I know that a lot of folks in the Seattle area don’t pay much attention to the NBA right now. But it’s already almost halfway through the regular season. So we’re going to give a quick update on how your favorite Washington Husky alumni are performing in the National Basketball Association
Isaiah Thomas- Cleveland Cavaliers
19.7 mpg, 15 ppg, 3.3 apg, 1.0 rpg, 44.4% FG, 35.3% 3pt, 63.6% FT
Isaiah has only played in 3 games so far this season as he recovered from a hip injury that knocked him out during last season’s playoffs. Then of course he was traded for Kyrie Irving during the offseason in a move that made sense for a robot Celtics GM but was incredibly cold to a Husky who gave everything to Boston last season.
Thomas is on a minutes restriction until he gets back up to full speed. The Cavs are going to make the playoffs no matter what so their goal is just to get him fully integrated with LeBron by April. Remember that Isaiah Thomas is going to have his jersey retired next month on Thursday February 15th at Hec-Ed in what is sure to be a tremendous atmosphere.
P.S: It looks like Isaiah learned karate during the break. You’ll get the ball next time IT.
Justin Holiday- Chicago Bulls
34 mpg, 13.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 38% FG, 36.8% 3pt, 82.9% FT
Holiday was on pace for one of the worst high volume seasons in NBA history through the first month of the season. The Bulls appeared to be one of the worst teams in the league and Holiday took advantage by shooting the ball every time he touched it. His usage rate has gone down every month however and his offensive rating has gone up every month. He’s at his best as a roll player rather than a primary option and Holiday taking more of a backseat and focusing on his defense has been part of the Bulls amazing turnaround. They started the year 3-20 and have gone 11-7 since. Holiday leads the team in minutes played but is now just 4th on the team in points scored.
Quincy Pondexter- Chicago Bulls
9.6 mpg, 2.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.4 apg, 28.6% FG, 13.6% 3pt, 82.4% FT
Quincy has finally made it back onto the court after several injuries including an infection that almost killed him. But he has yet to look like his old self. The shooting numbers are atrocious and he hasn’t been a regular part of the rotation for Chicago. Here’s to hoping that he’s able to play himself into better shape and get back to the Quincy we knew and loved.
Terrence Ross- Orlando Magic
26.2 mpg, 9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 40.7% FG, 32.9% 3pt, 74.3% FT
Unfortunately, Ross suffered a significant leg injury on November 30th and has not appeared in a game since. There’s a chance that he could miss the rest of the season which would be a big blow to his career. At the time of Ross’s injury the Magic were 9-13. They have gone just 3-15 since then. They’ve suffered other injuries and had more problems than just losing Ross but it didn’t help them. Terrence’s 3pt shooting numbers have now dipped 3 years in a row and it appears there’s a chance he may have peaked as a 4th option as a starter or a bench wing on a good team. We’ll see how he looks when he comes back from the injury.
Dejounte Murray- San Antonio Spurs
17.5 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 40.9% FG, 20% 3pt, 68.6% FT
Murray got the opportunity to start 13 games while Tony Parker recovered from injury but he’s now settled into his role as the ball handler of the bench unit and presumed PG of the future. His rebounding from the guard spot has been remarkable as he has a higher rebound percentage than Derrick Favors, Draymond Green, or Al Horford. The shooting continues to hold him back and if he could become even a 35% 3pt shooter then he has the chance to be very good for a very long time.
Marquese Chriss- Phoenix Suns
21.2 mpg, 7.2 ppg, 5rpg, 1.3 apg, 41.9% FG, 30.4% 3pt, 62% FT
Let’s start with the positives for Marquese.
Marquese Chriss with the game-saving block pic.twitter.com/tqa3KvE56S— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 3, 2018
Aaaaaand we’re done. If you regularly read NBA coverage then you know that Chriss has gotten roasted by the media. He has seemingly regressed in Year 2 after a really poor Year 1. Everyone at Washington knew that he was incredibly raw and it doesn’t appear that his basketball IQ has improved in Phoenix. He fouls way too often still and struggles when confronted with anything but the most basic of defensive concepts. The Suns aren’t going to give up on a guy that young with that much athletic talent but he needs to start showing some signs of progress if he wants to avoid following the path of Tony Wroten.
Markelle Fultz- Philadelphia 76ers
19 mpg, 6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, 33.3% FG, 50% FT
The Fultz saga has been as perplexing as it has been frustrating for 76ers fans. He entered the year claiming to have shoulder problems which prompted a bizarre change to his shooting mechanics. The 76ers apparently denied he had a real injury before both sides finally realized they were making things worse and decided to sideline him for a while. The team recently release an update on his condition which was impossibly vague and gave no indication of the timeline for his return. The hope is that he comes back fully healthy at some point this year but this is not a good start to his career for the #1 pick.
Wilcox underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in October and did not play in a game this season. He released a letter shortly before Christmas thanking the Trail Blazers organization for helping him discover what was wrong with his knee and admitting that he came close to retiring from basketball. Wilcox was recently reassigned to the G League to play for Santa Cruz and when healthy will have the opportunity to work his way back up to the NBA if he wants.