NBA D-League Finals Preview: Fort Wayne Mad Ants-Santa Cruz Warriors

Fort Wayne Mad Ants

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants and Santa Cruz Warriors will go at it again for the championship, with a rematch of last year’s NBA D-League Finals match-up. This will be an exciting conclusion for the D-League season, as well as a scouting platform for all of the key players for the Mad Ants and the Warriors. Here are a few things to look forward to in this series:

  • The match-up that everyone should look forward to is between the Mad Ants’ Jordan Crawford and the Warriors’ Elliot Williams. Since the departure of Andre Emmett, these two have established themselves as the most electric players in the league, and the match-up between the two is really going to be a fun one to watch.
  • Who is the better point guard? Aaron Craft or Matt Bouldin? Fans are going to get to see for themselves as these two should play opposite each other most of the series.
  • Will Mychel Thompson and Ognjen Kuzmic be major factors for the Warriors in the Finals?

If the Fort Wayne Mad Ants plan to repeat as D-League Champions, here are the weaknesses of the Santa Cruz Warriors that they must exploit:

  • The Warriors are average at best on defense. Many of their opponents had a relatively high shooting percentage.
  • The lack of consistency from their big men Ognjen Kuzmic and Taylor Griffin
  • Three-point shooting as a team has not been above 30 percent very often this season.

Therefore, here are the three things that the Mad Ants should do to win the series and the D-League title:

  • Take smart, high percentage shots. If the Mad Ants shoot above 45 percent, they can get a sizable lead and the Warriors struggle when they are behind.
  • Play tight defense on Elliot Williams and prevent Mychel Thompson from getting hot.
  • Trap Aaron Craft when necessary and prevent him from making great passes. He does not shoot as well as his teammates, but he always seems to find ways to pass players open.

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants and Santa Cruz Warriors will begin Game 1 of the NBA D-League Championship series at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne on April 23 at 8 pm.

By Joshua Hamer

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