The crowd of about 4000 was treated to a surprisingly good game of basketball on Thursday. I was kind of skeptical and didn’t quite know what to expect, but the Rainmen have some really good players and Boston, despite being undermanned played well.
Boston only brought eight players up for the trip and due to border problems didn’t get to Halifax until a four hours before the game. The fatigue showed as they were leading after the first quarter but quickly lost ground as the Rainmen’s superior numbers and athleticism overcame the Blizzard. Boston also were missing their most high profile player, former Boston College stand out Steve Hailey.
Halifax love to run and they’ve picked players that lend themselves to this style. There was a lot of running and a whole lot of shooting. There were a lot of possessions in which shots went up with 16 seconds or more left on the shot clock. In particular, Halifax loves the long ball. They shot 41% from behind the arc, but only 48% overall. The other major thing worth noting is that I don’t think the Rainmen scored a single point in the post – everything is either jump shots or drives to the hoop. No one on the team seems to be able to play with their backs to the basket. We’ll see how that plays out throughout the season.
While the scoring was balanced (all 11 players scored, and 7 players were in double digits) Brian Silverhorn is obviously the best scorer on this team. The man could not miss a jump shot. Boston played a zone and that left Silverhorn open on the perimeter all night. If he can keep getting those open looks Halifax will be very hard to beat. Boston often ran a full court zone press, but Halifax easily broke it almost every time. The Rainmen have a dirth of ball handlers and were calm when the Blizzard pressured them.
Most of the talk about the Rainmen has been about the 136 points they put up, but they need some credit for their defense. Halifax played man to man defense and kept Boston on the perimeter. They forced Boston to hit jump shots but contested almost everything. Boston did occasionally try to post up Hardy Riley (point guard) and Devino Wiggington (plays two guard, but due to his his lack of height he was defending the opposing PG). Riley is short (5’7) but has the strength to avoid being backed down too deep in the post. Wiggington, however may become a defensive liability against a team with a point guard who can play with his back to the basket. He’s listed as 6’0, 140 lbs. but he looks closer to 5’10/5’11 and may be lighter than 140. He just lacks the strength to defend strong guards, but his speed and fearlessness going to the net makes him deadly in a transition offense. He needs to hit the gym. When Boston did beat someone on the perimeter tried to drive they found some success, but when he was on the floor Kadiri Richard protected the rim blocking six shots and altering a few more. 6’10 Chad Eichelberger (the only player with some serious height on the Rainmen roster) also demonstrated an ability to protect the rim.
You can check out the box score on the Rainmen website.
Points: 28 -Brian Silverhorn (including a team high 7/10 on 3 pointers)
Assists: 7 – Peter Benoite
Rebounds: 13 – Eric Crookshank
Blocks: 6 – Kadiri Richard (in just 15 minutes. This guy is by far my favourite Rainman, with the possible exception of Dennis Hoffman)
Steals: 3 – Jermaine Anderson