Inside the D-League

Inside the D-League
Feb 07, 2007, 02:31 am
Amundson Called Up by Utah

Power Forward Louis Amundson has been called up to the Utah Jazz from the Colorado 14ers. Amundson is the 9th D-League player to be added to an NBA roster from the D-League this season. He will join a Utah Jazz front line that is currently without injured forward Carlos Boozer.

Amundson played 4 years at UNLV before going undrafted in 2006. He was added to the Sacramento Kings summer league roster, and received an invite to veterans camp. He failed to make it out of veterans camp, and moved on to the D-League where he was allocated to the 14ers. In 27 games with Colorado, Amundson averaged 10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.41 blocks per game.

Amundson will add some athleticism to the Utah Jazz front line. He can block shots at a good rate, rebound the ball well, and brings constant energy to the floor. In the D-League, Amundson had stretches where he would change the entire flow of the game. His biggest weaknesses at this point are his game away from the basket, and his free throw shooting.

P.J. Tucker Recalled

Rookie forward P.J. Tucker has been recalled by the Toronto Raptors. He spent 14 games with the Colorado 14ers, and averaged 10.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He struggled at first to adapt to the D-League game, but had started to play better recently. Tucker still lacks range away from the basket, but displays good ball handling ability. He will need to improve his ability to create his shot on the perimeter and develop NBA 3 point range. There is likely not a spot for Tucker in Toronto’s rotation at this point in time, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return to the D-League at some point this season.

D-League All-Star Game Rosters Set

The Rosters for the D-League’s first all-star game in Las Vegas have been set. Each team consists of 10 players, and the coaches will choose the starters before the game. There are NBA assigned players who have been recalled, and NBA Call-up players on the all-star game roster who will be replaced by players that the D-League office chooses. The head coaches of the all-star teams will be Joe Wolf of the Colorado 14ers for the West, and Sidney Moncrief of the Fort Worth Flyers for the East. The rosters are listed below:


G Will Conroy (Tulsa)
G BJ Elder (Austin)
G Renaldo Major (Dakota)
G Clay Tucker (Arkansas)
F Alan Anderson (Tulsa)
F Stephen Graham (Sioux Falls)
F Pops Mensah-Bonsu (Ft. Worth)
F James White (Austin) 6-7
C Jared Reiner (Sioux Falls)
C Loren Woods (Austin)


G Brian Chase (Los Angeles)
G Pooh Jeter (Colorado)
G Randy Livingston (Idaho)
G Von Wafer (Colorado)
F Louis Amundson (Colorado)
F Kevinn Pinkney (Bakersfield)
F Dijon Thompson (Albuquerque)
F Jawad Williams (Anaheim)
C Elton Brown (Colorado)
C Peter John Ramos (Idaho)

Von Wafer Named D-League Player of the Month

Von Wafer of the Colorado 14ers has been named the D-League Player of the Month. Wafer has played very well throughout the entire season, and currently has averages of 19.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. He is also shooting 50% from the field, and over 48% from the three point line. Wafer was a second round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers last season. NBA teams might worried about some issues from his past, but he has done all he can on the court this year to prove he belongs back in the NBA. He is leading Colorado in scoring while they have the D-League’s best record.

Loren Woods Named D-League Player of the Week

After grabbing 50 rebounds over the course of 3 games, Loren Woods of the Austin Toros has been named the D-League player of the Week. In the three games he averaged 15.0 points and 16.6 rebounds over the course of the three games. Woods didn’t receive a lot of minutes when he first joined the D-League, but he has really come on lately. As one of the few 7 footers with NBA experience, he should have a good chance of grabbing a bench spot with an NBA team.

NBA Player Updates

Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Fort Worth Flyers/Milwaukee Bucks

Mensah-Bonsu played well last week, but sat out a game after turning his ankle by coming down on somebody’s foot. In the game without Pops, the Flyers lost, and it was pretty clear that the interior defense he brings is very important to the team. He has been scoring inside and rebounding the ball very well lately, but he will still need to work on using his body more effectively. On offense, he has been getting a lot of garbage points inside, but he has limitations when it comes to creating his own offense. Free throw shooting still remains a big weakness for Mensah-Bonsu, and he will need to develop a consistent release point on his shot. Pops is happy that he receives playing time in the D-League, and he will have to continue improving throughout the season.

