So after way too much speculation and guessing on the part of myself and others we will finally get to see (or at least hear) about how Halifax stacks up against other teams as the Rainmen take on the Quebec Kebs tonight in Quebec City.
I would not be shocked if Halifax lose this game even though I think they’re the better team. Quebec have had an active pre-season playing three games already, all against Manchester. Including tonight’s game they will play six pre-season games total. They had a pretty solid loss in their first game against an absolutely stacked Millrats team, then they won the next game, and finally lost in over time in the rubber match of the series. They’re not only Halifax’s first pre-season opponent, they’re likely to be their best. Playing your first real game against a team who have played three games already is a tough proposition, so we’ll see how it goes.
They are one of the few PBL teams with serious size with Jonas Pierre and Simplice Njoya both legit 6’10+ centres and a number of good sized power forwards, as a result they should test the Halifax front court which I think is the team’s strong point. Last year Quebec were a gritty team who grinded out hard wins, and it appears that they’re the same way this year. I expect it to be close no matter whar and the physicality of guys like Bailey and Sanders to be key to the Rainmen having a chance to pull this one out.
Halifax’s front line is in a bit of a weird spot since there is only one centre in the line up and he may not be in the best physical shape at the moment. Glenn Dandridge has only been with the team for a week, so how he plays will also be a bit of a question mark. (on a side note: you have to think that Dandridge wasn’t brought in because they thoughts that he was the best available guy who could play shooting guard, but because they really think they need another 6’6 guy who has questionable defence who can shoot threes. First they sign Sam Mack, then they try to get Nathan Clark, then they get Dandridge. They’re all basically the same player… seems like an odd need to go after when you have Silverhorn)
Charles Fortier is the heart and soul of the Kebs, but I would actually expect him to be kept in check tonight. He gets most of his point by just overpowering opposing two guards and with the platoon of small forwards likely to see time at shooting guard I can’t see him pushing our guys out of the way for offensive boards and post ups.
Due to it being the first game I am not sure just how good this will be at telling us how good a team Halifax is, but hopefully we will get some idea about some of the question marks like who will start, if SirVal is as good as advertised, where Jeanty is going to get minutes, etc. I would expect Lewis to go 11 deep as he tries to figure out how good everyone is and what combinations work together, so I won’t hold that against him. (If he does five on five off then you’d better believe I will hold that against him.)