The NBA season is underway and several former Duke players have led the way for their professional teams. The Blue Zone takes a look at the past week:
Marvin Bagley III
After struggling with a knee injury earlier in the season, Bagley joined the Pistons’ rotation on November 12. The 23-year-old center has been playing great basketball since his return and has scored double-digit goals in each of his last four games. His most recent success was highlighted by a 19-point performance in the Pistons’ 125-116 win over Jazz Wednesday, where he shot 90.0% from the field. Bagley has also drastically improved his free throw shooting this season, recording 92.3% from the streak compared to a career average of 66.9%.
The Hawks rookie has had a very successful week, sparked by a game-winning overtime layup against the Raptors on Saturday. Prior to this week, Griffin had only hit double digits twice this season. However, he has done so in each of the Hawks’ last three games. The Ossining, NY native scored 17 in both the Hawks’ 124-122 win over the Raptors and their 114-102 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday. Griffin has seen his minutes increase as a result of this production, having played 30 minutes or more in both games.
Tatum has continued to impress this season and his team has won 10 of their last 11 games. The Celtics star most recently scored 37 points in the team’s 125-112 win over the Mavericks on Wednesday. His multi-faceted approach to the game made him dangerous as he also helped out on defence. Dallas’ top player Luka Doncic scored just two points and had two turnovers while being guarded by the Celtics starter. Including his 13 rebounds of the season against the Mavericks, Tatum has had 10 or more rebounds in four of Boston’s last six games.
It’s been a solid season for the fourth-year Canadian pro. He’s shot in double digits in all but one game this season. Barrett put in an excellent performance in the Knicks’ 129-119 win over Thunder Monday. He scored 25 points and collected eight rebounds in the contest. Not only did Barrett record a high score, but he also had 10 field goals, which were for his season high on Nov. 11 against the Pistons. Barrett also shot 62.5% from the field in the competition, which is his highest accuracy mark so far this year.
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