After the game in Reno, where the Iowa Energy sweated heavily to defeat the caothic -strange, different, totally crazy, and a bit unwatchable too- Bighorns' "The System", old traditional basketball returned at the Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, California.
This time the opponent was the Santa Cruz Warriors, one of the favorites teams to win the D-Ring this year. The SC Warriors have some really good and interesting players like Carrick Felix (pick #4 in the 2014 D-League Draft), Joe Alexander, Elliot Williams (pick #2 in the 2014 D-League Draft), and James Michael McAdoo.
And for the Iowa Energy, considering that two games on the road in the first two nights of the season is no joke, this one was surely going to be a tough challenge. But the veteran Damien Wilkins (pick #16 in the 2014 D-League Draft) kept ballin' on both ends on the floor and led the Energy to the second win of this young 2014-2015 season.
Dominique's nephew is really a perfect pick for this Energy team where he has already showed his leadership and NBA savviness. And in the post-game interview he spoke about character, toughness, and helping out young guys to get better. So yeah, you always want a guy like this on your development team. And who knows? Maybe he can get another chance in the big league. Keep the buckets comin' Damien!
The whole game in general was really pleasant to watch. Santa Cruz fans seemed really engaged with their team, and the TV broadcasting was really good. At some point of the game I could hear the following song, and considering all together (the cheerful fans, the good traditional basketball show with both teams playing well, and the music), I almost believed I was watching a real NBA game.
Yeah, it was a really good match, for the Energy fans above all. And for the Grizzlies fans as well, considering how much we like games with classical 2-point buckets and perennial struggles from the 3-point range: 21% (4-21 3PT) for Santa Cruz and 26% (5-19 3PT) for Iowa. So yeah, the Energy is starting to look a lot like his old and ferocious brother.
The MVP of the game was, as you may already know, Damien Wilkins, who scored 30 points on 10-23 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds.
— Sea Dubs Central (@SeaDubsCentral) November 16, 2014
Other top performers for the Energy were: Patrick Christopher, who had a good game going against Carrick Felix in a lot of minutes of the contest. He played 45 minutes and scored 23 points on 9-19 shooting. Diante Garrett played 41 minutes and put some nice numbers according the box score: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals. But he is definitely not playing at his best, so be ready, cause any day he is going to. And Kalin Lucas had a horrible day shooting the ball (4-18), but he made 2 of 4 clutch free throws to win the game in the last two possesions, so good fight y'all.
The best player of the Santa Cruz Warriors was the power forward James Michael McAdoo, who got a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and showed some nastiness with 6 blocks against the Energy's players.
So there is that. In the beautiful surfing city of Santa Cruz, both teams played very consistent basketball during four quarters, but finally the Energy defeated the Warriors 102-100 in [Santa Cruz Warriors TV broadcaster Kevin Danna's voice ON] "one of the best offense & defense NBA D-League games I've seen in a while".
Next game on the road on Saturday, November 22 against the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Stay tuned and follow the Energy:
Exciting win out in Santa Cruz tonight against the @DLeagueWarriors. Final score 102-100. The excitement starts at home December 6!— Iowa Energy (@iowaenergy) November 16, 2014