Iowa found out their faith Friday night --- even with a loss to Sioux Falls. The Energy, who finish the season with a 25-25 record, finds themselves in the eighth spot waiting for the Playoff Draft to take place this afternoon. Their opponent last night, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, is who the Energy will see starting Wednesday.
In a two-hour game, the Energy walked off the Wells Fargo Arena floor with a bittersweet feeling. Their season isn't over yet, but dropping two straight games to the Skyforce and the D-Fenders wasn't necessarily in their plans either.
So now Iowa will turn around and prepare to face the overall #1 team in the league. The players don't care who they want. They are just happy they're playing for at least two more games.
"It's a blessing to have the ability to move on," said Brandon Ewing, who had 10 points and 10 assists in a 95-79 loss to Los Angeles Saturday night. "LA is a great team, but we're ready to face anyone who comes along."
Los Angeles finished the regular season with a 38-12 record, and last night, they proved they were the best in the league.
D-Fenders played eight-deep throughout the game including Mardy Collins, who scored 23 points off the bench, but played the second-most minutes with 36:05. Collins let the ball fly shooting 11-for-19.Los Angeles as a team shot 51 percent on the night.
Jamario Moon also had a good night by shooting 8-for-15 resulting in 20 points.
Energy Head Coach Kevin Young wanted the D-Fenders from a preparation standpoint.
"It'll be easier for us to go back and look at the tape and see what we can do better against this team," Young said.
Young also didn't think the D-Fenders would pick up the Energy for a first round matchup.
"They fared better against other teams this season," said Young. "I don't know what they are going to base it on. Are the going to base it on how we played in the second half of the season? Are they going to base off of how we played tonight? Will it be because of matchups? I've been on that side of the court where you're waiting to get picked."
Young is eluding to last year where Iowa finished as the top overall seed and selected Utah as part of their championship run.
Iowa has some work to do to get back to that championship stage, including having to go on the road more times than not. Iowa's road record on the season: 8-17.
Iowa's assignment is tough -- L.A. only has lost four times at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
"It's a new season," said forward Andrew Drevo. "I think if we play the way we're capable of playing, we can play with them (Los Angeles) and anybody else. We are going to try to make the most of it."
Fellow forward Moses Ehambe, who tried to make the comeback run last night by shooting 5-for-11 from 3-point territory, is confident in his team's ability to win.
"What has happened is already over," said Ehambe. "It's win or go home."
Iowa opens up the playoff run with a home game Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena.