Local flavor in the NBA: Collinsworth makes first start; Lillard lights it up for unbeatable Blazers

It has been an interesting year for many of the players with Utah ties playing in the NBA. There have been amazing performances and steady production from some while others have really struggled to find opportunities on the floor.

Here is a look at where the players with local ties are suiting up in the NBA and how they have done so far this season.

Caleb Swanigan, Portland Trail Blazers

Swanigan, who spent many of his formative years in Utah, has seen limited action with the Trail Blazers during his rookie season in the NBA. His most productive game of this season came on opening night for the Blazers when he totaled eight points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 18 minutes.

He has played in 20 of the team’s 62 games and is averaging 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds.

Damian Lillard, Weber State, Portland Trail Blazers

Lillard is in the middle of another terrific season for the red-hot Blazers. He has scored more than 20 points in 27 of the last 29 games, including a pair of 40-point games and a 50-point effort. His best showing of the year came in an 18-point win over Sacramento when he totaled 50 points on 16-for-26 shooting from the floor, 8-for-13 from 3-point land and 10 of 10 from the foul line. He added six rebounds and three steals while playing just 29:29.

He took home Western Conference Player of the Week last week after averaging 34.7 points and leading Portland to three more wins.

On the season, he is averaging 26.8 points, 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 62 games.

Delon Wright, Utah Utes, Toronto Raptors

Wright has played a significant role for the East-leading Toronto Raptors in his third season with the team. He has had some impressive offensive production coming off the bench, scoring in double figures in 22 games. His best performance of the season came in a nine-point win over the Chicago Bulls when he totaled 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field, including 4-for-5 from distance. He added 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals in 29:31

On the season, he is averaging 8.1 points on 47 percent shooting with 2.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 56 games.

Jakob Poeltl, Utah Utes, Toronto Raptors

Poeltl has made huge strides from his rookie season to become a fantastic second-unit center for the Raptors. He has scored in double figures 14 times and recorded three double-doubles so far while blocking at least two shots on 28 occasions. His best outing of the year came in a five-point win over the Indiana Pacers when he finished with 18 points on a perfect 8-for-8 shooting from the field. He added six rebounds, two blocks and steal in 25:09.

On the season, he is averaging 6.7 points on 64.2 percent shooting while adding 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 18.4 minutes a game.

Kyle Kuzma, Utah Utes, Los Angeles Lakers

Kuzma has been ridiculously productive for the Los Angeles Lakers during his rookie season. He has put up huge numbers on the offensive end and also has been a very good rebounder. He has scored in double figures 54 times, including 18 games of 20 points or more while also managing 14 double-doubles.

His best game of the year came in a six-point win over the Houston Rockets when he totaled a career-high 38 points on 12-for-17 shooting from the field, 7-for-10 from 3-point range and 7-for-10 from the free-throw line. He added seven rebounds, four assists and a block in 39:51.

On the season, he is averaging 15.4 points on 44.7 percent shooting with 6.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 67 games.

Kyle Collinsworth, BYU, Dallas Mavericks

Kyle Collinsworth made the most of a two-way contract and a pair of 10-day deals to earn a full-time roster spot with the Dallas Mavericks for the rest of the season. While his minutes haven’t been consistent since signing his three-year deal, he has had some very nice games.

He made his first start of the season on Saturday night where he contributed four points, seven rebounds (four on the offensive end), and an assist in 17:27.

On the season, he is averaging 2.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 23 appearances.

Frank Jackson, Lone Peak High School, New Orleans Pelicans

Jackson, a second round pick out of Duke, has yet to play his first NBA game thanks to a foot injury that has sidelined him for the entire season.



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