- Year of the Warrior? Santa Cruz Blazes Championship Path
- The 2015 Finals in Photos
- The Long Road Back Finals MVP Elliot Williams
- Finals Blog: Inside the Warriors’ Title Celebration
- Finals Blog: Behind the Scenes in Fort Wayne and Santa Cruz
- Thompson Brothers Share Championship Moment
- Santa Cruz, Golden State Both Rally Back from 20-Point Deficits
- Top 5 Storylines of the 2015 NBA D-League Finals
- Dynamic Duo: Jordan Crawford, C.J. Fair Carry Fort Wayne Back to Finals
- Photos: The NBA D-League Finals Through the Years
MEET THE WARRIORS
NBA Affiliate: Golden State Warriors
Regular Season Record: 35-15
Key Stat(s): Like their NBA affiliate, the Warriors have played team ball en route to the league’s best record; Santa Cruz ranks first in defensive rating (99.6 points allowed per 100 possessions) and first in assist percentage (62%) – the percentage of their field goals that come via an assist.
MEET THE MAD ANTS
NBA Affiliates: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards
Regular Season Record: 28-22
Key Stat(s): With 13 NBA affiliates, the Mad Ants have used 32 different players this season, yet rank second in the league in defensive rating (101.2 points allowed per 100 possessions).
You can call the 2015 NBA Development League Finals a rematch, but just five players from the 2014 championship remain on the Santa Cruz and Fort Wayne rosters. That speaks to how difficult it is to return to the top in a league where players are shuffled every week, let alone every year.
But both teams are back for one reason above all else: Their players have bought in, which is why they finished as the league’s top two defensive teams in the regular season and are now the last two teams standing.
Other than that, however, this series will showcase a contrast of styles. The Warriors share the ball better than any team in the league; the Mad Ants rely heavily on Jordan Crawford and C.J. Fair attacking off the dribble. The Warriors start seven-foot Golden State assignee Ognjen Kuzmic in the middle; the Mad Ants start bulky, 6-7 stretch-4 Ramon Harris.
Last year, Fort Wayne gutted out back-to-back victories for the Finals sweep.