DURHAM, N.C. – Carlos Boozer has blazed his way out of the gate for the Utah Jazz, averaging a double-double for the team with the best record in the NBA while Luol Deng earned the Bulls Player of the Month after leading one of the league's best young teams in scoring at over 18 points per game in November. Those are two of the Blue Devils' 13 players in the NBA.
Additionally, seven Blue Devils were in starting line-ups on opening night in the NBA and that number was also the second highest total. Two other former Blue Devils have worked their way into the starting line-ups for their respective teams and two more are their team’s sixth man.
Boozer was named the Western Conference Player of the Week to open the season. Elton Brand is also have a stellar season with the Clippers while Grant Hill continues to impress in Orlando and Shavlik Randolph has stepped into the Sixers starting line-up to replace an injured Chris Webber.
Here’s a more in-depth look at all 13 former Blue Devils:
Boozer Starts Out Season On Tear For Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Four year veteran Carlos Boozer started out the season as hot as anybody in the NBA and was rewarded with the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week as the Jazz started the season off 3-0. From Oct. 31 – Nov. 5, Boozer averaged 20.7 points, 15.0 rebounds, shot .500 and had double-doubles in all three games.
Utah is 13-3 and holds the best record in the NBA.
Boozer has registered double-doubles in 13 of Utah’s 16 games to date, averaging 21.9 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 35.7 minutes per game as the Jazz lead the Western Conference with a 13-3 record. Boozer had pulled down 15 or more rebounds five times already this season. In wins over Toronto, Sacramento and the L.A. Lakers in a span of five days, Boozer averaged 32.7 points, 13.3 rebounds and show 38-of-52 from the field.
Deng Named Bulls Player of the Month; Duhon Steady For Windy City
CHICAGO – Luol Deng was named the Bulls Player of the Month after leading the team in scoring with 18.1 points per game and averaging 6.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game, as well.
Deng has started all 14 games for the Bulls, who have struggled a bit out of the gate and stand at 5-9 on the season. Deng has reached double figures in all 10 games and has six 20-point games. He recorded back-to-back double doubles with 21 points and 12 rebounds against Indiana on Nov. 11 and 24 points and 10 rebounds at Dallas on Nov. 14. He scored 29 points in the second game of the year against Sacramento and last week scored 28 points and grabbed five rebounds and had four assists at Philadelphia.
Duhon has started eight games and is fifth on the team with 8.3 points and second with 3.2 assist per game. He has six games in double figures, including 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals in the Bulls last outing, a 102-85 win over the New York Knicks on Nov. 28.
Battier Steady As Rockets Go 10-5 In November
HOUSTON – On a team with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, it is Shane Battier, a newcomer to the Rockets in his fifth year in the league, who is leading the Houston in minutes per game at 37.4 per game. He is also averaging 8.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.
His best game in November was arguably in an 82-75 win over Minnesota on Nov. 28. He drained all five of his three pointers en route to 17 points and added three assists and a pair of rebounds in 37 minutes. He also hit five triples in a 96-90 loss to Dallas on Nov. 4. that night he scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists. Houston is currently 10-5 and in third place in the Southwest Division, but just one game behind Dallas and a half game behind San Antonio.
Brand, Maggette and Ewing All Playing Integral Roles For Clippers
LOS ANGELES – Elton Brand, Corey Maggette and Daniel Ewing are all playing important roles for the Clippers early in the season. The Clippers are off to a 7-7 mark and although they are currently fifth place in the Pacific Division, they are just two games back of the first place L.A. Lakers.
Brand is averaging 17.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals per game for the young Clippers and leads the team in rebounding and is second in scoring. He has eight double-doubles and erupted for 33 points and 12 rebounds in a 103-97 win over Philadelphia on Nov. 18. He had 28 points and 13 rebounds in the season opener at Phoenix and had 13 points and 18 rebounds at Sacramento on Nov. 28.
Maggette is playing the role of sixth man this year for the Clippers and is third on the team with 14.9 points per game. He is also averaging 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. One of the more consistent scorers in the league, Maggette reached double figures off the bench in 12 of 14 games and has five 20 point games, as well. He also has three games in double-figures in rebounds, as well.
Ewing has played in eight games and is averaging 3.4 minutes per game. He is coming on of late, and has averaged. 2.0 points in 6.4 minutes per game over the last four games.
Hill Still Strong In Orlando, Redick Coming Back From Injury
ORLANDO, Fla. – Grant Hill is scoring 15.8 points per game, second on the young Orlando squad, and the Magic own the best record in the Eastern Conference at 12-4 in the league’s first month. Hill is also averaging 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
Hill has reached double figures in 13 of the 14 games he’s played in, including a pair of 20 point games. He erupted for 25 points in the second game of the season and also added 24 points at Miami in a win over the World Champions on Nov. 24.
Redick played in his first NBA game on Nov. 25 in a 98-79 win over Atlanta and scored two points, grabbed a rebound and an assist. Redick is still recovering from an injured back.
Williams Started Every Game In Atlanta To Begin Career On High Note
ATLANTA – Shelden Williams has averaged 6.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and has earned a solid role in the starting line-up to start his career with the Atlanta Hawks. Williams is also averaging just under 1.0 blocks, assists and steals in 23.2 minutes per game.
The Hawks stand at 6-7 but are in second place in their division behind Orlando. Williams erupted for 20 points and added 13 rebounds for his first career double-double at Detroit on Nov. 22 and two games later scored 16 points and added eight rebounds at Orlando. He pulled down 15 rebounds against Milwaukee on Nov. 14, as well.
Dunleavy One Of Seven Warriors Averaging Double Figures In Scoring
OAKLAND, Calif. – Mike Dunleavy has played in 16 games, starting five, and averaged 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game for the surging Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are currently 9-7 on the season, just one game behind the L.A. Lakers in the Pacific Division.
Dunleavy has 10 games in double figures including two games with 20 or more points. He nearly had a triple-double in a 107-95 win over Seattle with 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. He had 22 points and eight rebounds against Toronto in a 110-99 win on Nov. 14, and had nine points, eight assists and six rebounds in a 111-79 win over Detroit.
Jones Having Solid Season In Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dahntay Jones is the first guard off the bench for the Memphis Grizzlies and is averaging 6.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 21.1 minutes of action.
Jones is coming on of late, reaching double figures in scoring in four of the team’s last five games as the Grizzlies have recorded two if their four wins this season in that time. Jones had 14 points in a 95-80 win over Washington on Nov. 24 and reached 10 points in a 108-96 win at Denver on Nov. 28.
Randolph Steps In For Injured Webber, Starts Last Six Games
PHILADELPHIA – Shavlik Randolph has started the last six games for the Philadelphia 76ers in place of the injured Chris Webber and has averaged 6.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in that time.
He injured his left ankle in a game against Deng, Duhon and the Bulls but returned to start the next game at Cleveland on Nov. 25 and responded with a career high 12 points and added six rebounds. He pulled down 11 rebounds and had four blocks and nine points at Milwaukee.
The Sixers are just 5-9 on the season but remarkably, they are just a half-game out of the lead in the Atlantic Division. All five teams in the division are within one game of each other in the standings.