Travis Leslie - Stephen Dunn
Day Two of the 2013 NBA D-League Showcase has some great match-ups and players on display for the scouting world to see. Top prospects like Travis Leslie and Arinze Onuaku will be working hard to earn a shot at playing in The Association.
Austin Toros vs. Santa Cruz Warriors, 10am PST
What to watch for: Without Justin Dentmon, the Toros have been sliding a bit. However, Tre Kelly and Tyler Wilkerson have been playing well lately. That said, the Santa Cruz Warriors have a talented starting five and a deep bench. Expect to see Santa Cruz run away with this one early.
Player to watch: Travis Leslie is one of the top guards in the D-League. He has all of the things that NBA teams are looking for this season: Big league experience, a high PER rating (23.00), and the ability take over a game with his scoring.
Leslie can be a spark off the bench for most teams in The Association. With a good Showcase performance, he should get that chance.
Other notable players: Tyler Wilkerson, Tre Kelly, Maurice Baker, Taylor Griffin, Stephon Hannah, and Chris Johnson
Canton Charge vs. Idaho Stampede, 12:45pm PST
What to watch for: The Stampede won a few games recently, and seem to be finding ways to win games. Unfortunately for Idaho, the Canton Charge boasts one of the top prospects in the NBADL in Arinze Onuaku. With Coach Alex Jensen at the helm, the Charge are very difficult to beat.
Player to watch: Onuaku is the easy choice and many eyes will be on him. He averages 14 points and 11.5 rebounds in just an amazing 24 minutes per contest. The big man's per-48 averages are staggering: 30 points and 24 rebounds per game.
The big man can make an immediate impact on any roster looking for a strong presence under the basket. His Showcase performance should earn him a shot at playing on NBA hardwood soon.
Maine Red Claws vs. Tulsa 66ers, 3:30pm PST
What to watch for: The Red Claws have been dominating this season. Even without Chris Wright and Fab Melo, they continue to win games. Maine has tons of scorers on their team and DaJuan Summers is pacing the team's rebounding efforts.
Fortunately for Tulsa, Oklahoma City sent Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, and Daniel Orton to town for some playing time in the D-League. If they are still around for the Showcase, this game could be the best of the day.
Player to watch: Micah Downs fills up the stat sheet on nightly basis and puts in an amazing effort during each contest. He runs the floor well, kills teams in transition, and can score from anywhere on the floor. Best of all, he rebounds and can defend the two or three spot well. A strong performance next week should garner him more serious consideration for an NBA gig.
Los Angeles D-Fenders vs. Iowa Energy, 7pm PST
What to watch for: At the end of December, these two teams battled it out. Iowa won that contest 105-102, but it could have gone either way. Iowa's back court combination of Maurice Almond and Chris Wright is a difficult matchup for most teams. Fortunately for the D-Fenders, Courtney Fortson and Darius Johnson-Odom should be up to the challenge.
This should be a high scoring game that will likely come down to the last basket.
Player to watch: Paul Harris is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per contest and has had a double-double in his last 3 games. He could steal the spotlight in this game and make a clear case for a 10-day contract in the process. NBA teams gave him looks previously in Summer League, and could be doing double-takes after this contest.