The Motor City Cruise (9-5) clinched a spot in the NBA G League Winter Showcase Cup Tournament after a 104-102 win Sunday over the Windy City Bulls (8-6).
The Cruise head to Orlando, Florida to compete for the Winter Showcase Cup. They play the Santa Cruz Warriors in the tournament’s first round on Tuesday, Dec. 19, with tip-off slated for 2:30 p.m. ET.
Pistons two-way player Jared Rhoden dominated Sunday in Chicago. He dropped 25 points, along with 12 rebounds and five assists. His most important bucket fell with under a second remaining to seal the victory.
Stanley Umude, who’s also on a two-way deal, followed with 15 points. Nathan Knight, who the Cruise acquired Sunday, scored 11 points in his debut. The 6’8” stretch-forward provides much needed help in the frontcourt after starting center Jontay Porter signed a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors. In 10 games this season with the Cruise, Porter averaged a double-double with 16.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He also blocked 2.9 shots per contest while in the Motor City. Knight played on two-way contracts for both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks in three seasons, appearing in 108 NBA games.
The Winter Showcase is the G League’s annual in-season scouting event when all teams meet in one location to play in front of NBA general managers and executives from all 30 teams. G League players get a chance to shine in front of scouts in hopes of earning an NBA contract. The Winter Showcase also ignites trade talks amongst NBA teams as the league’s unofficial trade window begins for the 2023 season.
The Cruise look to win their first Showcase Cup in the franchise’s third year in existence. They aim to build off a thrilling victory and a strong finish to the G League’s Winter Showcase regular schedule. The G League players in the Detroit Pistons’ organization have a chance to impress in Orlando in front of key decision makers across the NBA.