The NBA D-League playoffs tipped off on April 4 with The Oklahoma City Blue being the top seed in the West and the Raptors 905 at the top of the East.
The Main Red Claws and Fort Wayne Mad Ants started the party with their game last night. The Red Claws narrowly won the bout with a score of 110-106 behind guard Demetrius Jackson’s 30 point explosion. Tyler Hansbrough had an excellent night for the Mad Ants depsite the loss, tallying 29 points and a dominating 20 rebounds.
The Eastern Conference matchup to look out for tonight is between the Raptors 905 and the fourth seed Canton Charge, which looks to be an interesting matchup between a well-rounded and versatile Rapors 905 team and the high scoring abilities of 0505 guards John Holland and Kay Felder.
In the Western Conference tonight, the Oklahoma City Blue take on the fourth seed Santa Cruz Warriors. This could turn out to be a very physical and defensive matchup, considering that the OKC Blue have the second best defense in the league and Santa Cruz is number one in rebounding. The Warriors will probably find ways to score by relying on Phil Pressey, Jabari Brown and Damian Jones to spark their offense. However, they were a slightly above average defensive squad during the season. They rank 10th in the league in defensive efficiency.
The final first round matchup will be between the two seed Los Angeles D-Fenders and the three seed Rio Grande Valley Vipers on April 8th. The D-Fenders and Vipers are by far the most offensively efficient teams in the league. The D-Fenders rank first in assists and second in PPG. The Vipers are first in PPG and second in assists. I expect this series to be the most high scoring in the first round. The reason being: both of these teams rank at the bottom in defense. The Vipers are 20th in opponents PPG and the Warriors are 21st.
The NBA D-League playoffs takes the top four teams from each conference, and each series is a best-of-three.