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Why Bighorns Guard Erick Green Should Be Next In Line For An NBA Call-Up

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The former Denver Nugget is the leading scorer in the D-League and has earned a spot on an NBA roster. A closer look at his 40-point games shows just how dynamic a player he is.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

There have been twelve call ups to the NBA from the D-League so far this year. Four of them have been from the Reno Bighorns. Boasting three of the top fifteen top scorers, this team has been a pipeline to the big time, and the next player that deserves a call up is Erick Green. He currently leads the league in scoring, netting 26.8 points-per-game to go with 4.5 assists, and 4.3 rebounds. He is one of the most complete and consistent guards in the Development League.

Green is no stranger to high scoring averages, during his four years at Virginia Tech he was a dangerous player. His senior year he was the leading scorer in Division I basketball, scoring 25 points-per-game, and had a couple outbursts with the Denver Nuggets last year. Against the Miami Heat, he finished with 11 points and three assists, while also putting up a career high in points on the last game of the season against the Golden State Warriors with 17. Although he was a decent bench player, the Nuggets ended up waiving him in November. Soon after, found his way to Reno, where he has done nothing but succeed all season.

In the November 22nd lost to the Santa Cruz Warriors, Green eclipsed 40 points for the first time this season — a feat that he has accomplished twice. The first 40-point game he took over with his ability to draw contact at the rim and transition game. He shot 52 percent from the floor, 33 percent from distance, and went 11-of-13 from the free-throw line. Of the eight shots that he took from within the arc he only missed one. In addition to his impressive scoring he also had a good number of assists and rebounds with six.

The only fault that could've been found in Green's game was the high volume of shots from distance that he took. He went five-of-fifteen and took a lot of shots from deep down the stretch of a very close game. In close games, it is easy to start throwing up desperation shots, especially when one is as skilled and asked to carry the load offensively like Green, but the mark of a NBA guard is knowing when to move the ball for a better shot. As the season went on, he has improved on this and is taking smarter shots and playing efficient basketball.

His best game of the season came against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on January 4th in a 126-122 shoot-out victory where he again scored 40 points to go with five rebounds, seven assists, three steals and no turnovers. This game is where he truly demonstrated his ability to take over games and make the players around him better. Unlike his matchup with Santa Cruz where he took unnecessary shots, in this game he shot 12-of-21 from the floor, four-of-seven from deep, and 12-of-13 from the stripe. While Green is known for being a spot-up shooter, an overwhelming amount of his points were scored at the rim.

Erick Green's confidence is at an all-time high. He has been dominating and is without a doubt one of the premier prospects in the Development League. NBA teams need to strike while the iron is hot on this player. He has already shown that he can be an effective bench player, now it is time for him to become a role player. His consistency is unmatched and would be very reliable when called upon. He is one of the most complete guards on the market and could be an asset to just about any team that could sign him.