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.