Monday, April 21, 2008

NBA D-League Finals: Stampede at Austin, Game 1

FINALS BABY!

Sorry, I'm excited. If you're interested, this game is on NBATV tonight at 7:00PM CST. I'll be the nerdy looking dude at the press table behind the scorer's table on the left side of your screen.

Your starters tonight for the Idaho Stampede.

G- Randy Livingston: The crafty veteran, averaging 16 pts, 10 assists per game. Quin Snyder's primary concern.

F- Roberto Bergensen: 6-6, 210

F- Cory Violette- 6-9, 265: Probably the best candidate for a callup on the Stampede.

F- Brent Petway 6-7, 225: You may remember him as the Dunk Machine.

F- Jason Ellis- 6-7, 200.

That's right. Ian Mahinmi has 2 inches on their tallest starter.

Mahinmi will play tonight. Your starting lineup for the Toros.

G- Andre Barrett
G- Kenton Paulino: I hate, hate, hate this move. Paulino is much better off the bench, and not physical enough to defend.
SF: Josh Gross: I like this move. Gross had a terrible game in the Semifinals, and he always bounces back strong.
PF: Darvin Ham: With Mahinmi banged up, Ham is likely to get quite a few touches. Which is bad news for Idaho fans.
C- Ian Mahinmi: Back is "better than when he fell."

Oh, man, Toros are pumped. Justin Bowen is doing back bumps with all the starters. Ham is dancing. This is freaking awesome.

Quin said they're going to go after Livingston full-court, and then try and limit him at half-court. He said they won't trap until late, though.

Petway is going to have to be huge today. It'll be interesting to see who they put on Darvin. If they put Petway on him, Petway's going to get killed.

Andre won't be guarding Livingston, too much size. He said they're putting Gross on him, which is a much better matchup. I have no clue who Andre's going to guard though. We'll see how this goes.

Opening play is an oop from Barrett to Gross.

They trap Livingston with Gross and Ham, Ellis hits the mid-range

Good defense by thee stampede, to deny Ham on the drive.

Paulino on Petway, that's a mismatch, but the Stampede can't capitalize because Petway's lack of versatility.

Ah, Paulino. The always dangerous "stand there" defense. Note to Paulino: that only works if you're Kurt Thomas.

Two three pointers by the Toros, not really their game, and they've missed them both. Livingston takes two guys and scores. 4-2 Stampede.

Gross with a missed three, a missed assignment, and a turnover. Yikes.

Bergensen with a three with Paulino in his eye. I'm just saying.

7-2 Stampede. 9-2 after a Petway alley-oop. Stampede is pumped. Toros aren't attacking. Finally Kenton drives and gets the foul. He needs to do that. Petway's going to foul him every time. He doesn't even need to hit the layup, just get to the line.

So of course Paulino misses the first free throw. 9-3 Stampede, 8:00 1st.

Livingston is creating havoc in the zone, stripping any Toro that drives. And by "any Toro" I mean "Josh Gross."

You can tell Mahinmi's hurting. They found Ellis guarded by Barrett underneath. That did not go well.

Mahinmi does his thing and gets the foul. They need to get at least six fouls in the first.

Stampede are ready in transition defense, Toros can't get ahead of them.

Bowen off the bench and a nice up and under!

13-7 to stem the tide.

Touch pass from Bowen to Ham, monster dunk! I like this lineup much more. Except for Paulino.

Again, I like Paulino as a shooter, I just don't like him against a four-forward lineup with livingston as the only guard. Squeaky in for Paulino, Quin's going small ball.

Bowen with the jumper.

Uh-oh. Violette to the rack and one. And that's two fouls on Ian.

Going to be one of "those" nights. Angounou comes in. They need Angounou to get productive minutes.

16-11, Stampede, 5:00 1st.

Um.

FULL COURT ALLEY OOP TO PETWAY. MONSTER JAM.

Toros have had two jumpers rattle out.

18-11 Stampede. They have got to stop Petway. He only has one move, people! I've talked to the guy! All he can do is dunk!

Toros need to run the offense through Bowen right now. Stampede coach Brian Gates isn't falling for Quin's trap. He's still got the big lineup in. Barrett and Johnson must be giving up about 7 inches to their men.

Bowen, post, pump-fake, reverse! This kid has gotten seriously good. Put him on the NBA radar, kid.

Violette against Ham is awesome so far. Wow, I love the zone from Snyder right now. Angounou and Ham are locking it off something fierce.

Barrett goes coast to coast and draws the foul, but can't get the layup. And misses the first. His head is on vacation tonight.

18-14 Stampede, 3:00 remaining.

