Albuquerque hasn’t completely faded away, but the Thunderbirds are becoming less and less of a threat to the Erie BayHawks’ playoff hopes.
After the Colorado 14ers pounded by them by 28 points Wednesday night, the Thunderbirds now need to win their final two games and have Erie lose its final two games in order to catch the BayHawks for that eighth and final playoff spot.
Albuquerque owns the tiebreaker against Erie.
The Thunderbirds (23-25) will likely hold up to their end of the bargain because their last two games are at home Friday and Saturday against Tulsa, which has the D-League’s worst record at 14-34. Albuquerque is 4-1 against Tulsa.
Erie (25-23) may even find a way to lose its last two games against Fort Wayne (19-29). The BayHawks, who are 3-2 against the Mad Ants, play at Fort Wayne on Friday and at face their Central Division rivals at home on Saturday.
However, the Thunderbirds also need Reno (24-24) and Sioux Falls (24-24) to lose their last two games so they can move ahead of them.
Then again, if Erie, Sioux Falls, Albuquerque and Reno all end the year at 25-25, the Thunderbirds would win the tiebreaker.
It’s based on better winning percentage among all head-to-head games.
1. Albuquerque: 4-2 (.666 winning percentage)
(1-1 vs. Reno, 1-1 vs. Sioux Falls, 2-0 vs. Erie)
2. Erie: 6-5 (.545)
(1-1 vs. Reno, 1-1 vs. Albuquerque, 4-3 vs. Sioux Falls)
3. Reno 3-3 (.500)
(1-1 vs. Albuquerque, 1-1 vs. Reno, 1-1 vs. Sioux Falls)
4. Sioux Falls 5-6 (.454)
(1-1 vs. Albuquerque, 1-1 vs. Reno, 3-4 vs. Erie)
Reno closes out the season Thursday at Los Angeles (18-31) and Saturday at home against Colorado. Sioux Falls’ final two games are at Iowa (26-22) on Friday and Saturday at home against Anaheim (15-33).