D-League Power Rankings: February 20, 2008
Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE/Getty Images
by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com
The Idaho Stampede return to the top of the first post All-Star edition of the D-League Power Rankings. Idaho started the second half off on the right foot with a 108-100 victory over Iowa on Monday and currently holds the D-League's best record at 24-7. The Stampede lead the West Division by three games over the Los Angeles D-Fenders. The D-Fenders are currently the league's second best team with a 21-10 record. The Utah Flash are another 5.5 games behind the D-Fenders in third place.
In the Southwest Division, the Austin Toros continue to lead the way with a 20-10 record and a two-game lead over the Colorado 14ers. Both teams have won four of their last five games. The Tulsa 66ers are another two games behind after dropping their last two. The 66ers would be the last team to qualify for the playoffs if the season ended today, as they hold the 6th best winning percentage in the D-League.
In the Central Division, the Dakota Wizards are clinging to a one-game lead after losing their last five games. The SIoux Falls Skyforce defeated the Wizards three straight times over the past week, and have closed to within one game of the lead. Last season the Wizards and the Skyforce battled down to the wire in the Eastern Division with the Wizards coming out on top before they went on to win the D-League Championship. The Iowa Energy are only 14-17 on the season, but are still contenders in the division as they trail the Wizards by 3.5 games.
|TEAM (LAST WK)||REC.||BREAKDOWN|
|1||Idaho (2)||24-7||The Stampede went into the All-Star Break on a two-game losing streak, but won in Iowa on Monday for their league-high 24th win of the season. Idaho will look to add some more wins to the record when they host Anaheim this weekend for two games at Qwest Arena. The Stampede are 15-1 at home this season.|
|2||Austin (2)||20-10||The Toros won their last three game before the All-Star break and remain a few steps ahead of Colorado in the Southwest Division. The upcoming schedule is favorable with four straight games at home, three against teams with losing records. Keith Langford is currently the league's second leading scorer with 25.0 points per game.|
|3||Los Angeles (1)||21-10||The D-Fenders lost in Rio Grande Valley on Sunday, which was only the second win for the Vipers since December. Back home at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles bounced back with a win over Tulsa to stay within three games of Idaho in the West Division. The D-Fenders will now try to gain more ground on the Stampede two home games against Idaho coming up on the schedule.|
|4||Colorado (6)||19-13||Colorado has won four straight (including two overtime games) to close within two games of the Toros in the Southwest Division. The 14ers will look to extend their winning streak as Bakersfield and Rio Grande Valley, teams with a combined record of 18-48, will visit the Broomfield Event Center over the next week.|
|5||Sioux Falls (8)||18-16||The Skyforce are making a move in the Central Division, defeating division-leader Dakota in their past three games. Sioux Falls has been of the league's best teams over the past two months, compiling a 13-6 record since January 1. Sioux Falls will return to Iowa on Sunday, where they were swept two weeks ago, before moving on to face the Wizards for two more games in Bismarck.|
|6||Dakota (5)||18-14||The Wizards have seen their lead in the Central Division slip away, as it now stands at one game after Dakota has fallen into a five-game losing streak. Guard Blake Ahearn is averaging 25.8 points in six games with 23 three-point shots during the month of February.|
|7||Tulsa (4)||16-14||The Tulsa 66ers were hit hard by the Jason Kiddtrade, as Maurice Ager was traded to New Jersey and D-League All-Star Nick Fazekas was also recalled back to Dallas. The 66ers have lost two straight, both to Los Angeles, and trail the Toros by four games in the Southwest Division.|
|8||Utah (7)||16-16||The Flash have been off since last Monday and remain in third place in the West Divison with a 16-16 record. They will close out the season with 11 of their final 18 games on the road, starting in Tulsa on Friday night.|
|9||Iowa (9)||14-17||The Energy snapped their five-game winning streak in Rio Grande Valley last week and lost to Idaho on Monday to fall to 14-17 on the year. Iowa, who is only 3.5 games out of the lead in the Central Division and hosts division leader Dakota tonight, will play seven of their next nine games on the road.|
|10||Anaheim (11)||12-17||The Arsenal have won three straight games, which is their longest winning streak of the season. They will try to build on their success when they host Tulsa tonight. A brutal road trip that features visits to the D-League's top three teams (Idaho, Los Angeles, and Austin) will begin on Friday in Boise.|
|11||Albuquerque (10)||12-17||The Thunderbirds lost their last three games on the road, and will return home to face Rio Grande Valley this weekend. Josh Gross and Daniel Horton are tied for the team lead in scoring with 15.5 points per game apeice.|
|12||Rio Grande Valley (13)||12-22||The Vipers have played their best basketball since December over the past three games, blowing out Iowa, upsetting Los Angeles, and dropping a tough double-overtime loss to Colorado on Tuesday. The Vipers will be in Albuquerque this weekend as they continue to scrape their way back to a .500 record.|
|13||Fort Wayne (12)||10-19||The Mad Ants' Jeremy Richardson took the MVP honors at Saturday's D-League All-Star Game, but was then signed by the Atlanta Hawks, leaving Fort Wayne without their top scorer for the second time this season. Fort Wayne, who has lost seven of eight, is traveling out west and will visit the Bakersfield tonight after losing in Anaheim on Monday.|
|14||Bakersfield (14)||6-26||The Jam have dropped their last two games to fall to 6-26 on the season. They will host Fort Wayne tonight before embarking on a four-game road trip, with all four games coming against teams with winning records.|