Okay, Barrett is working his ass off on D, though. They've got him on Jackson who's off the bench, and he's busting his ass.

Ferguson knocks down a tre, and the lead's back to 9, just like that. Bowen can't get his jumper to fall.

Interesting, the Stampede are trying to outrun the Toros.

Too many jumpers from the Toros. They're not attacking at all.

Bowen can't hit the layup. There have been a ton of those the Toros should have hit.

They are lights out from the arc right now. 26-14 Stampede, 15 ticks remaining.

Barrett drives, and Viollette gets called for his second.

Oh, my God, a small guy for the Stampede. Mike Taylor, the dunk champ runner-up.

JB again goes for a jumper.

Let me make this real simple. If the Toros try and shoot jumpers, they will lose.

Ugh.

26-14 at the end of the first.

Bowen and Mahinmi are getting pissed.

Gross takes it to the rack, FINALLY.

Steal by Squeaky! 4-0 run to start the 2nd. Back within 8.

Gamble by Bowen, but the threes aren't falling like rain for the Stampede anymore. Bowen with another bad pass.

And a drop. Three turnovers to start the 2nd for the Toros. Sigh. Oh, great we're back to small-ball.

Mahinmi to the rack, the finger roll, AND ONE!

26-21, Stampede, 8:50 2nd.

The Stampede are pretty much constantly driving and kicking, including two behind the back passses. Ham in for Mahinmi, kind of odd. Back must be bothering him.

Andre Barrett needs to take the Stampede not putting Livingston on hiim as an insult.

Gross hit a three, and the Toros finally get one. 28-24 Stampede. Barrett is still lazy with his... and he drives and hits the reverse. My bad, Andre, my bad.

Livingston says quite enough of that, breaks down Johnson and scores. Gross with another three. The Toros have woken up. 30-29 Stampede.

Luke Jackson may be the first D-League player that I really hate. He just hit a three and I just hate everything about him right now.

Taylor decides he's going to attack the rim. Ham politely disagrees, and sends a message, drawing the foul.

Mahinmi back in, and WE'VE FINALLY GOT THE BIG LINEUP.

Ham, Mahinmi, Bowen, Gross, and Barrett. Quin smells blood.

And Ham gets the bucket AND ONE.

And Jackson goes the bench with 3 fouls. Good. I don't want to hate him.

34-31 Stampede, 6:00 2nd.

Andre Barrett has decided to get pissed.

BOWEN WITH THE STEAL! TO BARRETT, TO MAHINMI, DUNKIFY, FRENCH MAN! DUNKIFY!

Toros lead! 35-34!

D-League could not script this better.

Oh, Free Stuff. How I loathe you. I just wish the crowd was this loud for other moments, though I do have to say, Mahinmi's dunk was the first time I've heard the Convention Center "erupt."

Petway with a NICE hook shot over Mahinmi. He's pulling out all the tricks tonight. Barrett still cold from the arc.

Darvin is murdering the glass tonight. Bowen, for some reason, thinks his jumper will improve if he steps back. He is not correct.

36-35 Stampede. Uh-oh . Quin's put in subs. Angounou, Squeaky, Paulino, Mahinmi, and Bowen.

I do NOT like this lineup. Johnson doesn't know Snyder's call.Possibly because Snyder has about a million of the things.

I know Mahinmi WANTS to have a fadeaway. He just doesn't, you know... have one.

Violette answers. They need to get another foul on him. Mahinmi travels, gets away with it, and misses the dunk. But Angounou rejects Taylor, and Paulino hits a three.

40-38 Toros, 2:50.

Violette comes right back with a driving jumper. Man, this guys' got a versatile game.

Paulino drives and gets the call on Ferguson.

40-up, 2:09, and this is pretty much all D-League prez Dan Reed could ask for.

Paulino misses with time expiring on the shot clock, Bown rebounds, rejected, Angounou grabs it, back to Bown for the lay-in.

And Livingston answers. He's been quiet, but consistent. He's got 8.

42-all, 1:13 left, 2nd Quarter.

Gross has 10 in 11 minutes, Mahinmi with 7 and 2 fouls, Bowen with 6.

Bergensen misses the shot, but they don't reset the clock! Whoops!

Bergensen misses again! Let him shoot again! Anyone bu Violette!

Angounou with a lazy pass, Bergensen steals, and slams. Sigh. Oh, Serge. You get my hopes up too.

Josh McRoberts in the house!

Ham, draws the foul, but doesn't get the call.

44-42 Stampede. Toros need a big 3rd Quarter. Back before the 3rd with stats.

Idaho shooting 41%, Austin up to 45%. Barrett is 0-3 from the arc. Gross and Bowen both have 10. Ham with 5 rebounds.

