As teams gear up for the next phase of the NBA G League season following a holiday reprieve, it’s time to look back at which Two-Way Players shined brightest under the bright lights of Las Vegas at the Winter Showcase. The time on the minor league’s biggest stage came with some crucial moments with important eyes watching, but these players embraced the pressure, hoping to show that they were ready to handle minutes at the next level as part of their Two-Way deals.
Here’s a look at who did all they could to live up to the hype.
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
Jordan Loyd, Raptors / Raptors 905: Stepping Into An MVP Candidate’s Shoes
In the absence of Chris Boucher, Loyd evolved from Robin to Batman for the Raptors 905. The combo guard scored 30+ points in both of his contests, converting on 22 of 23 shots from the charity stripe. He truly played the role of aggressor, cutting through the lane and attacking defenders whose only line of defense was to foul him inside in an attempt to deter easy buckets. Then Loyd made the defense pay by being nearly perfect from the line. There was no stopping this 25-year-old, who helped the 905 push the pace after causing key turnovers and earned high honors, including Player of the Week and a nod on the All-Showcase First Team.
Johnathan Motley, LA / Agua Caliente Clippers: This Man Was a Monster On Both Ends of the Floor
Motley displayed on the Winter Showcase hardwood why he’s one of the best rebounders in the NBA G League. He asserts such a strong presence inside, standing tall when it comes to scooping up all the boards off the defensive glass. The big man averaged 23.5 points — including a 30-point effort in his squad’s loss to the Go-Go — to go along with 12 boards. Motley isn’t by any means an one-trick pony offensively — he uses his pivot foot well and can step out along the perimeter a bit to hit that sweet mid-range jumper.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) December 23, 2018
Alan Williams, Brooklyn / Long Island Nets: Return West Did This UC-Santa Barbara Product Some Good
After spending parts of the past three seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Williams garnered a reputation as someone who wasn’t afraid to do the dirty work. He came in, grabbed rebounds, and was willing to tactically use his fouls if it meant throwing off opposing scorers. Now that he’s embraced more of a headlining role for Long Island, Williams is developing into more of an offensive weapon himself. Instead of just grabbing rebounds, the big man is taking initiative and putting shots back up when he sees second chance opportunities come his way. A serious threat from inside the paint, he averaged 21.5 points and 16 boards.
"Big Sauce" came up BIG all week long for the @LongIslandNets.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) December 24, 2018
SHINING AT THE NEXT LEVEL
Danuel House Jr., Houston Rockets / Rio Grande Valley Vipers: This House Has Felt Right At Home
Having previously spent time with the Rockets before signing his Two-Way Contract, House has been familiar and dependable from the get go. He’s an everyday contributor in Mike D’Antoni’s rotation, averaging 8 points and 3 rebounds in 24 minutes over his last four big league games, including a Christmas Day start. Given that Houston has gone 3-1 in such contests, it’s clear that D’Antoni and Co. trust House to hold his own and make positive contributions to a very successful team-oriented product on the court. He can slash through the lane, run the floor and defend multiple positions, making him a valuable piece.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 25, 2018
TWO-WAY PLAY OF THE WEEK
Deonte Burton, Oklahoma City Thunder / Blue: This Ride Takes Flight, Ends With An Exciting Landing
With the Winter Showcase closed to the public last week, players were ready to soar to new heights for all the scouts to see. Burton must have taken such a concept quite literally because he threw down the 360 dunk on day four that caught some serious hang time:
— Oklahoma City Blue (@okcblue) December 23, 2018