D-League Week Ahead: January 22, 2008
by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com
Watch Live D-League Games On Your Computer
In case you missed it in the Reed and Write blog or on the D-League.com live scoreboard, you can now watch all D-League games live on your computer at this link. Viewing the games is completely free and all that is required is for you to register at NBA.com. The broadcasts are still in the beta-testing stage, so be sure to log in to Fan Voice if you have any suggestions on how to improve the viewing experience.
In other news around the league, the D-League Showcase wrapped up last Thursday in Boise, and featured 14 games in four days. Click here to view the All-D-League Showcase teams, and here for the D-League.com blog that was on the scene for all four days in Qwest Arena.
Player To Watch
Barrett joined the Jam in early December and has shown the ability that caused him to received two GATORADE Call-Ups during his 2005-06 campaingn, his last appearance in th e D-League. Although Bakersfield has struggled this season, Barrett has been one of the league's best pure point guards with 9.2 assists. The Seton Hall product has already recorded eight double-doubles (points/assists) this season, second only to Randy Livingston among point guards. Barrett has also been willing to pull the trigger instead of pass on the offensive end, averaging 18.7 points per game. His prior NBA experience (he spent all of last season with the Chicago Bulls) and ability to run an offense place him high on the list of potential GATORADE Call-Ups in the D-League.
Assigned Player To Watch
McRoberts struggled mightily over his first week in the D-League, shooting 8-29 from the field in his first four games. However the former Duke star and McDonald's All-America enjoyed a breakout game on Saturday in Bakersfield, scoring 16 points on 8-9 shooting. The competition for playing time and shots in Idaho's frontcourt is fierce with Lance Allred, Corey Violette, and fellow assignee Mouhamed Sene all enjoying successful seasons, so McRoberts' situation should be very interesting to monitor over the next week. Head coach Bryan Gates has been pushing the right buttons so far as the Stampede have won 12 straight games and have the league's best record at 17-5.
This Week's Key D-League Games
Here is a rundown of some key D-League matchups to watch this week. You can follow any D-League game via the courtside box or the listen live link on the home page of D-League.com.
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images/NBAE
The D-Fenders looked to stamp their claim as the best team in the D-League when they knocked off Austin in their first meeting on Thursday, but suffered an upset loss at Fort Wayne over the weekend. Now they will head to Dakota to face a Wizards team that has won eight straight games at home. Dakota will also be looking for revenge after suffering their worst loss of the season to the D-Fenders, a 121-93 defeat at STAPLES Center last weekend. The D-Fenders are 8-3 on the road, but only two of those wins have come against a team with a winning record.
The top two teams in the Southwest Division will meet for the fifth and sixth time this season, with the Toros currently leading the division by three games. The home team has won each meeting of the teams this season, and the Toros will be looking to assert their home court dominance after losing their first game of the season in Austin last Saturday. Colorado entered the D-League Showcase on a five-game losing streak, but won both of their games in Boise to get back on the winning track and have now won their last four. Colorado's Elton Brown has been the backbone of the 14ers' attack with six straight double-doubles, adding to his league-leading total of 16.
This D-League's top two teams will meet this week for two games in Boise. Idaho, who holds the league's best record at 17-5, has now won 12 games in a row and remains undefeated at Qwest Arena. The Stampede, who lead the D-Fenders by a game and a half in the West Division, defeated Los Angeles 118-111 at STAPLES Center in their only meeting of the season back in November. As division rivals these teams will meet five more times after this week as they battle it out for the division title.
The Wizards and the 14ers, who faced off in last season's championship game, will meet for the second time this season at Broomfield Events Center. In their only meeting so far this season, Dakota knocked off Colorado 115-109 in Bismarck. The Wizards are looking to improve their record on the road this season, as Dakota is only a .500 club (5-5) away from Bismarck in 2007-08. Reigning D-League Performer of the Week Maurice Baker torched the 14ers for 30 points and 11 assists in the first meeting between the teams this season.