Grizzle up - US PRESSWIRE
With a little less than a quarter of the NBA season in the books, there are a number of former Buckeyes that are seeing significant minutes for their teams this season.
Since 2007, the Buckeyes have had at least one shootyhooper drafted in the 1st round each year. We will bring you a weekly update on how former Buckeye basketballers are doing in the NBA.
Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies: The Memphis Grizzlies are off to 12-3 start behind Conley's solid play at point guard this year. In 34 minutes a game, Conley is averaging 15.3 points and a team-high 6.3 assists per game. Conley didn't play against Cleveland on 11/26 but did start the other 3 games during the week as the Grizzlies went 3-1 in 4 games. In a tough 4-point loss on Saturday to San Antonio, Conley tied his season high with 12 assists to go along with 18 points.
Daequan Cook - SG - Houston Rockets: Cook has been in-and-out of the Rockets rotation this year, appearing in only 8 of Houston's 16 games. On Wednesday against the Thunder, Cook got a rare start and had his best game of the year registering 18 points and 7 rebounds in 38 minutes as the Rockets fell to the Thunder 120-98. This was Cook's first game against Oklahoma City after being included in the James Harden deal at the end of October. Daequan couldn't build any momentum after that performance though, as he did not play on Saturday night against Utah.
Kosta Koufos - F/C - Denver Nuggets: On Monday night Koufos recorded his 2nd double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds as Denver defeated Toronto 113-110. Koufos has started every game so far this season for the Nuggets and sees an average of 21 minutes per game. His offensive numbers aren't flashy (6.1 PPG) but his sold defensive work continues to get him playing time. Already this season Koufos has had 5 games with at least 3 blocks.
Byron Mullens - F/C- Charlotte Bobcats: Another former one-and-done Buckeye big has started every game his team has played this season. The Bobcats already have 7 wins on this year after only notching 7 victories during last year's lockout-shortened season, but have now dropped their last 4 games. Mullens gave us one of the early nominees for NBA dunk of the year as he posterized LaMarcus Aldridge. Mullens had 12 points and 12 assists, his 3rd double-double of the year, but it wasn't enough as the Blazers beat the Bobcats 118-112 in OT. One thing Mullens could look to improve on is his field goal percentage as he his shooting only 37% from the field.
Evan Turner - G/F - Philadelphia 76ers: The 2nd overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft is starting to find his own in Philadelphia, averaging 20.2 points over his last 5 games. Currently Turner is 3rd on the 76ers in points per game and 2nd in rebounds and assists per game. Turner's best game last week was on Friday night against Charlotte as he poured in 25 points and 10 rebounds. With Andre Iguodala traded to Denver in the offseason and Andrew Bynum expected to be sidelined for a while with knee problems, I would expect to see Turner to continue to improve his play as the season goes on.
Jared Sullinger - PF - Boston Celtics: 17 games into his rookie season in the NBA, most of Sullinger's work has come from off the bench. Early in the season Jared started 3 games but everything since then has been from off the bench. Sullinger is averaging 18.1 minutes, 5.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game early in his NBA career. On Friday night, Jared logged a season-high 31 minutes as the Celtics beat Portland. Sullinger's best stretch of the season came in back-to-back games on November 17th and 18th. Jared recorded his 1st double-double of his NBA career against the Raptors, while following it up with a season-high 16 points against the Pistons the following night.