D-League Power Rankings: December 19, 2007
by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com
The Austin Toros are barely hanging on to the top spot this week as they are a half-game ahead of Colorado and Rio Grande Valley in the Southwest Division. The 14ers snapped Austin's seven-game winning streak last night after losing their first two meetings with the Toros. The Los Angeles D-Fenders, winners of four straight, are another team on the move as they jump from 6th to 3rd place in the Power Rankings. Idaho, losers of four straight games, have fallen from first to ninth over the past two weeks.
Barty Young/Getty Images/NBAE
This Week: at Colorado, at Utah
2. Colorado 14ers, 7-3, last week: 3rd: The 14ers snapped the Toros' long winning streak and are part of a three-way race in the Southwest Division with Austin and Rio Grande Valley. They will take on the Toros again tonight as they look to move into first place in the division. Returning First Team All-D-Leaguer Elton Brown is averaging a double-double with 20.0 points and 10.7 rebounds for the 14ers.
This Week: Austin, at Anaheim, Albuquerque
3. Los Angeles D-Fenders, 7-3, last week: 6th: The D-Fenders have won four straight and sit at the top of the West Division. Four of their next six games are away from STAPLES Center, starting with a trip to Iowa on Thursday. Los Angeles is currently the league's highest scoring team, averaging 112.1 points per game.
This Week: at Iowa, at Sioux Falls
4. Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 7-3, last week: 2nd: The Vipers face eight straight road games on the schedule after losing two of their last three contests. Gabe Muoneke continues to lead the Vipers and is one of the leaders in the D-League with 25.8 points. Rio Grande Valley starts their road trip with visits to the Dakotas this weekend.
This Week: at Sioux Falls, at Dakota
5. Iowa Energy, 6-4, last week: 4th: The Energy remain in first place in the Central Division with a 6-4 record, although offensive stalwart JamesOn Curry has been recalled by the Chicago Bulls. Iowa will look to bounce back from Sunday's loss to Tulsa, which ended a three-game winning streak. The upcoming schedule is packed with four games in the next six days.
This Week: Los Angeles, at Fort Wayne, Tulsa, Dakota
6. Dakota Wizards, 5-4, last week: 7th: The Wizards lost to rival Sioux Falls to end their four-game winning streak. They host Tulsa and Rio Grande Valley this weekend as they try to keep pace with Iowa in the Central Division. Rod Benson continues to dominate the boards, leading the league with 14.3 rebounds. This Week: Tulsa, Rio Grande Valley
7. Albuquerque Thunderbirds, 4-4, last week: 12th: The Thunderbirds snapped a four-game losing skid with two straight wins over the weekend behind 36.0 ppg from Alando Tucker, who was named D-League Performer of the Week before being recalled by Phoenix on Monday. The Thunderbirds will visit Colorado on Sunday in their only game of the week.
This Week: at Colorado
8. Utah Flash, 5-5, last week: 5th: The Flash continue to hover around the .500 mark, but their stable of NBA-assigned players has fallen to one with Morris Almond remaining on the roster. Almond is averaging 26.3 points in his first four games with the Flash. Utah will host the Toros and the Jam in back-to-back games this weekend.
This Week: Austin, Bakersfield
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images/NBAE
This Week: at Bakersfield, at Bakersfield
10. Tulsa 66ers, 3-4, last week: 10th: The 66ers blew out Iowa in their sole game of the past week, snapping a four-game losing streak to inch closer to .500. Maurice Ager of the Mavericks should make his D-League season debut this week after being assigned to Tulsa on Monday. Ager played nine D-League games on assignment last season, and will be with the 66ers as they host Fort Wayne before playing eight of their next nine games on the road.
This Week: Fort Wayne, at Dakota, at Iowa
11. Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 3-5, last week 9th: The Mad Ants have dropped three straight games, all at home after snapping a three-game winning streak. Jeremy Richardson continues to dominate offensively, leading all players currently in the D-League with 28.5 points per game. Fort Wayne will visit Tulsa before returning home to host Iowa on Sunday. This will be the fourth meeting of the season between the Energy and the Mad Ants.
This Week: at Tulsa, vs. Fort Wayne
12. Sioux Falls Skyforce, 2-6, last week 14th: The Skyforce are coming off a big win on the road at Dakota on Sunday night, which was their second win of the season. New acquisition Kasib Powell is averaging 23.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in his first three games with Sioux Falls, who will play their next three games at home.
This Week: Rio Grande Valley, Los Angeles
13. Anaheim Arsenal, 3-8, last week 11th: The Arsenal lost two road games last week to fall to 3-8 on the season. Steven Smith is off to a great start to his second D-League season, pacing the Arsenal with 19.2 points and 5.7 rebounds. Anaheim will host Colorado on Friday and then will be off for the next week.
This Week: Colorado
14. Bakersfield Jam, 2-10, last week 13th: The Jam have lost four straight and six of their last seven games. Idaho visits Bakersfield tonight and Friday as both teams look to stop losing skids. Brandon Bowman has been a bright spot in his second season with Bakersfield, leading the team with 20.7 points and 7.7 rebounds.
This Week: Idaho, Idaho