Rarely does a NBA superstar attend a NBA D-League game, but LeBron James was present as the Canton Charge lost to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, 112-104. Also in attendance was his wife Savannah Brinson, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and assistant coach Larry Drew. Find the NBADL article here.
The Skyforce went to 43-10 and counting with their latest win, which featured a dunk-of-the-night by Heat Summer League player Greg Whittington.
Season highlights of the Skyforce's quick and fast-paced offense, with suffocating defense, are shown below, with a glimpse of what Josh Richardson would do later in Miami.
Having James and the Cavs head coach in attendance tells how far the D-League has gone in getting attention from the NBA teams themselves. The Miami Heat's strategy as of late is to mine overlooked prospects and place them in Sioux Fall to see if there are any hidden gems. Even one a year adds up after five years.
That James would pick a game between Cleveland's and Miami's affiliates is interesting. Of course he is resting for the playoffs and the game happened to fit in his schedule. He may also be curious to see if the D-league is a legit farm system (or how he would fit with the Miami youth movement).
Back in the NBA, the Heat lost a crucial game in Boston, but were bailed out by an Atlanta Hawks loss. The Heat, Hawks, Celtics and Hornets all finished with identical 48-34 records. Since Miami was the only team to win their division, due to defeating the Hawks 3 of 4 times, they grab top spot of all the four teams. Luckily they face the Hornets on home court in the first round due to tiebreaker rules.
In the second season will they be more of a 48-34 team or the 19-10 team since the All-Star break (fourth best in the NBA) in the playoffs? The outcome may hinge on limiting turnovers more than anything.