I am convinced that Halifax will win at least one of their two home games against Manchester, and here is why:
– Homecourt advantage is huge in the ABA: Of the 16 games played on the weekend 15 were won by the hometeam. The only visiting team to post a win? Undefeated, reigning champs The Vermont Frostheaves. Halifax’s large crowd will definitely give them an even larger boost. Halifax loves these guys, and we had by far the largest crowd of any ABA season on the 15th. Even if “only” 3000 people show up (my, somewhat hopeful, guess on attendance) it’ll still be the largest crowd most of these guys have played on since college. There’s an outside chance the crowd could be 10 times the size of the crowd that saw the game in Manchester.
– New Hampshire will be exhausted: If I had to bet, I would assume that they will drive up for this game. It’s a long commute and Halifax should be able to take advantage of the fatigue and run on them.
– Halifax are a jump shooting team: And, like all jump shooting teams, they’re streaky. They already had two bad shooting nights, I can’t imagine they’ll have a third and a fourth. If they do then they’re not streaky – they’re just a bad shooting team.
– Halifax should now be able to handle big men a bit better: they hadn’t played a game against a team with real size before the roadtrip. Their preseason outings didn’t give them a chance to defend against players with size, nor did their game against the Blizzard. Rick Lewis and his assistants have hopefully come up with a strategy to contain the Manchester big men, and have had a few days to implement it in practice. And hopefully James Booyer’s height can help out a bit.
That said, even if they do win a game or two this weekend, it will be tough. Manchester are a very good team and their height will still cause Halifax problems. If the Rainmen don’t sink jump shots, and don’t limit the effectiveness of Manchester’s big men (box out, don’t give them position in the post, don’t let them set up a half court defense) then they will extend the losing streak to four.
A pair of links: