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ACC In The NBA, Dec. 31

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 12:05am
By: Brian Geisinger

Two former ACC studs had a good old-fashioned point guard duel last week. Kyrie Irving (Duke) pumped in 40 points, but Jeff Teague (Wake Forest) finished with 34 points, and got the final laugh - burying the game-winner in double overtime.

Third-year pro John Henson (North Carolina) is having a breakout season for the Milwaukee Bucks - 12.4 points per game, 20.4 player efficiency rating, but the power forward will miss the next two weeks with an ankle injury.

Derrick Favors (Georgia Tech) has been Utah's best player (poor Gordon Hayward is in way over his head) - the Jazz stink, by the way - but third quarters have been an issue for him this year.

The New York Knicks have nine games so far this season - that isn't very good. Their star forward, Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse), can opt-out of his contract when this season is over. Should the Knickerbockers consider moving their franchise player for draft picks and cap relief?

After appearing in 13 games with Philadelphia, Lorenzo Brown (N.C. State) has been placed on temporary assignment to the Delaware 87ers (creative name, huh?) - their NBDL affiliate. Brown does remain on the 76ers' active roster, though, which is good.

It's almost impossible to think about this being a possibility a decade ago, but Vince Carter (North Carolina) has transformed - at his advanced playing age - into a valuable role player for Dallas.

The Los Angeles Clippers brought in Jared Dudley (Boston College) in free agency during the offseason. However, the 6-7 wing has struggled, and produced the worst season of his career. The good news: he plays with the best point guard in the world - Chris Paul (Wake Forest), and there's plenty of time for him to turn it around.

Last week, DeJuan Blair (Pittsburgh) was able to get some degree of revenge against his former team - the San Antonio Spurs. In a losing effort for Dallas, Blair posted a double-double: 14 points, 11 rebounds in only 23 minutes.

The Phoenix Suns drafted Alex Len (Maryland) in the first round of the 2013 NBA draft; he was supposed to be the young center to pair with the talented backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic; however, another former ACC big man - Miles Plumlee (Duke) - has surprisingly become the one to stabilize Phoenix's frontline.

It's been a hectic holiday season for Trevor Booker (Clemson) of the Washington Wizards, because of something very serious that had nothing to do with basketball.

On Saturday night, Chris Bosh (Georgia Tech) stepped up and canned a last second three - LIKE A BOSH - to give Miami (playing sans LeBron) a win over the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers. This effort helped him get named the Eastern Conference's player of the week.

Be mindful of what you're eating, Toney! Golden State Warriors backup point guard Toney Douglas (Florida State) was sidelined from Sunday's contest against Cleveland because of food poisoning.

With Dwyane Wade sitting out the occasional game - well, it actually happens with some frequency - this season to rest his knees, Roger Mason Jr. (Virginia) could be a valuable player - albeit in spot duty - for the Miami Heat.

This is neat: Miami's Shane Battier (Duke) has some thoughts on how to improve the overall product of the NBA.