Allen, Niang Happy To Play Ball In G League Appearance
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – With Utah Jazz assignees Grayson Allen and Georges Niang on the floor, it wasn’t your typical Salt Lake City Stars game.
The two Jazzmen were assigned to the team’s G League affiliate earlier in the day on Monday and thrived on the court at Bruin Arena at Salt Lake Community College in 117-77 clubbing of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) December 4, 2018
Both Niang and Allen were on the Jazz team plane back from Miami when they heard they would be spending the day with the Stars. Arriving with little time to rest after landing in Salt Lake at 2 a.m., they made the most of the Jazz’s day off by playing some much needed five-on-five.
“You can’t really simulate five-on-five when you’re only playing one-on-one or just running sprints,” said Niang after the game. “So I think it was good for us to go down here and get moving.”
Niang, who was ejected with 30 seconds remaining after an altercation with Vipers player Kentrell Barkley, finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.
— Salt Lake City Stars (@slcstars) December 4, 2018
Allen, who finished with a game-high 26 points and four 3-pointers, said it was important to get out and play considering how little practice time they’ve seen with the Jazz’s hectic road schedule.
“When we’re traveling on the road so much, we really need rest,” said Allen. “We’re walking through some stuff but there’s no full-speed contact, no five-on-five. For us, this was good reps, good to get feel, good to use some of those five-on-five instincts that we have that we haven’t used in a little bit.”
With no indication as to how long the two would be in the G League, they’re taking it “one day at a time, actually, one hour, one minute,” said Niang.
Though the crowd of 1,098 may have been the smallest crowd that Allen has played in since high school, it was still basketball.
“I get my energy from within,” said Allen. “The crowd obviously helps sometimes but you try to keep it the same.”