2013 D-League Finals: Santa Cruz Warriors advance to face Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Santa Cruz Warriors keep up the winning ways by sweeping the Austin Toros and advancing to the Finals. They will play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets affiliate).

Images of Andre Miller's slow motion post moves still haunting your nightmares? Trying to eat but JaVale McGee dunking on Andrew Bogut and ripping off his arm make you lose your appetite? David Lee's injury and Kenneth Faried's impending presence leaving you pondering why the Golden State Warriors are the unluckiest team in NBA history?

Fear not! The Warriors' D-League affiliate, led by Jeremy Tyler, Darington Hobson and Scott Machado rallied against the Austin Toros and will face off against the Rockets' minor league team. Much more exciting another Miller clinic.

The Warriors will host Game 1 and play on the road for the rest of the series.

Here are the highlights.

The Rio Vipers have had several NBA-level players shuffle through their roster this season, including Andrew Goudelock and Terrence Jones, who just got obliterated by the Oklahoma City Thunder (sorry, couldn't help myself).

Players to watch for the Vipers: Royce White made quite the impression in his first D-League game, showing up out-of-shape but flashing the passing and handling skills that had scouts drooling over him pre-draft. But since then, he's caused another ruckus by not showing up to a game and he decided against playing the postseason schedule. I'm still hoping for a long NBA career for White but it doesn't appear that's the first thing on his mind right now.

Glen Rice and D.J. Kennedy log the most minutes for the Vipers and present the toughest matchup. Rice is the son of Glen Rice and is a shooter. So that's sort of like Stephen Curry...except for all the parts where he isn't. There isn't much NBA talent on the roster but Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA), who left college way too early, and Kyle Fogg (Arizona) are names West Coast fans may be familiar with.

Players to watch for the Warriors: Travis Leslie was the D-League All-Star game MVP and has shuffled around a bit in the NBA circles. Cameron Jones was named Most Improved Player of the Year. Taylor Griffin is Blake Griffin's brother. But the player with the most NBA potential on the team is Darington Hobson, though that doesn't say much.

He functions as the Evan Turner of the team; a mediocre jump shooter but can pass and defend at a slightly above-average level. Hobson needs the ball in his hands to have an effect on the game and that's probably the reason why he won't be a rotational NBA player. However, his play is one to keep an eye on if you're so inclined to watch the D-League Finals.

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