Austin's own Toros are ready for the playoffs after record-breaking season
After completing the season with a club record 33 wins, the Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs) are set to begin the first round NBA Development League playoffs against the Erie Bayhawks (New York Knicks) Thursday at Tullio Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania.
As the D-League playoff format allows the division winner to choose their opponent, the third-seeded Toros left the decision to chance by literally pulling the Bayhawks' name out of a hat. The Toros had a choice between the Bayhawks and the Bakersfield Jam who had identical season records of 28-22. While the series starts in Erie, the Toros will have the opportunity to close out the first round of the playoffs on their own turf since they have home court advantage in the best-of-three game series.
The Austin Toros are the first professional basketball team to make Austin their home. The club relocated to the Cedar Park Center last season after playing in the Austin Convention Center since 2005, when the Columbus Riverdragons first moved the club to Austin and renamed them the Toros. In 2007, the San Antonio Spurs acquired the Toros, and Austin became the second franchise to be owned by an NBA team after the Los Angeles Lakers bought the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
The Erie Bayhawks are the New York Knicks D-League affiliate. The Bayhawks are a 2008-2009 D-Leauge expansion team whose name is a reference to Presque Isle Bay, where Erie is located. Former Knicks star and current Assistant General Manager became Director of Basketball Operations for Erie when the teams entered into a hybrid, exclusive three-year deal this season. Previously the Bayhawks were shared affiliations with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors.