Weekly MVP and Player Updates for the Texas Legends By: Kevin Brolan
Legends Action of February 9th – February 20th (Includes games @ Bakersfield – 2/11, @ Bakersfield – 2/12, @ Bakersfield – 2/14)
If the NBA team in Dallas just south of Frisco on the Dallas North Tollway is rolling into the All-Star Break on a high, then the Texas Legends are doing about as opposite as they can. The Legends limped into the relative midway point of the season about as low as they have been all year after three straight losses in Bakersfield against the Jam, and four straight losses overall. We understand that sometimes teams take an early break when they see upcoming vacation time on the horizon… but come on boys!
Less than two weeks ago, the Legends allowed their season high in points (130) to the New Mexico Thunderbirds. Well, that mark didn't stand long as the Legends set a new high (or low depending on how you view it) in the first loss to Bakersfield 134-138 on the 11th. The Jam shot 56.2 percent from the field, 60.7 percent from three, and got to the line 25 times. Add it all up, and you have a formula for a high scoring affair.
It was the same story different chapter on the 12th, but there was a twist in this one. The Legends coupled their defensive no-show with an anemic offense to drop the game 90-129. The Legends worst loss of the season came at a bad time, as the boys will have plenty of time to think it over with the upcoming off days.
The week was put to a merciful end with the Legends dropping one more to the Jam, 100-107. This game actually had the feel of a real contest, which was good to see. It is tough to put in a big effort like that right before the break, but the Legends pulled it together enough to at least be competitive.
We felt for the guys during this past week, as the games were very difficult to watch. The body language just wasn't what it should have been for a team with such great talent. Here's to the hope that the guys are refreshed after the break and come back ready to work and make a push towards the playoffs.
And here's to Texas Legends recap time.
With highlights to the week that include the D-League All Star game featuring Joe Alexander and Sean Williams, as well as the negative ones, there is plenty to discuss in this week's Down On The Farm Report … from body language issues to the release of Big Moose… On to the Legends' player evaluations! There were three games this week and as always, these stats are weekly averages.
Joe Alexander, F, 23
This Week: MPG-39, FG-46%, FT-100% (5-5), 3FG- 25% (1-4), PPG-18.0, RPG-6.0, APG-2.7, SPG-1.0, BPG-1.0, TO-2.3
Last Week: MPG-40, FG-48%, FT-88% (28-32), 3FG- 0% (0-2), PPG-22.0, RPG-9.0, APG-3.3, SPG-1.8, BPG-1.0, TO-3.3
Joe puts up solid numbers every week. That's just what happens. It's a pretty good reason why he is in Los Angeles this week for the D-League All Star game, so it's tough to nitpick at times.
But we have a few issues.
Stat-wise, the one thing with Joe that bothered us a little bit was his massive drop in free-throw numbers. We're talking 27 less attempts than last week in the same amount of games. In a week where the Legends were clearly drawn into fast, up and down games, more trips to the line by Joe would've helped Texas control the flow of the game and keep the other team's scoring down to a reasonable rate.
In addition to his free-throw decrease, Joe had a tough time guarding a quicker player in Derrick Byars of the Jam. Due to the quickness advantage, Byars got to the basket easily in the first game. In an attempt to adjust, Joe played off him which led to Byars devastating the Legends from behind the arc. This wasn't due to lack of effort from Joe, but it just shows how he can potentially become a liability on that end if assigned an unfavorable match up.
Antonio Daniels, G, 33
This Week: MPG-40, FG-45%, FT-79% (11-14), 3FG- 44% (4-9), PPG-15.0, RPG-6.7, APG-10.3, SPG-1.0, BPG-0.0, TO-3.7
Last Week: MPG-38, FG-54%, FT-76% (19-25), 3FG- 100% (3-3), PPG-15.5, RPG-5.5, APG-8.8, SPG-1.8, BPG-0.0, TO-1.8
In a week where the Legends were free-falling, the leadership that Antonio Daniels regularly provides was greatly needed. He did what he could to lead with his actions. At times, the Legends would get completely caught up in the pace of Bakersfield's game and shoot reckless threes early in the shot clock. Antonio showed recognition of the situation when he attempted to slow the pace and drive to the basket early in the first game. The problem was that the rest of the team didn't follow his lead.
Antonio was a 15/7/10 guy this week, but his greatest value to the team is his control over everything that happens on the court. It may not be a fair burden to place on Antonio, but his play and actions are the best way for the team to get out of this rut.
Sean Williams, F/C, 12
This Week: MPG-31, FG-60%, FT-78% (18-23), 3FG- 100% (1-1), PPG-14.3, RPG-10.7, APG-1.3, SPG-0.0, BPG-1.7, TO-3.0
Last Week: MPG-10, FG-61%, FT-100% (3-3), 3FG- 43% (3-7), PPG-11.3, RPG-4.7, APG-1.0, SPG-1.0, BPG-3.0, TO-1.0
Sean, like Joe, will be in Los Angeles to represent the Legends in the All Star game. He's also similar to Joe in that he will always post effective stats, but you have to actually watch his games from week to week to notice differences.
In Sean's case, his defensive discipline and body language aren't what they were earlier in the season. Sean was making great strides to be a special individual and team defensive player in addition to making the spectacular play, but he has moved away from that in recent weeks.
As we've mentioned before, the main issue regarding an NBA team signing Sean is that GM's don't feel he always has the right attitude. Earlier in the year he was playing with a lot of energy and with the right mindset. Recently though, it seems he isn't as focused on doing the little things.
The little things are what will get him back to the big show.