Patrick O’Bryant, Bakersfield Jam/Golden State Warriors

O’Bryant has some great flashes of potential on the basketball court at times, and looks disinterested in the game at others. In a game last week, O’Bryant decided he didn’t feel like running the floor as hard as he could have for some possessions in the first half. He didn’t even cross half court before his team had scored on one play despite the fact that he could have beat everyone down the floor if he had the desire to. Still, he has some nice skills to work with when it comes to the NBA. He can hit jump shots with good success right now, and his low post game is raw but improving. He relies on a jump hook right now that is very hard to block, but he will have to improve the touch on this shot. In a game last week, O’Bryant even put the ball on the floor a few times, and made a driving layup from the baseline under the basket while getting fouled. In terms of skills, O’Bryant has everything he will need to make it in the NBA. His success will depend on how much he wants to play the game, and the intensity he plays with on the court.

Maurice Ager, Fort Worth Flyers/Dallas Mavericks

Ager has struggled to find his game since returning to the D-League. His three point shot isn’t falling, and he doesn’t try to use his mid-range game on a regular basis. When driving to the hoop, he’ll often force it into traffic rather than pulling up for a 12-15 foot jumper. There seems to be a pattern with Ager that has been noticeable since he was at Michigan State. Sometimes he looks like a complete player on offense with a good mid-range game and a nice three point stroke. Other times he looks lost, and like he doesn’t have the ability to do anything but shoot threes. In the D-League, Ager will likely get back into a groove at some point in the near future, but his NBA future will strongly rely on whether he can become consistent with his all-around offense game.

Team Updates

Colorado 14ers, 19-8

Last week Colorado went 2-0, with wins over Tulsa and Arkansas. Elton Brown averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds over these two games. Louis Amundson also played very well for the 14ers, and had 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 blocks against Arkansas. Von Wafer has been one of the top shooting guards in the D-League this season, and he won D-League Player of the Month for January. With Louis Amundson called up to the NBA, and PJ Tucker back with the Raptors, the 14ers will have to make an adjustment to remain at the top of the league. They have one of the most exciting point guards in the D-League in Pooh Jeter, and he might have to show his scoring ability more often.

This week Colorado plays at home Thursday against Austin, and Sunday against Idaho.

Fort Worth Flyers, 18-8

The Flyers had a busy week last week. They lost a game to last place Arkansas, but defeated both Bakersfield and Albuquerque. Kevin Burleson has been playing well for them lately, and he had 22 points and 3 assists against the Thunderbirds. Terrance Thomas is emerging as one of the better shooting guards in the D-League. He had an 11 point 14 rebound 11 assist game last week, as well as a 32 points 17 rebound game. Forward Chris Copeland has also played well for the Flyers, and he is one of the deadliest three point shooters in the D-League.

This week, Fort Worth has Friday and Sunday games on the road in Arkansas.

Dakota Wizards, 16-9

The Wizards went 1-2 last week, splitting a pair of games in Albuquerque before losing to Tulsa. James Maye has continued his strong play, and is getting close to 18 points per game on the season. Curtis Stinson has played well since returning to the United States, but he is spending most of his time with Dakota at the shooting guard position. Quemont Greer has continued to produce very well this season, and Rod Benson had a game with 20 points and 8 rebounds over the weekend.

Dakota opens their week Tuesday with a home game against the D-Fenders. They play in Anaheim Friday night, and in Bakersfield Saturday night.

Idaho Stampede, 18-10

Last week the Stampede went 1-2 with loses to Austin and Los Angeles, and a win over L.A. They have struggled on offense a little bit after losing C.J. Miles, but their defense has picked back up with the return of Mohammed Sene for this week. Peter Ramos has played well for them this season, and he had 17 points in a game against L.A. last week. Randy Livingston has continued his leadership role on the floor, and is now the top assist man since Will Conroy has been called up. Jeff Graves has been producing well lately, and Luke Jackson has played well lately since returning from the Clippers.

This week, Idaho plays in Tulsa on Tuesday and Friday nights, before traveling to Colorado for a Saturday game.

Sioux Falls Skyforce, 15-13

Last week, Sioux Falls dropped a pair of games to Anaheim. Stephen Graham had 20 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds in one of these games. Jared Reiner has been the best center in the D-League this year, and had 21 points and 16 rebounds in the game on Saturday. Frank Williams has struggled to find his shot lately, but he’s done a better job of distributing the ball. Damone Brown has been doing a solid job of contributing lately, as has Antwayne Robinson.

