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Acker and Johnson having D-league success

In case you've been wondering about the rookie duo of Amir Johnson and Alex Acker down at Fayetteville, you'll be happy to know that they've been tearing things up.

Both players are now starting for the Patriots. In 25.9 minutes, Johnson is averaging 17.9 points per game (on .632 shooting!) with 7.2 boards, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals. Acker has been just active in his 29.8 minutes per game, averaging 16.8 points per game to go with 4.0 boards, 4.1 assists and 2.0 steals. Acker has also hit 11-of-27 three-pointers (.409), suggesting he'll fit right in with Detroit's long-range attack if/when he's ever a contributing member of the rotation over the next couple of years.

Johnson and Acker are now the second- and fourth-highest scorers on the team; Mateen Cleaves (20.0 ppg) and Erik Daniels (17.6 ppg) are first and third, respectively (though both of those players are averaging at least 34 minutes a game). Obviously, seeing Cleaves name atop the team's scoring leaders should tell you something about the level of competition, but the most important thing is that these young players are getting some steady minutes in a competitive situation, and they're not only scoring but also honing their defensive skills -- Johnson is only 6-9, but he's an incredible athlete that could easily average better than a block per game over his NBA career.