Halifax Defeat Atlanta, 134-118

Atlanta arrived for the game without jereseys (they played in Team Canada Hockey t-shirts with athletic tape on the back and unmatching shorts) but played hard and kept to close for 3 and a half quarters.  Halifax pulled away in the fourth and made the score look higher than it was.   I get the feeling that Atlanta tend to run out of gas in the fourth as that’s where Vermont really pulled ahead, too.  The boxscore is online now, and my thoughts are after the jump.

– Atlanta’s coach is a pretty awesome dude.  Really friendly, really appreciative of everything (the hotel, the arena, the hospitality, even the fans heckling them) and a passionate guy without being over the top.  He also did something no team has done yet:  TRAP THE PICK AND ROLL.  I can’t for the life of me figure out why more teams don’t do this against teams that run the offense out of a pick and roll, it throws timing off completely.  Halifax have a good method of breaking this – it’s call Brian Silverhorn and it resulted in 35 points.

– No official word on attendance but my guess would be around 3,000.  Great crowd, lots of energy.

– Silverhorn is catching fire – 35 points including 7-9 from beyond the arc tonight.

– Crookshank had another great game: 29 pts, 12 rebounnds and 7 assists.  Atlanta just have no answer for him down low, and he’s back on fire when it comes to cleaning up misses.

– Pop quiz:  Who took the most shots tonight on the Rainmen?  Was it Silverhorn who was lighting it up all over the court?  Our go to offensive option, Crookshank?  Was it Akeem the Dream who is the new sharpshooter?  Nope.  It was Blandon Ferguson who was 7-21.  The guy just takes too many jumpers.  He has a role on the team, he is the only one willing to slash, but sometimes he gets jump shot happy and it can just kill momentum.  Lewis needs to get him to gear down.

–  The Clark Brothers both had great games.  I love having them as additions to the team.  Jon was 5/6 and gave Halifax an inside presence when Crookshanks was on the bench.  The guy is a great post player who works hard and plays tough defense against the other team’s best big to keep Eric out of foul trouble.  Akeem shot the lights out: 5-6 from beyond the arc and 17 points in 16 minutes.  He adds a second deep threat, but what I like most is his defense.  He hustles back to control opposition transition offenses and switches well.  Great players.

– KD had five blocks, but the defensive play of the game came from Jimmy Twyman.  Atlanta got a steal in their own back court and an Atlanta player thought he was wide open for a dunk.  Jimmy trailed a second player to stop the pass and lined up for a block.  The Atlanta player went for a big one handed dunk and Jimmy blocked him 11 feet in the air.  It was spectacular because everyone just assumed an easy basket.  I get the feeling that Jimmy will be starting come play off time.

–  I honestly think that Halifax can do some real damage in the ABA play offs.  In the NBA playoffs teams with consistant and efficient halfcourt offenses and lock down, grind it out defenses win because of the long play off series.  Every year in the NCAA tournament some 12-16 seed comes out of nowwhere and wins 3 games because they can shoot the lights out, score in transition and have one or two guys who can cause match up problems and can just get hot because you only need to win one game to advance.  The Rainmen are the latter team.  Would I bet on them winning it all?  No way.  But if the games aren’t fixed (big if to be honest) I can see Halifax getting deep and being capable of beating any team.  They have bigs who can match up on D and they have match up problems all over their line up for teams.  We will see how it goes.

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6 thoughts on “Halifax Defeat Atlanta, 134-118

  1. I really like the make up of this team right now.

    I have been asking this all year long, why is ferguson allowed to shoot so many jump shots?

    Atlanta’s center is really undersized on defence, he couldn’t handle any of our post players. However, I think it is the first ABA center I have seen that can step out and hit the three. Ours guys didn’t step out on him and he made them pay. He seems like a power forward with range, not a center.

  2. Good points in the last 2 posts about Atlanta and the Rainmen. The Atlanta coach was very professional, introducing himself to the front table before the game and being the best-dressed coach we have seen in the ABA (sorry, Rick; you came a close second in coach’s wardrobe last night).

    Our team is firing on all pistons and at the right time too: as playoffs approach. Whatever the coaching staff have changed with the new lineup is working, especially for Brian. He is getting a lot more chances to put up uncontested threes and we are seeing his talent shine at last. While it helps that we are playing weaker teams lately, I think we have a good chance in Quebec, even against teams that have previously given us trouble on the court.

    However, my pessimistic side is already thinking about how many/few players will be back next year. Just when we get the team we have been waiting for all season, it will be 9 months before we see them in action again. Given the pay levels for the players, I will not be surprised if a lot of them do not return next year, as life continues in the off-season and other opportunities — basketball-related or not — arise for our veterans.

    I just want to say to the Rainmen, whoever reads this: thanks for a great season, you are all gentlemen and it was nice to meet you and cheer you on from the front row, behind RS Smooth. I hope to see you all again next season and in particular, I will keep putting up KD boxes for Kadiri’s blocks as long as he is in Halifax.

    Best of luck tonight and in Quebec!

  3. Well, I found out by looking at the Vision’s website that their normal center did not make the trip. Puckett (the guy who played center last night) is actually a power forward, he has great range.

  4. Is it too esoteric a reference to say we burned Atlanta last night?

    I have to say that my respect for the Atlanta Vision went up a lot because they made the trip and still played, even without their gear. Thanks for making the effort, gents. See you in Quebec.

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