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Marcus Williams Made His Re-Debut Last Night in the D-League

Austin Toros 118, Springfield Armor 109 OVERTIME (Box Score)

  • Marcus Williams is back in the D-League and, after all was said and done, he didn't really miss a beat - he led the team in asssists, shot an efficient 8-of-14 from the field and played the second most minutes of any of the Toros.  He did have some issues, namely turning the ball over six times and shooting just 1-of-5 from beyond the arc, though I think I can explain.  As far as the turnovers, one came on what they called a block instead of a charge, one came on a travel and the other four came on entry passes to the low post - I hate to charge those turnovers to the point guard when it's just as much the fault as the big for not sealing/bobbling the basketball.  The 3-pointers, as Williams remarked in his postgame interview, were an issue because he was used to shooting from the closer European 3-point line (or Chinese, as you will).  The odd thing about that is of the 470 shots that he took in China, just six were from beyond the arc.  He adds a great dimension to the Toros as a passer, a scorer and, maybe most importantly, a leader.  Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to see him called up to the Spurs once Toros coach Quin Snyder gives the go-ahead when he's completely re-acclimated with the offense.
  • Curtis Jerrells is doing what he was meant to do - score.  Since the Toros have decided to play him as the off-guard on offense (this past weekend against Bakersfield), he's lighting up the scoreboard.  By lighting up the scoreboard, I mean his 28 points last night was his lowest scoring output of the past four games.  I'm not saying that he can't become an NBA point guard - he's developed a lot in running the pick-and-roll this season - but he clearly still has a scorer's mentality.  With someone else handling the distributing duties (Jerrells still usually took the ball up the court last night, but made a quick pass soon thereafter), he scored 28 points (albeit he shot just 8-of-19 from the field), hit 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, had four rebounds, four assists, three steals and even picked up two blocks while turning the ball over just twice.  It was against Kyle McAlarney, but that's still a pretty really good game.
  • Dwayne Jones did what he does - 23 points, 15 rebounds and even three blocked shots.  I really don't know what I can add to this assessment.  I can't understand how he scores so well without any polish on his offensive game.  The quality of post defense in the D-League is considerably lacking, as he basically got the ball and was hacked.  He's good, but I can understand how he doesn't stand out in the NBA tryouts - his offensive game is not able to translate against a big man that knows how to defend him.
  • Michael Joiner is a nice addition to the Toros (he was acquired from the Sioux Falls Skyforce earlier this season in exchange for Justin Bowen).  He starts at the 4, but really spreads the floor out well for them - which works perfectly in Snyder's pick-and-roll offense.  If the roll isn't there, the guard can just rotate the ball until they find Joiner in the corner.  Yesterday, Joiner had 17 points, hitting 4-of-TEN from beyond the arc, and added eight rebounds.
  • For Springfield, Marcus Campbell had 20 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots (Campbell averages 10.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 0.8 bpg), playing over ten minutes less than Dwayne Jones.  It kind of bring Jones numbers into perspective, now that I look at it.  While he puts up big numbers, there's routinely someone on the other team doing nearly as well.  While that may work for a wing player (score more than you're scored on), I don't like this working out for the big man.
  • Justin Hawkins had 26 points, five boards and five assists.  He was pretty quiet in the first half, but obviously came on afterward.  I like him to get a nice Summer League invite this July.
  • I have no idea how Dee Brown still has a job, and I mean that in the nicest way I can say that.  This was Springfield's 21st loss on the road out of 21 opportunities.  He traded away his best player (Mo Almond) as well as swapping Dan Dickau for a poor man's Dan Dickau (Kyle McAlarney).  This had to have been the 10th fourth quarter lead his team has blown.  It's not been pretty for the Armor.

Reno beat Los Angeles in the other game.  I didn't watch much of it, as I was focused on the aforementioned Springfield-Austin game.  Rod Benson (22 points, 11 boards, two steals, two blocks) and Richie Frahm (23 points, 7-of-11 from 3-point land) led Reno to a 114-101 victory.  Los Angeles was led by Michael Fey (22 points, 11 boards) and Ryan Forehan-Kelly (21 points, 3 steals), albeit in a losing effort.  Check the box score for more information.