Weekly MVP and Player Updates for the Texas Legends
Legends Action of February 21st – March 7th (Includes games vs. Austin – 2/21, vs. Rio Grande Valley – 2/22, vs. Erie - 2/25, @ Tulsa – 2/26, @ Austin – 3/3, @ Austin – 3/4)
As the Texas Legends currently hang on for dear life to the last playoff spot in the NBA D-League, the Dallas Mavericks' minor-league boys need just one extended stretch of winning basketball to secure a spot in the tournament of the final eight. It is promising news to still be in the playoff mix after a 2-4 record during this recent cluster of games, but it will take more than their current effort to enter the postseason with any kind of momentum.
Going all the way back to the end of February, the Legends started the six game stretch with high hopes as they beat their rivals south on I-35, the Austin Toros 113-106. It's always a good feeling to see a blue and white Dallas team stomp on a Black and Silver south Texas team. It's just too bad it wasn't a sign of things to come.
The Boys in White followed up the emotional win with two back-to-back letdowns against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the Erie Bayhawks, 112-122 and 110-132 respectively. The scores are even a little misleading, as the games weren't even as close as they suggest.
After those couple of disappointing performances, Legends brass decided it was time to mix it up and suit up a new player in the form of ex-Cincinnati Bearcat Forward Ronald Allen.
The move didn't pay immediate dividends as they followed up those losses with a disheartening effort against their constant northern adversaries, the Tulsa 66ers (Yes, they played Tulsa for the 7th time). Allen and the Legends made their presence felt on the 2nd in Austin though, with a massive 138-136 win, capped with a buzzer beater by Justin "The DentMAN" Dentmon.
As amazing an experience as that was, the Toros spoiled the party the next day by handing a big L to the Legends, 122-132.
Phew, did that quick recap feel like a whirlwind to you too? No rest for the weary though, because it's time for the weekly player evaluations starting with the new guy in town… Ronald Allen.
Following the theme of the Legends' season so far, there were PLENTY of ups and downs this week to discuss on the Down On The Farm Report … From new blood to old faces… On to the Legends' player evaluations! There were six games this week and as always, these stats are weekly averages.
Ronald Allen, F, 32
This Week: MPG-17, FG-45%, FT-80% (4-5), 3FG- 0% (0-1), PPG-8.0, RPG-7.3, APG-0.7, SPG-0.7, BPG-0.7, TO-1.3
With the Legends struggling to get a foot hold on any consistency whatsoever, you can't argue with the notion of bringing in a new face to shake things up. Allen, who played his college ball at Cincinnati, was the physical forward with the quick first step that the Legends desired, so the match fit perfectly.
Since Allen is flexible at the 3 and 4 spots, the Legends became more flexible overall now that Joe can play more small forward at times and dominate his defender with size. So far, Allen has brought tenacity on defense while not being a liability on the offensive end. If he can continue finishing well at the rim and attacking both the offensive and defensive boards, then Allen will carve himself a nice niche with this team.
Keep up the solid work Ronald and we'll have a nickname for you here shortly.
Joe Alexander, F, 23
This Week: MPG-42, FG-43%, FT-84% (32-38), 3FG- 0% (0-4), PPG-21.0, RPG-8.2, APG-2.7, SPG-1.2, BPG-1.3, TO-3.2
Last 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
The main news to report with Joe this week is that he is still on the Legends, which is a surprise to many. Coach Lieberman even went as far as to say she doesn't expect to have him for Texas' stretch and playoff runs.
Joe continued to pile on to his amazing year this week by posting nearly identical stats across the board and showing his commitment to aggression on offense. The big increase in points and rebounds this week are proof of the motivation Joe still has in order to get another crack at the big leagues.
The NBA call-up watch continues for the former 8th overall draft pick of the NBA Draft.
Antonio Daniels, G, 33
This Week: MPG-42, FG-41%, FT-90% (28-31), 3FG- 57% (13-23), PPG-16.2, RPG-3.8, APG-9.0, SPG-1.7, BPG-0.0, TO-2.2
Last 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
While Antonio had a rough time finding consistency near the basket, he definitely found his stroke from behind the arc. When he shows the other team that he is a threat to makes threes, it makes it that much easier for him to beat his man and get to the basket. At that point, he uses his body to keep his man from recovering and either dishes or drives. The lesson: When AD is making shots, he becomes one of the most dangerous players on the court.
Factor that in with his 4.1 assist to turnover ratio this week and you're getting about all you can ask from the veteran. Now, all that he asks is that an NBA in need of a veteran PG comes calling soon.
