NBA Update: Cunningham, Smart A Average Double Figures
The NBA season is approaching its mid-term and former League Pokes are having an impact on the Eastern Conference.
Cade Cunningham and Marcus Smart are each scoring a double-digit average at this point in the year, and like most Oklahoma State alumni who make it to the league, they do more than just score. Here’s a look at how Smart and the most recent No.1 pick have evolved as the league enters its Christmas Day roster.
Cunningham proving No.1 selection status
Cunningham, like much of the league, is currently in health and safety protocols, but after a slow start to the season, the No.1 pick is firmly back in the rookie of the year conversation.
Cunningham missed an early part of the season to recover from a minor ankle injury. It then took him a few matches to regain his sea legs, but he was this guy because.
As of December, Cunningham is averaging 17.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting 42% from field and 40% from 3.
He’s scored 20 or more points in seven of the 25 games he’s played, led by his 28-point, 11-rebound double-double against Oklahoma City on December 6. He recorded a triple-double against the Lakers in November. 21, becoming the eighth youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. The only players to do this at a younger age are LaMelo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Luka Doncic, Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, Dennis Smith Jr. and Lamar Odom – not a bad company.
There’s a reason the Cunningham Pistons had the No.1 pick last season, however. The team is not great. Detroit is 5-26, the worst record in the NBA.
Smart always does everything
Smart is in eighth grade in the NBA and continues to do what got him there – everything.
Having appeared in 31 of the Celtics’ 32 games this season, Smart is averaging 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. This average steal is the best of his career and the second best in the league.
In 10 days at the end of November, Smart played three 20-point games, including 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists against the Lakers on November 19.
The Smarts Celtics enter their Christmas Day game against Milwaukee and tied 16-16 for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Pokes in the G League
There’s a fair amount of former OSU stars in the G League as well.
Cameron McGriff and Lindy Waters made their G League debuts this season with the Greensboro Swarm and OKC Blue, respectively. And Jawun Evans and Kendall Smith still play in the league.
McGriff had an outing of 26 points and eight rebounds earlier in the month. In 14 games played, McGriff is averaging 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Waters has played 12 games with the Blues, where he averages 4.1 points per game.
Evans has played 11 games with the 905 Raptors. He is averaging 5.3 points, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Smith played eight games with the Santa Cruz Warriors, recording 5.6 points per game.