Before we get to your regularly scheduled recap, I need to relay an important message:
SEND ME TO THE D-LEAGUE SHOWCASE! For the low, low price of 550ish dollars (Expedia), you can pay for me and my witty comments to travel to lovely Boise, Idaho and stay four nights in the luxurious "Super 8 Boise Location."
With all 16 teams in the D-League planning to be in attendance, and playing twice no less, this will be a once-in-a-season opportunity for readers of Ridiculous Upside to get an inside look at everything, and I mean everything*. Seriously, I promise to do a great job. Maybe I could even meet Chris Sheridan!
P.S. I will behave better than JamesOn Curry in the 2008 Boise Showcase Debacle. Scout's Honor.
P.P.S. If this plea doesn't work, I'm going to pay Mad Ants President Jeff Potter to teach me how to do one his new and improved video posts and post them until somebody gives in. I'll have to pay the Nightmare Ant's Boss because, as seen here, my first crack at it came out even more creepy than Potter's first attempt. I blame the lighting at my new job, mostly.
*Not everything, obviously. Now that I've lost 70 pounds since May, the Boise co-ed's will probably be all up in my late night excursions. I rarely talk about my personal life on RU, and that's not just because I don't have one, but because I feel you guys come here for hard hitting D-League news and commentary AND because I don't have a social life.
Posted the usual bulleted recap after the jump for your viewing pleasure, so don't just sit there, jump around!
- Sundiata Gaines is a better player when he's not handling the ball. Gaines took Lanny Smith's starting point guard spot recently, but as far as I can tell, Bob MacKinnon would be better off playing Gaines at the two and moving Smith back into the starting lineup. I know they only have two point guards so it's a bit counter-productive to start both of them, but I'm a firm believer in getting your best players the most playing time.
- Gaines finished with 31 points and seven assists, but hit just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc. Part of this was due to him having 6'5" Dontell Jefferson in his face for the majority of these attempts and I have to believe the other part of the problem is that he falls down and acts like he got fouled nearly every time he shoots from beyond the arc.
- Lanny Smith played much better than the box score gives him credit for, I thought.
- Cedric Simmons is a stud. He had 18 points, 10 boards at halftime and finished with 29 and 13 while dominating 7'2" Luke Nevill. Unfortunately for him, he missed a gimme lay-up with about seven seconds left in overtime to give the Stampede a one-point lead. A bit costly.
- One of the officials names were Daisy Lane. I didn't realize that D-League refs had stage names.
- Andre Ingram is a 3-point specialist. I'm surprised to see that only half of his 16 attempts were from long distance because it seems he just sits out there and waits for the long ball. Lucky for him, chicks dig the long ball and probably 22 point scorers. I wouldn't know.
- Roberto Bergersen is the Stampede's version of Ingram, except he plays defense and wouldn't dare to only take half of his field goal attempts from beyond the arc - all outside, all the time for the Berg-man. 2-for-7 from deep, 0-for-1 from inside. Stay out there, Berto, percentages are obviously better.
- Orien Greene's not terrible in the D-League. He even showed a bit of clutch, forcing overtime with a 3-pointer off the dribble. 15 points and 10 boards later, I came away mildly impressed by the kid.
- Dontell Jefferson really didn't have the greatest game, which is disappointing because Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor was in attendance. 17 points, seven assists, six boards and four steals looks nice in the box score, but his defense was just mediocre and he clanked a couple of shots pretty bad.
- Carlos Wheeler had 20 points and 14 boards. I watched a lot of this game, but never said, "Boy, that Carlos Wheeler is right in my wheelhouse." Nor did I notice him otherwise. Still, 20 points and 14 boards is good.
- The Idaho Stampede should not shoot 4-for-25 from deep. I blame it on not playing Mike Gansey enough.
- I've said this before, but JC Mathis should not be starting in the D-League. If ever you get the chance to watch him run, do it. Then chuckle heartily.