When I first started this blog I wrote pretty detailed previews of games, but after the first month or so I defiately cut down on the lengthy previews. There are two main reasons for that:
I realized that you never knew who would show up in the team mini-van on game day.
Halifax started playing the exact same teams over and over again.
I still don’t know if #1 will ever be fixed in the ABA but Halifax is bringing in the Maywood Buzz from California to play this week so it’s time to try to find some info on a new opponent. My thoughts after the jump:
– Maywood are a staggering 4-21. It’s hard to actually compare teams from the east coast with teams from the west coast since they so rarely play each other, but I’ll be disapointed if Halifax can’t beat them. If I were a more cynical man I would suggest that the Rainmen brought in Maywood and Bahamas (1-5) to get some wins to close out the season.
– The west coast is all about scoring and Maywood are no exception. At first glance it looks like they’ve got some prolific scorers but it has to be put into context. Maywood seem to always be in shootouts and they have terrible, terrible defense. They’ve given up 160 or more points twice this season! And they’ve given up 130 or more points nine times. This should be interesting.
– They seem to only play a handful of players who put up some serious numbers. Kevin Bradely is a 6’1 PG who is averaging 30 points a game. I am worried about this guy as Halifax has serious problems against teams who rely on one scorer who can take people off the dribble. Their strength seems to be in a high scoring backcourt with their starting two guard, Darwin Carter, averaging 28 ppg. Both players are shooting over 50%. By contrast, Halifax don’t have a single scorer averaging 20 or more ppg.
– Maywood play in a high school gym, so we’ll see if the crowd/size of the arena affects them at all.
So I think it’s up to Halifax to try to figure out how they’re going to deal with this. I’d expect Maywood to show up with 7 or 8 guys and try to run and gun. Halifax can either try to match them and go small, or slow it down and grind it out. I’d prefer to see them grind it out. I think that this is where Baby Diesel could actually be useful. Throwing him out there with Kadiri is not a great plan, but put him out there with Crookshank and suddenly we have something. Most ABA teams have centres who are 6’8-6’10 and PFs who are 6’6-6’8. With those two guys on the floor someone is getting a mismatch; either Crookshank will be up against a PF he has a bit of height and a lot of strength on, or Tyler has a guy he has 4-6 inch and 80 pound advantage on. Put Oliver (sf), Silverhorn (sg), and Akeem the Dream (pg) and we have a huge line up. Silverhorn can shoot over any 2 guard in the league and a 1-3-1 zone reduces any defensive mismatches. That is NBA size on the court and Crookshank and Oliver both pass well enough to make up for the lack of guards. Maywood’s Cs are both 6’9, their PFs 6’7 and 6’7. Sure this sounds crazy, but is the current system really working all that much better? GO BIG, LEWIS! GO BIG!
I really want Crookshank to have a big game. He had a respectable by quiet 8 and 12 game with only 6 shots from the floor on Friday. On the plus side he did shoot 4-5 from the line. I think that Maywoods lack of size means we will see Crookshank have a monster game. Vermont’s white wash front court has some serious size which kept Eric from getting good post position but if he can get the ball deep in the post then he can dominate.
Two of my friends who have never been to ABA games are joining me for these games so I am interested in getting some fresh perspectives on the organization from them.
The Metro has a bit of a preview that you can find online. It includes this great zinger:
For those who think the Halifax Rainmen are struggling — and no doubt, they are — meet the Maywood Buzz.