D-Fenders: Blue, Magette Headline NBA D-League All-Star Game
A trio Los Angeles D-Fenders, soon to be the South Bay Lakers, have been performing so well this season they will be highlighted in the D-League All-Star game.
The league announced this week that D-Fenders Vander Blue, Josh Magette, and Justin Harper have all been named NBA D-League Western Conference All-Stars. It was also announced that the Western Conference All-Stars will be led by D-Fenders head coach Coby Karl and his staff.
Karl’s staff includes assistant coaches Paul Woolpert, Brian Walsh and Isaiah Fox. Karl missed last night’s game against the Salt Lake City Stars due to the pending birth of his child, but his team won nonetheless in a shoot-out, 138-129.
The D-Fenders outscored the Stars 41-22 in the third quarter and never looked back. Add to that a 125-120 win over the Sioux Falls Skyforce earlier in the week, and the team remains No. 1 in the D-League with a 25-7 record as well as the top team in the Pacific Division.
Runner-ups? Oklahoma City Blue at 23-10 and last season’s D-League Champions Sioux Falls Skyforce at 22-11, both in the Southwest Division. The Raptors 905 at 22-8 in the Central Division, and the Main Red Claws 20-12 in the Atlantic Division. The Santa Cruz Warriors are seven games back of the D-Fenders at 17-13.
Former Marquette star Vander Blue will be making his third consecutive all-star appearance. He is also a two-time NBA D-League Performer of the Week this season. Blue ranks third among all players in scoring with 24.8 points per game and is sixth all-time in points scored totaling 3,662 points.
— NBA D-League (@nbadleague) January 27, 2017
Justin Harper is averaging 15.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 30 games this season and will be making his second consecutive all-star appearance in 2017. So far this season, Harper has totaled nine double-doubles and is making 39.5 percent of his three-pointers.
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Last but surely not least is Josh Magette, the Assist King of the D-League. Magette will make his first all-star appearance. He is one of the top D-League floor generals leading the league averaging 9.5 dimes per game as well as a 3.61 assist-to-turnover ratio. Josh’s career assists total 1,055 which ranks eighth in NBA D-League History logging 11 point-assist double-doubles this season.
In his inaugural season as the D-Fenders head coach, Karl is now the second coach in D-Fenders history to coach the D-League All-Star game. Dan Panaggio led the Western Conference All-Star team in 2008.
Karl and his team have been instrumental in helping Lakers rookie forward Ivica Zubac prepare for playing at the next level, and you can already tell the improvement in his game by the amount of playtime Luke Walton is giving him lately.
Los Angeles D-Fenders Head Coach Coby Karl spoke to the Lake Show Life before the season, he has really proven himself so far this season, and we cannot wait for the second half.
The 2017 NBA D-League All-Star Game will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, in New Orleans.