Josh Newman, SNYNets.comNEW YORK - No NBA player wants to be sent to the NBA Development League, but when Nets rookie point guard Tyshawn Taylor was sent down to the Springfield Armor on Friday morning to play in the team's game on Friday evening along with rookie small forward Tornike Shengelia, that was fine with the Hoboken native.
It's not like Taylor had played a lot with the Nets this season, having seen action in 10 games in which he scored 13 total points in just 29 minutes. Taylor's time in Springfield was well-spent as he scored a game-high 32 points in 38 minutes in a 127-119 loss to the Erie BayHawks, a Knicks affiliate.
After that monster showing, Taylor and Shengelia, who finished with a triple-double on Friday, were both recalled to Brooklyn, practiced Saturday and were active for Sunday's home tilt with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The short trip to Springfield and the quick return represent Taylor's frustrations in his rookie season. A former star at St. Anthony High School of Jersey City and one of the more memorable players in recent memory at Kansas University, Taylor is used to playing a lot and being a key cog in his team's plans. With Deron Williams and C.J. Watson ahead of Taylor on the depth chart in Brooklyn, that has not been the case.
"I think for anybody in that situation, it’s tough," Taylor said before Sunday's game. "For me, someone who has played a lot, to not really be playing at all, but I think it’s just part of the process. Just learning to be patient a little bit and staying ready. That’s kind of the hardest part, staying mentally ready. Physically, I’m doing all the things to prepare, working out, lifting weights, stuff like that. Physically, I think I’m ready, but just to be mentally prepared if he calls your name, that’s the hardest part. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of it. My number hasn’t gotten called yet, but the little two, three minutes here and there I’ve gotten, I feel like I’ve played pretty well."
Taylor's lack of playing time wasn't unexpected for a team with the league's highest paid point guard, but it's still an adjustment period with all of the big games he has played in. Taylor said he has reached out to people for advice, most notably Marcus Morris, a former Jayhawks teammate.
At 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, Morris was named Big 12 Player of the Year and a Wooden Award All-American following the 2011 season. Morris declared for the 2011 NBA Draft and was chosen 14th overall by the Houston Rockets, but played in just 17 games for them as a rookie. Additionally, he was sent down twice to the Rockets' D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Ever the competitor, Taylor would welcome another trip to Springfield because that means he would get to play.
"I’m always open for competition, I’m a competitor," said Taylor, who also sought the advice of good friend and Sixers rookie agent Maalik Wayns on Sunday. "I’ll play anywhere, right now especially. Not playing is crazy. I’ll go to a park and play right now if they send me there. That’s no problem, I’ll go down there again and try to win, try to work on my game and get better."
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA