The NBA Development League season tips off Friday night with seven games on the menu so hopefully everyone enjoyed D-League Opening Night Eve and is ready to watch some live basketball. There will be six games available to watch online for free, via Futurecast, while the Iowa Energy vs. Canton Charge game will be shown live on NBA TV.
Ideally there would be a beautiful preview on Ridiculous Upside for each match-up in this bevy of games, but your's truly is currently suffering from what most call a food coma. Instead, listed below is one reason for everyone to be thankful that the game will be broadcast live (and in hopefully high definition).
Los Angeles D-Fenders vs. Dakota Wizards
If someone is going to watch this one, it should be for the chance to catch Scott Schroeder on their computer screen. If that reason isn't good enough, however, Jamaal Tinsley's D-League debut against the best team in the Eastern Conference is probably worth a few minutes of your Friday night.
Maine Red Claws vs. Springfield Armor
The Red Claws boast quite the interesting rookie trio with Durrell Summers, Chris Wright and Mike Tisdale all slated as possible starters alongside J.R. Reynolds. The Armor employ JamesOn Curry, L.D. Williams and what will likely be one of the most undersized frontcourts in the D-League until Chris Taft gets healthy.
Sioux Falls Skyforce vs. Fort Wayne Mad Ants
The D-League's website believes this will be a match-up between Chris Hunter and Greg Stiemsma, but Hunter is out due to injury for the foreseeable future. Instead, this game is worth watching to see if the Skyforce can avoid the 2-18 start that they got off to last season against a team that features four returning starters -- led by Walker Russell Jr.
Erie BayHawks vs. Rio Grande Valley Vipers
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers have one of the best coaches in the D-League with Nick Nurse, but their roster leaves a lot to be desired on paper. The BayHawks backcourt of Donald Sloan and Cory Higgins could certainly set a fun pace if desired.
Tulsa 66ers vs. Idaho Stampede
This game will decide what I think of both of these teams going forward. The Stampede might struggle early without Antoine Walker and Kendall Dartez in the lineup (personal reasons and injuries are bad), but Tulsa's lineup isn't nearly as impressive as it typically is when the Oklahoma City Thunder infuse their talent.
Reno Bighorns vs. Bakersfield Jam
The Bighorns have quite a bit to live up to with the acquisitions of Blake Ahearn, Cedric Bozeman and Paul Mokeski (Coach Mo will not be taking the court , however, unfortunate as that may seem). The Jam are nothing to scoff at, though, and should be an exciting team to watch with Osiris Eldridge and Mustapha Farrakhan in the backcourt.
The Iowa Energy vs. Canton Charge will be coming later, hopefully, as it probably deserves special recognition considering it will be on national television.