Scouting the Idaho Stampede

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Tip: 7:30 p.m., Cedar Park Center
Streaming: YouTube

Background

Record: 13-8, first in West Division
Off. efficiency: 105.7 points per 100 possessions, 6th
Def. efficiency: 102.9, 7th
Net rating: +2.7, 5th
Pace: 102.2 possessions per game, 7th

Four factors

Effective FG pct: 51.4, 6th
Turnover pct: 16.8, 6th
Off. rebound pct: 28.5 9th
FTA rate: .290, 12th
Opp. effective FG pct: 49.8, 5th
Opp. turnover pct: 17.7, 6th
Def. rebound rate 72.2, 6th
Opp. FTA rate: .342, 15th

The leaders

Points: Pierre Jackson, 29.2
Rebounds: Richard Howell, 10.6
Assists: Dee Bost, 8.0
Blocks: Dallas Lauderdale, 3.3
Steals: Jackson, 2.2

Summary

Through the first eight games of the season, the Idaho Stampede were the best team in the D-League. The Stampede were 8-0, the last undefeated team, and they outscored their opponents by 15.1 points per 100 possessions in this span — their poor opponents had no chance. Since, Idaho is 5-8, and only two teams are getting plastered by more points (per 100 possessions). Idaho’s defense has cratered to 13th in points allowed per possession and their offense, even with leading scorer Pierre Jackson, crawled to a halt. The Stampede still maintain the division lead, but Santa Cruz, Reno and Los Angeles are closing the gap.

Where they excel

Jackson is the D-League’s leading scorer — averaging 29.9 points a contest — but, in the 200 minutes he’s sat, Idaho’s offense has been better. Which is odd. Having Jackson, the league’s top prospect by every imaginable measure, matters in high-leverage situations though. Idaho has outscored their opponents by 26 points in 53 “clutch” minutes, defined by a five-point (or fewer) margin with under five minutes remaining. Idaho is 7-4 in these close games; they haven’t been especially good in most of their games, but they’ve treaded water because of their ability to win “contested” games.

Where they struggle

Defense. Idaho does just enough to not be terrible — they are in the top half in opponents effective field goal percentage, turnover rate and defensive rebounding, respectively — but they have a proclivity to foul and cough up corner 3-pointers. Opponents don’t have much success in transition, but any patient offense should be able to accumulate fouls and open shots with enough effort.

Player to watch

Pierre Jackson. He’s the best D-League player, and he’s better than some NBA players (*cough* Derek Fisher *cough). The New Orleans Pelicans own Jackson’s rights, and until they sort out the backcourt logjam, Jackson will continue to tear up the D-League. But he’ll be in the NBA sooner, rather than later.

Stats: NBA D-League/Stats

*There are only 17 teams in the D-League

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