Albuquerque Thunderbirds vs Tulsa 66ers - NBA TV
Albuquerque Prospect To Watch: Carlos Powell. Powell was hoping to have a good Showcase with the NBA eyes on him and delivered in his first game, scoring 20 points, grabbing five boards, dishing five assists and picking up four steals as well. At 6'7", 225 pounds he's typically a match-up problem for anyone who guards him, but Tulsa has the luxury of probably being the biggest team in the D-League. If he can show the well-rounded offensive game he's shown so far this year (22.8 ppg, 52% FG, 5.6 rpg, 4.5 apg), the NBA might be calling soon.
Tulsa Prospect To Watch: Mustafa Shakur. If he can build on the second half that he had in his first game of the Showcase, Shakur will once again be a prominent name on the tip of NBA scouts tongues when it comes to point guard call-up candidates. The Arizona product has averaged 19.3 points, 6.8 assists and 2.4 steals per game, leading a good Tulsa team in an NBA system. It also doesn't hurt to have the starting point guard shooting 52% from the field.
Erie Bayhawks vs Los Angeles D-Fenders - NBA TV
Erie Prospect To Watch: Alade Aminu. Aminu simply dominated while coming off of the bench yesterday. By dominated, I mean he scored 30 points and grabbed 22 boards and picked up three steals - off the bench. the 22-year old Aminu didn't have an impressive career at Georgia Tech and hasn't been the presence in the D-League many thought he would be up to this point, but he came off the bench to show why he's one of the best long-term prospects at the Showcase. Let's see if he can do it again today.
Los Angeles Prospect to Watch: Diamon Simpson. I'm going to borrow from Kevin Pelton (I'll delve into the entire article later): Diamon Simpson is the oddity in this group, a player the stats like much, much more than the scouts. DraftExpress doesn't have him among its list of top 25 potential callups, but he rates here as the best player in the D-League. The big issue is Simpson's size. As a 6'7" power forward, he might not be able to compete in the NBA. Even his numbers show some red flags, as his translated True Shooting Percentage would make him an extremely inefficient scorer in the NBA. Still, there are some things to really like. Simpson has been a beast on the offensive glass; his translated 14.7 percent offensive rebound percentage would put him sixth in the league, just behind DeJuan Blair. His steal percentage is also phenomenal for a big man, and Simpson blocks plenty of shots too. Oddly, Simpson's statistics last year as a senior at St. Mary's were nowhere near this impressive.
Iowa Energy vs Bakersfield Jam - Watch Live Here!
Iowa Prospect to Watch: Cartier Martin. Martin hasn't dominated the D-League since returning from overseas, so a big game today would remind the scouts that he can be the guy that played most of the season with the Charlotte Bobcats last season. On the year, he's averaging 14.2 points and shooting 43% from the field, so he'll have to do considerably better than that to remain a top prospect.
Bakersfield Prospect to Watch: Amara Sy. The 28-year old Sy came to the D-League following a pretty succesful career overseas in hopes of an NBA call-up. If he has a poor game today, I'm assuming he'll be headed back to Europe fairly soon. He's got the physical tools and even has a good motor from what I've seen, but he's just not standing out enough to warrant the looks he was hoping to get. If he can lead his struggling Bakersfield team to a victory over the Iowa Energy, the best team in the D-League, heads will be turned.
Utah Flash vs Fort Wayne Mad Ants - Watch Live Here!
Utah Prospect To Watch: Dontell Jefferson. Frankly, he's been struggling. I really hope it doesn't get in his head that Sundiata Gaines got a call-up over him, but it could. I'm still perplexed that the Jazz picked Gaines despite have a tall, defensive-minded pass-first point guard that's ran there system for the past two years, but that's what they did. Rumor is, he has some sort of knee injury and the Jazz will probably call him up next if Gaines doesn't impress. However, Jefferson's got 29 other teams to impress here at the Showcase (probably more like 7-10 that stayed until today), but he'll have to play well tonight.
Fort Wayne Prospect To Watch: Jared Reiner. Reiner is a name known to the NBA scouts and is, in my mind, the most ready big man to be called up. I know, you'd think it'd be Dwayne Jones, but Reiner actually looks like he's trying to do whatever it takes, while Jones typically comes out flat. Reiner's other advantage is his mid-range game - I like it. The 6'11, 255 pound big man played very well last night while matching up with former first-round pick Cedric Simmons, scoring 13 points, grabbing 17 boards and swatting four shots. He's cerebral.