This past weekend, the NBA G League hosted a handful of players seeing minor-league action for a variety of reasons. One Two-Way Player emerged as a headlining attraction as he carried his team to victory. Two NBAers took the short travel to suit up for G League affiliates as a means of rehab, and one familiar big-league face started to lay the ground work for what he hopes is an eventual return to the Association.
Let’s rewind back to the weekend’s three most notable storylines:
Yante Maten spins and wins as a human highlight reel for Sioux Falls Skyforce
When a player starts the season off on a tear, it’s sometimes easy to take for granted the impressive performances that follow because they come along so often. On that note, Heat Two-Way Player Yante Maten exploded back into full focus on Sunday with one of the most dominant outings by an NBA G League player all season long. In what appeared to be a nail-biter of a contest, the big man heated up late for the Skyforce and propelled his team to an 113-108 win. Maten’s 42 points marked the second highest total this season, but he didn’t stop there. He added 14 boards and 5 blocks, proving his versatile ability to make an impact on both ends of the floor.
NBA players grace minor-league stage for a major boost during rehab
While the NBA G League hardwood serves as a proving ground for prospects hoping to make a name for themselves, it can also be a springboard of sorts for NBA players ready to wipe off rust during rehab. Seven-year NBA veteran and former lottery pick Brandon Knight suited up for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Saturday, tallying 16 points and 5 assists during what should be considered prep work as he eyes his seasonal debut for the affiliated Houston Rockets. Elsewhere in The Lone Star State, 2018 first-round pick Lonnie Walker made his professional debut for the Austin Spurs on his own road back from injury. The young gun looked comfortable, adding 14 points of his own as he attacked the rim and showed no ill effects of anything holding him back.
Anthony Bennett hopes breakout game sparks revival
As the Winter Showcase nears, NBA G League athletes are inching ever closer to the chance to strut their stuff for all NBA eyes to see. The pressure will be on and the stakes will be high, making it the opportune time of the season for such players to ramp up the intensity. As the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Anthony Bennett understands full well what it means to be in the spotlight. Hoping to revive his career, the forward is already gearing up. He averaged 32 points and 8 rebounds, connecting on twelve shots from long range in two weekend games for the Agua Caliente Clippers. Playing in the NBA G League can be a road to rediscovery, and at 25 years old, perhaps Bennett is more prepared to rise up as burly big man who can rebound, but still step outside to find his offense around the perimeter.