Justin Dentmon, G, 4
This Week: MPG-31, FG-45%, FT-89% (17-19), 3FG- 35% (6-17), PPG-17.7, RPG-3.3, APG-5.7, SPG-0.7, BPG-0.3, TO-1.3
Last Week: MPG-34, FG-45%, FT-93% (14-15), 3FG- 40% (8-20), PPG-16.0, RPG-2.0, APG-4.7, SPG-1.8, BPG-0.0, TO-1.8
It was another solid week from the DentMAN who continues to do everything that is asked of him and he does it well. His turnover numbers dropped again to an incredible 1.3 per game and his playmaking has picked up with 5.7 assisters per. For you non-math majors out there, that's a stellar 4.4 assist to turnover ratio.
Justin has made himself into an incredibly efficient player coming off the bench. His well-rounded game is perfectly suited for a sixth man role since he can run the offense and be a pure scorer at the off-guard position. He's quickly becoming the second most reliable player for Texas after Alexander.
Dominique Johnson, G, 9
This Week: MPG-29, FG-47%, FT-83% (5-6), 3FG- 21% (3-14), PPG-14.7, RPG-4.3, APG-2.3, SPG-0.3, BPG-0.0, TO-0.7
Last Week: MPG-23, FG-46%, FT-100% (14-14), 3FG- 50% (5-10), PPG-13.3, RPG-1.8, APG-0.0, SPG-0.5, BPG-0.0, TO-1.8
This week, Dojo 2.0 had scoring outputs of 21, 3, and 17. Dominique has proven he has the talent to be a prolific scorer in the D-League, but the next step he needs is consistency. Personally, we think it will come with time and as he gains confidence. He got his first start in the third game against Bakersfield, so it's clear the staff has the confidence in him.
Additionally, we challenged Johnson to play a more well-rounded game this week and he did just that as he upped his per game rebound and assist totals by 2.5 and 1.8 respectively.
It was a pretty solid and progressive week for the young man.
Booker Woodfox, G, 11
This Week: MPG-25, FG-48%, FT-80% (8-10), 3FG- 54% (7-13), PPG-15.0, RPG-1.3, APG-2.7, SPG-0.7, BPG-0.0, TO-1.7
Last Week: MPG-24, FG-50%, FT-67% (4-6), 3FG- 44% (4-9), PPG-12.5, RPG-2.0, APG-2.8, SPG-0.5, BPG-0.0, TO-1.8
Booker had a similarly consistent and efficient effort this week as he did last week. Notably, his 3-point percentage increased by ten points, which works as a convenient segway into us mentioning that he won the D-League All Star Three Point Competition. If you're keeping count at home, that makes him the champion of both D-League 3-point competitions this year.
I guess you could call him a good shooter.
Matt Rogers, F/C, 32
This Week: MPG-14, FG-27%, FT-83% (5-6), 3FG- 0% (0-1), PPG-3.7, RPG-2.7, APG-0.7, SPG-0.3, BPG-1.0, TO-1.3
Last Week: MPG-28, FG-44%, FT-56% (5-9), 3FG- 0% (0-2), PPG-8.8, RPG-6.0, APG-0.3, SPG-1.0, BPG-1.3, TO-1.0
We were disappointed to see the regression in playing time for Matt this week. It looked like he had worked through a few of his early season issues and started to find some consistency, but the coaches must've seen something they didn't like. His minutes fell this week and his shot went with it (27 percent). We also noticed this week that Matt has a tendency to bite on his man's pump-fake. Rarely does he keep his positioning and he becomes a liability on defense. We can't argue with the staff if that's why they had to reduce his minutes some this week.
Matt will bounce back though, he's made big strides and has too good of an attitude not to succeed.
Kelvin Lewis, G, 22
This Week: MPG-22, FG-29%, FT-N/A (0-0), 3FG- 23% (3-13), PPG-6.3, RPG-2.7, APG-1.7, SPG-0.3, BPG-0.0, TO-1.0
Last Week: MPG-22, FG-53%, FT-58% (4-7), 3FG- 50% (8-16), PPG-11.5, RPG-1.0, APG-1.3, SPG-0.3, BPG-0.0, TO-0.3
Kelvin's reputation is quickly becoming "defensive specialist" while his shot is off. He will come in and guard the other team's best wing player, but he has to get back to consistently making shots before he can be a major contributor.
This week's MVP: It was a pretty grim week all the way around, but the bright light that shined through was this week's Legends MVP Justin Dentmon. He just keeps adapting to whatever role the team needs and he just keeps producing at a significant rate. Congrats Justin. It looks like you're creating quite a collection of this fictional trophy.
Things can only get better from here on out for the Legends… we're hoping. Time to make a playoff push!
Go Legends and Go Mavs.
Legends in the All Star Game: The D-League All Star game was played Saturday evening in LA. In 20 minutes of play, Joe Alexander had 12 points (5-9), 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. Sean Williams pitched in 21 points (8-16), 8 rebounds, and 3 steals in 19 minutes. Courtney Sims of the Iowa Energy was named the game's MVP.
Notes: Moussa Seck was released from the team earlier this week. He took all of my jokes about his height with him. Good luck to Moussa.
Texas Legends Quote of the Week:
"The Bakersfield Jam made the Legends a myth tonight." –Sportscaster doing highlights of Legends near 40-point loss to Bakersfield Jam
Upcoming Texas Legends Games (Home Games in Bold):
Monday, Feb 21 vs. Austin Toros – 7:00 pm CT
Tuesday, Feb 22 vs. Rio Grande Valley Vipers – 7:00 pm CT
Friday, Feb 25 vs. Erie Bayhawks – 7:00 pm CT
Saturday, Feb 26 @ Tulsa 66ers – 7:00 pm CT (Texoma Tussle VII)
For Mavs and Legends insider updates follow Kevin on twitter @kevinbrolan