Sioux Falls Skyforce Playoff Push Continues Against Iowa Energy [PREVIEW]
After a snapping a four-game losing streak with a Saturday night stunner in Reno, the Sioux Falls Skyforce continue their trek toward the NBA Development League playoffs. With ten games left, a 5-5 record for the Teal would most likely lock down a playoff spot after a two-year absence. Three of those games come against the Iowa Energy including two this weekend on Friday and Saturday night.
In the past, Des Moines has been a difficult place to pick up wins. This season would classify as the worst in Energy history, which could mean the prospects are picking up for a Sioux Falls sweep. Add into the mix that the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks recently signed point guard Chris Wright to a 10-day contract. As a side note Wright made history in the process as the first NBA player to admit that he suffers from multiple sclerosis. Click here to read the story.
Here we have a down-trodden team in the Energy, with a depleted roster, not to mention the coaching upheaval in January ripe for the picking by the barnstorming visitors. Slam-dunk city for the Skyorce on paper. However there is precedent for an actual result that goes against the grain.
Dateline Sioux Falls February 15, 2011. Mired in a 5-24 season to that point, the Skyforce had changed coaches after the D-League Showcase. The roster contained a group of players that worked hard, but were outclassed on most nights. Coming to town were the eventual D-League champion Iowa Energy with league MVP Curtis Stinson. Final score: Sioux Falls 129, Iowa 128 with the winning basket being a three point shot uncorked by Patrick Ewing, Jr. who would eventually be called up to the New Orleans Hornets. Granted, Iowa didn’t need the game at the time. Sioux Falls wanted it more that night and was in position at the end to snatch the victory.
Nonetheless if the Skyforce want to lay hold to a playoff spot in the present, two wins this weekend would go a long way. Also looking at Iowa’s schedule, they have played well enough to win at least a half dozen to ten more games this season. Plus the Energy has a very good center in Jarrid Famous, guard Othyus Jeffers is skilled at both ends of the floor and swingman Paul Harris has been playing very well lately. Sioux Falls on the other hand has a big man of their own in James Mays with Demetris Nichols providing scoring punch and Andre Barrett to run the show. Those matchups probably cancel each other out, so the team that utilizes its depth to fullest potential will be the top dog in Des Moines this weekend.