Last season, minor league rookie Micah Downs was one of an unprecedented five players the Maine Red Claws sent to the 2013 NBA D-League All-Star Game.
The young gun absolutely deserved the honor as an intriguing prospect able to impact the game in so many ways for his team. Downs averaged 16 points (on 43% from the field and 38% from deep), 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks though 48 contests with Maine last year.
After finding success in the D-League, Downs ventured overseas to Venezuela, where he competed in a league against fellow minor league All-Star Courtney Fortson. Next up was the Ukraine, where he most recently appeared in ten contests.
With a new year now comes a brand spanking new start for Downs with the Erie BayHawks. The Knicks' D-League affiliate acquired the forward from the player pool, and he'll make his debut on Monday.
At 6'8" and 200 pounds, Downs has quite the unique frame. Still, the lengthy forward uses his physicality to swarm opponents and/or deflect shots defensively. He's a very reactive player on defensive, able to make quite decisions on the fly.
On offense, Downs is a skilled shooter from down town who can spread defenses thin. Not the most agile player on the court, he can still pull up and knock down jumpers from anywhere across the perimeter. He has the skills to be an NBA player. He just needs some time, a bit of extra muscle, and perhaps just added pep in his step. He's close.
But in the meantime, there's no doubt he'll provide a boost to the BayHawks' lineup in the coming weeks. After starting off the year 0-7, Erie has begun its climb back up to postseason contention. They've looked good as of late, remaining competitive. Led by Justin Brownlee and the recently added Chris Smith, the squad has gone 6-7 in their last thirteen games.