Saturday, April 19, 2008

D-League Playoff Liveblog: Skyforce at Toros

Yes, I know there are NBA playoffs on. But come on. This is for a shot at the Finals! You can follow along on FutureCast over at

By the way, this is a 5-10 point guard versus a 5-8 point guard, and a 6-11 Center versus a 7 foot center. Awesome.

Quick pace to start, Bailey wants to push, and posts up Barrett, drawing a foul.

These guys are ready to play. Ian's already got a block and two boards. Mahinmi versus Alexander should be an absolutely lights out game. Barrett is hyper aggressive right now.

Wait a second. Ian Mahinmi has a jumper? Where in the holy hell did that come from?

Alexander with a huge block on Gross, but got the foul. Toros need to get him in foul trouble. 7-3 Toros, 9:28 1st. Mahinmi with two blocks early.

If Ham gets the ball under the basket, you can't deny him. Slam makes 9-4.

Another block for Alexander. They've put Ham on him, good answer, keep Mahinmi out of foul trouble.

15-11 , and Bowen comes back and answers. He's in with Ham with two fouls. Fantastic, play with Nesbitt driving and kicking to Alexander. Bowen came in with energy. Barrett is going right at Bailey, and that's smart. Mahinmi and Alexander both with 4.

Mahinmi with the glass. Skyforce is trying to live by the three and they're dying by the three.

Mahinmi with another block, Skyforce get the ball, Alexander slam. This is a highlight reel, and it's getting personal.

Alexander sits, and a much smaller lineup. Toros have put in Squeaky Johnson, and this is a two forward, two small guard, one center set.

21-15, 4 minutes remaining in the first.

Mahinmi drives, count it, AND THE FOUL! Sorry, had to get my Marv Alberts on.

Mahinmi's pulling out stuff I haven't seen from him yet.

They're pounding the Skyforce with Mahinmi. They are literally driving him down their throat. Joiner comes back in at the 4. Mahinmi has missed two free throws. That's a bad sign. Let's see who they put on Joiner. Bowen it looks like.

Bowen with the steal, and draws the foul. Bowen has come out balls out tonight, this is great to see from him. It's been a breakout kind of season for him, and this is great to see him in full form. Lots of energy off the bench.

You know, Bowen's kind of got a Kelenna Azabuike type game. Not as athletic, but taller. Hmmm....

23-15, 2:45 1st quarter. The Skyforce coach graduated in 01. Yeah. What do I do with my time?

And Bowen misses both free throws. Sorry, JB, that's my bad. No more praise for you.

Too many jumpshots by both teams right now. Transition D has held up so far for the Toros. Joiner takes Gross to the rack, too much size there. Toros are looking to pass, though.

25-17. Oh, look, Ian got a whole two minutes of rest. That must have been nice. At 21 years old. What am I saying, Nash did the same thing today. Big rebound by Bowen.

Barrett decides he's had enough of getting cut off and goes o the reverse.

Serge is in and gets called for the foul. I rarely like Angounou on the floor, but this is actually a great matchup for him. If he can anchor for Ian to chase blocks, that could let Ham make it through the foul trouble.

Johnson runs too much time off the clock and then wastes a shot. Um. Squeaks, you're not really the scorer the Toros are looking for.

1st quarter ends. 8 points, no fouls for Mahinmi. 27-18, after 1. Great game so far.

Paroxiwife thoughts on the game: "It's good. The Mohawks looks very intimidating. Although kind of like a giraffe." So there's that.

Skyforce keep trying the long ball, and it ain't falling. 33% from the arc.

I like Joiner's size.

Oh, hey, a three second violation. The ref decided to try one out. That must be fun for him. Of course, it's the first time I've seen one called in the D-League, but hey.

Bowen is vocal out there.

Ian, JB, Serge, Paulino, and Johnson. Four offensive rebounds on one possession for the Skyforce. That's insane.

Mahinmi gets fouled and stays down a while. The kid is a little soft. He better toughen up or Pop is going to eat him alive in summer camp.

Ham back in for Serge. Alexander backs down Ian, and screws up the outlet pass. Bowen slashes in, he's got 6. Love tos ee that out of him. Nesbitt finds himself against Ian, that's a bad plan. But Elliot draws Mahinmi's first.

Great crowd tonight, I gotta say. Bang up job by Toros sales to get folks here.

Nesbitt finally hits a three, and the Skyforce are within 4. Ham turns it over, chance to pull within 2 or 1. 30-26 Toros, 8:12 2nd quarter.

Nice transition work, Bowen, to Barrett, to Ham. The Toros passing has been good tonight. The Toros are actually outrunning the Skyforce. What the hell?

Kenton Paulino nails a three, 37-28, Toros can pretty much beat the crap out of them with Barrett and Mahinmi in.

Threes starting to fall for the Sky force. D

Darvin Ham is no longer amused, and works over a smaller defender and draws the foul. 37-30, 6:17 2nd Quarter.

Another long ball, but barely a two. 43-36 Toros, 4:50 2nd Quarter. McGowan picks up his third, and he's pissed. The Toros cannot hit free throws tonight, and it's one of the reasons the Toros aren't up by more.

