Keyon Dooling Looks Rusty Following NBADL Start In Anticipation of Grizzlies' Playoff Run

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Keyon Dooling has come out of retirement to join the Grizzlies. Before hitting the hardwood for Memphis, the veteran made a stop in the D-League to start his new NBA team's minor league affiliate's season finale. He didn't exactly do enough to rid himself of the offseason rust.

With the end of the NBA's regular season and the start to its postseason just a couple weeks away, the Memphis Grizzlies decided to make one last minute veteran addition.

Perhaps looking to further solidify its rotation while reeling in a steady veteran presence, Memphis lured Keyon Dooling out of retirement, signing him for the rest of the season.

Having not played professional ball since last season with the Celtics, it's unknown (to the public eye, at least) just how seasoned Dooling has remained for NBA competition. That said, sometimes teams will get lucky, al a the Knicks with a player like Kenyon Martin.

Nevertheless, before he ultimately hits the hardwood for the Grizzlies, Dooling was sent to Reno to don a Bighorns uniform for the NBADL team's season finale on Saturday night.

Starting in the backcourt alongside fellow Memphis assignee Tony Wroten, Dooling aimed to shake off a bit of rust through the game. It's hard to tell if he accomplished that.

Never considered much of a run and gun guard, Dooling still looked on the slower side without much pep in his step during his D-League debut. With Wroten and Darnell Jackson scoring 30 points a piece, the veteran wasn't asked to do much of the scoring for his squad. He finished with 6 points on 3 of 8 shooting from the field and grabbed 2 steals.

Whether it was due to Dooling's own doing (try that for a tongue-twister) or simply because of the system which Reno plays, the guard also failed to get open much due to limited spacing on the court, and also turned the ball over four times. He wasn't very aggressive or assertive on the court, but perhaps he wasn't asked to be.

In a word, "rusty" is the best way to describe Dooling's single foray into the D-League, but perhaps it's not time for Memphis to worry just yet. After sitting out for so long, such rust is to be expected. One game is by no means a sufficient sample size. What's more, surely the Grizzlies' priority is having Dooling at full strength in time for the postseason, so there's certainly still time for him to get his legs back a bit.

It's a shame that without a postseason bid, the Bighorns' season has come to a close, as that subsequently means the end to Dooling's time in the minors and any progress he may have gone on to make there.

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