GAME 2: SKYFORCE 117, CHARGE 85
Player of the Game: Jarnell Stokes was an offensive machine, scoring 24 points on 9-for-11 shooting in just 18 minutes. He also added four rebounds and sank all five free throws in the blowout victory.
GAME 1: SKYFORCE 112, CHARGE 104
Player of the Game: Rodney McGruder dropped 30 points on 11-20 shooting, and also grabbed 7 rebounds while playing an incredible 44 minutes.
Play of the Game:
Quinn Cook gets out on the fastbreak and drops the nifty behind-the-back pass.
Winning consistently is a daunting challenge in the NBA D-League, where roster turnover is the norm. But thanks to quality player development systems from the parent club down to the minor-league affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Canton Charge have managed to do so.
These teams have met in each of the past two NBA D-League Playoffs, splitting the series. The Skyforce enter this matchup with a 42-10 season record, while the Charge are in the midst of their fifth straight playoff appearance and bidding for their first Finals.
Beyond coaching, sustainable success of course comes down to identifying talent. This series will highlight both franchise’s ability to do so. Decorated collegiate guards Briante Weber and Quinn Cook will match up on the perimeter. Jarnell Stokes and Nick Minnerath, two promising forwards with contrasting styles, will battle down low. Rising prospects Rodney McGruder, Greg Whittington and John Holland round out a loaded series when it comes to potential NBA talent.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
MEET THE SKYFORCE
NBA Affiliate: Miami Heat
Regular Season Record: 40-10
Key Stat(s): In a league where roster turnover makes gelling as a team a daily challenge, the Skyforce went 40-10 in the regular season thanks to a league-best 98.5 Defensive Rating.
MEET THE CHARGE
NBA Affiliate: Cleveland Cavaliers
Regular Season Record: 31-19
Key Stat(s): The Charge have ranked in the top four in Defensive Rating in each of the past four seasons, reaching the playoffs in each of their five seasons since becoming the Cavs’ affiliate.