Marqus Blakely has been on the NBA radar ever since being released by the Los Angeles Clippers in the preseason, but it wasn't until today when he signed with the Houston Rockets that he given a second NBA opportunity.
Blakely, a 6-foot-5 rookie forward out of Vermont, will join the Rockets in Minnesota after playing all season in the NBA D-League split between the Bakersfield Jam and Iowa Energy. In 49 regular season D-League games (19 starts), Blakely averaged 15.0 points and 6.3 rebounds while making 63 percent of his free-throw attempts.
In last night's playoff game, a one-point loss by the Energy, Blakely fouled before scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds in 21 minutes. The deciding third game will be held tonight, and without Blakely, his team has probably become the underdog.
It's interesting that the Rockets would call-up Blakely to replace Harris considering they both are former power forwards who, due to their size, need to transition to playing on the wing in the NBA (though neither actually fully-developed those skills while playing in the D-League).
I wrote quite a bit on Blakely last month, so in lieu of re-inventing the wheel, here's a quick excerpt.
The 6-foot-5 former college power forward (transitioning now into a small/combo forward), aside from showing that he can step up and score when needed in the absence of Jeffers, Taylor and Sims, showed that he was pretty versatile in the ways that he can score as well. While the chemistry between he and Stinson in the pick-and-roll showed through the most, Blakely also showed off some advanced post moves when playing down low as well as a knack for being in the right place at the right time as teammates cut to the basket.
For more on Blakely, I encourage you to read the rest of that article.