Hot Start and Sizzling Finsish Catapults Skyforce to Playoffs
Everyone wants to get to the destination of a championship. The season-long journey to arrive provides the foundation for a title chase.
In days, the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Canton Charge will take to the court in a quest to secure the 2014 NBA Development League crown. Both teams experienced some peaks and valleys throughout the campaign that started last November.
For Sioux Falls, the season started on a hot streak with a load of games at the Sanford Pentagon including 10 of the first 13 in their new surroundings. Home wins against Reno (2), Iowa (2), the Mad Ants, Tulsa (2) and Los Angeles coupled with road triumphs at Maine, Springfield and Fort Wayne led to the strong 11-3 start. Most of the contests were tight battles with the Skyforce defense locking down opponents late to pull off the win.
As the calendar flipped to 2014, Sioux Falls hit the plateau. Four straight losses followed by three straight wins kicked off a pattern that sustained all through January, February and the first part of March. The sparkling start to the season kept the Skyforce among a gaggle of teams in contention for a playoff berth, but the middling stretch that followed left them close to the edge.
It was time for a stand as the first of two pivotal games brought Idaho to town. On March 21st,, the 9th ranked team in the league came to the Sanford Pentagon one game behind Sioux Falls. A Skyforce sweep essentially punched their playoff ticket and kicked off a 6-game win streak to close the season. It was almost enough to capture a Central Division title, but home court advantage during the first round of the playoffs against Canton will have to do.