The Arsenal avenged a loss on Saturday to the Bakersfield Jam with a 119-109 win at home. Even though the box score doesn’t reflect it, I thought this game featured a fairly solid defensive effort from the Arsenal. Ivan Johnson had a monster game, with 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting, and some key steals and contested shots on the defensive end. The Arsenal were up by 17 at the end of the 3rd quarter, but Bakersfield made a bit of a run to get within 7 towards the end of regulation — thankfully the Arsenal held on to win.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that I have yet to see any garbage time in the D-League. Perhaps it’s because of greater parity between the starters and bench than the NBA, but you don’t really see any flood of bench players coming into the game, even if there’s a big score differential. I guess it’s possible that there may have been garbage time in this 134-109 drubbing of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at the hands of the Iowa Energy, but the 4th quarter scoring seems to indicate that they were still playing for keeps.
Former Bakersfield guard Yuta Tabuse was signed by the Arsenal to take the roster spot of Bryson McKenzie, who was waived due to injury. From reading the transactions page, there seems to be a pattern of players in the D-League getting injured and then later re-signed by the team that waived them — not sure if there is an official injured list or not, but it doesn’t seem like it. The diminutive Tabuse played alright in his 13 minutes — his speed and passing make him more of a playmaker guard than anyone currently on the roster, but it remains to be seen how he’ll fit into the team’s scheme.