A six-day trip up East to face off against each of the Atlantic Division clubs –the Westchester Knicks, Maine Red Claws, Long Island Nets and defending champion Raptors 905– has now come and gone and the Texas Legends will come home for a weekend pair of games on Friday and Saturday night at Dr Pepper Arena.
So far in this still young season, Texas has played 11 road games to just five home games. At the end of the day, this will obviously even out to 24 played both home and away from Frisco, but for now the team has played six more contests on the road.
Essentially, a week was spent journeying along the East coast and the highlight of the trip is certainly Justin Dentmon’s 43-point explosion on Saturday night against Maine. For the second time in a span of just 10 days, the G League’s leading scorer (at 28.0 PPG) recorded a 40-point outing, the first of them going as high as 48.
Already early on this season, Dentmon has set a lofty bar for all bucket getters in the entire league. Apart from his league-best scoring output, the veteran point guard also grabs 2.5 steals a night, second among all qualifiers. Less than one-tenth of a steal prevents him from leading the league in both scoring and steals.
Only twice this season has Dentmon failed to record 20 points or more and he remains one of the hottest tickets of any G Leaguer. Thankfully, Legends fans are guaranteed 24 showings of his, pending a call-up to the NBA.
While close may only count in horseshoes, that simply isn’t the case in basketball. Fellow guard Kyle Collinsworth may not have any triple-doubles to brag about yet this year, but his per game averages shot way up during the road trip.
Collinsworth came within a single assist of a triple-double on both Wednesday night and Saturday night. For the third time in his budding career, the former BYU standout came within a lone digit from a triple-double. Last season, he had nine points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on February 1st.
Though an official triple-double still eludes him, Collinsworth averaged 18.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists with the last three games, all resulting in point-rebound double-doubles. Add in a pair of steals a night and perhaps most impressive of all, 65 percent shooting (31 of 48) and you have one star performer right now.
Moving from guards to bigs, Jameel Warney has continued his torrid pace as one of the league’s best big men. This past road trip was no different as he averaged 24.3 points and nine rebounds. The sophomore forward/center is seventh in the G League in rebounding at just under 10 rebounds per game (9.5).
Last Friday night at Westchester, he notched his first 30-point game of the season. In his rookie year, he had four games of the sort with a high of 35. Against the Knicks, he made 14-of-20 shots. On the trip he also had two blocks in three of the four games and shot 81 percent from the free throw line, sinking 13 of 16 attempts.
Another Legend who has seen his play produce consistent efforts lately is Brandon Ashley. Ashley has scored double figures in seven straight games and completed the task in all but three games this season. The former Arizona Wildcat averaged 18.5 points and seven rebounds on the trip with a double-double on Monday and three blocks in Wednesday’s game against Toronto.
Speaking of Wednesday, Wade Baldwin IV made his debut with the Legends and notched 12 points, four assists and four rebounds (he likes those four’s) in his first game with the team. The former NBA first-round pick will make his home debut Friday night.
Injuries kept Donald Sloan out for all but one game on the east coaster while Keith Hornsby sat out the duration. Bryson Fonville stepped in with a 12-point, four assist contribution in Monday’s game. Rookie Xavier Johnson had 10 and 11 points respectively on Friday and Saturday, making 9-of-13 field goals in those games and for the trip racked up an impressive 10 steals, including four swipes on Monday at Long Island.
Additionally, J.J. Avila added rebounding games of five (Friday) and seven (Monday) with at least one three-pointer in each affair. Anthony Walker set early career-highs in minutes (16), points (6) and rebounds (5) in Saturday’s win against Maine and then blocked two shots on Monday.
After four straight games on the coast against the Eastern Conference and a total at seven of eight away from home, the Legends (7-9) will at last play a pair at Dr Pepper Arena this Friday and Saturday night. The games each tip off at 7:30 PM CST against the Thunder-affiliated Oklahoma City Blue (8-8) on Friday and the Northern Arizona Suns (6-9) on Saturday.