This week, Sioux Falls hosts Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday nights.

Los Angeles D-Fenders, 14-13

Last week, the D-Fenders split a pair of games with Idaho. Andre Patterson has been playing well for them lately, and has been consistent while a lot of the other players haven’t. Sean Banks had 15 points in their win last week, but came back with 9 points on 4/13 from the field. Brian Chase has struggled over his past couple of games with both his scoring and distributing. Andre Emmett has played well for the D-Fenders since he signed with them, but struggled in the loss last week. For the D-Fenders to really make a run to stay over .500, they will need a better effort from their front court.

This week, the D-Fenders play the Dakota Wizards Tuesday, and back to back games in Sioux Falls starting Friday.

Tulsa 66ers, 13-15

Last week Tulsa lost to Colorado before bouncing back for a win in North Dakota against the Wizards. Mike Hall had a good game against Colorado with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Desmon Farmer stepped up against Dakota and scored 30 points. It will be important for Farmer to take a leadership role with the team now that Conroy is gone. Denham Brown had 22 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds in the game against Dakota, though he struggled against Colorado.

Tulsa hosts Idaho on Tuesday and Friday, and Albuquerque on Saturday.

Anaheim Arsenal, 14-16

The Arsenal have responded well to their new coach, and went 2-0 last week with a pair of wins over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Andre Owens had a big game in one of the victories with 35 points and 11 rebounds. Jawad Williams played well in both games too, and had 26 and 11 in the victory on Saturday. Jamaal Thomas had 26 points and 11 rebounds in Anaheim’s win on Friday night. Their point guard play has been a lot better lately, and they seem to be building up chemistry. It will be interesting to see if this is a permanent thing, or just a honeymoon period with a new coach.

This week Anaheim hosts Bakersfield Friday night and Dakota on Saturday night.

Austin Toros, 12-16

The Toros had the worst start to the season of any team, but they have now won their last 7 games. Last week they defeated Idaho on the road and Bakersfield twice at home. Their surge can be attributed to the play of former NBA center Loren Woods, who is currently averaging 12.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.67 blocks per game this season. BJ Elder has continued his strong play as well, and was elected to the D-League all-star team. Cheyne Gadson has struggled to fit in thus far, but has been playing better lately, and is working on building chemistry with his new teammates.

The Toros will try to continue their hot streak on Tuesday with a game in Arkansas, and on Thursday in Colorado.

Albuquerque Thunderbirds, 11-18

Last week Albuquerque went 1-2, with a win against Dakota, and losses against Dakota and Fort Worth. Andreas Glynaidakas had 27 points on 11/14 from the field in the win, but only grabbed 4 rebounds. Dijon Thompson has also played well since returning from the Atlanta Hawks, but he has struggled from the field at times. Cedric Bozeman has done all he can to display his passing ability lately, and is one of the top guards for assists in the entire D-League. They have the talent to start winning some games, but the new players will need to become used to playing with each other.

This week, Albuquerque plays at home against Bakersfield on Tuesday, and then they travel to Tulsa on Saturday.

Arkansas Rimrockers, 7-18

The Rimrockers snapped their losing streak last week against the Fort Worth Flyers, but lost on Saturday to Colorado. Rodger Powell came within 4 points of breaking the D-League scoring record against Fort Worth when he dropped a season high 46 points. Clay Tucker was also huge in the game with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. His consistent ability to shoot the ball has landed him a spot on the D-League all-star team. Brian Jackson has also played well for the Rimrockers lately, and displayed nice passing ability out of the high post last weekend.

This week Arkansas hosts Austin on Tuesday and Fort Worth on Friday and Sunday.

Bakersfield Jam, 7-20

Bakersfield went 0-3 last week with loses to Fort Worth and Austin. Gerry McNamara had a fantastic game against Fort Worth, but his 35 points and 8 assists weren’t enough for the win. He was hitting all sorts of perimeter shots off the dribble in that game, and distributed the ball effectively as well. Kevinn Pinkney has continued to be a steady presence in an otherwise unstable team. His ability to get to the line and hit the mid-range jumper have been effective throughout the season. Warriors center Patrick O’Bryant has been helping out Bakersfield recently, but they will need a scoring 2 guard before they can really start to put things together.

Bakersfield opens their week with a Tuesday game in Albuquerque. They have a game in Anaheim on Friday, and they host Dakota on Sunday.

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