Rainmen Defeat Quebec, 120-130

Halifax played one of the best all around games I’ve seen them play this season, defeating one of the ABA’s better teams who actually traveled with a full bench.  There was a little bit of a drop off in the 4th quarter as the Rainmen lost focus and the refs started bailing the Kebekwa out every time they got near the basket.  There were 1407 fans, the box score is here, and my thoughts are after the jump.

– Halifax’s big men played great tonight.  Eric Crookshank had another good game.  There can be no doubt that he’s been Halifax’s best player.  I think the team’s fortunes turned (relatively speaking) when he established himself as a post presence.  Richard also made me eat my words (again) with a solid 12 pts, 9 boards and 4 blocks.  He’s a serious scoring threat when they get him the ball at the top of the key.  He doesn’t need great position to try to get to the hoop.  Jon Clark had another workman-like game.  I’ve said it before:  I like the way he plays and he fills a need for the Rainmen.  He puts a body on guys, boxes out, has two solid post moves and hustles hard and cares about the game.  JT got in foul trouble fast (5 fouls in five minutes), but at least two of those were just absurd calls, and one of them was questionable.  Refs just don’t know what to do with him and make garbage calls against him.  Unfortunately both Crookshank and Richard had some errant passes.  Kadiri just got over excited on some fast breaks and tried to lob alley-oops that went astray, and Crookshank tossed away a few too many outlet passes.  Eric is the team’s best half court passer, but sometimes he misjudges long outlets.  I think part of the problem is that players sometimes leak out and just go too far.  There needs to be one outlet option in the back court instead of having two guards across half.

– Brian Silverhorn had his best game of the season.  He had 29 points, 11 assists and even chipped in with 4 steals.  He shot 7/8 from beyond the arc and just terrorized Quebec.  When Silverhorn and Crookshank have good games they both have the ability to just demoralize teams.  Some games Eric just dominates in the post and no one can figure out how to stop him, when Silverhorn is hot he breaks teams by knocking down contested threes at the end of the shotclock after teams made good defensive stands.  He’s really benefitted more than anyone else from Lewis’ decision to start adding some new plays.  The curl to the corner has given him some good open looks.

– Lewis coached one of his best games.  The new plays work great, there were fewer defensive mismatches than normal, and he managed time and momentum well.  Most impressive was the way he had players breaking the press.  Quebec’s press in the last quarter was basically useless against them. His substituition pattern was excelllent as well.  That said…

– I am disapointed that Chad Lucas wasn’t there.  First:  I think this was the first quality win against a quality team where Halifax put together an (almost) complete game.  Second:  If you think he hates the 13th man rule now, just imagine what he’ll say when he hears that a team up by 8 with a minute to go puts in the 13th man.  I couldn’t believe it.  Anyone who was at the game knows how I feel.  I get the feeling that the Rainmen players did not disagree with me.

– I also thought Jimmy and the Dream put in good games.  I think Akeem is a great pick up and he’s a great glue guy who takes charges and has the size to guard 3s.  Jimmy produced at PG (19 and 6) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him getting the start in at least one of the games against Bahamas. 

– Speaking of PG:  I really, really like Lewis’ decision to move Lantrice Green out of the starting line up.  Ever since Devino Williams left the team has lacked a good spark plug who can score off the bench.  Lantrice can give that to the team and I think he’s most effective alongside a guard who can play the point.  That said:  Sometimes he settles for three pointers and long twos when he should use his speed to drive to the rim.

–  Non-basketball related:  What the hell is going on with the on the floor entertainment?  The Stadacona band delivered the goods before the game and at halftime, but the last half dozen or so games have become weak as hell when it comes to time out games.  Duncan and I got on and played that blindfolded, arms behind the back thing which was alright (although one prize for two people is kind of uhh… dumb.  But hey!  I like free stuff so I’m not complaining).  That monkey in the middle game is absolutely the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen.  It just confuses me: What is the point of it?  Who wins?  What are the rules?  Is it supposed to bore the fans half to death, or is that just an accident?  Who thought that game would be entertaining?  TheRainmen had super crisp, super fun, professional looking, energetic games and entertainment that was times perfectly to get the crowd going.  The order of when they happend in a game was good, people doing them had fun, people in the stands saw an upbeat and fun game where they could cheer for one contestant/team, etc.  Then sometime recently something changed.  I have no idea what, but as someone who has seen 15 home games I have to say that the last few have had something different, and worse, about the in game entertainment.  It kind of sucks, because I thought the Rainmen were top flight in that regard.

