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NBA D-League Power Rankings: March 1, 2011

by Matthew Brennan, NBA

March 1, 2011: The Power Rankings return for the final full month of the 2010-11 regular season. The Iowa Energy reclaim the top spot with the league's top record of 28-10. Tulsa, Erie, and Rio Grande Valley are all close behind and in contention for earning the top seed for April's NBA D-League playoffs. The hottest team in the league right now is the Utah Flash, who have won their last seven games after being under .500 at the start of February.

The Energy had an impressive road win in Erie on Sunday to finish February with an 8-2 record. They face the BayHawks again on Tuesday before moving on to Maine and Springfield and then hosting Idaho on Sunday. Center Courtney Sims wrapped up an impressive month, averaging 19.2 points on .613 shooting and 9.3 rebounds.
The 66ers edged Sioux Falls on Sunday for their fourth straight win. This week they'll travel to Erie for two games starting on Friday. Center Byron Mullens was recalled by the Thunder after averaging 16.7 points and 8.2 rebounds in six games.
The BayHawks have lost two of their last three but will get a chance to gain ground in the East with a home contest against Iowa on Tuesday. A tough home schedule will continue with the Tulsa 66ers visiting for two games this weekend. Forward Ivan Johnson dominated the month of February with 24.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in eight games.
The Vipers lost Jeff Adrien to a GATORADE Call-Up to Golden State on Friday, but continued to roll with road wins over Maine and Springfield. The schedule gets a bit tougher with a road trip to Bakersfield on the slate for this weekend. Jerel McNeal was named NBA D-League Co-Performer of the Week after averaging 20.3 points and 6.8 assists.
The Flash won in Reno on Sunday and will bring a seven-game winning streak into this weekend's homestand with New Mexico. Forward Brandon Costner was named an NBA D-League Co-Performer of the Week after averaging 21.7 points in three games.
The Jam won in Idaho on Saturday to finish February with a 6-2 record. They'll visit New Mexico on Wednesday before returning home to host Rio Grande Valley. Guard Trey Johnson is back after a GATORADE Call-Up to Toronto and leads the NBA D-League with 25.8 points per game.
The Bighorns ended their seven-game winning streak with two straight losses to Utah. They'll try to get back on the winning track with a four-game road trip that features two games each in Fort Wayne and Dakota. NBA veteran Danny Green leads the team with 18.2 points since entering the NBA D-League in late January.
The Mad Ants have won three of their last four to take control of the eighth and final playoff spot. They play two home games against Reno on Thursday and Friday before nearly a week off. The team will have a big hole to fill with All-Star guard Walker Russell leaving to pursue an overseas opportunity. Russell averaged 17.7 points and 7.9 assists in 37 games this season.
The Legends suffered their seventh loss in eight games on Saturday to fall out of the final playoff spot. They'll try to bounce back with two games in Austin this weekend before a week off. The Legends are 2-0 against the Toros this season but will face their in-state rival six more times over the last month of the season. 6-10 forward Ronald Allen, who has played in the NBA D-League with Sioux Falls and Anaheim, scored ten points with nine rebounds in his season debut on Saturday.
The Stampede split a pair of home games with Bakersfield and now head to the Midwest to face Sioux Falls and Iowa. The team shipped guard Lance Hurdle to Springfield on Monday for guard Tony Bobbitt. Bobbitt is averaging 13.3 points in nine games this season and has played in 85 NBA D-League games during his career.
The Toros finished February with a 3-6 record and still have a shot at making the postseason if they can string some wins together. They play three games at home this week with Texas and Sioux Falls coming to town. Austin picked up a third-round pick in next year's draft in a three-team trade that sent Jermaine Beal to Erie.
The Thunderbirds edged Austin in double overtime on Saturday, ending a seven-game losing streak. They host Bakersfield on Wednesday before traveling to Utah for the weekend. Forward Shane Edwards is averaging 26.0 points and 8.5 rebounds since the All-Star break.
The Red Claws dropped two home games to Rio Grande Valley but are only three games out of the final playoff spot with 13 left to play. They remain at home this week with Dakota, Iowa, and Springfield all coming to town. Center Vernon Goodridge put up an interesting stat line in his first two games with Maine, averaging just 1.5 points but 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocks.
The Wizards split their home series with Fort Wayne over the weekend after losing center Chris Johnson to his second GATORADE Call-Up of the season. They head east this week to visit Maine and Springfield before returning to to play two home games against Reno.
The Armor's losing streak extended to five with an ugly home loss to Rio Grande Valley on Saturdat afternoon. They host Iowa and Dakota this week before playing nine of their final twelve games on the road. The team picked up former Idaho guard Lance Hurdle on Monday in a trade for veteran Tony Bobbitt. Hurdle is averaging 10.9 points this season.
The Skyforce lost three straight games by 20 or more points before a narrow loss to Tulsa on Sunday. The Idaho Stampede visit this week for two games before the Skyforce play seven straight on the road, where they are 1-14 on the year. Patrick Ewing Jr. is averaging 18.2 points and 11.3 rebounds since joining the team via trade.