…but they’re still winless on the road. Last night they won a 105-103 squeaker against the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, although in my opinion, the game shouldn’t have gone down to the final possession. The Arsenal had a 10 point lead with a couple of minutes left to play, but played sloppy down the stretch and were saved by a Steven Smith bucket on their last offensive possession. The T-Birds played a very up-tempo game, forcing some rotation changes for the Arsenal and making them look very uncomfortable at points in the first half. Albuquerque also aggressively defended inbounds passes for a large chunk of the game, which I thought was pretty unusual.
The Arsenal are the only remaining team that is still winless on the road — even lowly Bakersfield, shaping up to be the Washington Generals of the NBDL, have notched a win away from home. At least the Arsenal have a winning record at home, now.
On the T-Birds’ roster is Darryl “DJ” Strawberry, who I thought was initially an unfortunately-named kid whose parents were admirers of the Straw. But, as I found out, he is actually the Straw’s kid…and he played very well, shooting 10-for-17 from the field and 4-for-6 from behind the arc.
The Arsenal face a tougher test tonight in the Dakota Wizards, current Central Division leaders and last season’s champs. We’ll see how they respond — for their part, the Wizards got blown out last night by the D-Fenders, but I have no idea how they’ll respond.
Addendum: I decided to check on ex-Arsenal player Marcin Gortat, recalled to the Magic (where he apparently has not gotten off the bench), and discovered this amusing widget on the NBA site. Note that it currently reports his PPG, RPG, and APG as “NaN” (aka not a number). I would be pretty offended if I were an NBA player and saw that. Of course, what it really means is that whoever wrote that widget needs to fix their divide-by-zero bug…