The Canton Charge fell to the Long Island Nets 120-118 Saturday night in the team’s home opener. This after a 134-111 loss Friday on the road to the Grand Rapids Drive.
The defense has been suspect and turnovers aplenty, but one constant remains from the 2015-2016 season- Quinn Cook’s scoring ability. He dropped 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting, 3-of-7 from distance and 6-of-8 from the free throw line Friday. Last year’s NBA D-League Rookie of the Year continues to make a strong case to any NBA team searching for a backup point guard.
Saturday night Cook played a game high 41 minutes. Despite committing five of the Charge’s 23 turnovers, he was undoubtedly the best player on the court. Heading into the fourth quarter down 92-74, Cook scored 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting and made all four free throws attempted in the final frame. The Charge outscored the Nets 44-28 in the fourth.Throughout the night his scoring ability was on full display. The Duke product finished the night with 29 points on 10-of-22 shooting, 3-of-5 from distance and went 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. He added five assists in the process.
To further understand Cook’s offensive impact for the Charge, looking at the advanced statistics is useful. Although a small sample size, in 78 minutes with the Duke alumnus on the floor the Charge have an offensive efficiency rating of 111.9 and a net rating of -4.9. Without Cook? In 18 minutes the team’s OffRtg number drops to 74.9 and the NetRtg crashes to -31.5.
It seems the only aspect of Cook’s game prohibiting him from reaching the next level is his ability to distribute. His totals of seven assists and six turnovers (0.93 AST/TO ratio) through two games will have to improve- but as team chemistry progresses so will the statistics.
It’s only a matter of time before Cook sees NBA minutes. He was cut by the New Orleans Pelicans during training camp this season and signed back with the Charge. His on-ball defense has been praised in the past and there’s always room for an elite scorer on an NBA bench.
Cook and the Charge will look to get back on track at the Canton Memorial Civic Center Friday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. against Grand Rapids.