Bulls' NBA D-League affiliate Iowa Energy on Versus
CHICAGO, April 11, 2011— Several of the NBA’s top prospects can be seen on national television tonight when the Iowa Energy, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns, hosts the Utah Flash at 7 p.m. CT in Game 2 of the first round of the NBA D-League Playoffs. The game will air live on Versus.
The Energy, which finished the regular season with the NBA D-League’s best record (37-13), holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series against the Flash, winning Game 1 last Wednesday, 103-96. Iowa can advance to the semifinals with a win tonight.
Iowa, which produced Gatorade call-up Othyus Jeffers of the Washington Wizards, is led by point guard Curtis Stinson. A likely league MVP candidate, Stinson led the NBA D-League in the regular season in assists (9.8 apg) and minutes (42.9 mpg), and ranked sixth in scoring (19.3 ppg). The Energy also features rookie forward Marqus Blakely (17.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg) out of Vermont, and former Connecticut star forward Stanley Robinson.
The Flash, affiliated with the Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks, is led by NBA veteran Ronald Dupree (15.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg), who played 47 games for the Bulls in 2003-04. The Flash also features prospects Orien Greene (16.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.0 apg), Andre Ingram (13.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg) and Tony Gaffney (10.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.3 bpg).
Currently about 22 percent of NBA players have NBA D-League experience, including Chicago’s C.J. Watson. This season, a record 25 NBA teams have assigned players to their NBA D-League affiliates, while 45 percent of the 2010 NBA Draft class has played in the NBA D-League in 2010-11.
VERSUS’ NBA D-League Playoffs Schedule (subject to change):
DATE --- GAME --- AIR TIME
April 11 --- Utah at Iowa, 8 p.m. ET --- LIVE
TBD --- NBA D-League Finals
For complete schedule information, visit www.Versus.com.
NBA Development League
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league. Featuring 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the NBA D-League is a proven developer of talent: 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA FUTURECAST, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.
Versus, part of the NBC Sports Group, prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (Versus.com, Versus on Demand and Versus HD). Now in more than 75 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France and Professional Bull Riders (PBR). Versus also airs NASCAR, NBA, UFC, college football and college basketball programming. The network is home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else. Versus is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.