Monday, April 30, 2007

Wizards top 14ers in O.T. for NBDL Title

The Dakota Wizards took down the Colorado 14ers in OT 129-121. Darius Rice finished with 52 points off the bench as the Wizards added another championship trophy to their organization's trophy case.

The Wizards started off slow once again. The 14ers took advantage early and got off to a quick start, but Dakota turned on the defense in the second quarter and took a 64-56 lead into the locker room.

But as the game wore on the Wizards kept wearing down Colorado's D. Personally, from what I've seen no one in the NBDL (National Basketball Developmental League) can run with the Wizards. They are great at getting out in transition, getting to the rack, and making some quick outside shots. They have just about the perfect personnel to do so.

Darius Rice stepped up big for the Wiz as 4 of their key players went 0-9 from beyond the arc. Rice exploded for a D-League record 11 three pointers.

Colorado took the lead for the first time in the second half at 107-106 with an Elton Brown lay-up with about one minute left. Dontell Jefferson then missed a lay-up for Dakota with 10 seconds left and Pooh Jeter was then fouled. Jeter, then sank two free-throws to put the 14ers up 109-106. Then with about 6 seconds left Darius Rice hit a wide open three! Elton Brown then threw up a heave that rimmed in and out and almost quieted the crowd.

Dakota took control in O.T. nailing some key shots and free throws to capture their 1st NBDL Title, and 4th overall.

I was at the Civic Center to catch the 'ship myself and it was a great game. It was exciting, down-to-the-wire, and the crowd was really into it. Plus, there's nothing like seeing the best semi-pro basketball team in the country throw another banner up in downtown Bismarck.


Bryan said...

Go Bismarck (good to be back)

grittysquirrels said...

I think we all agree bryan that it is in your best personal interest to be back on The Sports Flow.

It is also awesome to have such a great basketball team in Bismarck. Any thing in bismarck that gets addressed by David Stern and airs on NBATV is worth posting on.

PS- Think Rice's performance in the 'ship friday got the attention of any NBA teams?

twins15 said...

Actually I doubt Rice's performance will really do too much to enhance his NBA chances. I mean, obviously it helps because that is an incredible game, but he wasn't that great all D-League season. 13.7 PPG on 44.5% shooting. He might get a look because he's big and shoots 38% from downtown, but only if he's solid defensively. I haven't actually seen him since his college days, so I guess I'm not really sure about it.

But back to the main point, yay for Bismarck and the Wizards! Dave Joerger really is the man.

grittysquirrels said...

No kidding! You have to imagine with the great success he's had with the wizards that Joerger will start to get some looks from a higher presence in the next couple years.

Personally I think he is a great coach. And I imagine you have to be to coach a team that loses a couple key guys to the NBA to a DLeague Championship. They lost their best players in the middle of the year.

Eric E said...

Dave Joerger should have a job in the NBA. How much more does he need to prove? 5 championships in 3 different minor leagues? He's been a blessing for the Dakota Wizards and I wish him the best of luck!