Hey everyone, I'm handling the recaps today. There were some big games in the D-League last night. Colorado became the first team to clinch a playoff berth; Erie and Albuquerque are each trying to get the last postseason spot; Utah is trying to hold its division lead; Tulsa and Rio Grande Valley...okay, so they weren't all big games. Read on to find out what happened.
Thanks Jon, but sorry, but I'm taking over your post for a second -- Scott
But first we've got some Saturday Morning Bullets - which, coincidentally, are not like Saturday morning cartoons (for the most part).
- First up, we've got a dandy. The Online Sports Guys are reporting on the loveliness that is Marty Tirrell, the Iowa Energy Futurecast announcer, and his swearing brigades. Apparently Iowa's going to keep him, and they hired his partner earlier in the week to go along with the other fired guy that works for the Energy but now the new guy decided he didn't want the job. Follow that? Neither did I, so go check the blog, which details this (non?)story better than I can!
- Next up, I'd just like to quickly highlight my native North Dakota's flood problems and how the Wizards are helping. First, their game was moved to Sunday because of flooding, blizzarding and general Mother Nature Grossness. Now, their are major floods in Fargo, and I'm hearing there's a slight possibility that Sunday's game could be in question due to evacuees moving to the Capital City. Regardless, the Wizards are doing their part by offering $2.50 tickets as a goodwill offering to all of the residents that helped with the flood relief efforts (filling sandbags)! If you'd like to donate, by the way, there's a link here to help the flood victims.
- Here's an awesome interview by Holly MacKenzie, who is a writer for just about every great NBA site you read, with the D-League's own Mike Taylor. Technically, he plays for the Clippers, but we found him first. Anyway, last season he played for the Idaho Stampede, the same team Nate Jawai played for. Taylor however, has very different memories, despite similar teammates. Who's lying? Nate Jawai. You decide.
- Last, just in case you forgot about Sun Yue, Rick Kamla hasn't. Sun Yue (among others), who suffered a season-ending injury in practice Monday, is the topic of my favorite D-League TV show starring Kamla and Marty Blake, which was posted to the internet Tuesday and put up on the D-League front page tonight. Commentary highlights? Glad you asked! I broke it down between Kamla and Blake in the bullets below!
- Kamla says: "Pops is my dude.. Pops is my dude!", "15 times 30, I don't even know what that is!" and, my favorite: "I have just been baffled for the past couple years!" -- We've noticed, Rick! Also, on Sun Yue - "He's gotta get caught up with playing American basketball after playing in the CBA all those years." Hate to break it to you Rick, but Sun Yue's played in the ABA since 2005. The American Basketball Association, which, not coincidentally, is in America!
- Blake says: "The Snappers" after Kamla excitedly names off all seven of the possibilities of the Maine franchise's team name. "I can name my own can't I?" Actually, no, you can't. That's why they gave you seven freakin' options! Also, regarding Sun Yue - "Listen, 6'9" point guard, 2 guard. Listen. LEFT HAND. He, he needs, he needs, he NEEDS the time." Actually, Sun Yue's listed at 6'8", but I will agree, he needs the time. Hard to get it with a season-ending injury though, don'tcha think?
- Sun Yue.
Colorado 119, Erie 103 Look, Colorado is a deep, deep team. They have three guys who were listed in the last call-ups, plus draft-eligible Trey Gilder, plus Sonny Weems, who is on loan from the Nuggets. Speaking of Weems, dude went off for 36 points on 22 shots with 9 rebounds. He's not always efficient, but on nights like this the 14ers opponent has an uphill battle. I haven't even mentioned John Lucas, who had one turnover in 27 and a half minutes, and I'm telling you, Lucas can run an offense.
There's not really a ton of note on Erie's side from this game. Erik Daniels continues to put up "good" numbers, scoring 20 points but needing 22 shots to get there. The Bayhawks as a team shot 36 percent on their three-pointers, which isn't great, but then you take away Ivan Harris' contributions and that drops to 23 percent. They'll have to do a lot better than that to sneak into the playoffs.
Sioux Falls 108, Albuquerque 95 The Skyforce took control early (the score was 36-13 after the first quarter), then essentially held on for dear life the rest of the way. Albuquerque has several players seeing significant minutes who just don't factor in offensively, including Saer Sene (7 shots, 3 points), Brad Stricker (not even one field goal attempt) and James Wright (11 shots, 6 points). Sioux Falls only had a few productive players themselves, but they rode Kasib Powell (26 points on 11-20 shooting, 9 assists) and David Bailey (24 points on 10-19 shooting, only one turnover in 39 minutes) to victory despite making only 27 percent of their three-pointers.
Tulsa 112, Rio Grande Valley 110 Even two bad teams such as these can have an exciting game, not just for the high number of possessions but for the finish; Shaun Livingston scored the game-winning layup at the end of overtime, but we'll come back to him. Tulsa had fewer rebounds, fewer free-throw attempts, more turnovers and shot 1-11 on three-pointers and still managed to pull out a win. Okay, back to Livingston; scoring a game-winning layup is nice and all, but he also needed 23 shots to score 20 points and had five turnovers and only five assists in 40 minutes. Not a really praise-worthy game, unfortunately.
Next year's RU binky Kurt Looby (Note from Scott: I'm starting this season!) saw his double-digit rebound games streak end at eight, and fouled a little more than usual. He didn't have a great overtime period (two rebounds and two fouls, including one that let Tulsa go up 110-109), but he's never played longer minutes before this season and the team hadn't played since the 22nd, so I'm not sure if it was a fatigue issue. Jared Jordan is starting to intrigue me, as he's come close to having four straight double-doubles, and has shown flashes of some rebounding ability, especially for a guy his size.
Utah 109, Anaheim 82 Guess what? The Arsenal aren't very good. It's really as simple as that. I look at their roster and see a lot of low effiency players who didn't share the ball last night. Nine assists on 31 made field goals? Come on. That's not going to work against a team that features Morris Almond, Kosta Koufos and Ronald Dupree. Cedric Bozeman is the only Anaheim player who doesn't make me want to throw up my hands. JR Giddens finished with five blocks, which I'm sure was fun for him.