–  Two home games left, including a season closer on a Friday night.  I really hope the place is packed.  The players and the organization deserve on last big crowd for the season.  Although, there are rumours of a home play off game.  Here’s hoping.

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17 thoughts on “Rainmen Defeat Quebec, 120-130

  1. Its funny I really have nothing to say becasue Chirs puts it all very well, maybe I shouldn’t talkj to him all game. I really liked Jimmy this game I think he took alot of better shots and broke the press well. and I really like the shoot the middle strategy for breaking the press.

    I would also like to call out Lucas but he may have had an overwhelming weekend.

    Halifax got better play from it’s bench with 47 points and had a bunch more fast break and 2nd chance points. I enjoyed all the blocks and I think there were more than the 8 the box score says. Silverhorn had a great game and I really liked the way we shot free throws today. Much Much better. I did not agree with putting in the 13th man but I don’t like that rule anyway. I really like the defensive effort through the 1st 3 quarters but with a little break down in the 4th.

    I would like to restate that something changed in the entertainment in the last few games. I do not like it at all. It was great with some great games and then the “keep away” thing? no idea what that was.

    I seemed to see alot of basketballs at this game and I was thinking that this might be becasue they have ABA printed on it?

    I like Green and Blandon driving to the basket and I think they should do it more.

    Great game by Jon Clark with his workmanship.

    Richard was back to his old smiling self and had a great game.

    Tyler had some BS calls against him.

    Fortier is a great player.

    Liked Lewis’s rotation more this game. Much much more.

    Lots of energy plays this game.

    Great game overall.

  2. We finally beat a good team at home. I was really impressed this game. Our offence has really improved as of late, no more one on one for 23 seconds followed by a contested 3.

    Silverhorn was lights out; I think this is the first good game I have seen him play against a quality opponent. For whatever reason his shots weren’t falling against good teams, probably bad luck, he was a great looking shot and NBA range.

    Jimmy looked great, he really impressed me, and just getting used to the team has done wonders for him.

    Our additions have worked out really well, Tyler went out and fouled like crazy and the refs just got used to blowing him down on anything, he is useful player in short bursts. He brings a definite presence to the court. The Clark brothers are great as well; they really mesh well with the team.

    Great game against a good team.

  3. Really good game for the Rainmen, I think the recently-added players round out the team that needed more size and forwards. This momentum will serve us well in the playoffs, which are fast approaching.

    Maybe someone should smack Brian on the nose before every game; he was the man against Quebec, draining 7 of 8 three-pointers. I like when he goes to the hoop too, because he usually draws a foul, which is like giving him 2 extra points.

    Coach Lewis is improving with this new line-up, with good subbing all through the game, versus the 5-on, 5-off routine. Having more than a couple plays helps the team play better and is much more interesting for fans to watch. Plus, the guys win more games because they are not so predictable to defend.

    Good passing, although a few got away. I truly think Jimmy’s experience as a Globetrotter is rubbing off on his teammates, with that great set-up bounce off the glass for Eric to absolutely crush into the net. Nice no-look passes and fast passing too, even though a couple errant attempts led to turn-overs.

    Considering Quebec is a strong team, we seem to have little trouble with them, as shown by last night’s performance. Let’s hope we play them in Quebec City!

    In other news, I was really disappointed by the DND turnout at the game. Considering the tickets were half-price or so, there should have been 1,000 more people there. Maybe it wasn’t promoted soon enough?

    The entertainment is the weakest part of the evening, with between three (THREE!?!) and eight WG’s still performing their handful of routines and the lamest game I have ever seen of Keep-Away. That game has got to stop. I felt bad for the contestants, bad for the crowd and bad for me because I could have gone for a walk or something. I say bring back the Dizzy Bats and Oversize Trikes!

    I will say it again: the WG’s need to start leading some cheers and distracting the opposition’s free throw attempts. Use those pom-poms, ladies!

  4. I really liked Lewis’s coaching more this game with the motion offence plays and the breaks. Good work with the subbing as well I completely agree with Phil.

    I am wondering about the playoffs though with a possibility of a home game. I would be excited to see that and I think that turnout would be great and an electric atmosphere.

    Oh yea and just to clarify. I have fun with the coach of Quebec about his Mercedes shirt but they are actually a large sponsor for them. Good sponsor but creates alot of fun for us.

