulls (Idaho Stampede and Santa Cruz Warriors alum)

Though he’s the older brother of Pelicans brother Jrue Holiday, it took Justin a little while longer to truly make his mark in the NBA. A veteran of NBA G League and international competition, the older Holiday has come to master his role as a ‘3-and-D’ guy at the next level. Averaging 12.6 points and shooting 39% from deep, the reliable marksman is fifth in the NBA in three-point field goals with 75.

Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors (Iowa Energy and Rio Grande Valley Vipers alum)

One would be hard pressed to deny Coach Nurse a spot on this list this week. After all, he deserves to be highlighted after leading Siakam and the Raptors to a 21-5 record thus far. The roster features ten NBA G League products, proving full well that their leader can appreciate the efforts of diamond-in-the-rough talents who put in the time to come out on top. A truly gifted offensive mind, Nurse is a former NBA G League Coach of the Year award recipient with two championships to his credit. He was named the NBA Coach of the Month for November.

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