Bergensen with 11 after that gimme dunk. I don't like him, either, though he's got a good pro frame for a 2-guard. Violette with 9. Livingston with 6 and 6, because, you know, he's the Devil.

No players with more than 2 fouls. Mahinmi managed to get to the end of the half with only 2 fouls. Petway, Ellis, Violette all have 2. They need to get one on Violette to start the third. He's going to burn them down the stretch.

You know those plays where there's a loose ball and then someone gets an easy basket off of it, and it's got nothing to do with defense? Yeah. Violette.

Gross with the fast break slam. Stampede look tired all of a sudden.

And the trap on Livingston gets a travel. Livingston's limping a bit. He's worn out.

Ham knocks down the jumper. Tie game, 10:00

Bergensen gets low on Barrett, but Barrett strips it.

Barrett cannot get a break tonight. Great transition D by Austin.

And there's Ian's third. 10:00.

Quin's gonna let him play. Huh.

Now it's Idaho settling for jumpers, and Mahinmi with the floater.

Oh, crap. A weak foul called on Ian, and that's four.

See you in the 4th, Ian. Sigh. Bowen in.

Paulino, Barrett, Ham, Bowen, Gross v. Violette, Bergensen, Livingston, Taylor, and Petway.

49-48 Stampede. Austin cannot hit a layup.

Ham to the rack. Count it. And...say it with me... ONE!

That's three on Bergenson. Ham misses the free throw. Toros are just 5 of 9 from the line.

Petway knocks the holy hell out of Barrett's layup and Violette finishes on the break. So much for tired.

Ham answers, and he's jacked up right now.

Pick and Roll Livingston and Violette, Ham wraps him up, Violette bitches.

I'll say it. I don't like Idaho. They whine.

52-all, 7:00

Big lineup for the Toros. Barrett, Bowen, Gross, Ham, and Angounou.

53-52 Stampede.

Refs are letting them play. Weak ass foul on Barrett just as I say that. They don't seem to see anything when Ham's getting slammed by two guys though. Okay.

Idaho is just NOT going to let the Toros run tonight.

Another jumper, and another miss. Sigh.

This time, Angounou. Because that's a good game for the Power Forward.

Barrett stripped, outlet to Bergenson for the cherry pick. Ah, Bergensen getting his Luke Walton on. Barrett's mad at himself. Good. Terrible game for him. That's two in a quarter for him. That's unheard of.

55-52 Stampede, 5:31 3rd. Not the "run" I was talking about. I never thought I'd say this. Put Paulino in there. Not enough speed right now.

I can't say enough about Idaho's transition D. They have used the length and speed to stay in front of them every time.

Ham to the weak side cutter Bown, gets the foul. Not on Violette, though. They've got to get him in foul trouble, him or Petway.

Bowen knocks them both down. 55-54 Stampede, 5:00 3rd.

Petway tried a three. Ha.

Bowen slices and shorts a finger roll. Sigh. He's too pumped up. Johnson on Livingston, and Livingston can't hit. Both star guards tired.

I swear to God, Squeaky Johnson tries not to do anything until four seconds left on the shot clock.

Angounou gets Bergenson's 2nd. Sigh, they're spreading out the fouls too much. Violette is going to explode in about .04minutes.

Bowen with the steal, only pass is to Squeaky, who instead of taking the jumper tries to pass it to Angounou, who of course can't hold on.

You know, there's a reason the refs are called "terrible" in this league. And we just had a useless loose ball foul, and then a delay of game called because Washington didnt have his shirt tucked in. But Gates literally talked him out of the delay of game call.

Squeaky again waits until four seconds left, and has to force a layup. Petway picks up his third.

57-56 Stampede, and this one is getting scrappy.

Quin sticking with Johnson.

Oh, man, Bowen drives, and pulls up for the banker, gets the foul on McRoberts, and Petway goaltends.

Huge swing.

And McRoberts tries to get sneaky and completely misses his cutter.

59-57 Toros, 2:00 3rd.

Bowen with the fadeaway! Yes!

Sorry, channeling Marv.

Angounou saves it, and Johnson lets it roll out of bounds. Sigh.

Wow. Quin is STILL staying with Johnson and Angounou.

McRoberts picks up an offensive foul after jabbing Angounou. Angounou is dazed. Woah. Flagrant called. Two and the ball.

Angounou hits one of two, Toros 62, Stampede 57, largest lead for Austin, 1:35 3rd.

Paulino spot up! The lead is 8! Johnson with the assist.

