Two more games last night, one between two of the league's best teams last year (Utah and Idaho), the other between the two newest teams (Maine and Springfield). One of the games looks like it was pretty good. The other...not. Let's take a look.
The Bob MacKinnon era in Idaho got off to a rousing start as the Stampede put up 113 possessions which, if I recall correctly, would have been an extreme rarity for the team last season. Not saying fast or slow is better, but there's definitely a new system in place. There also were a lot of fouls called in this one. I spy with my little eye a certain ref whose initials are S.T. Idaho was helped out by 45 percent three-point shooting, which was good since they put up 31 shots from outside. Roberto Bergerson made all four of his attempts (before fouling out in less than 19 minutes of action) and Anthony Tolliver shot 4-10 from behind the arc. Speaking of Tolliver, the offense was good (23 points on 19 shots), but he had just two rebounds in 31 and a half minutes. He can do better and has done better. Sundiata Gaines played pretty well in his first D-League action, with 17 points on 12 shots, three assists and three steals, but also three turnovers. Lanny Smith got the start and played...okay. The positive were the four assists, three rebounds and three steals. The negative were the five turnovers and 2-6 shooting.
For the Flash, they didn't play particularly poorly. The difference were the three-pointers, I suppose, as Utah shot 30 percent from behind the arc and put up only as third as many of those shots as the Stampede did, but otherwise they had more free throw attempts and more rebounds. Of course, 14 assists on 38 made field goals isn't very good, and while Dontell Jefferson scoring 14 points on 10 shots is good, one assist in a little over 23 minutes is not. Backups Orien Greene and Jason Richards added just two and three, respectively, though Greene was pretty good in other areas, scoring 16 points on nine shots and grabbing seven rebounds. The Flash big men played decently, and there are a lot of them. Garrett Siler was very good off the bench (hint: he probably should start) with 15 points on seven shots and six rebounds in 19 and a half minutes, though he also committed four fouls and turned the ball over four times. Gavin Grant scored 15 points on nine shots, though he only had two rebounds. Luke Nevill had 11 points on nine shots but only one rebounds and five fouls in 19 and a half minutes. Bennet Davis had seven rebounds, though he also shot 1-7 and turned the ball over three times. No blocks, either, which is unusual for him.
37 percent shooting. 15 percent shooting on three-pointers. 12 assists on 31 made field goals. And that was Springfield, who actually won the game. The Red Claws shot the ball better (slightly) and distributed the ball better (a little bit), but they turned the ball over 25 times to Springfield's 18 so there you have it. I have to admit, I haven't been crazy about the way these two rosters have been put together, and based on this one game (judgment based on one game alert) both teams could struggle this year.
The Armor were "led" by Perrin Johnson and Julian Allen who each scored 12 points, though Johnson needed 11 shots to get there and Allen 10. Johnson was the only Springfield player to make any of his three-pointers (he went 3-4), so that's something. JamesOn Curry only turned the ball over once in 23 minutes, but he also needed nine shots to get eight points and finished with just three assists. Of course, that was a team-high three assists, which he shared with Craig Austrie. Attention Springfield: you need a point guard.
Darnell Lazare played decently for Maine with 19 points on 14 shots, eight rebounds and two blocks, though he also had five turnovers. Former NBA player Will Blalock had seven assists and four rebounds in 37 minutes, but he also turned the ball over four times and shot 2-10 from the field. Current NBA player Bill Walker was slightly better, in that he had more points (13) than field goal attempts (12), but he also had more fouls (four) than rebounds (three). This game must've been a chore to watch.