And there's a pigeon in the rafters. If it craps on Snyder's suit, he's going to lose it.

Barrett is off the mark tonight, and it's hurting the scoring. Mahinmi back in, after another whopping two minute rest.

44-36 Toros, 3:30 2nd Quarter. Small lineup right now. Barrett, Paulino, Johnson, Mahinmi and Bowen. The Skyforce are also small, with essentially three guards, Joner and Alexander.

Mahinmi works Alexander down and gets the foul on him. That's three on Alexander. Huge.

Mahinmi to the fadeaway, not exactly his shot. ANOTHER offensive foul on Skyforce.

Gross misses a huge alley oop. It was a little high from Squeaky, but he still should have hit it. Landed odd, too.

46-36 Toros, 1:31 2nd Quarter.

Barrett can't hit still, and JC Mathis picks up a foul after Mahinmi crashes the boards. Mahinmi's responded well. Bowen's played a ton of minutes, let's see if he gets tired. Nesbitt draws the foul on a three.

And we're back. 52-41 Toros, 11:00 3rd. Nesbitt the only Skyforce player in double digits, Mahinmi with 15, Barrett with 10, which is suprising. Bowen with 8 and 5.

Ham sprawls on the floor and wraps up Joiner! 34 Years! 34 Years old!

Barrett coast to coast. Seriously, this guy needs a roster spot next year.

Bowen to Mahinmi on the drive, huge foul by Alexander, that's 4 on him. Should have given him the foul.

58-48 Toros, 7:48. They just keep hanging. They won't die.

Ham's taking over. Hits the reverse. 62-48 Toros, 6:32 remaining. Bowen's legs are going, he's got very little on his jumper.

I like Nesbitt and Joiner for the Skyforce.

Paulino hits a three, 65-50, Toros starting to pull away. Andre's pushing it and creating all over the floor now,he's in his element.

72-57, 1:55 3rd Quarter. Too much Mahinmi, too much Barrett, too much Ham.

Mathis is working his tail off trying to contain Mahinmi.

Johnson's getting major minutes in this game.

Steal by Johnson, to Barrett, to Bowen. Johnson gets the hockey assist.

I need plus/minus in this game very badly.

McGowan just hit a three. He's 6-9, 230, by the way. Yikes.

74-62 to end the third. Toros one quarter away. Toros' defense tends to tire in the fourth, though. They have to keep up the intensity if they're going to put it away. Too much speed and too many shooters on Sioux Falls.

I like Tibbets as a coach. He's active without overcoaching. Players seem to respond to him, too. They must have, for the run they went on.

Mahinmi with the baby hook, 76-62. He's only got 1 foul. Wow.

Gross has not had a good game. I like his odds of working his way onto a roster, but he's got to improve some fundamentals.

Joiner's got a nice, complete game. I can see him making a roster.

5-0 run by the Skyforce, back within 8. Sigh. Like I said, Toros fourth quarter defense needs help. They have got to close this out.

The Skyforce have their legs and are running on them, opening up the lanes.

81-73 7:33 4th, Chance for the Skyforce to pull within 6 or 5.

Offensive foul. Hmmm... It's always got to be interesting. Don't ever tell me players give up.


Landed awkward on it, on the same hip he messed up a month ago. This is bad. Very bad.

Quin is not a happy man. His star player goes down and gets pegged with the foul. Ham, Bowen, Gross, and Johnson. Bowen's going to have to have huge stones right now.

Darvin Ham goes to work, works his man for the layup. I wonder how long Tibbets keeps Alexander out. McGowan hits another three. Bowen attacks and scores, Elliot answers.

85-78 5:30 4th.

Gross is also banged up.

Bailey all over Barrett, does him no good, hesitation, and the jumper.

McGowan answers! They won't die.

87-80, Toros, 4:43 remaining.

McGowan picks up his fifth. Barrett can't connect on the three. Gross clears a rebound off the roof.

87-82 3:30 4th. We're officially in too-close-for-comfort territory.

Ham with a reverse slam, but McGowan answers, AGAIN! He's unstoppable right now. They doubled him and he drained the fadeaway.

Gross with the monster follow! That kid has serious ups.

Block by Ham! Barrett on the break... count it AND ONE! 94-84, 1:54.

Another 7-0 run by the Skyforce! Why do they hate me? I'm trying to write three recaps here! Help me out!

94-91, 59 seconds, 4th quarter.

Toros need a bucket. Squeaky has not continued his great performance in the last game.

Barrett, Bow, Gross, Ham, Paulino.

Big foul, Ham to the line.

Nails the first one. And the second.

96-91, Toros, 30 ticks.

McGowan, and ONE! ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?

Missed the free throw!

96-93, 18 seconds.

Paulino to the line.

Nails the first. And the second!

98-93, Austin Toros, 18 seconds left.

Good God. Between this and Suns-Spurs, I'm going to have a heart attack.

Toros win 99-93, and it's Stampede vs. Austin in the Finals. This is gonna be fun.

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