Tonight is the home opener of the Anaheim Arsenal, versus the Utah Flash. I read this morning that the Arsenal started the season with a 120-113 loss to the Colorado 14ers (a name that, let’s be honest, does not roll off the tongue as easily as, say, the Sixers). Obviously this was a pretty high-scoring game, but I’m not too surprised — we saw a scrimmage between the Arsenal and the Bakersfield Jam last Friday night, and the tempo was pretty high throughout. I would say that most possessions ended with a shot when there was still 10-14 seconds on the shot clock, and the score of the scrimmage was deflated only by generally low-percentage shooting throughout the game.
It’ll be interesting to see if having a few more days of practice and work changes the pace of the Arsenal’s game. I thought that there was way too much one-on-one play during the scrimmage we saw, and not enough ball movement, but when the players actually were moving smartly without the ball, and setting picks for the ballhandler, something resembling a quality offense peeked out. I guess this will also be an opportunity to see what the team’s rotations will be, going into the season.
Not sure if there were roster cuts or whatnot before opening night, but it looks like a couple of players from the scrimmage (Derrick Franklin and Anthony Harris) are no longer on the roster. However, the roster also doesn’t include the recently-assigned (from the Magic) Marcin Gortat, who played in the Colorado game, so who knows what’s going on. I do know, however, that it’s pretty unlikely that this quote from the article was taken verbatim from Gortat, a Polish native: “Dwight (Howard) is a freak athlete and practicing against him has prepared me for the level of talent I must go against on a nightly basis in the NBA and the D-League.”