  5. Man. I miss one game all season and you guys give me grief?

    I am sorry that I had to miss this one, though. It sounds like it was actually a decent win instead of a blowout against a bum team. But between travelling to Acadia last weekend and the university men’s finals coming up this weekend, I pretty much had to take Wednesday off. Oh well. It gave someone else a chance to appreciate your heckling. My colleague Glenn covered the game and thought you guys were a riot.

    Chris is right, though: sending in the 13th man in a close game would have made me crazy. I can’t blame Quebec for fouling the guy.

  6. Quebec is never mentioned as one of the best teams, but from what I have seen, they are below only Halifax and Vermont.

  7. I figured your 6 games in three days or whatever you had to do over the NS Basketball Super Weekend were the cause of your absence. That and you having a family and stuff. But it sucks you weren’t there: I would have enjoyed seeing your head explode when the 13th man walked to the scorers table with over a minute to go in an 8 point game.

    One of the many, many, many reasons why a new league would be good for the Rainmen is the lack of a 13th man rule.

    And Joe: I definately agree. (I like how we rank teams based on professionalism, not win/loss record) They play in a real arena (albeit a smallish one), have real sponsors and real fan support and haven’t been responsible for any cancellations. I hope that wherever the Rainmen end up it’s the same place as the Kebekwa. I can see them as natural rivals for the Rainmen and they seem like a quality organization.

  8. Good article by Chris Cochrane of the Herald about Mr. Levingston and the Rainmen’s contributions to the basketball community:

    http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/Columnists/1041735.html

    Although I can’t make it this weekend, I recommend everyone go to the tournament at the Metro Centre this weekend. It is a good chance to see good local teams vying to be our regional rep at nationals.

    Schedule:

    March 7 Quarterfinal games: 6 PM and 8:15 PM
    March 8 Semifinal games: 6 PM and 8:15 PM
    March 9 Final game: 2 PM

    The prices are ridiculously low: $48 for adults, $30 for students/seniors & $15/youth FOR ALL 5 GAMES! Prices for each day are $18, $12 & $6. This gets you both games on either Friday or Saturday, or the final on Sunday.

    Here is the AUS website for full details:

    http://www.atlanticuniversitysport.com/final6/

  9. FIVE NORTHEAST TEAMS TO COMPLETE FOR SPOT IN ABA CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS
    07-Mar-2008
    Indianapolis, IN — The American Basketball Association announced that five teams would complete for a spot in the ABA Championship Playoffs to be held in Quebec, Canada from March 27-30.

    “There’s no doubt that the Northeast was our strongest division,” stated Joe Newman, ABA CEO (More like their only “real” division). Already Vermont and Manchester, as well as Quebec have secured a playoff spot. We’ll add one more with games between Newark-Boston, Montreal-Westchester, the two will play and then play Halifax for the final spot.”
    Obviously, it is going to be a tough situation for four of those teams, but we feel that this is the best scenario and know that the deserving team will end up in Quebec.”

    Complete details, dates and times can be found on the teams’ Web sites.

  10. Even with all the links we give him Chad even hyperlinks his own name ha ha Just joking. Chad completely understand the missing of the game. Underdog Dal for AUS champs. (note that I know Simon Farine from High school so im kind of bias also that I go to Dal)

  11. Chris also wanted to comment on your unorthadox “120-130” for the title of the article. I think it should be a new trend.

  12. OK, this is a long one. I will also post it on my blog philkempton.blogspot.com, for those who want to read it in larger print, or if you want to read the rest of my musings on the Rainmen and other subjects.

    Latest news on the playoffs from ABAlive.com

    http://www.abalive.com/news/releases/?newsid=2008030706005

    5 out of 8 teams will receive byes!?! OK… Anyway, the teams getting byes are Vermont, Manchester, San Diego, Texas Tycoons and the host team, Quebec.

    Beijing has 5 players trying out for the Olympics, so they are not participating.

    Unfortunately, the other 12 teams still in contention will have to battle for only 3 regional spots. No one said the ABA made sense.

    Below are the respective press releases for each division playoff and my thoughts on them:

    South division: http://www.abalive.com/news/releases/?newsid=2008030706006

    Three teams in the South division: West Texas Whirlwind, Georgia Gwizzlies, and Atlanta Vision. West Texas (3-6) will play Georgia (1-7) — what a clash of the Titans!

    The winner will go on to lose to Atlanta (6-2), who is pretty much guaranteed a spot, even though they have only played 8 games, beating such notable teams as the aforementioned Gwizzlies and the incomparable Bahama Pro Show (1-5, to be 1-7 after next week in Halifax).

