A lot is being asked from the two time NBA D-League player Devin Ebanks. Once Metta World Peace elbowed his way out of the Lakers lineup, the starting small forward playoff duties were passed on to Ebanks. Ebanks started the Lakers first and second game in their Denver Nuggets first round series scoring 12 points and grabbing 5 rebounds in his first appearance. With the suspension of Metta World Peace, the Lakers will look to call on Ebanks. Whether it be off the bench, or in the starting unit, Ebanks will provide solid production offensively and more importantly defensively.
Devin Ebanks played this season for the NBADL’s head coach of the year Eric Musselman’s Los Angeles D-Fenders for three games. In those three games Ebanks averaged 17 points 7 rebounds and the D-Fenders were 3-0. Two of those wins came against this year’s NBA D-League champions the Austin Toros. However, along with Ebanks the D-Fenders also had Gerald Green in that two game series with Austin. Both players have proved their games can transfer from the D-League to the Association almost seamlessly. Ebanks final D-League game this season came against the Idaho Stampede in which he posted his highest point total 23 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, which must of been enough for Mitch Kupchak to see in order for the call back up to the Lakers.
Ebanks has the size and game to be successful at the small forward position in the NBA, he shined during his time at West Virginia and Lakers head coach Mike Brown has seemed to have a special liking toward Ebanks, choosing to start him over Matt Barnes often. Even when Metta World Peace re-enters the Lakers rotation, Ebanks will still be an integral part to their playoff roster adding depth at the position. His defensive skills could come in handy especially if they face the length and speed of Oklahoma City.
The Lakers relying on Ebanks as their starter in these playoffs goes to show that the D-League alumni can get it done even on the NBA’s most intense stage. If Ebanks can put together a productive playoff run and help the Lakers get deep into this postseason we may not be seeing the two time NBA D-League vet add another stint to his resume’.