Playing the only game in the D-League Wednesday night, the Flash fell to the Sioux Falls Skyforce 98-109 in a chippy affair. Reggie Williams (29 points) and the rest of the Skyforce put on a dominant performance belying the lovely teal Sioux Falls uniforms. A ferocious dunk by SF’s Raymond Sykes shown in the clip above had the whole gym buzzing for the rest of the game.
On the Utah side, the Flash welcomed the arrival of former teammate Kevin Kruger. The former UNLV rebel played the last two seasons for the Flash but was out of basketball the last few months after taking a chance with Napoli of the Italian first division. Kruger got the call from the Flash yesterday at his home in Las Vegas, ran a few errands Wednesday morning, drove to Orem that afternoon, arrived at 5:30pm and played in the game at 7pm.
“I just told Coach [Brad Jones], you know, I’m not in my true form but if you need me, I’m ready,” Kruger said. “It’s a tough league — you only get 10 players, so it’s pretty easy to use the entire team. In terms of me playing, I thought [Coach Jones] did me a huge favor because he let me come in and play two or three minutes and get my feet wet, because it’s been a few months since I’ve played a basketball game. So then when I came back in the second half I felt normal — felt like I usually feel.”
Kruger obviously felt great being back on a basketball court after sitting around watching UNLV games, but the rest of the Flash didn’t fare so well. The game was a microcosm of the way things have gone this season: moments of brilliance surrounded by uneven play and inconsistent effort. Coach Jones had to be restrained by assistant Mark Madsen at one point in the fourth quarter while Jones argued a call with the officials, but his frustration clearly started with his own team.
“We let guys get the ball at half court late in the shot clock and just let them put their head down and go all the way to the basket and no one rotates to help,” said Jones after the game. “That’s indicative of how the entire night went. We played the same as we did before the break; we played just well enough to get beat. They travelled all the way from Sioux Falls, had one day to practice, and they’re the ones who have energy. It’s just disappointing.”
It was a rowdy atmosphere all night long. The crowd was listed at 4000+ but felt larger with all the noise. The Flash get another home game on Friday against the Albuquerque Thunderbirds to wash down the taste of this game. Tipoff is at 7p.m.