Sean Williams, F/C, 12
This Week: MPG-33, FG-52%, FT-50% (14-28), 3FG- 50% (1-2), PPG-12.8, RPG-9.0, APG-0.7, SPG-0.7, BPG-1.5, TO-3.7
Last 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
Something got into Sean this week and it adjusted his attitude a bit. "The Minesweeper" came out of the gates going crazy with energy which is what this team needs from him night in and night out. He was extremely aggressive on both ends grabbing rebounds and making athletic moves out of the post.
A lot of times Sean brings with energy, but no control which makes his play irrelevant. That was not the case this week as Sean came out with what we called controlled energy, and focused on grabbing a ton of boards this week (54) and putting in nearly 13 points a game.
These good-attitude, controlled energy performances are what NBA GM's are looking for with guys like Sean.
Justin Dentmon, G, 4
This Week: MPG-35, FG-51%, FT-83% (25-30), 3FG- 46% (16-35), PPG-21.2, RPG-3.0, APG-4.0, SPG-0.8, BPG-0.0, TO-1.5
Last 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
The DentMAN is scoring whenever and however he wants these days. He's getting lay ups, jump shots, three pointers, and getting to the line. Hell, he's even dropping game winners against arch rivals. His stats have dropped in other categories somewhat, but that is only due to the new role being asked of him. We're convinced if he was asked to go back to his previous playmaking role, he could do it without breaking a sweat.
We're splitting hairs at this point, but the one thing we want to tell Justin is this: Keep Shooting! After scoring 24 points in the first half (!) during the second game in Austin, he came out and differed to other players and stopped being as aggressive. Forget that DentMAN. When you're hot, you go for it.
Dominique Johnson, G, 9
This Week: MPG-25, FG-51%, FT-88% (14-16), 3FG- 42% (8-19), PPG-13.3, RPG-4.3, APG-0.7, SPG-0.7, BPG-0.3, TO-1.3
Last 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
DoJo 2.0 continued to work on his overall game this week. Despite his assist numbers dropping a bit, his rebounding, shooting efficiency and mistake-free game makes him a valuable commodity. His game is versatile enough that he can play at any time without being detrimental to the team.
In addition to his statistical output, he is becoming a much better on-ball defender. It seems like every game he gains more discipline and smartly challenges shots. Even when he does get beat, he usually has good enough hands to swipe at the ball without picking up a cheap foul.
Dom-John is a project worth watching and investing in.
Booker Woodfox, G, 11
This Week: MPG-16, FG-40%, FT-57% (4-7), 3FG- 29% (5-17), PPG-7.2, RPG-1.0, APG-1.0, SPG-0.3, BPG-0.0, TO-0.5
Last 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
Amongst the craziness of the busy week and schedule, Booker had a little bit of a down week. We've said it here before, but if his three-point shot isn't falling then he has to work REALLY hard to have a positive effect on the team and he couldn't do that this week.
He was pulled in and out of the starting lineup a few times this week, so we're hoping his rhythm comes back as he settles into a role.
Matt Rogers, F/C, 32
This Week: MPG-21, FG-53%, FT-75% (12-16), 3FG- 0% (0-1), PPG-9.0, RPG-5.8, APG-0.0, SPG-0.3, BPG-1.3, TO-1.0
Last 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
CONFIDENCE AND CONSISTENCY. CONFIDENCE AND CONSISTENCY. CONFIDENCE AND CONSISTENCY.
So, there are two things Matt had this week that allowed him to play exactly how the Legends need him to play. We've harped on them all year. Any guesses what they are?
This week's MVP: He led the team in scoring. He plays whatever role is necessary. He hits game winning shots against the Spur…I means the Austin Toros. He's this week's Texas Legends MVP. He is…Justin Dentmon. Congrats Justin, you're racking up quite a few of these!
Time to push for the playoffs!
Go Legends and Go Mavs.
Texas Legends Quote of the Week:
"They rave about what he's (Antonio Daniels) been to the younger players. Apparently everyone is on scholarship with AD. None of the young guys pay when they're out with Antonio Daniels. He talked about it as paying it forward." –FSSW announcers during game vs. Toros
Upcoming Texas Legends Games (Home Games in Bold):
Wednesday, Mar 9 vs. Sioux Falls Sky Force – 7:00 pm CT
Friday, Mar 11 vs. Austin Toros – 7:00 pm CT
Saturday, Mar 12 vs. Austin Toros – 7:00 pm CT (On VERSUS)
Friday, Mar 18 @ Maine Red Claws – 6:00 pm CT
Sunday, Mar 20 @ Maine Red Claws – 12:00 pm CT
For Mavs and Legends insider updates follow Kevin on twitter @kevinbrolan