D-League Power Rankings: January 29, 2008

by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com

Lance Allred and the Idaho Stampede have won 14 straight games.
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images/NBAE
The final D-League Power Rankings for the month of Janaury see no change in the top five teams, although there is some shuffling in the middle of the pack. The Idaho Stampede and their 14-game winning streak retain the top spot and show little sign of giving it up any time soon. The Stampede swept Los Angeles, the team with the league's second best record, over the weekend to remain undefeated at home. The Dakota Wizards continue to play consistent basketball and maintain their stranglehold on the Central Division, while Austin and Colorado have hit some bumps in the road but remain the main contenders in the Southwest Division.

Further down the line, two teams that are making a run for the top of the standings are the Tulsa 66ers and the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The 66ers ripped through the month of January with a 9-2 record (second best in the league after Idaho's 9-0 mark), while the Skyforce have won four straight and are looking to make edge over the .500 mark and make a run at Dakota in the Central Division.

Although the D-League All-Star Game is still two weeks away, we have reached the halfway point of the regular season as the majority of teams have already played 25 or more games of the 50-game schedule. Looking forward to the playoffs, the three division winners and the teams with the three next best records will earn playoffs berths. If the season ended today, Idaho, Dakota and Austin would qualify as division champs with Los Angeles, Colorado, and Tulsa joining them in the playoffs.

  • D-League Power Rankings Archive

    1 Idaho (1) 19-5 The Stampede just keep rolling and have extended their winning streak to 14 games. They will look to tie the D-League record for consecutive wins when the Bakersfield Jam visit Boise. Idaho will then face Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Utah, division rivals who account for 19 of their 26 remaining games.
    2 Dakota (2) 17-9 The Wizards continue to play solid basketball, finishing January with an 8-4 record and maintaining their lead in the Central Division. With no other team in the Central over .500, the Wizards are in the driver's seat for the playoffs, although they still have some ground to make up to challenge Idaho for home-court advantage. The schedule in Febraury can be tough with six out of nine games on the road, where the Wizards have struggled at times this season.
    3 Los Angeles (3) 16-8 The D-Fenders defeated Utah by double-digits in two straight games, snapping a four-game losing streak and ending January with a 7-4 record. Los Angeles holds the league's second-best record, although they have not been able to defeat Idaho in three tries this season and trail the Stampede in the West Division by 2.5 games. Los Angeles, league's best team on the road with an 8-6 record, will play their next five away from STAPLES Center.
    4 Austin (4) 16-9 The Toros have been one of the league's best teams this season but are not playing their best basketball as of late, losing four of their last six games. However, Austin still leads the Southwest Division by two games, although both Colorado and the surging Tulsa 66ers are within striking distance of the lead. Ian Mahinmi's recall by San Antonio leaves the Toros without an NBA-assigned player for the first time this season.
    5 Colorado (5) 14-11 The 14ers have been through some ups and downs this month, with winning and losing streaks lasting five games. Despite the inconsistency, Colorado remains two games behind Austin in the Southwest Division and in the hunt for a playoff berth. Although Austin and Colorado are in a tight race in the division, most of the action will take place on the standings page as the two teams will not meet again until April 6. The season series is currently tied at three games each.
    6 Tulsa (7) 13-11 The 66ers compiled the league's second-best record in January, finishing with a 9-2 record. A sweep of Austin over the weekend moved Tulsa over .500 for the first time since December 2 and closed the distance between the Toros and the 66ers to 2.5 games. The schedule in February is not daunting with seven of 11 games at home, so it appears that the 66ers can definitely be a contender for a playoff berth this season. Tulsa would qualify for the last spot if the season ended today.
    7 Sioux Falls (8) 12-14 The Skyforce won four straight to finish up the month of January, and have moved into second place in the Central Division. They still trail Dakota by five games, but will have plenty of chances to gain ground as the Skyforce and the Wizards will face each other seven more times before the end of the season. The Skyforce have also received their first two NBA-assigned players of the year, with Charlotte's Jermareo Davidson and Minnesota's Chris Richard heading to Sioux Falls..
    8 Utah (6) 13-13 The Flash are coming off of their worst stretch of the season, losing five of their last six and trying to avoide falling under the .500 mark for the first time since they started the season with a 1-2 record. The Jazz sent some help south to Orem when they re-assigned Morris Almond on Friday. Almond, who led the league in scoring to his first assignment, is off to slow start with11.6 points in his first three games since returning. Expect some big scoring games from Almond as he works his way back into action in the D-League.
    9 Albuquerque (11) 10-13 The Thunderbirds swept Rio Grande Valley to snap a four-game losing streak, but still have a lot of ground to make up in the Southwest Division as Tulsa has overtaken them for third place. Dakota and Bakersfield will visit Albuquerque this week before the T-Birds embark on four straight games on the road against division rivals Colorado and Tulsa.
    10 Anaheim (12) 9-14 The Arsenal acquired their elusive first win on the road last week (not counting a neutral-site win at the Showcase), but still dropped three out of four on their road trip. Their 8-5 record at home will be tested this week as Idaho and Los Angeles come to town for three games. The Arsenal are a combined 0-4 against the Stampede and the D-Fenders this season.
    11 Iowa (13) 11-15 The Energy finally snapped a losing streak that reached nine games, but now find themselves in a six-game hole in the Central Division. Their first and only visit to Colorado is the lone game on the schedule for this week. The 14ers handed Iowa their first loss of the season back in November after a 3-0 start.
    12 Fort Wayne (9) 9-14 The Mad Ants lost their leading scorer for the second time this season as Sammy Mejia has left the team. The good news is that the Pistons re-assigned center Cheikh Samb to Fort Wayne on Tuesday. The 7-1 Samb had a brief stint with the Mad Ants earlier this season, averaging 13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in two games before suffering an injury.He should make an impact for a Fort Wayne team that has lost five of their last six.
    13 Rio Grande Valley (10) 10-17 The Vipers are struggling in the new year, as they have gone 1-12 in the month of January after compiling one of the league's best records in November and December. Bob Hoffman's club will visit Tulsa this weekend and then play five straight games at home while they attempt to snap a six-game losing streak.
    14 Bakersfield (14) 5-22 The Jam split their games over the weekend, earning their fifth victory of the season with a win over Rio Grande Valley. Bakersfield is still looking for their second road victory in 16 attempts and will have seven chances to do it in their next ten games.