Tip: 6:00 p.m., MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA
Record: 13-21, fourth in East Division
Off. efficiency: 103.2 points per 100 possessions, 10th
Def. efficiency: 107.4, 14th
Net rating: -4.1, 15th
Pace: 98.3 possessions per game, 16th
Effective FG pct: 50.2, 12th
Turnover pct: 16.5, 8th
Off. rebound pct: 27.9, 10th
FTA rate: .315, 9th
Opp. effective FG pct: 52.1, 14th
Opp. turnover pct: 15.6, 13th
Def. rebound rate 72.4, 7th
Opp. FTA rate: .291, 3rd
Points: Darius Johnson-Odom, 23.5
Rebounds: Willie Reed, 8.4
Assists: Johnson-Odom, 5.4
Blocks: Reed, 1.6
Steals: Larry Anderson, 1.9
Prior to the February, the Springfield Armor and Delaware 87ers were vying for D-League un-supremacy — both had seven wins, and ranked in the bottom half in offensive and defensive efficiency. The tides have turned in February, favoring Springfield.
Springfield is 6-4 in February, while Delaware is 4-4, impressive given their inability to defend. There’s a caveat: Springfield is 0-3 against current playoff teams and 6-1 against non-playoff teams. Another caveat: Seven of their 10 games have resulted in a “clutch” situation and they’ve been crushed by 15.7 points (per 100 possessions) in the 23 minutes … and they’ve won four of the seven games. Wonky stuff. Not to take away from their best stretch of the season, but Springfield still looks very much like the doormat they were in November, December and January.
Where they excel
Mid-range shooting. Analytics has devalued mid-range shots — they are just worth two points, but they are converted less often than shots in the paint and, while they are closer than 3-pointers, their return on investment is much lower — but there is some value in forcing the defense to, well, defend the mid-range area. It opens up other more efficient shots on the floor. Springfield doesn’t generate the more efficient shots very often, ranking in the bottom five in restricted area, corner 3-pointers and above-the-break 3-pointers, but alas. At least they convert mid-range shots at a 41.3 percent clip, the highest percentage in the D-League.
Where they struggle
Protecting the rim. Opponents average 33.6 shots in the restricted area against Springfield and, once they arrive at the deadliest spot on the floor, they convert on 62.9 percent. Springfield allows 51 points (per 100 possessions) in the paint, the third-highest rate in the D-League. The rest of their defense isn’t particularly good either, but protecting the rim is perhaps their most glaring weakness. But, hey, at least they don’t foul very often? I guess?
Player to watch
Darius Johnson-Odom. He’s second on the D-League’s prospect rankings, behind Los Angeles’ Manny Harris, and he leads the team in points and assists. Springfield’s offense is 8.1 points (per 100 possessions) better when he’s on the floor.
Stats: NBA D-League/Stats