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(The Monitor): Rockets' Daniels perfect example of D-League's impact

Discussion in 'Rio Grande Valley Vipers' started by HoopScribe, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. HoopScribe

    HoopScribe Member

    Jul 19, 2013
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    HIDALGO — With every 3-pointer that Troy Daniels splashed during his unexpectedly successful debut with the Houston Rockets last season, the NBA D-League name was built up. In turn, his name was built up. And that essentially makes the D-League what it is.

    Daniels became an overnight sensation last spring. On April 5, in a loss to Austin, he scored 17 points for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ D-League affiliate. Three weeks later, he nailed the game-winning 3-pointer to win Game 3 of the Rockets’ first round of the playoffs against Portland.

    From being undrafted coming out of college to being cut twice last preseason to shattering D-League 3-point records and finally landing a two-year contract this summer with the Rockets, Daniels is, as Rockets VP of Player Personnel and Vipers General Manager Gianluca Pascucci puts it, “the poster boy of the D-League.”

    “Troy is a fantastic story,” Pascucci said. “He’s one of the reasons why the D-League is the D-League, and one of the reasons why the Rockets and the Vipers have such a strong relationship. That’s why we enjoy putting a lot of effort, energy and resources into the Vipers.

    “He’s paid his dues and this is what’s happened. This is just the beginning of the story.”

    Heading into the Rockets’ preseason game against Golden State tonight at State Farm Arena, Daniels has not skipped a beat.

    He’s still draining long 3s, making 9 of 17 this preseason for a 52.9 percent clip. This coming after he shot 40.1 percent from 3 in 48 games with the Vipers last season, 48 percent in five regular season games with the Rockets, and 53 percent in four playoff games with Houston.

    That shot, literally, has earned Daniels, who has all of nine games and four preseason games under his belt, a job competing for a backup guard spot on a team that has hopes of hoisting the franchise’s third championship banner.

    “I think I’ve played great,” Daniels said. “I’m improving every day, trying to show the coaches something new each and every day. I’m a pro. So whether I don’t play or I do play, I’m going to be ready. I signed a two-year contract, so they’re invested in me and I’m invested in this game.”

    The Rockets have seen plenty of success sending players to the Vipers. Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Jeff Adrien and Isaiah Canaan are a few former Vipers who could play significant roles with Houston this season. But Daniels’ effect is different in that his star performances came during the playoffs, when national television was the first to broadcast his heroics, making him a household name well before anyone thought.

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  2. NotChandlerParsons

    Nov 11, 2012
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    I like this kid. I hope his attitude is infectious.

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