Rio Grande Valley Vipers 117, Maine Red Claws 107 (Box Score)
- I chose to highlight this game instead of the Austin-Bakersfield tilt simply because Alex Del Barrio's voice is much easier on the ears than the other highlights available.
Will Conroy needs a call-up again. Conroy used to be a bit of a thorn in my side, but he's been playing very well since returning to the D-League again, doing just enough to help the Vipers win - not forcing bad shots, not looking for his own offense first, just using his head and making his team better. Anyway, yesterday he hit all seven of his shots from the field (two from beyond the arc) to finish with 21 points to go along with 14 assists and three steals. After finishing with triple-double's in his two games leading up to this game, I can safely endorse Conroy as the next point guard call-up. Oh, he also upped his career D-League scoring total to 3,005 points. Not bad.
- Jermaine Taylor looked pretty good in this game, as you could probably have guessed from the highlights above. I'd like to break his game down further than that, but I've yet to see any sort of consistency from Taylor in the D-League (and haven't seen a minute of his play in the NBA). Either way, he seems to be a very good scorer, strong and looking for his shot quite a bit. Defensively, I've yet to see what I'd like to see, but offensively, at least from a scoring perspective, he's there. Yesterday, he finished with 22 points on 14 shots.
- Craig Winder had 25 points. I have to assume that he'll probably replace Antonio Anderson in the starting lineup, because Winder's been on a tear (fifth straight 20+point game off the bench). It's nice to bring offense off the bench, but I see more of a need for a backup point guard off the bench, and their only non-Conroy point guard is Jonathan Wallace, who got the start last night. While Winder isn't a call-up candidate, he's been pretty good for RGV over the past three seasons, even if he doesn't get much (any) publicity.
- Mike Harris had 16 points and nine boards. It's odd when I'm not impressed with that kind of game out of Harris, but it just shows how good he's been this season. Plus, with as much offense as RGV is randomly able to come up with now that Conroy's leading the way, Harris is able to go back to his do-the-dirty-work meme that will get him the call-up he's deserved since, well, his last call-up.
- Kenny Hasbrouck made his D-League debut, hitting 3-of-9 from the field to finish with eight points. I missed when he came into the D-League, which is why I felt I'd mention this today.
- For Maine, Russell Robinson was probably their best player - 20 points, five assists, five boards but an unfortunately high five turnovers was the final line. Focusing on Robinson as of late, I really think he might have the tools to play in the NBA, as long as he's a willing student while under the tutelage of Maine's Randy Livingston. He can score very well, has good court vision and his defense, at least for his size, has been pretty good. He can obviously get a lot better, but the base is there.
- Trey Gilder is also very good, especially for coming of the bench in the D-League. Seems he's always able to be counted on for some solid defense (three blocks this game), efficient scoring (19 points on 11 shots) and around five rebounds per game (six this game) no matter how many minutes he plays. As long as he's putting up good numbers, it probably helps his call-up chances that he's coming off of the bench, because this is exactly how he'd be used in the NBA.
- Maurice Ager had 21 points. I wonder if he's an NBA call-up candidate. Haven't focused enough on him to know, but he does have the resume.
- By the way, I've been meaning to use this quote for awhile, but I was told after Ager was acquired that Maine that there was "too much eye candy." At first I thought this meant that the Red Claws were randomly hooking up with girls instead of focusing on basketball, but it was explained to me that they have a lot of big names, but in the minor leagues, chemistry counts for more. I'll probably agree with this statement, because while RGV could be considered to be in the same boat, their role players have filled in admirably with the absence of the call-ups.
Austin Toros 109, Bakersfield Jam 108 (Box Score) (Highlights)
Dwayne Jones is good at basketball. I know, I've been pounding this point home for a weeks now, but he had 26 points and 26 boards yesterday against former NBA big man John Edwards and All-Star game MVP Brian Butch. He also had more offensive boards (12) than all of Bakersfield combined. I don't know why an NBA team wouldn't want to take a flyer on a guy that can simply hit the offensive boards, block some shots, and get a few putback's on offense while not needing the ball. If Portland goes for a center instead of a point guard, I'd expect them to look at Jones - while he does a lot of what newly-acquired Marcus Camby does, that's not such a bad thing.
- Alonzo Gee also looked very good in this game. He's such a tremendous scorer. 10-of-15 from the field, 24 points, five boards - kid can play. In talking to my main man Matt Moore, he said something along the lines of Gee having the best longterm prospects of anyone in the D-League and the more I actually see of Gee, the more I like.
- Curtis Jerrells had 22 points and 10 assists, but I'm still not sold on him being NBA ready. He needs to find a point guard mentality - not shooting 22 times (most on the team) is probably paramount to getting where I'd like him to be.
- For Bakersfield, Jeremy Wise played well - 24 points, 11 assists and just two turnovers. I don't think I need to expound on his game too much - check over-excited highlights for more.
- Brian Butch had 18 points, 10 boards and three blocks, but shot just 6-of-16 from the field.
- Blake Ahearn had 3 points. I feel bad for him in that situation.
- Trey Johnson is back in the states and ready to join Bakersfield, but he also wants to play point guard. That doesn't look to be an option since that's why Ahearn was traded to the Jam, so Bakersfield will more than likely be forced to renounce his rights, since they're out of transactions for this season.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants 91, Erie Bayhawks 80 (Box Score) (Highlights unavailable)
- I didn't watch this game since I was on my way home from the hospital, so this will be brief. Plus, the pain killers are kicking in and it's late.
- First, I'll tell you that Erie neglected to start both John Bryant AND Alade Aminu. I can't imagine anyone but John Treloar thinking this makes sense, because it doesn't. Why not start your two best big men when Fort Wayne has former NBA big men to counter? Disappointing.
- Mike Gansey had 21 points and 12 boards. I guess he's good at rebounding and scoring and stuff. Haven't focused much on him, but apparently he's a blogger as well.
- Matt Hubert, my regular go-to when it comes to Erie, is on vacation.
- I'm glad Fort Wayne won - Their coaching staff is too talented to be in such a funk.
Albuquerque Thunderbirds 101, Los Angeles D-Fenders 95 (Box Score) (Highlights unavailable)
- Same qualifier - I didn't watch this game, pain killers, late, etc.
- Carlos Powell had 25 points on 15 shots. Antonio Anderson got a call-up. These things aren't related on the surface.