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Jarnell Stokes, recalled to Heat for 4th time, may finally get shot

There once was a time when you could ignore D-League statistics.

After all, the level of competition doesn't approximate what a player faces in the NBA, even if the system is aligned with the "big league" squad.

But Hassan Whiteside changed that. Pat Riley has acknowledged that Whiteside's gargantuan D-League statistics caused him to take notice. Now Whiteside is occasionally producing those statistics in the NBA, including a 19-point, 17-rebound, 11-block performance in a comeback win against Denver on Friday.

That brings us to Jarnell Stokes, the young forward acquired along with Beno Udrih for Mario Chalmers and James Ennis. 

Stokes has played 14 games for Sioux Falls, in four different stints. He's averaged 20.4 points and 9.6 rebounds in 30 minutes per game, while shooting 67.6 percent from the field, as the Skyforce has gone 13-1. 

That gets your attention.

He's a bit undersized for the four-spot in the NBA, and he's not really a stretch player, so he's gotten the reputation as a tweener. He's yet to get in a game for the Heat -- after playing four minutes for Memphis this season.

But, now that he's been recalled again, this might be his best chance. Josh McRoberts remains out, and Chris Andersen is now sidelined with a knee injury. That leaves the Heat thin up front, with just Amare Stoudemire and Udonis Haslem behind Whiteside and Chris Bosh.

Is Stokes the next Whiteside?

Unlikely.

But it would be unwise to ignore what he's been doing. 

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