Here's your Weekly MVP and Player Updates for the Texas Legends ...
Week of March 8th – March 15th (Includes games vs. Sioux Falls – 3/9, vs. Austin – 3/11, vs. Austin – 3/12)
In a twist of irony this week, the Texas Legends continued their search for consistency by making extensive changes to their roster. Kelvin Lewis and Keith Clark found themselves out of a spot on the team as Texas signed ex-Bradley guard Chris Roberts and continued to work recent addition Ronald Allen into the mix.
And the results were mixed.
The boys hosted the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Wednesday the 9th. Despite an 80-72 advantage entering the fourth quarter, the Legends wilted down the stretch to fall 99-96. Leading the way in this gut-wrencher was the telling stat of 23 total turnovers. (Let's not get back into this ugly habit, okay?)
Then Austin came calling. Twice.
Texas and Austin split the games (again) with a Legends 97-93 victory in Frisco on Friday the 11th and a 99-114 setback the next day. The Legends seemed dead set on a winning streak when they came out hot in the first quarter, but the momentum fizzled as the game went on. Sometimes, the inconsistency of the Legends can make your head ache.
Speaking of headaches! In case you feel like this is the 100th and 101st time these two teams have met in the last month, you're not crazy because that's not too far off. The Toros and the Legends have played each other six times this year, including FOUR times this month. Texas can clinch the season series (4-2 in the Legends favor as of today) with a win in Austin on the 31st.
There are just seven games left in the year (only two at home) and the Legends have reinforcements arriving as the playoffs grow near. Rashad McCants is expected to make his re-debut this week as he has returns to the D-League from China and he should provide a needed spark to this frustratingly inconsistent Legends side.
The race is on as the Legends hang on to the last playoff spot in the league.
With the ongoing "Call-Up Watch" for Legends stars, there is plenty to discuss in this week's Down On The Farm Report … from Rashad McCants reintroduction to the 2010 Playoff Push … On to the Legends' player evaluations! There were three games this week and as always, these stats are weekly averages.
First off, the new kid in class:
Chris Roberts, G,
This Week: MPG-26, FG-41%, FT-67% (2-3), 3FG- 20% (1-5), PPG-5.7, RPG-4.7, APG-2.0, SPG-2.7, BPG-1.0, TO-0.3
In another effort to mix up the roster and find a spark, Legends brass brought in 6-4 guard Chris Roberts. He wasted no time getting involved as he put in 13 minutes in his first game on the job.
Chris is an intangibles guy who is not a liability on the offensive end. From the guard position, he is very aggressive on the boards and takes some gambles on defense in order to get some steals and turn them into easy offense.
Just look at his line from only his second game as a Legend (32 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocks, and 0 turnovers) in order to see how he can have a positive effect in nearly every aspect of the game.
Welcome Chris. And keep working on getting that quadruple double.
Joe Alexander, F, 23
This Week: MPG-38, FG-43%, FT-70% (14-20), 3FG- 50% (1-2), PPG-17.7, RPG-6.0, APG-1.0, SPG-0.0, BPG-1.7, TO-2.7
Last 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
Joe "The Jedi" Alexander's numbers were down across the board a little bit this week, but so was his usage rate, which makes the drop understandable. There are more bodies in the mix for the Legends, so there will be less stats to go around (aka rebounds to get, shots to take, etc).
We all know what Joe can do though, so any changes in his week-to-week stats shouldn't lead us to being too high or too low. He is around a 20/8 guys who must be game planned against by the opposing defense and he does it night in and night out.
He was a little tentative taking it to the basket this week. On film, he didn't look to drive as much as usual, but still had his overall effectiveness.
Without Joe, the Legends become an infinitely easier team to defend.
Antonio Daniels, G, 33
This Week: MPG-36, FG-35%, FT-92% (11-12), 3FG- 33% (1-3), PPG-10.0, RPG-4.3, APG-6.3, SPG-2.0, BPG-0.0, TO-3.3
Last 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
AD's anticipation on defense was some of the best I have seen from him during his tenure here in Frisco. As a veteran, he obviously knows how to read the passing lanes really well, but his quickness seemed like it was there even more than usual, making his BBIQ on defense even more effective.
Aside from that little plus, Antonio didn't have too many positives to the week.
We praised AD's assist to turnover ratio last week because it was through the roof. This week's 1.9 ratio? Not so much. Antonio played with the same aggression and smarts as always, but his shot and execution just weren't there. When that happens, AD's effectiveness is severely limited.
