As the NBA G League’s 18th season began this past week, many players burst onto the scene full of energy, putting on display the respective skill sets that have helped them along their paths to realizing NBA dreams. As some Two-Way Players began to rise up as early standouts, many did so while leading their teams to undefeated records in the first week. Here’s a look at which athletes garnered the most attention.
NBAGLeague.com’s Two-Way Tracker will provide weekly updates on the development of players signed to two-way NBA contracts throughout the 2018-19 season.
Heat/Skyforce: Yante Maten’s Monster Double-Double Average Lifts Sioux Falls to 4-0 Record
While it certainly takes a village to rack up four victories in a week’s time, Maten quickly emerged as the shining star for the Skyforce. Averaging 28 points and 11.5 rebounds, the forward proved versatile enough to put the ball on the floor and evade multiple defenders along the interior. Maten is a skilled offensive rebounder, ever so active underneath the hoop while pursuing high-percentage scoring opportunities. His motor also translated to the other end of the floor, tallying 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per contest as well. The 22 year-old’s efforts made him look like the Energizer Bunny from end to end.
Golden State/Santa Cruz Warriors: Damion Lee Making It Rain Out In Surf City
In addition to appearing in a game for Golden State this week, Lee still found the time to lead the Santa Cruz Warriors to early season victories. Once he heats up, Lee is the kind of player who goes full speed and is very difficult to stop. He relishes being regarded as the central figure of Santa Cruz’s offense, and it’s clear that this added boost of confidence has helped elevate his game from last season. Not afraid to let it fly from around the perimeter, Lee is averaging 27 points on 67% shooting and 67% from deep.
Jazz/Stars: Tyler Cavanaugh Finding His Footing With Salt Lake City
After spending the latter months of last season with the Atlanta Hawks, Cavanaugh has returned to the NBA G League with a hunger to dominate the competition from the get-go. Paired up alongside a rather physical Willie Reed in the Salt Lake City Stars’ front court, Cavanaugh has subsequently been given the green light to hoist up long-range bombs whenever he has the necessary space. At 6-9 and 240 pounds, the forward’s muscular frame causes defenders to fall asleep at the wheel when he begins hitting shots from three-point range. He averaged 26.5 points and converted on 58% from deep through the Stars’ two victories.
SHINING AT THE NEXT LEVEL
New York/Westchester Knicks: Allonzo Trier Achieves Early NBA Success
Trier remains on fire out of the gates, having gone from an undrafted rookie to a reliable NBA contributor off the bench. Quickly earning the trust of head coach David Fizdale, the wing is averaging 11.9 points for the New York Knicks. Through 12 games, he’s continued to feed off the crowd. Walt “Clyde” Frazier is likely enjoying watching this young neophyte dance and prance his way along the court with each passing bucket. At this rate, who knows if Trier will ever find his way to Westchester?
TWO-WAY PLAY OF THE WEEK
Raptors: Jordan Loyd Flies To New Heights With Eye-Popping Dunk
Raptors Two-Way Player Jordan Loyd scored 24 points in the Raptors 905’s lone victory this week, but no statistic will pop off the page more than what should be considered the top dunk by a Two-Way Player in week one. Loyd’s high-flying prowess brought the home crowd to its feet to start the season.