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Eastern Conference Preview, Part 2

SEASON PREVIEWS
Eastern Conference, Part 1(CTN, DAK, ERI, FWN)
Western Conference, Part 1(AUS, BAK, IDA, LAD)
Eastern Conference, Part 2(IWA, MNE, SXF, SPG)
Western Conference, Part 2(RNO, RGV, TEX, TUL)


From now until the start of the 2011-12 NBA Development League regular season on Friday -- including a live broadcast on NBA TV (7:30 p.m. ET) of the Canton Charge's first-ever game, when the newcomers take on defending champ Iowa -- we'll look at the teams, players and storylines you should know as the NBA D-League preps for its most competitive season yet.

After we broke down four teams from the East on Monday, let's take a look at the remaining four from the East today. Our final team preview is set for Thursday -- meanwhile, stay tuned to NBADLeague.com for exclusive video and stories about #DTip11.


Moses Ehambe is back with the Energy after helping Iowa to an NBA D-League title in 2010-11.
NBAE via Getty Images

Iowa Energy
NBA Affiliate: Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets, Washington Wizards
Coach: Kevin Young
Key Players: Moses Ehambe
Key Draft Pick: Jarrid Famous (Rd. 3, 37th overall)
Last Year: 37-13
City Fun Fact:
That time Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat?

It happened in the Energy's hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.
Outlook: The good new for the Energy is that they are coming off of an incredible season capped by a championship. The bad news is that three of their biggest contributors from last season – Courtney Sims, Othyus Jeffers, Curtis Stinson – have all taken their talents elsewhere.

All is not lost, though, as Moses Ehambe has proven he is up for the challenge after his impressive finals performance last season and a strong run at the Pan American Games this summer. The Energy will also be looking at former University of South Florida rookie big man Jarrid Famous and UConn forward Stanley Robinson to provide them with strong frontcourt play as they look to defend their title.



Paul Harris, the one-time Syracuse star, will have his high-octane game on display in Maine this year.
NBAE via Getty Images

Maine Red Claws
NBA Affiliate: Charlotte Bobcats, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers
Coach: Dave Leitao
Key Players: Paul Harris, Durrell Summers, Chris Wright
Key Draft Pick: Chris Wright (Rd. 1, 3rd overall)
Last Year: 18-32
City Fun Fact:
We didn’t want to say anything, but you’ve got something in your teeth. If you’re a Red Claws fan, though, don’t worry. Ninety percent of the country’s toothpicks call Maine home.
Outlook: The Red Claws will be looking to put their 18-32 season behind them – and quick – as they plunge into 2011-12 with a fresh crop of top-notch college talent.

They had a tremendous draft, bringing in athletic phenom Chris Wright (Dayton), dead-eye shooter Durrell Summers (Michigan State), and 7-foot-1 big man Mike Tisdale (Illinois).

Their draft picks will combine with Kenny Hayes and Paul Harris as they look to get the Red Claws back on track.




Gregory Stiemsma, one of the two centers from this summer's Pan American Games team, will fortify the front court for Sioux Falls.
NBAE via Getty Images

Sioux Falls Skyforce
NBA Affiliate: Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic
Coach: Mo McHone
Key Players: Greg Stiemsma, Anthony Mason Jr., Gabe Pruitt
Key Draft Pick: Gabe Pruitt (Rd. 1, 4th overall)
Last Year: 10-40
City Fun Fact:
South Dakota is the home of the world’s only Corn Palace.

And if you happen to be in Mitchell, S.D., it's yours to rent.
Outlook: If any team is looking to acquire a long-lasting bout of amnesia, it’s the Skyforce, who finished with a dismal 10-40 mark in the 2010-11 season.

No need to fret, Skyforce fans: things are looking up this season, as they will have block extraordinaire Greg Stiemsma in the middle, Anthony Mason Jr. bullying his way on the blocks and draft pick Gabe Pruitt – who has loads of NBA experience – stroking jumpers from the outside.





The high-flying L.D. Williams -- winner of the 2011 NBA D-League Slam Dunk Contest -- leads Springfield's aerial attack in 2011-12.
NBAE via Getty Images

Springfield Armor
NBA Affiliates: New Jersey Nets
Coach: Bob MacKinnon
Key Players: JamesOn Curry, Chris Taft, LD Williams
Key Draft Pick: Johnny Thomas (Rd. 2, 17th overall)
Last Year: 13-37
City Fun Fact:
Yeah, yeah, basketball was founded in Springfield -- the site of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

But so was Friendly's.
Outlook: Last year’s slam dunk contest winner LD Williams will look to turn in a solid sophomore campaign as the Springfield Armor attempt to improve on last year’s disappointing season. JamesOn Curry is a tremendous shooter whose range extends far beyond the arc and should provide them with consistent scoring.

Johnny Thomas, the highest-ever selection for a player who attended National Tryouts, is still raw, but has the potential to be an explosive scorer down the road.