Since being assigned to the Salt Lake Stars of the NBA’s Development League on December 26, Diamond Stone has played in two games off the bench.
December 30, 2016 -
Stone’s first game was decent as he tallied 17 points and 9 rebounds in 22 minutes on 7 of 14 shooting (and a perfect 3 of 3 from the free throw line). However, he also fouled out of the game in that span of time.
As his highlights indicate, Stone flashed some post moves and even hit a close jumper.
January 3, 2017
Stone accumulated just 7 points, on 3 of 8 shooting, and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes in his next game. Again, fouls were an issue as he picked up 5 fouls in that span. Still there was some promising moments.
Oklahoma City Blue @ Salt Lake City Stars 2017/1/3
Tune in at 9PM ET to watch Oklahoma City Blue @ Salt Lake City Stars (1/3/2017)Posted by NBA Development League on Tuesday, January 3, 2017
At 1:51 left in the first quarter Stone made a turn around jumper from near the edge of paint on the right side. He also made a driving lay up at 8:13 left in the 3rd quarter despite being smacked in the face on the play. Likewise though, there was plenty of play to dislike. Aside from foul trouble, Stone sometimes seemed to be wandering about on offense, was not always blocking out opposing players, and was biting on cheap pump fakes while on defense.
- Stone’s play has continued an existing story line of foul trouble for Stone after he infamously fouled out of a Summer League game this preseason after a mere 17 minutes. (To be clear, you get TEN FOULS before you foul out of a Summer League game.) As somewhat discussed in the next point, it doesn’t seem that Stone is improving his technique to avoid fouling.
- While Stone is getting playing time in the D-League, his development is clearly capped there. There often appeared no real semblance of offensive plays being called/executed. Instead players would often stand around and spectate as the ball handler would dribble and drive. Involvement typically only occurred when the ball was subsequently passed. Perhaps that’s common in the D-League, but Stone needs opportunities to drill the more basic things like movement on coordinated offensive schemes and being correctly set up on defense, whether to box out for rebounds or rotations.
In a way this exemplifies the problem of the Clippers not having their own Development League team. Stone is unfamiliar with any of the players or staff in Salt Lake City. Likewise the Clippers aren’t able to transmit any particular plays for Stone to practice given there is no connection between the Clippers and Stars. In the end, while it’s good to see Stone getting more playing time, there still hasn’t been anything really to write home about regarding his play.