Former Maryland center Alex Len is playing some great basketball right now.
Len continued his stellar play on Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers. The former Terp finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds in a 113-103 Phoenix Suns loss.
It was the third consecutive game that Len both started and scored in double figures. The Ukrainian big man scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday and scored 13 points and had eight rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs last Thursday.
Over the last five games, Len is averaging a stat line of 12.8 points-per-game/11.0 rebounds-per-game/2.5 assists-per-game. The former Maryland star had missed the previous three games with a left hand injury.
Len connected on six of his 12 shots against the 76ers, including his first three field goals from the floor. He was also a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
Part of the reason for the abundance of starts by Len is the absence of forward Jon Leuer. Leuer has missed the last four games with a back injury.
Leuer has started 22 games this season for the Suns while Len has seen 17 starts.
Len started off his NBA career with an injury-plagued rookie season. He only appeared in 42 games and averaged just 2.0 ppg and 2.4 rpg for the Suns in limited minutes before his season ended prematurely.
The former Terp had a much-improved second season as he averaged 6.3 ppg and a team-high 6.6 rpg in 69 games (44 starts).
Len was the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft after two strong seasons in College Park. The star center averaged 9.7 ppg and 7.0 rpg during his Maryland career, but Len was second on the team in scoring (11.9) during the 2012-13 season.
Len certainly has manged to make the most of the opportunities that he has gotten with Phoenix. When he plays significant minutes, this is a post player that the team can count on.
It’ll be interesting to see who starts when Leuer returns from injury.