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The Defense Was (Not) The Backbone Last Night In The D-League

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Springfield Armor 127, Rio Grande Valley Vipers 111 (Box Score)

  • I don't know if you've ever watched a D-League game, but most teams run the same four commercials all season, plus a Rick Kamla highlight package when the opportunity presents itself.  This has been going on for the past three seasons and I've hated every minute of it - until this season.  Why, you ask? They have the "Defense is the Backbone" commercial in heavy rotation and I love it.  However, even after their 146-135 slobber knocker yesterday, RGV has apparently not watched it quite as often as myself.
  • Tony Bobbitt, who I remember most for being #32 on defense (I don't know that defense is the word for what he was doing here) in this clip, had a ridiculous night due to defense much like he showed at the Bismarck Civic Center back on that fateful night in 2007.  Still, when Bobbitt's hot, he's hot and even with a hand in his face, he's going to make it rain, which is precisely what he did last night - 32 points - 15 from beyond the arc - and little else.  Still, it almost makes it understandable why Springfield would have wanted him instead of Mo Almond.
  • I really like Justin Hawkins.  I'm not sure why Iowa decided to outright cut him when they acquired him in a trade for John Edwards, and I'm even less sure why he sat as a free agent for however long he did (According to the D-League transactions page, he's still with Iowa).  He's active, versative good at scoring, he's long and he doesn't seem to be a terrible human being.  Anyway, back to the action - Hawkins had 25 points and 13 boards last night and even played in the post, something I wasn't really aware he could do.
  • Nobody else really stood out for the Armor, so I'd like to go with a little Ewing Theory again.  Springfield is without JamesOn Curry, who I've heard dislocated his elbow, but haven't able to confirm that.  Curry was the point guard of this team - the leader on the floor if you will. Still, he led this team a 4-23 record. Without him, their record is still poor - two wins, four losses - but Springfield's been playing much better without him.  Also, the Clippers called him up this season. Just saying.
  • For Rio Grande Valley, I guess Will Conroy can't do it every night by himself.  With the remainder of his starting lineup all in the NBA (Mike Harris, Garrett Temple, Antonio Anderson and Joey Dorsey), he's left with a ragtag group that includes Sean Barnette, Mickell Gladness and Stanley Asumnu playing considerable minutes - for those not familiar with those names, there's a reason for that... I'm not really even familiar with their names. Still, Conroy had 19 points,13 assists and nine boards while trying to will his team to victory.  He also had an alarming amount of turnovers, but they weren't all his fault (new teammate miscommunication issues) and it's not like I'd rather somebody else on the Vipers handling the ball.
  • Craig Winder continued his stellar play - 26 points while shooting 10-of-16 from the floor.  His numbers have really been the biggest benefactor of the Great 40,000 Call-Up's from Rio Grande Valley Movement.
  • Kenny Hasbrouck had 24 points.  No idea why people didn't pick this kid up right away.  He sat in the D-League player pool for two weeks.  Somedays I feel like I should run the basketball operations of a D-League team.

There weren't any other games last night so that's all you get for recaps today.  Sorry. 

Anyway - Quick Programming Note: Tomorrow's recaps will probably be different than usual.  I plan to attend the Albuquerque Thunderbirds - Dakota Wizards game and Jon L will more than likely be in attendance for the Tulsa 66ers - Austin Toros game.