Ham falls, Violette ends up with Squeaky on him, Squeaky goes low and fouls him. Violette's limping a bit. Johnson made the best of that situation.

Johnson with the three! Proving me wrong, lil' man!

McRoberts with a great tip in.

Ham, misses the finger roll, misses the follow, gets his own rebound, GOODNIGHT, MCROBERTS SENDS IT FLYING. Paulino falls on the drive. Should have pump-faked.

68-61 after three.

Bowen has 17, Gross with 12, and Gross should be fresh, after limited minutes in the third.

Violette has 17 and 13 boards, Jesus. That guy can PLAY. Bergenson with 13, he's come back to earth. Ham with 6 in the third.

Ham can't get the fadeaway. His shot is off tonight.

Ah, Squeaky still at point. And with 14 left on the clock, he goes kamikaze and draws McRoberts' second.

Paulino with another three. He's hot tonight. May be his last game in Austin.

Bowen hits the J! 19 for Bowen.

73-61 Toros! 10:36 in the 4th. Largest lead of the game for the Toros. If the Toros can get this kind of production with only 14 from Barrett/Mahinmi, that's a pretty good night.

I do like the dance competition. It's funny, in a "Oh, God, Why?" kind of way.

Quin's letting this lineup play. He's letting Serge beat them up. If/When Mahinmi comes back, he's going to be fresh.

I can't underrate Johnson. He's been lights out at both ends of the floor tonight. Nice drive and layup coast to coast. He's great when he gets aggressive.

Violette gets what I... guess... is a star call on Ham?

Uh-oh. Mahinmi just came in. And Gross.

Johnson, Bowen, Ian, Ham, and Gross.

Wow. Another terrible call. This referree is a nightmare. I'm usually nice on these guys. But um. Ugh.

4-0 run by annoying referee Violette.

75-66 8:33 4th Quarter.

Uh-oh.

They almost reversed an out-of-bounds. Yeesh. This is the "At Least We're Not Donaghy" reffing crew.

Mahinmi immediately goes to the rack. Draws Ellis' fifth.

Gross almost makes a steal and loses it out of bounds. It's like DerMarr left him his Butterfingers as a parting gift.

Ham, with the reverse! Veteran leadership down the stretch.

Livingston is heating up. That's trouble.

79-70 Toros, 7:00 4th.

Mahinmi's got the mid-range. That's also trouble. This is getting good, ya'll.

Mahinmi gets absolutely stripped and slapped, no-call. Easy bucket for Idaho.

Gross with a HUGE block in transition!

Violette drains the jumper, and it's back to 8.

Johnson is KILLING me with running the clock too far down.

But man, when he trust himself, he's automatic tonight.

Andre's back. Finally. Oh, crap. Small ball.

Mahinmi's hurting, he can't box out.

7 point game, 4:32.

Bowen with the 15 footer! He found his range!

Huge rebound by Ham.

Squeaky holds it until under 10. Jeez.

85-76 Toros, 3:17 remaining. Man, this is good.

Bowen with 21 to lead all scorers, but Violette's right behind him with 20.

Okay, Livingston, Luke Jackson, Taylor, Ellis, and Violette against Mahinmi, Barrett, Ham, Squeaky, and Bowen. Let's get dirty.

Squeaky gets stripped, fouls the stealer, and after the foul, Jackson misses the layup. Haha. Cherry picker.

Bowen skies for a rebound and the Toros have legs.

Johnson with the J! Lead back to 11.

Stampede are cold. 2:00 remaining.

Livingston dives to deny Mahinmi and hurts himself.

87-76; 1:54 4th Quarter.

Oh, God, the wave. why. I will not capitalize this. DJ Man, you should be flogged.

Taylor drives, dunks, and falls down for no apparent reason. Maybe he's got Manu-itis. Johnson drives, dishes, Bowen finishes. He's everywhere.

Traveling! 89-78 Toros, and that may do it, folks.

Barrett's limping. Again. He's in a world of pain.

These guys could half-ass it. They're in the D-League. It's the end of a long, disappointing season. And they're killing it.

Johnson. Nail. Coffin. Jackson pump fakes and gets a gimme.

Full-court trap. DUNK, BOWEN.

ICE.

83-93, and it's foul time.

Mahinmi with a dumb foul on Taylor at the three point line.

94-83, 32 ticks.

Gross raising the crowd. Whole Toros bench standing. This is awesome. This is basketball, kids.

Barrett's got two free throws and that's a deep limp he's got. Ices the first, lead is 10.

Hamgets a nice ovation.

Jackson just goes Kamikaze. I hate that guy.

And the Stampede concede.

95-89 Toros.

Toros lead series 1-0. Awesome.

 
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