Santa Cruz Warriors (25-13) vs. Reno Bighorns (13-25)
7 p.m. PST
Kaiser Permanente Arena - Santa Cruz, CA
Video stream: YouTube
"Buddy blog": Ridiculous Upside
It's (past) time to get back to focusing on the Santa Cruz Warriors and tonight's as good a night as any to watch the game.
In addition to watching Kent Bazemore get back to doing his thing in the D-League and getting to see extended minutes from Malcolm Thomas - for those who hadn't watched him before he got called up by the Golden State Warriors - it might also be a chance to watch recently acquired point guard Scott Machado play with a pair of wings who have seen NBA action recently.
Machado played for just two minutes against the Idaho Stampede on Sunday after being acquired on Friday. In his 18 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this season, Machado 10.3 points and 6.1 assists as well as shooting 35.2% from 3-point range. The rotation won't be less crowded for him now, but it will be interesting to see what a guard who has drawn so much buzz can do with the Warriors squad.
Wendell Maxey of SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside wrote the other day about Thomas' roundabout journey from the D-League to the NBA to Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Warriors (and now back to the D-League on assignment) that's relevant to tonight's game: in Thomas' last D-League game with the L.A. D-Fenders, Thomas 13 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block.
The Reno Bighorns feature a call-up worthy talent of their own in Orienne Green, according to Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside. While he hasn't put up gaudy stats in his five games with Reno, his veteran savvy has apparently been an asset. Nevertheless, Reno has still lost eight of nine games coming into tonight's game, which included a pair of back-to-back road losses at Santa Cruz. Although four of those nine games were on the road and all have been close, this is a game that the Warriors should probably be able to win again.
For the Warriors, every game counts as the season nears its end with the West division title still in play. The Warriors are currently just a game back of the first place Bakersfield Jam in the West division, which also puts them a game behind the top seed in the eight-team D-League playoffs (division winners get the top three seeds in order of record with the remaining spots being filled in order of record).
You can watch the game on YouTube and consider this your game thread.