We had just one game yesterday in the D-League, and oh dear was it a goody. The Mad Ants took on the Energy, going for their fourth straight win and they pulled it off in quite a ridiculous fashion; this being a Chris Hunter alley-oop with .7 seconds left in the game. To think I missed the end of this to watch the Pacers-Hornets game (in which, really, the opposite situation ended up occuring with CP3's buzzer beater)...awful.
108 Mad Ants - 106 Energy
Iowa's Cartier Martin led all scorers with 32 on just 21 shots, also grabbing seven boards in the process. Recent Phoenix Suns call up, Courtney Sims, played what was likely his last game in Iowa, finishing with 12 boards and 15 points despite some foul trouble limiting his minutes a tad. The Energy's Curtis Stinson and Anthony Tolliver were just OFF yesterday. Between the two they shot just 9 for 26. Tolliver did finish with 10 boards, 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals however. However Stinson's five turnovers obviously outshine Tolliver's other accomplishments.
It's difficult to lose to a team that shoots just 38% on the night (it was really during the day; but "on the day" sounds a little odd to me, so I went with "night"), which the Iowa Energy managed to do. Fort Wayne's Carl Elliott simply didn't have it going tonight and finished his night 6 for 22, which would make anyone want to crawl up in a ball for the rest of eternity. Taj McCullough simply seemed to just be crawled up into a ball the entire game. Going 1 for 6, grabbing just one rebound, in nearly 19 minutes of PT. How does that happen? But enough negativity for the Ant's starters, as the other three guys BROUGHT IT.
Chris Hunter - Yeah, well I already mentioned how he sealed the deal tonigh for the Ants. His monster 18 boards and 23 points certainly didn't hurt. This kid is just getting better and better.
Walker Russell Jr - You can pretty much count on a great game from Walker every night he takes the court. 17 assists, 16 points, and 6 steals for Russ. It wasn't all fun for him tonight however as he shot just 5 for 16 from the field and turned the ball over five times. But when you dish out 17 dimes you can pretty much be forgiven for murder. Now if Walker can just kick up the offense a knotch he could be a VERY solid back up PG in the NBA; no doubt in my mind.
Ron Howard - scored a team high 25 points in just over 31 minutes of PT and grabbing 7 boards in the process. Ron Howard IS the Mad Ants and it's great to see him back and playing well.
I really don't understand Coleman Collins' recent cut in playing time. I know the team has picked up Taj, but I don't think one is better than the other, however Coleman has the height advantage (6-7 and 6-9) as well as the rebounding advantage (3.9 to 6). That's enough for me. I'm no Jaren Jackson, but this seems like a no brainer to me. Taj seems to be a bit more athletic than Coleman, but athleticism isn't the whole game. Don't get me wrong, I love Taj. He's a great addition to our team and I hope he's with us for a long time, but these two should be splitting time at the position (much like Shawn Hawkins and Dewitt Scott have been doing).
Great game for the Ants. It's great to see these guys on a winning streak after a rough start to the season. And as for Courtney Sims? I wish him the greatest luck with Suns. And the Energy without him? I think they'll manage with talent like Tolliver and Cartier. Not to mention Othyus Jeffers. Find me another guy who's been shot in the league and still manages to be that ridiculously fast. And speaking of fast. Brian Evans is hands down the fastest and most fun player to watch in the D-League. I would use this kid much more than just 15.7 minutes a game. Iowa's gonna be fine.