I know it has been a long time since I have posted but I will do my best to keep updating much more regularly. Fact of the matter is finding time to blog has been tough. My on-road responsibilities have increased this season, and I find myself with less time to post as I had in our previous two seasons. I will make an effort to post as much as I can moving forward. I told the Doctor Professor I would....and promised the same thing to Scott Schroeder at RU. So here goes nothing...
The Vipers won today 106-88 at Tingley Coliseum in one of the stranger games you will ever see. The Vipers were down by as many as 16 points in the first half only to come back and lead by as many as 20! There was only one tie, and one lead change. Once the Vipers grabbed the lead, they never relinquished it. This game also saw the Vipers score 44 3rd quarter points,, a new franchise record. (I don't know what the D-League record is for this, but it has to be close.) The Vipers scored more points in the the third than the T-Birds scored in the entire second half (39)! Strange game indeed.
Chris Finch told me in the post game interview that he was embarrassed by the play in the first half. Who could blame him? He hasn't been happy with the effort over the last few games, even if the team is on a six game win streak. He thinks his club should be playing with more of a sense of urgency. The team seems to be a bit lost with Will Conroy up with the big club in Houston. Today they had Garrett run the offense coming out of the intermission and it seemed to energize everyone on the floor. The Vipers played with Temple, Antonio Anderson, Jermaine Taylor, Ernest Scott and Mike Harris to start the second half. Obviously... (Jonah says I say obviously a lot... so I threw it in here for fun) the adjustment worked.
The Vipers are beating the mediocre teams right now, but will that get it done later against the elite? I feel there are five potentially elite teams right now in the D-League. RGV, Iowa, Austin, Maine, Idaho. Right now these are the only teams I feel have any shot of winning the championship. The Vipers have handled Austin so far this year 4-1 record (when they didn't have Malik Hairston) but Austin is playing much better. The Vipers also swept Iowa at their building(s), but they now have a much more in-shape Jeffers, Cartier Martin back from Golden State and now Courtney Sims. We have yet to play Maine and Idaho added a couple solid pieces the last couple of days in Andre Barrett and Joe Dabbert. They are MUCH better than their 13-11 record would indicate.
Can the Vipers, as they are currently assembled, beat any of these teams in a three game series? If they get Joey back from Houston...which is a big IF, I think we could beat 2 of the four. I do think the Vipers need to make a move to solidify their position as a championship contender.
There are a lot of questions on what to do to improve the roster, because there are a lot of "What-Ifs". What if Will Conroy comes back when Lowry is healthy in Houston. What if Joey doesn't come back from Houston or gets traded in a deal for McGrady. What if Mike gets an offer he can't refuse from overseas? What if Antonio Anderson gets a call-up from an NBA team. A lot of questions that when answered can impact what type of move the Vipers need to make.
There was some good news to pass a long today other than the Vipers win over ABQ. ALL_STARS!!
The Vipers have three players that have been recognized as D-League All-Stars. Mike Harris, Antonio Anderson, and former assignment player Joey Dorsey. Also because the Vipers are in first place Chris Finch and his staff (Paul Mokeski and Jai Steadman) along with trainer Joe Resendez will be in charge of the Western Conference All-Stars.
The Vipers have never had an All-star actually play in the game. CJ Watson was named to the team in year one, but had been called up to Golden State by then.
This is a huge honor for everyone involved and for the entire Vipers organization. This year has been great, and it is only getting better.
By the way don't forget the Watch Party at JACKSONS tomorrow! Also Will Conroy and the Rockets are in action tonight...!
For now.. ADB telling you.. always remember... Rule #76 Play like a Champion!