The Daegu Korea Gas Corporation has been a tectonic shift in professional basketball lately. The team that once fell to the bottom of the standings is now a force to be reckoned with.
On the 18th, GAS won 91-80 against Anyang Jungkwanjang. The momentum that stopped Changwon LG, which was on a six-game winning streak in its previous game, didn’t stop in Jeonggwanjang. GASCO remains in ninth place (6-16), but the gap between them and sixth-place 스포츠토토 Jeonggwanjang (10-12), the last place in the ‘Spring Basketball’, has now narrowed to four games.
On the field, many say that the effect of GAS’s second foreign player, Duvan Maxwell (32-photo), has been significant. After playing as a substitute for Omari Spellman in the regular season, he has made a difference since joining Gazprom. Maxwell’s record in eight games since donning the Gasworks jersey is four wins and four losses.
His record this season is not overwhelming. He has averaged 10 points and 4.5 rebounds in his eight games with the Gasworks. Even those numbers are better than his numbers as a regular (7.9 points-4.4 rebounds).
But as a two-option, his efficiency to minutes ratio is staggering. Maxwell plays 16:03 minutes per game, which is more than enough to fill the role of a starter. It’s hard to believe that he’s the second highest paid foreign player in the KBL this season ($226,000 – about $300 million). In Jeonggwanjangjeon, Maxwell’s hometown team, he played 8:02 in the second quarter and was the driving force behind the lead with 8 points and 3 rebounds. The Maxwell effect is also noticeable on defense and energy. When Maxwell is in the game, Gasworks is a running basketball team.
Despite his lack of height (198 centimeters), Maxwell actively participates in rebounding battles and catches opponents off guard with his fast breaks. He also has a knack for dunking when he gets the chance.
The tension Maxwell brings to the team is also interesting. Andrew Nicholson, the Gasworks ace, has changed.
Nicholson has always had a reputation for being a strong offensive player but a weak defender, but with Maxwell’s stellar play, Nicholson has become a more active defender. Can Gasworks, who are starting the season with two unconventional foreign players, pull off a sixth-round upset? The regular season of professional basketball is now racing toward a turning point.