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Gani Lawal And His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Game

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Gani Lawal has been on assignment from the Phoenix Suns to the Iowa Energy since the D-League season began and, while he's never looked particularly impressive in my eyes during his Development League stint, he may have had the worst game any NBA-assigned player has ever had in Friday night's game against the Tulsa 66ers.

That sounds like hyperbole, but his box score read as follows: In 10 minutes and 17 seconds of playing time, he made his only field goal attempt, missed both of his free-throws and grabbed one rebound before fouling out with 9:33 left in the game.  Sure, it probably could have been worse, but that sort of game doesn't look good coming from a player making NBA money playing players making less than 1/10th of NBA money.

Unfortunately, I didn't watch the game however so I was going to let it pass until good ol' Seth Pollack tweeted to the world that he was waiting for my report from the game. So I watched it. Without audio. Just me, a box score and the fast-forward-ten-seconds button in the D-League's archived game footage.

What I found, unfortunately for Mr. Lawal, was essentially that the box score didn't lie as he really was never effective.  My (semi, but not really cleaned up) notes while watching the game can be found below.

UPDATELawal looked much better the following night.

Lawal checked in at 4:59 of the first after Connor Atchley got the start and quickly bobbled an offensive rebound to Othyus Jeffers off of a free-throw miss which resulted in two points. Lawal didn't get the assist, but he should have probably been given half of one - along with half a rebound - for his work.

The rest of this is in chronological order, but since he only played 10 minutes it's obviously got some time lapses where Lawal didn't anything.

  • Sloppy inbound pass
  • Solid boxout
  • Fouled Marcus Lewis on entry pass
  • "Drew" a looseball foul on a rebound that got him free-throws from the penalty, but bricked both free-throws 
  • ABUSED on a nifty postmove from Ryan Reid that got Lawal up before Reid drew the foul and 2 free-throw attempts
  • Poor zone D on an in-bound play that allowed his man an easy bucket, then followed it up with a lazy in-bound that got tipped out of bounds. Probably should have been a turnover
  • Got beat off the dribbling helping on Zabian Dowdell, fouling him at the basket (Dowdell made the and-1 opportunity)
  • Fast break Rebound 
  • Came out with 2:53 in the 2nd and didn't return until 1:29 left in the 3rd
  • 13 seconds later, picked up his fourth foul by impeding Marcus Lewis' progress to the post on a cut.
  • Marcus Lewis backed Lawal down in the post and made a move to get open for an easy hook shot
  • Lawal gets entry pass on right block with Marcus Lewis defending and scores with a nice up-and-under
  • Attempted to take a charge from Ryan Reid, but apparently didn't have his feet set as the official whistled him for his fifth foul of the game.
  • Last foul - switched at the top of the key onto Tweety Carter. Carter blew by him before Lawal fouled him on the lay-up attempt.