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NBA Update: Cunningham, Smart Averaging Double Figures

Plus a look at some Pokes scrapping it out in the G League.



[Photo via Courtney Bay/OSU Athletics]

The NBA season is nearing its midpoint, and the league’s former Pokes are making impacts in the eastern conference.

Cade Cunningham and Marcus Smart are each averaging double figures in scoring to this point in the year, and like most Oklahoma State alums that make it to the league, they are doing more than just scoring. Here is a look at how Smart and the most recent No. 1 pick have done as the league enters its Christmas Day slate.

Cunningham Proving No. 1 Pick Status

Cunningham, like much of the league, is currently in health and safety protocols, but after a slow start to the season, the No. 1 pick is firmly back in the Rookie of the Year conversation.

Cunningham missed an early portion of the season recovering from a minor ankle injury. It then took him a few games to get his sea legs back, but he has been that guy since.

In the month of December, Cunningham has averaged 17.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists a contest all while shooting 42% from the field and 40% from 3.

He has scored 20 or more points in seven of the 25 games he has played in, led by his 28-point, 11-rebound double-double against Oklahoma City on Dec. 6. He recorded a triple-double against the Lakers on Nov. 21, becoming the eighth-youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. The only players to do so at a younger age are LaMelo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Luka Doncic, Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, Dennis Smith Jr. and Lamar Odom — not bad company.

There is a reason Cunningham’s Pistons had the No. 1 pick last season, though. The team isn’t great. Detroit is 5-26, the worst record in the NBA.

Smart Still Doing It All

Smart is in Year 8 in the NBA and still still doing what got him there — everything.

Having appeared in 31 of the Celtics’ 32 games this season, Smart is averaging 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals a game. That steals average is the best in his career and is second-best in the league.

In a 10-day stretch at the end of November, Smart had a trio of 20-point games, including a 22-point, eight-rebound, six-assist outing against the Lakers on Nov. 19.

Smarts’ Celtics enter their Christmas Day game against Milwaukee and an even 16-16, good for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Pokes in the G League

There are also a good amount of former OSU standouts in the G League.

Cameron McGriff and Lindy Waters made their G League debuts this season with the Greensboro Swarm and the OKC Blue, respectively. And Jawun Evans and Kendall Smith are still playing in the league.

McGriff had a 26-point, eight-rebound outing earlier in the month. In 14 games played, McGriff is averaging 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a contest.

Waters has appeared in 12 games for the Blue, where he is averaging 4.1 points a game.

Evans has played in 11 games with the Raptors 905. He is averaging 5.3 points, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals a game.

Smith has played in eight games with the Santa Cruz Warriors, where he has put up 5.6 points a game.

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