The Nets have big plans for the Armor, wanting it to be a true development team, not unlike a baseball minor league team. They assigned long-time Nets assistant, Doug Overton, as head coach, brought back several members of the East Conference champs from 2012 and signed two college players who they thought had NBA potential.
Moreover, the original plans had the Armor benefiting from Mason Plumlee, Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia being sent down.
So far, it's not working out very well. On Thursday, the Armor lost again, this time a 31-point blowout to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, a perennial D-League power. The loss, bringing them to 1-8, was on the second night of a back-to-back, having lost the first night to the Texas Legends in heart-breaking, one point fashion.
So far, development is working out very well either. The big loss was Lorenzo Brown, the 6'5" point guard called up by the 76ers, created a still unfilled deficit in the backcourt. And Adonis Thomas, the 6'7" forward who's one of the league's youngest players, has sat the last several games with knee soreness. He did tweet out an encouraging message Thursday night.
Being in training camp with the Brooklyn Nets was crazy seeing so many Hall of Fame guys! All it did was let me know how close I am!— Adonis Thomas (@AllDayThomas) December 20, 2013
Nets injuries have kept the three youngest Nets in the big club's rotation, not the Armor's. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's hurt Springfield.
On the court Thursday, the team's two best young players, former Net Dennis Horner and former Grizzly Willie Reed played well enough, but of course, the 6'9" Horner and 6'10" Reed play upfront where the Nets are deep and of course, there are no roster openings. Horner finished with 22 points, his second straight 20+ point production and Reed had 11 points and five boards. Gary Forbes, who scored 33 in Texas, scored 18 in Rio Grande Valley.
Game Info: Armor at Vipers - D-League