24 NBA teams took to the hardwood Friday night for their second or third games of the season. Of those 24 teams, ten of them had former Kentucky Wildcats on their active rosters. Let's take a look at how each former blue-bleeder fared last night.
Karl Anthony-Towns had what was for sure the best rookie performance so far this season and one of the best in recent memory in the Minnesota Timberwolves' win over the Denver Nuggets. Scoring 28 points on 11/19 shooting, grabbing 14 rebounds and recording four blocks as well, the number one overall pick showed just how worthy he was of that honor. Veteran teammate Tayshaun Prince has started both games for Minnesota so far, but is averaging just two points per game.
The Utah Jazz- Philadelphia 76ers matchup featured two former Kentucky frontcourt studs; however, both struggled. It was a major offensive struggle for 76ers PF Nerlens Noel against a very good defensive unit with Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. Noel had eight points on 2/12 shooting with ten rebounds and two blocks. Jazz rookie Trey Lyles has still yet to score his first point in the NBA, going 0/3 in just seven minutes last night.
Patrick Patterson had eight points while making two of five three-pointers, coming off the bench for the Toronto Raptors against the Boston Celtics. Second-year Celtics' guard James Young was inactive for the second consecutive game to start the season.
John Wall had himself another fantastic performance in a close victory against the Milwaukee Bucks. Wall scored 19 points, made 10/10 free throws, dished out 10 assists and added two steals as well.
Terrence Jones struggled against the Golden State Warriors; then again, everyone struggles against Steph Curry and company these days. Jones shot 2/7 and could only muster up four points and four rebounds in Houston's loss to Golden State. LA Lakers starting power forward Julius Randle wasn't any better, scoring three points on 1/4 shooting and two rebounds in a loss to the Sacramento Kings.
The two most UK-inhabited teams in the NBA are the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns. Both teams had excellent contributions from former Kentucky stars. The Kings started three former Kentucky players, including rookie fan-favorite Willie Cauley-Stein, who made his first NBA start against the Lakers. Willie scored 17 points on 7/8 shooting with nine rebounds and three blocks. DeMarcus Cousins scored 21 points with 11 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo scored 21 points on 9/13 shooting with eight assists.
The Phoenix Suns have a formidable Kentucky-duo in their backcourt with Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. Both had excellent games, Knight with 18 points on 50% shooting and Bledsoe with 22 points, including a 10-11 mark from the free throw line. Devin Booker turned 19 years old yesterday, but only played two minutes last night after scoring 14 points in his NBA debut. Archie Goodwin scored one point in his two minutes of action as well.