I’ve been a bit remiss in not writing over the last week or so, so I’ll try to catch up on a few things. The Arsenal finished their home games with a pair against the Utah Flash and the Los Angeles D-Fenders, losing 107-101 to Utah but beating the D-Fenders 109-106 in a pretty thrilling overtime finish.
The loss to the Flash was a bit of a letdown, as the Arsenal were up by as many as 15, but couldn’t stop a furious rally down the stretch. After that game, I was worried that the Arsenal would be flat against the D-Fenders the next night, and the first quarter proved my fears were well-founded, with the D-Fenders jumping out to a 34-16 lead. The Arsenal clawed their way back, though, and crept ahead, keyed by a pretty decent night at the free throw line and a lack of turnovers. Overtime was where it was finally decided, at the free throw line. Dancin’ Marcus Campbell had a great game, finishing with 20 points and 23 boards, and, most surprisingly, shooting 80% from the free throw line.
Los Angeles wasted a great performance from Sean Banks, who scored 38 points, and somehow made 15-of-18 free throws despite having a horribly ugly, flat shot at the line. With that loss, they also fell behind the Idaho Stampede in the Western Division title race, and may miss out on their opportunity for a first-round bye in the playoffs. Perhaps my prediction of the Arsenal playing spoilers wasn’t so far from the mark — the Austin Toros, whom Anaheim took care of two weeks ago, still haven’t clinched their division yet.
The Arsenal finish the season on the road against the D-Fenders and then the lowly Bakersfield Jam, who have just barely eked into the double-digit wins category. I have to say that I’m sad that the season is almost over — I really enjoyed having the opportunity to go to almost all of the home games, and to see decent teams from a close vantage point. Fortunately for my basketball jones, the NBA playoffs this year are shaping up to be absolutely fantastic, and they’ll last a lot longer than the D-League playoffs…