D-League alumni continue to impress in the NBA. On Tuesday night, former Iowa Energy star Shabazz Muhammad poured in a career-high 20 points for the Minnesota Timberwolves, shooting 8-of-13 from the field, while adding six rebounds and two steals. The Wolves defeated the Phoenix Suns 110-101.
Muhammad enjoyed success his freshman year at UCLA before entering the 2013 NBA Draft. In 17 college games, the 6-6 standout led the Bruins in scoring, averaging 17.9 points per contest while grabbing down 5.2 rebounds.
He was selected as the No. 14 overall pick in the draft by the Utah Jazz, but his draft rights were then traded to the Timberwolves. On January 5, after eleven NBA apperances, Muhammad was assigned to the Iowa Energy of the D-League. He played in four games for the Energy, averaging 24.5 points on 57.1 percent shooting, 9.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest.
Muhammad's stellar play propelled him into the D-League Showcase, where he threw down this huge dunk:
On January 13, he was recalled by Minnesota. Since heading back to The Association, Muhammad has appeared in ten games, averaging just 5.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per contest. Still, Monday night's performance was certainly encouraging. He looked as comfortable and confident as ever on an NBA court. He was aggressive and it clearly paid its dividends.
According to Hoops Stats, the Wolves bench averages 26 points per game - tied for 25th in the league. At 28-29, the team currently sits 5.5 games back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
If Muhammad can continue to provide promising performances and give the Timberwolves a spark off the bench, it may place the team into better position for a playoff run.