After averaging a team-high 21.4 points per game with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this season, Andrew Goudelock got called up a little over a week ago to the L.A. Lakers after just one Playoff game. It was great news for Mini-Mamba, but not so great news for the Vipers.
Although the Vipers finished the regular season with the second best record in the D-League at 35-15, I thought they would struggle to make it to the finals without Goudelock running the show. But I was wrong. Very, very, very wrong.
Instead, the Vipers haven’t lost a game (4-0) and they now find themselves with home-court advantage in the D-League Finals against the Santa Cruz Warriors.
So, without their MVP around, how have they done it? Well, it’s been a team effort, but the person who has led the way for them is the former BayHawk, D.J. Kennedy.
Kennedy had an outstanding regular season and as a result, he’s widely regarded as one of the best guards in the D-League. But his stock has risen quite a bit since the start of the Playoffs, thanks to his incredible averages of 21.3 points, 47.5% FG, 43.5% 3PT, 10.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals in the Vipers’ four game. And in a closeout game against the Tulsa 66ers on Sunday night, Kennedy has his best game of the season, as he scored 28 points (8-15 FG), grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 10 assists.
If D.J. Kennedy continues this hot streak, the Warriors could be in big trouble.