On December 26, the Clippers activated big man Jonathan Motley from the G-League. He didn’t play against the Sacramento Kings, but Doc Rivers said there’s a chance he may play tonight against the Lakers.
When Rivers was asked why Motley didn’t play last game, he stated that he simply called the forward up so that he could get live action experience of professionals playing basketball; Motley agreed that the experience is helpful.
“There’s a lot of things I can learn from the game,” Motley. “The plays they’re making, and the different reads they’re doing.”
Despite the Clippers over-performing with a 20-14 record, one of their most glaring deficiencies has been their interior defense. Ironically, the team is lacking the same type of big that DeAndre Jordan was - an athletic big who can rebound and defend. Fans have clamored for some kind of change at the center position, and that’s exactly why the hashtag #FreeMotley was created.
For the uninitiated, Motley has been on an absolute tear in the G-League. The forward is averaging 26 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 35.8 minutes per game. He’s 6’10”, has a 7’4” wingspan, and shoots 56% from the field. Here’s a video of his career high 36 point game to help illustrate Motley’s skill set.
The big man can do more than just dunk; he can pass, run the floor, and is capable of pulling off a Euro step. Motley’s time in the G-League has assimilated him into Rivers’ playing system, allowing for a hopefully easy transition into the Clippers’ NBA roster.
“It’s always good to get live action,” Motley said. “I definitely feel prepared. The live action of playing in the G-League has definitely prepared me in the long run.”
For those who don’t know Motley and will be introduced to him tonight, he has one statement for you: “I play hard, physical, and I’m just a bucket getter.”