I'm a little bit burnt out from doing two-a-day's at the YMCA this week - GTL, Baby. Gym. Tanning. Laundry. (Skip to the 2:00 mark of the above video if you need a reference. Also, Buy me this shirt), That said, let's get right into this!
Also, to whoever uploads the D-League videos to Youtube, I'd like to request Matt Brennan's talking with Rick Kamla about Carlos Powell from yesterday. Until this happens, we'll be opening up with a Jersey Shore video daily. You've been warned.
Albuquerque Thunderbirds 109, Rio Grande Valley Vipers 100 (BOX SCORE)
- First, for a bit of a backstory on this game, check out this blog post by Rio Grande Valley's Jonah Goldberg. He refers to himself in third person in his bio as the Doctor Professor. Anyway, back to his post - about the Vipers not needing Kurt Looby.. Umm, yeah. About that. The Vipers needed a 21-3 run to make this game respectable, and even then, it didn't end all that respectable (Mike Harris hit a 3-pointer as time expired to cut the game to single digits). I think an inside presence such as Joey Dorsey may have been able to help a bit.
- Kevin Pittsnogle had 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks while shooting 4-for-9 from beyond the arc in 28 minutes. Yes, you read that right. Pittsnogle, who hasn't really been impressive this season, has been reasonably impressive for the past month or so, actually. He's such a match-up problem that when his jump-shot is on, it's near impossible to stop him. Inside, he's typically not going to give his team much (six points, including a nice and awkard hook shot), but back-to-back Pittsnogle 3's will either get the crowd riled up at home or ruin the away teams morale on the road. (Yes, it was as awkward for me type nice things about Pittsnogle as it was for you to read them, but, as they say, when in Rome!)
Carlos Powell, as usual, did his thing. By his thing, I mean he scored 21 points, grabbed nine boards, dished seven assists and, when RGV was threatening to come back, took over and finished the game at the free-throw line. His 5-of-15 shooting from the field wasn't pretty, nor was his his airball of a three-pointer, but Powell does enough things that even when he's not shooting well, he's not going to kill the team. I also like when he takes on the role of point-forward.
- Kurt Looby is a player I've enjoyed watching since Clay Moser let him actually come off of the bench midway through last season. He's still bad on offense, but tries his ass of on defense. Still, even with his limited offense, he ended up with 10 points - including a jump shot! Rebounding was his biggest asset, though, as the Vipers had no idea how to contain him on the glass to begin the game and his eight first quarter rebounds seems to hammer that point home. He finished the night with a typical Looby line - 15 boards, 10 points, two blocks and a steal.
- Keith McLeod is back after having not played since December 27th. McLeod, who's not that far removed from being a starting point guard in the NBA, has been no part of this current six game winning streak. McLeod came off the bench to score 14 points and add six assists, but clearly he was a bit rusty.
- To keep the Yaroslav Korolev fan happy, he had 11 points and made all five of his field goal attempts. Yay, Yari! Also, does it confuse anyone that even though he was drafted in the first round in 2006, there's only four youtube videos of him - none of which feature him. For perspective, there are 11 Pittsnogle videos.
- For reasons I'm unsure of, Mike Harris came off the bench while Ernest Scott got the start. Harris, as you may know, is really good in the D-League. Amazingly, that didn't change last night as he picked up 27 points and grabbed 11 boards in 35 minutes. He also seems to try hard, consistently, which is something I can believe in.
- Will Conroy had a good game, actuallly. 20 points on 10 shots and 14 assists. The part I like most about that is 10 shots. If Conroy is going to actually play as a point guard and not just for a call-up, I'll be really excited. I didn't even notice negative chemistry emitting from him!
- Antonio Anderson had 20 points, but didn't really fill up the box score like he used to, in an era I'll refer to as pre-Conroy. Anderson shot 8-of-18 from the field, 1-for-6 from beyond the arc, five boards and just two assists. Defense wasn't bad, but I expect good defense.
- RGV shot 6-of-30 from beyond the arc, with the biggest (?) contributor being Garrett Temple. While I've recently grown to really like him (he almost made my call-up list), he's not going to do it by shooting poorly. Offense is his game. Defensively, he's not Anderson, but he's not "dude who was guarding me at the Y last night while I proceeded to have 11 points and 14 rebounds in a 5-on-5 game to 21" either.
- RGV Head Coach Chris Finch was ejected in the third quarter after picking up his second technical. From that point on,
I was really excited because Paul Mokeski was coachingthe RGV announce team harkened back to a time I thought they'd moved on from.