Duke takes a lot of flack for the lack of NBA stars that have come out of the program, but the amount of valuable role players they’ve pumped into the league often goes unmentioned. With the NBA opening up their 2013-14 season last night, the former Blue Devils did plenty to remind everyone.
On a night where the rest of the Chicago Bulls couldn’t hit a shot to save their lives, PF Carlos Boozer carried the load, tallying 31 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block in a 107-95 loss to the defending-champion Miami Heat. How big of a contributor was he last night? Well:
RT @tomhaberstroh: Not a good sign for the Bulls: Mid-3Q, Carlos Boozer (21) has more points than the rest of his teammates combined (20).
— The NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 30, 2013
The former Dukie now leads the NBA in ppg. Don’t you love early season statistics?
Also contributing in the Bulls’ loss was 11-year veteran Mike Dunleavy–who added 10 points, 3 rebounds and an assist in 23 minutes–and Luol Deng, who struggled shooting the ball, but managed 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
On the opposing side, Shane Battier was highly effective, finishing with 14 points, 2 rebounds and an assist in 22 minutes. The 12-year veteran finished 4-4 from beyond the arc and showed every reason why he can be a valuable contributor off the bench at the age of 35.
Out in Los Angeles, JJ Redick managed a decent performance in his LA Clippers’ debut, scoring 13 points and adding 3 assists and 2 rebounds to go with it. Redick and the rest of the Clippers struggled down the stretch, however, and were outscored 41-24 by the Laker bench in the final quarter of their shocking 116-103 loss.
Redick, who signed a 4-year, $27 million contract in the sign-and-trade deal this offseason, figures to be a significant contributor to the Clippers down to the stretch, and could be one of the keys to them fulfilling their many lofty goals.
Rookie Ryan Kelly, who made the Lakers’ final roster, was in uniform, but he failed to receive any playing time in a game where coach Mike D’Antoni unloaded the bench. I’m sure he was an excellent bench warmer, though.
With 28 teams in action tonight, there figures to plenty of former Blue Devils getting action.