Well, yesterday I got the great idea to do a preview as the day was starting and didn't quite have the time to do it. So, I stayed up all night and wrote this, the previews for the day two of the D-League Showcase. Also, if you have any questions about anything at the D-League, shoot them to me. I'll probably do some interviews and things of that nature today if I'm not too engulfed in the amazing basketball.
Maine Red Claws vs Sioux Falls Skyforce - 11am MST, NBA TV!
What to watch for: Greg Stiemsma is out so there should be a lot of Raymond Sykes vs Alexis Ajinca action. This may or may not be a good thing. If you like watching polished big men go to work in the block, hope the Ajinca I like show up. If you like raw, unadulterated, energy-fueled big men, check out Sykes. It's also a team with a lot of recognizable names versus a team with probably the fewest big names in the D-League. Also, neither of these teams are owned by an NBA franchise (thanks, Bob Smith aka Jana Spaulding's third RU account!).
Player to Watch: Reggie Williams. Our old friend Jonathan Givony questioned his D-League numbers in his Showcase Preview, but I think Williams is the real deal. If I ever figure out who Givony is, I'm hoping we can epically debate the merits of Williams' game. Or have a beer. Anyway, Williams is averaging 25.5 points and 5.5 boards while shooting 58% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. He'll have a tough matchup with, presumably, Trey Gilder, so I'm doubting he's as efficient as he has been. And, by less efficient, I mean about 50%. For a wing and the teams main offensive weapon, that's still uber-efficient.
Other notable players: Billy Thomas, Mario West, Trey Gilder and Alexis Ajinca
Tulsa 66ers vs Utah Flash - 1:45 MST, Watch Live Here!
What to watch for: I'm not sure. First, to see if Dontell Jefferson was called-up or not. If not, it'll be a match-up of the top two point guards in the D-League with Jefferson and Mustafa Shakur. If you haven't been following the D-League, it'll also be your first chance to catch straight-outta-high-school Latavious Williams in action.
Player to Watch: I'm going to say former Arizona Wildcat Mustafa Shakur, just because if Jefferson was called-up, Shakur could run roughshod over Andre Ingram. Shakur has helped Tulsa win seven of their last nine, really taking over the leadership role on this team. On the season, Shakur is averaging 18.9 points, 6.6 assists and even 4.1 boards while shooting a better-than-expected 52% from the field.
Other Notable Players: DJ White, Latavious Williams, Zabian Dowdell, Deron Washington, Devon Hardin, Steven Hill, Dontell Jefferson, Luke Nevill, Orien Greene.
Austin Toros vs Iowa Energy - 4:30 MST - Watch Live Here!
What to watch for: This game features two of the better coaches in the D-League: Austin's Quin Snyder and Iowa's Nick Nurse. The match-up's should also be fun and, for the most part, pretty even.
Player to Watch: Dwayne Jones. After trying out in Portland last week, scouts will obviously have an eye on the 6'11" big man from St. John's. I will as well. Typically feasting on Kevin Pittsnogle this season, he'll be matched up today against another former NBA big man - Earl "The Pearl" Barron. Jones, on the season, is averaging a ridiculous 17.9 points, 14.6 boards and 2.6 blocks, shooting 62% from the field.
Other Notable Players: Curtis Jerrells, Alonzo Gee, Eddie Basden, Cartier Martin, Taylor Griffin, Curtis Stinson
Springfield Armor vs Dakota Wizards - 7:15 MST - Watch Live Here!
What to watch for: The Mo Almond show? If Dakota's David Bell plays? If Cheyne Gadson runs the point/starts in Bell's place? I don't know. I have trouble watching Springfield games. This will probably be when I try to conduct interviews.
Player to Watch: Morris Almond. I guess he's good at, like, scoring points and stuff. Currently, he's averaging 28.9 points and 5.3 boards, shooting 51% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc. He shoots a lot of free-throws as well. Something to take note of: When was the last time Morris Almond was on a winning team?
Other Notable Players: JamesOn Curry, Romel Beck, Marcus Dove