This coming NBA D-League All-Star festivities will take place in Toronto at the Ricoh Coliseum. The game and the surrounding events will be just like D-League game for the players, a chance to impress the NBA. Here are four things to know:
There will be lots of points (but not that many)
Across all nine previous D-League all-star games, the winning team has averaged 122.8 points per game. That would be good for the most points per game by a team in the D-League this year, but not by much. The Reno Bighorns currently average 121.3 per game. Compare those numbers to the NBA all-star game where, over the past nine games, the winning team has scored 149.2 points.
Don't Expect Much From the MVP
Without a doubt we'll see at least one incredible performance next weekend. But it's unlikely to be an indicator of future NBA success. Of the 10 D-League all-star game MVPs (there were co-MVPs in 2009) only Gerald Green and Robert Covington have been regular contributors in the NBA. That trend extends to 3-point and Slam Dunk champions as well. No D-League 3-point champion has played more than 20 games in the NBA and only one Slam Dunk contest champion has played more than three games in the NBA. James White, who won the contest in 2009, has played in 67 NBA games.
The Sioux Falls Skyforce will dominate the stat sheet
Sioux Falls has four players in next weekend's all-star game, plus their head coach Dan Craig and his staff will be coaching the game. Jarnell Stokes, Deandre Liggins, Tre Kelley, and Keith Benson will all be representing Sioux Falls. With Liggins' ability to distribute, the scoring prowess of the others, and a season's worth of chemistry, these four should be in lockstep. Look for Craig to reward his players for earning the best record in the D-League so far this season by giving them plenty of opportunities to shine.
D-League All-Star Festivities Are Fickle
The NBA stops for nothing, and that can complicate things for the D-League's all-star weekend. Like any developmental league, the best players won't be there for long and that makes selecting and following through with all-stars very difficult. For example, Erick Green is an easy NBADL all-star selection. In 23 games he averaged over 26 points per game while shooting 48% from three-point land. The only problem is with numbers like that a player isn't going to be around the D-League for long. Green signed a second 10-day deal with the Utah Jazz a few days ago. Green may be back in the D-League soon, but for now he's where every D-League player wants to be over all-star weekend, the NBA.