The Iowa Energy Clinched The Eastern Conference In 8 Point Blowout Victory

Iowa Energy 110, Sioux Falls Skyforce 102 (Box Score)

  • Iowa led 70-36 at halftime.  Yet this is the game I decided I was going to watch in between all of the March Madness.  Suffice to say, I paid attention to my television quite a bit more than I did to this game.  Steve Kerr, who was in the audience, probably wishes he could have done the same.
  • Earl Clark, on assignment to Iowa from the Phoenix Suns, started out pretty terribly (0-for-4 with two of his shots blocked), but finished the game with a respectable 19 points, 10 boards while adding two steals and two blocks.  He shot just 7-of-18 from the floor - the worst percentage of any Iowa starter - but he looked pretty good otherwise.  The best thing he did in this game was simply serve as a match-up problem.  I don't think he's amazing right now, but I do think he will be.  Looking at the play-by-play, he made just one of his 12 jump shots he attempted, though three were blocked.  Otherwise, five of his six makes were assisted, and - as you'll see in the highlights above - his teammates usually gave him the ball in spots where even Seth Pollack could score.
  • Curtis Stinson is probably pretty frustrated at this point in the season.  He's led the league in assists since day one, but still has seen a myriad of point guards get called up not named Curtis Stinson (JamesOn Curry, Will Conroy, Mustafa Shakur, Sundiata Gaines and Cedric Jackson).  Mostly, it's due to his shooting (his defense isn't great, but it's not what's holding him back).  Still, by combining for 39 assists compared to seven turnovers over his past TWO games, he's probably helping his stock - especially since he's leading one of the best teams in the league.  Last night he shot 5-of-7 from the field for 11 points and added 18 assists and two steals.  Another bonus? He didn't add to his league leading 12 technical fouls.
  • Cartier Martin (re)found his stroke!  Martin 8-of-9 from the field - including 6-of-6 from beyond the arc - to total 26 points in less than 25 minutes of playing time.  Martin was largely the initiator of the blowout - early on, he nailed three straight lightly-contested 3's to give the Energy a 13-6 lead they'd never relinquish.
  • The lone bright spot for Sioux Falls was Leemire Goldwire (Or Lamar, as the Marty Tirrell-less Iowa Energy annouce referred to him as).  Goldwire got the start because normal starting point guard David Bailey was out with back spasms.  Anyway, he had 31 points while shooting 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.  He only had three assists compared to four turnovers, but it was one of those nights for the Skyforce.  Also, I'll conclude that Bailey is more important to Sioux Falls than the box score indicates.

 

Dakota Wizards 109, Erie BayHawks 105 (Box Score)

  • I watched a lot of this game, but Matt Hubert got his recap up before mine, so I decided not to in-depth recap it myself.
  •  The part I'd like to reiterate from Hubert's recap was about the officiating.  The refs called "a critical phantom foul call when it appeared that Lester Hudson tripped and fell over his own feet in the open court. That allowed Hudson to push Dakota's lead to 2 (he made 1 of 2 free throws) instead of giving the BayHawks the ball down by a point with a minute left."  It was the worst call I've ever seen in a D-League game, and I've both seen quite a bit and been quite critical about D-League officiating.  It was unbelievably bad.  Like "that guy should be fired" bad.
  • That said, Corsley Edwards and Mike Sweetney is a fun matchup to watch.  Neither is even average on defense, but both are great on offense.  They're also out of shape - moreso Sweetney.
  • Blake Ahearn had 38 points and six assists while jawing with his former teammates from Dakota.  I'll bet he drops 40 tonight on Versus.

Bakersfield Jam 120, Austin Toros 108 (Box Score) (Highlights Unavailable)

  • I didn't watch a minute of this game (Blame March Madness), but figured I'd throw in a couple of bullets.
  • Both teams started two pretty-much-point guards in their back court.
  • Bakersfield's duo - Trey Johnson and Jeremy Wise - combined for 28 points, 12 assists and 10 turnovers.  According to the box score, Wise was the better point guard with eight assists compared to three turnovers.
  • Austin's duo - Squeaky Johnson and Curtis Jerrells - combined for 41 points, 15 assists and six turnovers.  Johnson played the point excellently - 13 assists to two turnovers -while Jerrells slid back to what I consider his best position - scorer (or off-guard, if you'd like).  Jerrells finished with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
  • Why did Johnson start at the point guard?  I assume it's because Austin has (re)added Marcus Williams (Arizona forward-turned-point guard, not Grizzlies point guard) to their roster and they wanted to get a feel for how Jerrells would react to playing off the ball.  Looks like it'll work out just fine.
  • Brian Butch had 17 rebounds, Dwayne Jones had 15 rebounds.  Jones outscored Butch 20 to 10, but the rebounding numbers both amaze and confuse me.
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