Romel Beck is what you'd call "good." (via www.nba.com)
Two games yesterday, and none of the four teams had more than about 94 possessions. In NBA terms that's not that slow - the Washington Wizards are ninth with 94.1 possessions per game - but it's certainly on the slow side for the D-League, and two teams were down closer to 88 possessions, which is down around Portland/Detroit/Charlotte territory. A day for running and gunning it was not. Let's try this bullets thing again, won't you?
Iowa Energy 99, Erie BayHawks 89
- These were your two 88-possession teams, and given that Iowa scored 99 points while being one of them I'm tempted to make some sort of Copenhagen/Prius/"energy efficiency" joke, but I think it's better for everyone if I don't. Unless I just did?
- Cartier Martin had his best game since coming back to the D-League, 24 points on 15 shots, six rebounds and four assists. Call him up!
- He had help, of course. It's hard to beat Iowa when Pat Carroll is hitting 4 of 5 threes, Earl Barron is dropping 12 points and 10 boards and Fightin' Curtis Stinson almost gets a triple-double (21 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds). This team was put together really well.
- Cedric Jackson didn't exactly rise to the occasion of having a veteran backup brought in behind him. Shooting 1-8 and 0-3 from outside isn't exactly showing the new guy why you're the starter and he's the new guy. Of course, that new guy Cliff Clinkscales was 2-9. The two Erie PGs combined for 11 assists, so...it worked out?
- Hey, John Bryant came back! The early season John Bryant, I mean. The defense still may not be there, but 16 points on 7-10 shooting and nine rebounds (five offensive), that'll do.
Dakota Wizards 85, Utah Flash 81
The Wizards won thanks to a monster fourth quarter in which they scored 32 points to Utah's 11. A few people made that happen:
- Romel Beck (20 points, nine in the last three and a half minutes), no surprise there; Beck struggled a little bit early in the game, but he did a great job of getting to the free throw line in that fourth quarter, he finished with eight rebounds, and he did exactly what a team's best scorer is supposed to do - take over the game;
- Jimmy Binnie isn't known for his distribution skills, and he didn't have that great of a game overall, but he hit a jumper to open the fourth and then handed out three of his four assists in the first few minutes, including a pair to...
Connor Atchley? It's true; given that Curtis Withers was completely unproductive, Dakota needed Atchley to play well, and he had his best game in the D-League so far. 10 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes along with some solid, active defense. Connor Atchley!
- Dakota needs to run some layup drills, or something. They missed seven of them in the first quarter and several others throughout the game. It wasn't all Utah's defense, either.
- The only players worth mentioning for the Flash are their guards. Dontell Jefferson had 22 points on 11 shots, and while he had four assists it took him awhile to get there, and he also had a poor fourth quarter. He played fantastic defense, though, as usual. Andre Ingram had 17 points and five rebounds. Anyway, Jefferson and Ingram were pretty much the only guys hitting from outside. Five of the team's seven made three-pointers came from those two. That sentence has a lot of numbers in it.