As the NBA G League season continues, many Two-Way Players are separating themselves from the pack by helping their teams climb up the minor league standings. Individual production is always impressive, but if a player can thrive while contributing to a winning environment, that’s a sign they’ll be ready to spend more time up at the next level sooner than later. With that in mind, here’s a look at which players continue to make a positive impact for their teams in the early goings of the campaign.
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.
Raptors / Raptors 905: Chris Boucher Rising Up As Early ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ Candidate
Opposing teams must get frustrated on offense when facing the Raptors 905, because that means Chris Boucher is protecting the rim all game long. With a seemingly endless motor, Boucher hops and pops again and again to swat away high-percentage looks underneath the basket. He’s an intimating presence who uses his length, speed, and physicality to make sure the opponent needs to work for its offense. Boucher is averaging an eye-popping, league-leading 4.4 blocks to go along with 1.8 steals. Not one to slack off on the other end, the high-flying specimen also ranks in the top 6 in both points (27.0) and rebounds (11.8). Reaping the benefits of his strong play, the Raptors 905 are off to a 4-1 start.
Heat / Skyforce: Yante Maten Becoming Consistent Scoring Threat In Winning Atmosphere
Maten may not have been quite as dominant as he was in Week 1, but as a Two-Way Player for the NBA G League’s best team, he’s clearly finding comfort as a leading man. He helped Sioux Falls secure two more victories, currently amassing a perfect 6-0 record. The big man has appeared in each and every game, averaging 25.3 points. This week, he proved that he can absorb contact, draw fouls, and make teams pay by pouring in a healthy amount of points from the charity stripe. At 6’8″ and 240 pounds, Maten is very agile for a big man and has a great handle on the ball, making it easy to beat defenders off the dribble and find his way inside.
Brooklyn / Long Island Nets: Theo Pinson Finding His Professional Niche
Pinson’s 20.8 points per game is proof he can erupt when his team needs it, but his true impact is felt in other ways. After helping the Nets to a 4-0 start, it’s clear his versatile efforts have ensured his fingerprints are all over the team’s early season success. With a 52/44/85 shooting clip, Pinson is proving that when does score, he does so in an efficient manner. But with tallies of 6.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists as well, the swingman is playing unselfishly and balancing the need to stay in front of his man, while following up missed shots, rather nicely. Such play is indicative of the kind of player he could be at the pros, as the NCAA champion became the first Tar Heel to average 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists as a senior last season.
SHINING AT THE NEXT LEVEL
New York / Westchester Knicks: Allonzo Trier building staying power in New York
Despite his Two-Way Player status, Trier booked an one-way trip to New York and has yet to look back. Some rookies take their time transitioning and finding a respective rhythm in the NBA. This 22-year-old has burst onto the scene and looks confident and comfortable filling a key role for the Knicks off the bench. Becoming known for his instant offense off the pine, Trier’s 11.3 points per game has continued to lead his team’s second unit. He’s already made himself a valuable commodity at the next level, creating doubt that he’ll join Westchester anytime soon, if at all.
TWO-WAY PLAY OF THE WEEK
Wizards / Capital City Go-Go: Devin Robinson Connects With College Teammate For a High-Flying Slam
Devin Robinson and Chris Chiozza have close ties, having been collegiate teammates Florida, to now running the floor together with the Capital City Go-Go. Such chemistry was on full display this past week as Chiozza tossed up a pass that his buddy grabbed with two hands and threw down the hammer on for an awing alley-oop.