Well tonight was closer than last night, but I don’t think it was a better game. There were 1,740 people there tonight but no figures were given for last night – my guess is about 800 fans. Boxscores for tonights game are available here, last night’s scores are available here. My thoughts on both games after the jump.
Last night Halifax jumped to a 10 lead and never gave it up but tonight Maywood actually gave them a game for the first quarter or so…. unfortunately it all went to hell after that.
Quick thoughts specific to tonight:
– Silverhorn was out with a broken nose. Much like Chad Lucas, I can’t remember a play on which he may have actually broken it on Wednesday. Although, I do have a vague memory of standing up and refering to Maywood as the “Goon Squad” so it may have been around that time. I am really hoping he wears the Rip Hamilton mask for the rest of the season.
– Oliver also didn’t play, but I saw him getting ready to check into the game in the first… so my guess is that since he was the 11th guy out there he didn’t fit into the five on five off scheme that Lewis chose.
– Jad Crognac was the 13th player tonight. My initial reaction was that it’s kind of absurd for the co-owner to make herself the 13th man – but then I remembered that Maywood’s owner made himself coach and (at least for this weekend) a player on his team. I will say this: wasn’t she supposed to have been a university basketball player 10 years ago? I know you lose some athleticism but I expect you to be able to hit an uncontested lay up. My opinion of the 13th man rule remains unchanged. (also, one of the California teams had an actual player who put up 12 points in a game on their roster… she then left them to join a WNBA training camp)
More generally I thought that in both games Maywood showed a serious lack of interest in playing defense. Yes, they were being blown out, but they just don’t seem to care about playing D at all. I also thought that they were terrified of any physical contact whatsoever.
The Rainmen looked good against bad opponents both nights. They’ve added a whole bunch of new offensive plays including something that resembles a box motion offense, they’re switching up defensive schemes on the fly, and most impressive to me: they’re communicating on defense, pointing out loose men, switching on screens, etc.
Thoughts on individual players that stood out for one reason or another:
– James Tyler – YES! This is exactly what I wanted out of him. I think he’s good in 5-8 minute bursts where he picks up rebounds (particularly offensive boards) and just puts them back. I love the way this guy plays (as shown by my Crookshank jersey, I like post players). He’s not dominant but for a 19 year old kid who only picked up the game 4 years ago I am very, very pleased.
– Jon Clark – Yes!! I am also stoked on Clark. He is exactly what the team needed – a big, slow white dude who bangs down low, has a nice baby hook and gets scrappy boards and can guard strong bigs. Great pick up.
– Akeem The Dream – I am also pleased with him. He is smart and plays good defense. I would have liked to see him play some PG this week as he was on the court with Wiggington and Green all weekend where he played defacto swing man. I think he’s a great glue guy and he gives us another deep threat to replace the loss of Devino Williams.
– Derico Wiggington Downey – Well I have been pushing hard online for him to get some more playing time and he got 19 minutes both games and made me look slightly silly. He was just too jumpy and too desperate to make something happen. He was trying to do too much and has shown that he is not a particularly good decision maker (7 to in two games) with very limited shooting range. Most disapointing was his inability to finish at the rim, which is supposed to be his strength. It’s a classic example of a guy with skills which allow him to dominate weaker competition (speed and quickness, insane leaping ability, guts) not being able to handle competition which he can’t physically dominate. I still think he has potential to be a reasonable minor league player, but I think he’s of limited use to the team this year. I still think his best bet would be to upgrade his marks and try to get onto a college team 16 months from now. He is incredibly physically gifted, but he needs real coaching and real playing time againsnt good opposition to develop those gifts.
– Kadiri Richard – Made me eat my words. He had two great games and seems to be re-energized. He had five blocks tonight and was huge on the boards in both games.
I am glad so many guys got time, but I would have liked to see Lewis experiment with different combinations and guys in different positions. Hopefully we’ll see some of that against the woeful Bahama All Pro Show.