Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages, the D-League Showcase proudly brings to you the D-League Blogging Champion of the World...
Alright, with the first game just barely underway, I'm going to be live blogging. Please, join along, as these first two games are being shown live on NBA TV. I also went to PF Chang's last night instead of writing previews. I'll try getting a brief done before these games really get interesting.
Albuquerque Thunderbirds vs. Rio Grande Valley Vipers
What to look for: Albuquerque has, possibly, the best offensive player in the D-League (Carlos Powell) while RGV has one of the better defenders in the league with Antonio Anderson.
Player to watch: Carlos Powell. Powell's been getting heavy looks around the NBA, from what I'm told, and with good reason. After having a stellar Summer League/pre-season with the Phoenix Suns, he re-joined the D-League and is dominating. With an improved attitude but the same stellar stats (23 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.0 apg, 53% FG), I expect that he could get some love.
Other Players of Note: Yaroslav Korolev, Garrett Temple, Joey Dorsey, Kevin Pitsnogle
Los Angeles D-Fender's vs Maine Red Claws
What to look for: This is a battle of two NBA-owned teams*. One shows you the right way to do it and one shows how Los Angeles is doing it. Still, should be a good game.
Player to watch: Diamon Simpson. I just like this guy. He was good at St. Mary's last season and he's a good player to watch in the D-League. He played for the Washington Wizards this Summer and then Golden State in the preseason, so he's on some NBA radars as well. A 6'7" combo forward in the D-League, Simpson has a Lou Amundson-type game and is currently averaging 16.8 points and 9.8 boards per game in 32 minutes.
Other Players of Note: Joe Crawford, Michael Fey, Gabe Pruitt, Dar Tucker, Alexis Ajinca, Billy Thomas and Mario West
*Maine isn't actually an NBA owned team, but they're run by former Celtics assistant Jon Jennings and Bill Ryan, runs TD Banknorth and they hired Austin Ainge, son of Celtics GM Danny Ainge. They're a bit Celtics-heavy.