Humbling Start for Skyforce at Showcase
With the NBA firepower woven throughout of the lineup, Bakersfield has options. They all worked to a high degree of success as the Jam embarrassed Sioux Falls 120-85 Sunday night at the NBA Development League Showcase in Reno, Nevada.
The loss is the eighth straight at the Showcase for Sioux Falls (11-5) who have yet to win a game at the D-League’s premiere event since 2010. Whatever the Skyforce tried defensively either man-to-man or zone it didn’t work. The Jam turned the game into garbage time by the middle of the third quarter.
Bakersfield (9-9) is one of the few D-League teams left that have multiple affiliations with NBA squads. Utah, Toronto and Atlanta are using this opportunity to give some players on their rosters court time. With the immense amount of NBA people present to scout, critique and assess their own needs, you never know when that note filed away in January will take root later in the season.
When Jared Cunningham of Atlanta, Dwight Buycks of the Toronto Raptors with Ian Clark and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz join a full Bakersfield roster the margin of error shrinks. Additionally, off the bench comes Ike Diogu who has seven years of service in the Association to rank as high man in points and rebounds (22 & 14) for the Jam.
The Skyforce shot 27 of 84 (32 percent) and were out rebounded 67 to 41. DeAndre Liggins banked 17 points to lead Sioux Falls plus 5 steals, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Tre Kelley in his Skyforce debut added 15 counters.
A quick turnaround might be the only salvation for the 35 point setback as Sioux Falls will take on the Los Angeles D-Fenders Monday night. Bakersfield will wait until Tuesday to take the court against the Iowa Energy.