The next four games will go a long way in deciding who wins the D-League's Pacific Division. As it stands now, the Reno Bighorns cling to a one game lead over the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Reno is set to begin a four game home stand, including a crucial back-to-back against LA. If home court advantage and a one game lead isn't enough, the Sacramento Kings have assigned forward Eric Moreland to Reno, a big boost to their frontcourt.
Reno's success this season stems from their ability to score. The Bighorns lead the NBADL in points per game (123.1), three-point attempts (37.4) and three-point percentage (40.8%). And even with their outside scoring prowess, Reno still ranks fifth in the league in percent of points scored in the paint (42.2%). These numbers are impressive, but what makes them even more impressive is the fact that Reno doesn't rebound the ball well. The Bighorns rank in bottom three in the league in both offensive and defensive rebound percentage. Given their offensive abilities, Reno could be having a Sioux Falls type season if they could hit they boards better with a capable big man outside of Vincent Hunter.
As with any D-League assignment, uncertainty abounds, but Eric Moreland can push the Bighorns from good to great. Moreland is in his second year out of Oregon State and spend significant time in Reno last season. In seven games, the forward averaged a double-double with 12.7 rebounds and 13.7 points per game.
Moreland obviously took advantage of his brief time in Reno a year ago, but circumstances are different this time around. The Oregon State product is coming off a fractured left foot which caused him to miss 41 games for the Kings, and as a second year player, the D-League may not be as novel and appealing as it was before. Moreland may or may not stick around, but with the Kings out of playoff contention and a crowded frontcourt in Sacramento, he'll likely prove crucial for Reno down the stretch.