Much like football, the NBA D-League schedule tends to heat up on the weekends --- in the minor league's case, Friday and Saturday, especially.
But with that in mind, the jam-packed action never quite seems to disappoint. A busy weekend calls for a multitude of promising prospects and other up and comers to strut their stuff and put their intriguing talents on display.
When push came to shove following Saturday's matchups, Joe Alexander and Roscoe Smith stood tall as Friday and Saturday's top performers, respectively.
Alexander has been on a tear this season. Fresh off an NBA D-League Player of the Week award, the 27 year old continues to be much more aggressive and assertive than ever before. Despite standing at just 6'8" and 230 pounds, the key to the former NBA first rounder's success as of late has been his ability to embrace the role of dominant minor league big man.
Though he had a perfect running mate in Elliot Williams (the guard logged a near triple-double with 27 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds), it was Alexander who led the Santa Cruz Warriors in scoring (and ultimately, to victory, too) with 34 points and 9 rebounds in Friday's 112-98 win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
On Saturday night, Roscoe Smith helped Los Angeles bounce back with a triumphant win over the run and gun Reno Bighorns. The D-Fenders outlasted the speedy Bighorns in a fight to the finish, coming out victorious by a score of 141-140. Ironically enough, they have Smith largely in part to thank.
Smith is a very smart player who knows what to do with the ball constantly. As fate would have it, he's using that same intelligence to get what/where he wants on the court. He's been effectively manipulating defenses all season long. Saturday's matchup proved to be no different, as the forward exploded for 38 points and 9 rebounds. Logging quite the efficient performer, the call-up candidate converted on 17 of 19 of his shots.
Close behind him was NBA alum Manny Harris, who logged a triple-double with 23 points, 12 assists, and 10 assists in the win.
For their respective impressive performances on Friday and Saturday, Alexander and Smith receive "Performer of the Night" recognition from RidiculousUpside.com.