In the season’s final weeks, there is plenty on the to-do list for Two-Way Players. For a select handful, the time to gear up for the postseason is now. They’ll be tasked with leading the charge as their squads seek playoff prominence. Assuming such a headlining role means obtaining the kind of pressure-filled experience few players are given to rise up and realize their potential.
At the same time (speaking of potential), players whose minor league teams are no longer in contention are given the opportunity to spend the NBA season’s remaining time with the big league club. Using this time wisely could mean soaking up all the different learning opportunities and lessons they can while making a positive professional impression that carries them into next season.
Regardless of the circumstance, the NBA G League games that remain are crucial chances for prospects to put together top notch performances and prepare for what comes next. Here’s a look at which up and comers are taking full advantage.
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.
Two-Way Tracker: Meet All of This Year’s Two-Way Players
Tyler Cavanaugh, Utah Jazz / Salt Lake City Stars: All-Star Break Gave This Big A Boost
Cavanaugh is among the players to make the biggest jump following the all-star break. Exploding back onto the basketball scene with abandon, the big man looks like he has increased hungry to see some more NBA minutes before the season comes to a close. The big man is tallying monster numbers, with 25.1 points to go along with 10.8 rebounds in his last eight games. For those keeping score at home, that’s 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds more than his season averages. As a big who can spread the floor by hitting long-range bombs or fight for opportunities down low, his versatility could help the Jazz exploit weaknesses of opposing defenses in a number of ways.
Jordan Loyd, Toronto Raptors / Raptors 905: Two-Way Stud Transforms From Underdog To Bonafide Leader
Loyd closed off his first leg of the season by spending some well-deserved time with Toronto. Approximately three weeks since his last game with Raptors 905, the prodigal son returned, only to pick up right where he left off: in dominant fashion. In three recent games with the minor league affiliate, Loyd has averaged 24 points and 7.3 assists. With Chris Boucher moving up to the Raptors full-time, Loyd has had to become this team’s anchor on both ends of the floor and he hasn’t shied away from such a role.
Kadeem Allen, New York / Westchester Knicks: A Guard Whose Contributions Are Sprinkled All Over Stat Sheet
Much like Loyd, Allen recently a fair share of time with his organization’s parent club. He excelled in New York and now that he’s once again donning a Westchester uniform, the floor general is being more aggressive about creating his own offense. Allen’s ability to penetrate allows him to take advantage of the open lane, or create enough room where he can step back and hit fadeaway jumpers.
Despite being just 6’3″, the 26-year-old is muscling his way inside to keep opportunities alive on the offensive glass as well. In his last three games, he’s averaged 17 points, 8.7 assists, and 8.7 boards. He’s pieced together quite a few double-doubles, and most recently became just the second player in Westchester franchise history to log a triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists against the Bulls.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Yante Maten, Miami Heat / Sioux Falls Skyforce: Dominant Force Returning To Form
After sitting out due to injury for nearly two months, Heat Two-Way Player Yante Maten (the second-leading scorer in the NBA G League) has hit the hardwood once again. Back for the last four games, the big man is slowly but surely evolving back into dominant form. Though he’s averaged 13.5 points and 7 rebounds, he’s doing so in limited playing time along the way.
As the Skyforce look for a late-season playoff push, perhaps the big man’s most recent outing (a 23-point, 9-rebound game against Texas) is more indicative of what’s to come as he finds the kind of footing that made him a very popular name in the early parts of the campaign.
TWO-WAY PLAY OF THE WEEK
Deonte Burton, Oklahoma City Thunder / Blue: High Flying Dunker Hops Up To Save The Day on Defense
Widely known for his high-flying acrobatics when powering down ferocious slam dunks, one could argue that the neophyte Burton donned his superhero cape once again — only this time he wasn’t just flying; he saved the day. With a comeback victory, the guard rose to new heights and swatted away a shot attempt by his team’s opponent, providing the spark that helped the Blue take control in overtime and win the game.