The 2016 NBA D-League Showcase continued on Wednesday, giving way to new faces strutting their stuff and hoping to impress. Nevertheless, there were also a select familiar prospects who proved to be consistent with continued top notch play.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the top performers from day two.
Raphiael Putney, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Putney arguably played the game of his life when it mattered most; talk about clutch. The forward tallied an eye-popping 38 points and 18 rebounds in one of the best performances by a prospect in NBADL Showcase history. He was absolutely dominant, playing in a versatile manner that made him difficult to deny, regardless of what he did. In addition to knocking down six daggers from long range, Putney displayed the necessary instincts when it came to putting the ball on the floor and working his way around defenders to get to the basket instead. At 6'10" and 185 pounds, Putney is averaging a near 3 blocks per game this season. Even so, some scouts wonder where he'd fit and how he'd match up defensively against bigger and bulkier NBA bodies.
Sean Kilpatrick, Delaware 87ers
Playing rare back-to-back Showcase games proved to be no problem at all for Kilpatrick, who picked up right where he left off Wednesday night. Tallying another strong offensive performance with 31 points, Kilpatrick was persistent in attacking the basket yet again. Unfortunately for him, defenses are beginning to figure out how to cover him effectively, and he has had trouble along the way figuring how to trip them up and conquer in other ways. Nevertheless, he's very comfortable taking on responsibility and being looked upon in clutch situations. Despite his stellar play, however, Kilpatrick and the 87ers are leaving the Showcase without a victory.
DeAndre Liggins, Sioux Falls Skyforce
Liggins' numbers may not have been too jaw-dropping, but anyone who helps his team overcome a 23 point deficit (and come out the other side with a victory) deserves recognition. The NBA vet Liggins was a key cog in the Skyforce's comeback, adding 19 points and dishing out 9 assists.. He also hit all four of his shots from deep. Liggins could really help any number of NBA teams right now. He's versatile, and though he's a defensive hound, has also been seen lately bringing up the ball for Sioux Falls. He can play and defend multiple positions, and did plenty of the little things necessary to contribute to the Raptors905's collapse. With a roster spot open, perhaps the Knicks should give him a call.
Xavier Munford, Bakersfield Jam
Despite his team's defeat, Munford put up a near triple-double with 18 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds. It's taken him a while, but Munford has quietly ascended up into one of the D-League's better point guards. The young gun is a very smart player who tries to make intelligent and efficient plays. He's not one to overreact or freak out on the court. He had tough defensive assignments all game long, but more or less held his own, covering the likes of Terry Rozier, and others. The Jam's loss was clearly not on him at all. It'll be interesting to see if his strong play will be enough to elevate him next to some of the more well known prospects, or if such prowess will just bolster an overseas opportunity for him next season.