With no minutes available for developmental purposes with the New Orleans Pelicans, Cheick Diallo was assigned to the D-League ten days ago. It appears to have been a wise choice.
Through 4 games of the NBDL schedule, Cheick Diallo is averaging 15.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. Last night, he posted his highest scoring total to date by dropping 21 points in 33 minutes of action. Notice the touch exhibited around the rim area with either hand and usually in the form of a soft hook shot.
After fouling out in the opening game of the schedule, Diallo has shown no further issues with staying on the court. In addition, he has become an efficient offensive dynamo, making 24 of 37 field goal attempts (64.9%).
Although most of the attempts are from in close, observe the data from around the top of the key. Diallo may be in the process of developing a dependable midrange shot. A 71.4 FT% to boot indicates it’s far from a ridiculous notion.
The Pelicans are currently cycling through a number of players next to Anthony Davis on a regular basis. One game it’s Terrence Jones in the starring role, in another it’s Dante Cunningham. Through 14 games, it appears this game of musical chairs will not stop anytime soon because Jones, Cunningham, Solomon Hill, Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca have failed to provide the necessary consistency.
Despite it unlikely to happen sometime this season, Diallo may eventually evolve into that missing piece alongside the Brow — as long as the growth continues. During the summer league games, I witnessed the requisite talent and work ethic firsthand. Keep at it, young man!