Game Recaps: Springfield 71, Erie 109; Austin 103, Maine 97; Iowa 113, Dakota 92; Tulsa 101; Bakersfield 104

Updated: November 20, 2010

Eight teams began their 2010-11 NBA Development League seasons last night.

I was in Erie for the BayHawks home opener against the Springfield Armor, so I’ll focus on that game. I will post the video highlights when they’re made available. Currently, it gives me a message reading, “This video contains content from NBA, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.” Anyway, on to the recap:

Springfield Armor 71, Erie BayHawks 109 | Box Score

After the teams played fairly evenly to start the game, the BayHawks closed the first quarter on a 16-2 run and scored 40 points in the second quarter to make it 70-37 at the half, effectively ending the game. Both teams seemed to be on cruise control throughout an uneventful second half, and the BayHawks won 109-71.

Erie was about as balanced as a team could be offensively. Nine players scored at least 9 points and no one scored more than 13. Coach Jay Larranaga spread the minutes around as well with nine players playing between 20-30 minutes. The BayHawks shot 50 percent from the field, but the story of this game was their dominance inside and the Armor’s ineptitude. Erie won the points in the paint 52-24, and Springfield lost the turnover battle 23-14, though it seemed much worse than that.

The Armor shot just 33.8 percent for the game, and had just two players in double figures. Rookie point guard Scottie Reynolds led all scorers with 21 points on 8-16 shooting, but he was the lone bright spot for the Armor. (if you can even have a bright spot in a performance like that). He registered just 1 assist, but I put that blame on his teammates for not making shots more than I put it on Reynolds. Truthfully though, the 23 turnovers doesn’t come close to telling the story. Several of them were errant passes to no one in particular that sailed out of bounds. The Armor looked out of sync and overwhelmed.

Some of that credit has to go to Erie’s interior defense, which registered 13 blocked shots, including 7 by Raptors assignee Soloman Alabi. The 7’1″ Alabi also scored 13 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in his BayHawks debut. But as strong as he was on defense, his raw offensive game showed why time in the D-League could be exactly what he needs. He shot just 4-10 from the field and looked indecisive on the block as if he was thinking through his post moves rather than just playing basketball.

Erie’s other NBA assignee, Christian Eyenga of the Cleveland Cavaliers, had a highlight reel dunk just before halftime, but he looked like a player that was still getting used to new teammates after just being sent to Erie a day earlier. He finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in 22 minutes.

And finally, I have to give props to Nate Linhart. The former Akron Zip missed just one shot in 21 minutes, scoring 11 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, dishing out 4 assists, and even recording one where-did-that-come-from blocked shot on his way to recording a ridiculous (and team-high) plus/minus of +44 for the game. On a related note, I don’t know if the BayHawks have the best left-handed white player in the D-League, but in Linhart and second-year big man Kyle Goldcamp, the BayHawks have two of them. So there’s that.

Click after the jump for video highlights and box scores from the games last night that I didn’t get to see in person, which also happened not to be 38-point blowouts.

Austin 103, Maine 97 | Box Score

Iowa 113, Dakota 92 | Box Score

Tulsa 101, Bakersfield 104 | Box Score | Video Highlights

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