Tuesday evening, four former Illinois prep athletes saw minutes in various NBA games. Below I look into and share each of their NBA performances from January 4.
Best of the Day: Keifer Sykes
Keifer Sykes (Marshall) lead his team points, field goals, three-pointers, assists, steals, and points in just his second NBA start.
I’m not just here to survive, you know, I’m here to thrive. … I want to be in the NBA for a long time. So I’m going to continue to work and have that mindset and outwork everybody.Keifer Sykes on his current opportunity with the Indiana Pacers.
For those that do not know much about the life of Keifer Sykes, a documentary came out back in 2019 about him. The documentary is called Chi-Town and is available on Amazon Prime Video. The movie’s runtime is one hour and nineteen minutes.
- Keifer Sykes (Marshall/Indiana Pacers)- 38 minutes, a team-high 22 points, 8/16 FG, 4/8 3PT, 2/3 FT, an offensive rebounds, 4 total rebounds, a game-high 6 assists, a steal, a turnover, and -11 in a 104-94 loss to the New York Knicks.
Rest of the Day’s Performances
- Fred VanVleet (Auburn/Toronto Raptors)- 32 minutes, a game-high 33 points, an assist, 2 total rebounds, 7 assists, a game-high 2 steals (tied with many others), and +15 in a 129-104 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
- After two games aways and two Raptors’ losses, VanVleet has helped his team to a 3-game win streak while posting 33 points, 3.7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game since returning. He also shooting 49.3 perfcent from the field, 45 percent from three, and 93.8 percent from the free throw line
- Keita Bates-Diop (University/San Antonio Spurs)- 16 minutes, 7 point, 3/7 FG, 0/1 3PT, 1/2 FT, a game-high 4 offensive rebounds (tied with 2 others), 7 total rebounds, an assist, 2 turnovers, and a game-worst -20 in a 129-104 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
- KBD was one of 10 Spurs players (12 players played) with 2 or more turnovers last night.
- Talen Horton-Tucker (Simeon/Los Angeles Lakers)- 33 minutes, 19 points, 7/13 FG, 1/2 FG, 0/1 FT, an offensive rebound, 4 total rebounds, a team-high 6 assists, a game-high 2 steals (tied with Dwight Howard), and a team-worst 2 turnovers (tied with LeBron James), and +14 in a 122-114 win over the Sacramento Kings.
- His 19 points are the most since December 12, 2021 and his 6 assists are a season-high.
Max Strus (Stagg) has cleared NBA’s health and safety protocols. Strus last played on December 26 in a 93-83 Miami Heat win over the Orlando Magic.