Print RSS Sign-Up for Insider

NBA D-League Power Rankings: December 21, 2010

by Matthew Brennan, NBA

December 21, 2010: The fourth edition of the NBA D-League Power Rankings for the 2010-11 season has Iowa Energy remaning in first with a league-best 9-3 record. Reno holds steady in second while the Utah Flash move up to third after winning three straight games. There's plenty of parity in the NBA D-League right now with seven teams in the nine-team West Conference within two games of first place.

The Energy have dropped two of three but still maintains the league's best record at 9-3. They face Maine and Erie this week before playing their next nine games on the road. Phoenix rookie forward Gani Lawal was recalled on Sunday after averaging 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds in ten games.
The Bighorns won in Austin on Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak. They are now off until a home game against Tulsa on December 28. Center Hassan Whiteside continue to struggle to find playing time on assignment from Sacramento with just 12.1 minutes per game. He is one of the league leaders with 3.0 blocks.
The Flash won their last three games, all on the road, to move up the standings in the West Conference. They'll try to maintain their hot streak over a long break that ends on January 1 when they start a homestand against Bakersfield. The Flash defeated the Jam in Bakersfield in their only meeting so far.
The Mad Ants are 5-2 in December and will be busy over the next few days. They host Springfield on Christmas before Iowa comes to town for two games. 2009-10 Celtics call-up Oliver Lafayette returned to the team last week and is averaging 8.3 points and 4.7 assists from the guard spot.
The Vipers waxed New Mexico on Monday for their third win in four games. They get nearly a week off before a home game against Texas on Sunday, the third meeting between the teams this year. Monday's game was the first without Rockets forward Patrick Patterson, recalled to Houston after averaging 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in the NBA D-League.
The 66ers defeated Iowa on Sunday and are now winners of four of their last five games. They play their next five on the road, starting with a trip to Idaho on Sunday afternoon. Forward Latavious Williams, whose draft rights are held by the Thunder, had the biggest rebounding game in the NBA D-League so far last Thursday when he pulled down 21 boards against Fort Wayne.
The Thunderbirds' three-game winning streak ended with a lopsided loss in Rio Grande Valley on Monday. They are now inactive until a visit to Bakersfield on Tuesday, December 28. Shane Edwards and Dar Tucker were named NBA D-League co-performers of the Week after sparking the team to a home sweep of Reno and they will have to continue to step up with Alan Anderson leaving the team for an overseas offer.
The Jam finished their Texas road trip with a 1-2 mark after winning in Rio Grande Valley on Saturday. They are off this week, returning to action with a home game against New Mexico next Tuesday. Guard Trey Johnson continued his prolific scoring with a 43-point outing on Wednesday in Austin, which is an NBA D-League season high. Johnson leads all players with 26.7 points per game.
The Toros had won four straight before falling at home to Reno on Sunday, and will have some time off until Tulsa visits on December 30. Forward Marcus Cousin, averaging 13.5 points and 8.4 rebounds, is currently tied for third in the NBA D-League with five double-doubles.
The Legends are losers of three straight and are now without NBA veteran Antonio Daniels, out four-to-six weeks with a hand injury. They visit Rio Grande Valley on Sunday before returning home to face the Vipers again on Monday.
The Bayhawks lost both of their weekend games on the road to fall to 3-4 in December. While many teams have a light schedule over the next two weeks, the BayHawks will play five games in seven days beginning with a trip to Iowa on Christmas Day. Former Warriors forward Jeff Adrien joined the team last week and averaged 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds over his first two games.
The Red Claws pulled out victories over struggling Idaho and Springfield to start a three-game winning streak and climb back to .500. Maine visits Iowa on Thursday before another home contest with the Armor on Sunday. The Red Claws are 3-2 against Springfield this season with five meetings remaining.
The Armor snapped a five-game losing streak with a home victory over Idaho on Sunday. They drew a tough travel schedule this week with a visit to Fort Wayne on Christmas before a journey to Maine the following day. Guard Scottie Reynolds has taken on more of a distributor role lately, averaging 5.9 assists in December compared to 3.8 last month. The Armor will still need more offense out of him, as his scoring average over the same period has dropped from 23.3 points to 14.1 points.
The Wizards swept Texas to put together their first winning streak of the season. They'll look to keep it going with a road trip that starts in Sioux Falls on Christmas before heading to Erie. Grizzlies forward DeMarre Carroll averaged 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds during his first two games on assignment to Dakota.
The Stampede failed to pick up a road win and return home trying to snap a four-game losing streak with Tulsa visiting on Sunday. Antoine Walker had a big week and is now averaging 16.5 points for the Stampede, while Luke Babbitt was recalled to Portland after posting 18.0 points in four games.
Sioux Falls was swept by Utah over the weekend to fall to 1-6 at home in 2010-11 and 2-9 overall. After Dakota visits for the traditional Christmas Game, the Skyforce are on the road for their next six contests. Miami center Dexter Pittman was recalled to the Heat on Monday after averaging 16.6 points and 9.0 rebounds in eight games.