Sean Williams, F/C, 12
This Week: MPG-10, FG-55%, FT-67% (6-9), 3FG- 50% (1-2), PPG-14.3, RPG-8.7, APG-1.0, SPG-2.0, BPG-2.3, TO-3.7
Last 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
Why was Sean's week so successful? Was it because of the 14 points and 9 rebounds? Sure. How about the 2 steals and 2 blocks a game? Definitely. Did the 55 percent shooting help? For sure, for sure. What else? His activity.
When Sean comes out motivated, he looks like a different player. He was motivated this week and was extremely active on both ends of the floor. He becomes the team's MVP when he plays this way and (spoiler alert) he may have earned himself player of the week with his performances the last few days.
Justin Dentmon, G, 4
This Week: MPG-36, FG-38%, FT-77% (17-22), 3FG- 47% (8-17), PPG-20.3, RPG-3.0, APG-4.7, SPG-1.3, BPG-0.0, TO-2.3
Last 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
Not counting three-pointers, the DentMAN had his worst shooting week all season. For that exact reason, it's good to know that he kept up his absolutely torrid pace with his three-point shooting. This marked his second consecutive week of shooting over 45 percent from beyond the arc. In addition to his long range effectiveness, he also was more aggressive with his playmaking and had noticeably more active hands on defense.
The efficiency to his shooting was an issue, but overall Justin had a very positive impact on the team this week.
Dominique Johnson, G, 9
This Week: MPG-33, FG-34%, FT-50% (1-2), 3FG- 0% (0-7), PPG-7.7, RPG-4.3, APG-2.3, SPG-1.0, BPG-0.0, TO-0.7
Last 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
Earlier in the year, we harped on DoJo 2.0 to develop the rest of his game in order to still be of use on the court even on a rainy day when his shot wasn't falling. Well, the bad weather came this week with Johnson shooting only 34 percent, but he still found 33 minutes per game due to his well-rounded play in other areas. With Kelvin Lewis gone, Dominique instantly became the team's best perimeter defender and he lived up to that reputation this week in addition to the positive stats he threw down.
With steady weekly contributions like this (4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and only 0.7 turnovers) and consistently improving defense, Dominique can be an option on the court at all times even if his offense isn't what it should be.
Now, about that shooting…
Matt Rogers, F/C, 32
This Week: MPG-20, FG-40%, FT-80% (8-10), 3FG- 0% (0-0), PPG-8.0, RPG-7.0, APG-0.3, SPG-0.3, BPG-1.3, TO-0.3
Last 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
When Matt is on the floor, all Coach Lieberman asks is that he works on defense, finishes at the basket, and crashes the boards like a mad man. Lately, that is exactly what he's doing. Matt played his role to a T this week.
One observation we made this week is that Matt has much more lateral movement now than he had earlier in the year. He'll never be mistaken for Roddy B in the quickness department, but you can tell the kid has worked his butt off to at least be able to put in the work on the defensive end in.
Booker Woodfox, G, 11
This Week: MPG-18, FG-39%, FT-89% (8-9), 3FG- 60% (3-5), PPG-12.3, RPG-1.3, APG-0.3, SPG-0.3, BPG-0.3, TO-1.7
Last 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
Mr. Cool Name had a similar week to Justin in the sense that he had a low overall FG percentage, but was simply on fire from three. Booker's minutes have been sliding the last few weeks, so it will be interesting to see where he falls in the rotation after Rashad McCants makes his return to the court.
This week's MVP: I may have ruined it with my spoiler alert earlier, but Sean Williams is definitely the Texas Legends MVP of the week this week. He put up amazing stats which were only amplified by his high energy and positive activity. Congrats Sean.
There are only seven games on the slate before the playoffs fire up, so let's help the boys in white make a push!
Go Legends and Go Mavs.
Texas Legends Quote of the Week:
"If they (Joe and Sean) can get that (the holes in their game) filled up, they're going to have a good opportunity to play a few years in the NBA." –Legends GM Del Harris discussing a couple of the Legends' NBA prospects
Upcoming Texas Legends Games (Home Games in Bold):
Friday, Mar 18 @ Maine Red Claws – 6:00 pm CT
Sunday, Mar 20 @ Maine Red Claws – 12:00 pm CT
Friday, Mar 25 @ Tulsa 66ers – 7:00 pm CT (Texoma Tussle Season Finale!)
For Mavs and Legends insider updates follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbrolan