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Remember When I Said a D-League Team Could Compete in the NBA?

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I'm counting Golden State's 32 point victory over the Nets tonight as solid proof that I was right.

D-League call-up Anthony Tolliver got the start at the power forward spot, former Iowa Energy wingman Cartier Martin came off the bench to play 36 minutes and Mad Ant Chris Hunter played a bit of garbage time in a blowout victory for what Warriors' coach Don Nelson calls the Golden State D-Leaguer's.

Granted, Corey Maggette and Stephen Curry combined for 61 points, but without the D-League contributions, this game wouldn't have been such a blowout.  Plus, if you were to sub Curry out for D-League call-up Sundiata Gaines and put Morris Almond in there in place of Maggette, the Warriors still could have won this game.

Anyway, back to the D-League trumpeting:

  • Anthony Tolliver, still on his first 10-day contract, started at power forward.  This is an accomplishment in itself, especially after struggling in the box score during his first couple of games.  Tolliver played 40 minutes (the second highest amount behind Stephen Curry who played all 48 after Monta Ellis sprained his ankle in the third), shot 5-of-11 from the field for 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while finishing with a +19.  If he gets his 3-pointer back sometime soon (he shot 1-for-5 from deep last night), he's a force to be reckoned with - even in the NBA.
  • Yi Jianlian, starting opposite Tolliver, finished with a -30 +/-, scoring just two points on 1-of-6 shooting.  In his defense, he grabbed one more board than Tolliver.
  • Cartier Martin came off the bench to put up 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and grab eight boards.  He also finished with a +28, which is great, blowout or not.  Interesting fact passed along to me about Martin: Chris Hunter has grabbed 18 more rebonds than Cartier Martin, but Martin has played 100 fewer minutes than Hunter.  Basically, Martin's rebounding very well from his position.
  • Speaking of Hunter, Chris had two points and two boards in just over four minutes of action.  With Ronny Turiaf now healthy and the Warriors liking Tolliver's production enough to start him in this game, I wonder if they'd be willing to waive Hunter to sign AT.
  • I'm going to include Ronny Turiaf in this since he was called up by the Lakers in the 2005-06 season from the Yakima Sun Kings of the CBA, meaning he's technically a call-up like the three above.  Turiaf finished with a +27 in 17 minutes of action, ending up with seven points and four boards in his first game back from injury.