    I reiterate my protest that a team like Atlanta, who has so far played only 8 games of an 18-game season does not deserve to be in the playoffs against teams like Halifax, who have laboured to play as many games as possible.

    West division: http://www.abalive.com/news/releases/?newsid=2008030706008

    Four West division teams:San Fran (5-10), OC (14-12), Maywood (3-23) and Long Beach (10-7) will play off to send their representative to Quebec.

    My guess is that the doormats of the league — Maywood, as if I had to say their name, which should be Maywouldn’t — and San Fran will fall to OC and Long Beach, who appear to be fairly good teams. Both OC and Long Beach have recently beaten higher-ranked teams, so they are both feeling good. Their matchup should be a good one.

    Long Beach pretty much owns OC, winning all five of their matches this season, although the margins have been getting closer over the past few games. I’m going to say Long Beach goes to Quebec.

    Northeast division: http://www.abalive.com/news/releases/?newsid=2008030706007

    Five teams from our Northeast division will play for the chance to play in Quebec. Jersey (7-10) will play Boston (8-16) and Montreal (8-17) will play Westchester (8-6). The winners of those games play off to see who will go against Halifax for the Northeast spot in the Awesome 8, or whatever they call it.

    You may not remember Jersey or Westchester. They both cancelled games with us (which should have been forfeits for the record books, but I am not the league statistician).

    Jersey appears to have a defensive game, with most of their opponents scoring an average of only 108 points per game. Unfortunately, Jersey has an average score of 103 points. They lost big to Vermont (but who hasn’t?) and luckily they had First State to beat up on, to help Jersey’s record with 4 of Jersey’s 7 wins coming against the Fusion.

    Westchester has beaten Jersey 4 out of their 5 matches of the season, with close scoring margins in 4 of the games (between 1 and 9 points), so Jersey is probably a weaker team than their record shows.

    This is a bit of a toss-up, given the lack of exposure to Westchester or Jersey, but my guess is Jersey will win over Boston (Jersey did beat the Kebs, after all) and Montreal should beat Westchester. Montreal whupped the Phantoms in their only match-up this season, 130-96.

    In the play-off, I think Montreal will win over Jersey, based on Montreal’s record versus Jersey’s record against common opponents, as well as Montreal’s experience against a variety of teams, rather than Jersey’s history of only playing a few teams who happen to be within an hour’s drive, except for getting trounced in Vermont and Beijing. Come to think of it , maybe that’s why Jersey doesn’t travel much, they get destroyed away from home.

    Our game against Montreal should be a good one. Even though they won the season series 3-2 against us, our team is by far the strongest it has ever been and we are riding a high of wins (assuming the Bahama Pro Show don’t stack their team with Vermont players). If Montreal plays their scheduled end-of-season games in Beijing, I think they will lose to us in the playoffs, either because we will play better than them, or they will still be suffering from jetlag or depression after probably losing both games in China. Getting past Westchester will likely empty Montreal’s gas tank, just in time for our well-rested players to run up and down the court against them on the way to victory.

    So there you have it: we have a playoff game, probably at home, since the other teams are playing off to get to us, and probably against Montreal.

    Looks good for us going to Quebec!

  13. “(assuming the Bahama Pro Show don’t stack their team with Vermont players).”

    Not likely (I know you are kidding). While I can imagine that our guys like sunny weather, we have a game next week in Atlanta and then play them again a few days before the All Star Game in Barre.

  14. I just received this press release:

    RAINMEN ANNOUCE FUTURE PLANS

    (Halifax, N.S.) Owner of The Halifax Rainmen has officially removed the team from the American Basketball Association, effective 10:00 a.m. today, March 19. The Rainmen will be not participating in the league’s play-offs, scheduled in Quebec later this month.

    “After all the challenges we faced this year, it became obvious that the ABA is not the right league for the Halifax Rainmen. Our fans, our corporate partners, our season tickets holders and this city deserve better, and I will do every thing I can to deliver,” added team owner Andre Levingston.

    Levingston is excited to announce future plans of the Halifax Rainmen. The team plans to make a run at becoming a member of the NBA’s Developmental League.

    “I am so thrilled to begin the process of negotiating to become an NBA Developmental team. Tomorrow we will start to assemble a task force of professionals to begin to make our case to present to the league as soon as possible,” said Levingston.

    Levingston commits the Rainmen will stay in Halifax regardless of the success of the future NBA D-League negotiations.

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