The NBA season is in full swing, as All-Star starters were recently announced. This is a great time to take a look at how the former Duke men’s basketball players are doing in the NBA.
Three players are rookies in the NBA, two of which were members of last season’s Duke team that was upset in the NCAA Tournament by Lehigh.
Kyle Singler is not one of them. After spending last season in Europe, he has returned to the Detroit Pistons, who drafted him in 2011. He has started 31 of the Pistons 39 games in his first season. The Pistons are just 14-25 (fourth in the Eastern Division’s Central Division). Singler is averaging 8.4 points per game and 3.8 rebounds a game in 27.6 minutes. In his last game, he scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting (3-of-6 from beyond the arc). He also had four assists.
Austin Rivers has been hampered by injuries in his rookie season with the New Orleans Hornets. Overall, he has started 22 of the 38 games for the 13-26 Hornets (last place in the Western Conference’s Southwest Division). His shooting percentages are low (33% overall and just 56% from the free throw line), as he is averaging just 6.2 PPG. In his last game, against his father’s Boston Celtics, he scored eight points.
Miles Plumlee has been shuttled back and forth between the Indiana Pacers and the D-League Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He is averaging 12.6 PPG and 11.1 RPG in ten D-League games (eight starts). Plumlee is coming off a ten point, 12 rebound performance on Friday night. He last played with the Pacers on December 21st (six total games).
Lance Thomas is in his second season in the NBA and has stuck with the Hornets. He has started nine of the 32 games he has played. He is averaging 2.8 PPG and 2.5 RPG, while shooting 45.8% from the field.
Kyrie Irving is having a great second season in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Cavs are in last place in the Central Division (10-31). Irving has started all 30 games he has played and is averaging 23.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 5.6 assists per game over 35.7 minutes. His is shooting 46.3% overall, 40.5% from three point land, and 83.2% from the free throw line. In his last game, he scored 31 points on 13-of-24 shooting.
Nolan Smith has played in 19 of the Portland Trailblazers 39 games. The Trailblazers are 20-19, fourth place in the Western Conference’s Northwest Division. Smith is averaging 2.5 PPG over 8.4 minutes. In his last game (January 16th after not playing for two weeks), he scored three points and hauled in four rebounds.
Now to the former Blue Devils who have been in the league for awhile.
Luol Deng is having another solid season for the 23-15 Chicago Bulls (second place in the Central Division). He is averaging 12.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and three assists. He has gotten better from the charity stripe (81.8%). In a win over Toronto on January 16th, Deng scored 19 points, hauled in six rebounds, and dished out seven assists (compared to just one turnover).
Bulls teammate Carlos Boozer has started every game and is averaging 16.2 PPG, ten rebounds, and 2.1 APG. He is in the midst of a four-game stretch where has has hauled in at least ten rebounds a game, including a season-high 20 in Friday night’s win at Boston (along with 19 points).
Shane Battier is averaging 5.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG for the 26-12 Miami Heat, who lead the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division. He has been struggling with his shot, as he is shooting just 36.2% from the field.
JJ Redick has played in 38 of the Orlando Magic‘s 39 games (14-25). He is averaging 14.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 4.5 APG in 31 minutes. Redick is shooting 44.8% from the field and 90.1% from the free throw line.
Gerald Henderson has started 15 games for the 10-29 Charlotte Bobcats. He is averaging 13 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG. He has upped his three point shooting percentage to 50% and is making 79.6% of his free throws. In a win at Orlando on Friday, Henderson made 8-of-11 shots for 17 points.
Mike Dunleavy has played in 31 games for the 20-18 Milwaukee Bucks (third in the Central Division). He is averaging 11.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 2.2 APG. He is shooting 45.4% from the field and 82% from the free throw line. In his last game (a win on January 17th), Dunleavy scored 16 points, hauled in three rebounds, dished out three assists, and and blocked three shots.
There has been some movement in the NBA, as six former Blue Devils are with new teams this season.
Grant Hill is the oldest of the group that was on the move. He joined one of the top teams in the NBA, the LA Clippers, who are 31-9 (the second best record in the league). They already have a seven game lead in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division. Hill has only played in four games (all in the last week) and is averaging 3.5 PPG in 14.8 minutes.
Corey Maggette joined the Pistons this season, but has not played since December 15th. He was averaging 5.3 PPG in 14.3 minutes.
Chris Duhon is with the LA Lakers and received a good amount of playing time with veteran Steve Nash injured. He has played in 33 games for the 17-22 Lakers. Duhon is averaging 3.6 PPG and 3.5 APG.
Elton Brand joined the Dallas Mavericks, who are 17-24. He is averaging 7.4 PPG and 6.4 RPG. He has picked up at least ten rebounds in two straight games.
Dahntay Jones also joined Brand in Dallas. He has played in all 41 games and is averaging 3.6 PPG. He has made 78.3% of his free throws.
Josh McRoberts has been solid for the Magic. He is averaging 4.2 PPG and 3.5 RPG. He is shooting 83.3% from the free throw line.
Stay tuned for more updates, as I expect at least one former Blue Devil will be participating in the NBA All-Star Game and festivities.
*All stats are thru January 18th games.