Tonight's game between the Iowa Energy and Tulsa 66ers could answer quite a few questions: Will Curtis Stinson be named this year's D-League MVP? Will Nick Nurse finally be awarded the D-League's Coach of the Year award? Will the Energy finally advance to the D-League Finals? Do the Tulsa 66ers regret trading Moses Ehambe? Is Marcus Lewis the most underrated big man in the D-League? Is Scott Schroeder really this awkward? I expect at least a few of those questions to be answered tonight.
That's basically my preview of tonight's game -- sorry -- so let's get into the matchup to watch:
Energy point guard Curtis Stinson versus
the entire 66ers Jerome Dyson, again.
As I wrote in my Game 1 preview, Stinson has arguably been the best point guard in the D-League over the past three seasons, but has never received an NBA look. Part of that is probably due to the fact that he's unable to control his emotions, he can't shoot from distance and the fact that he's been atop -- or near -- the leaders in turnovers over the past three seasons. Still, as the starting point guard on the best team for three straight seasons, one would think the NBA might give him a look. In the first round, Stinson averaged an amazing 32.3 points, 9.0 assists and 7.3 rebounds while willing Iowa to victory.
Dyson began this season as the 66ers' scorer off the bench, but when Tweety Carter decided to take his talents to Latvia, the rookie from UConn was forced to become more of a distributor. In the first round of the playoffs, Dyson stepped up quite a bit in game one and finished the series with averages of 18.5 points and 8.0 assists.
In the first game, Stinson was battling some sort of injury while still managing to score 21 points and keep the Energy offense in rhythm while Dyson with 24 points and seven assists to go along with a disappointing seven turnovers. I'm giving the edge to Stinson tonight, provided he's healthy and has a bit of a self-esteem boost given to him pre-game with an MVP award.
As far as the rest of the night goes, I have to pick the 66ers. They have enough talent to steal at least one game in this series.