During the 2010-11 NBA Development League season, 20 different players earned call-ups to the NBA. In all, NBA teams made 27 call-ups last season with some players being called up more than once. D-League Digest is counting down the top 10 call-ups from last season and updating their current playing status. Today’s post focuses on Steve Novak.
Details on the call-up(s): From the Reno Bighorns to the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 8, 2011.
How he earned the call-up(s): Novak began the season with the Dallas Mavericks. Shortly after being released by the Mavs in January, he signed a D-League contract and joined the Reno Bighorns on Feb. 4. Novak needed just two games in the D-League, averaging 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 29.5 minutes, before earning the call-up to the Spurs.
In the NBA: The Spurs liked Novak’s ability to spread the defense with his perimeter shooting a la Matt Bonner. In previous NBA stints, Novak had two game-winning 3-pointers to his credit, including the one embedded below against the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 13, 2008, which helped keep the Houston Rockets’ 22-game winning streak intact. In March, the Spurs signed Novak to a contract for the rest of the season. In all, he played in 30 games for the Spurs. Though he played only 7.2 minutes per game, he did what he was asked to do, connecting on 23 of 42 3-point attempts (56.5 percent) while shooting 52.2 percent from the field and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line.
Best game as a call-up: On March 19, Novak scored 19 points in 18 minutes in a 109-98 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. He hit 6-10 from the field, including a season-high 5-8 from 3-point range to go along with 4 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.
Previously covered in our series on the Top-10 NBA D-League Call-ups of the 2011-12 season: