Halifax Defeat Chicago 127-125

Halifax pulled out a tight win in a close game despite starting off terrible (they were down 16 at one point in the first quarter, I think).

– Halifax were very sloppy at times of offense with too many turn overs, particularly in transition.

– Halifax went into half time down by three and should have been down by even more.  They played horribly and were out rebounded 43-25 in that half (this is from memory) but a a big huge third quarter by Silverhorn pushed them ahead – he knocked down five three pointers in the quarter.  I sat next to Chad Lucas for the game and we came to the conclusion that no matter how bad Halifax play they are still in games because of Dandridge and Silverhorn’s ability to not just hit three points, but to hit contested three pointers.  Silverhorn also looked great getting to the basket tonight and came up with a huge steal at the end of the game to seal it.

– Jimmy Twyman say on the bench in street clothes.  SirVal did not play at all today despite dressing and warming up and Mayes and McNeal both started but played only the first five minutes or so and never returned.  Mayes looked a bit uncomfortable and McNeal looked pretty bad.  I really think McNeal just needs some confidence.   Lewis needs to tell him that he’s starting the next game next to one of the point guards and playing the first eight minutes no matter what.  They need to open up the game by running a couple of plays for him to get his confidence up and just see how he does.  If he doesn’t improve then they need to go looking for another guard.

– Speaking of which – Halifax need a two guard who can defend fast peremeter shooting guards.  Chicago’s two guards got inside way too much this game, and Halifax don’t have the option of playing small.  Halifax are really missing JB Murray for his versatility in the backcourt and McGriff for his ability to actually start at centre.

– With Jimmy out, Hammack started.  He looked much better in this game and hit a few big threes.  He’s got an unbelievable handle on the ball and is incredible at forcing turnovers.  I would love to see Halifax run an honest full court press just to see him and Crookshank picking off passes.  Crookshank’s defending looked really good tonight at times when he got in the lane and tipped a lot of passes and slapped loose a lot of balls.  In general though, Halifax’s defense looked suspect with too many uncontested shots and too many easy drives to the hoop.

–  Sanders is still a jerk and I love it.  He came up with a huge block and then got in the guy’s face and he had a few big dunks and pushed some guys around.  He also set a really hard screen that got Hammack open for a three down the stretch.

–  In the single most unlikely event I could imagine, James Booyer was playing for Chicago.  I hardly recognized him because he wasn’t in street clothes.  Believe it or not but this is the first time that we have seen him in a uniform in Halifax.  Who would have guessed that guy would show up?

–  The coaches for Chicago were losing their minds at the refs and particluarly at the scoring table.  Their objections to the scoring table were dumb:  they simply didn’t get the media time out rule, nor did they keep track of their own player’s fouls or their own time outs.  Their objections to the refs were more than fair:  it was just a terribly reffed game and I am not sure what the result would have been had the refs been more on the ball.  They missed things both ways, but I think Halifax got a bit more help than Chicago did.

– Chicago traveled with eight players plus two coaches and had the new PBL uniforms on which looked pretty good.  They had more size than I expected and their roster clearly did not match up with the roster on the PBL website or the Throwbacks website.

– In other PBL pre-season news: Vermont defeated Quebec 96-85 and Manchester beat Montreal 104-96 in Vermont and it was 101-99 home win for Battle Creek over Mid-Michigan.

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14 thoughts on “Halifax Defeat Chicago 127-125

  1. Those are not the new PBL uniforms. They were last year’s. And, in my opinion, they were cheap looking. They were just screened, boring cheap uniforms. But yeah, that one was a bit ugly. More thoughts to come.

  2. Who would have thought that we’d play Dandridge at point for most of the game? It was weird but it wasn’t a disaster. I don’t think he should be playing there unless we were setting up for a buzzer beating three, but I thyink he will be okay playing at the two. He has really proven that he belongs. Now we need to see if Mayes can play the two or get another guard who can play in the open court and get to the line.

  3. I somehow forgot to mention the insanity of Dandridge at the point. I think he’s an okay two guard, but I think his talents are wasted at the point – he’s better off coming off screens to shoot the ball. He simply cannot get the looks he needs when he has the ball in his hand that much. This is where we’re missing a guy like JB Murray – someone who can slide in and play point guard if need be. I think the best strategy on offense in situations like this is to play Dandridge at the “point” but have him play the ball into the high post early to Crookshank or Sanders who are both proving to be pretty incredible passers in the post. The real danger is on offense – we had Jeanty against the point guard which is not even close to an ideal situation.

    I don’t know if finding a guard who can get to the line at will is that much of a need anymore. Sanders can get to the line pretty much whenever he wants at this point. He’s just such a handful for opposing fours and fives when he drives that he is pretty much automatic free throws. Jeanty has also shown the ability to get to the line.

    It’s a smaller two guard who can match up against opposing guards and play spot minutes at the point that is the major need for this team (along with a legit starting centre). Of course, we don’t know what a healthy SirValiant Brown looks like either. God, he’d better hurry up and play. I don’t want to see another James Booyer situation.

  4. I will probably miss today’s games because I am stuck at work, but I have a few quick thoughts:

    -McNeal looked terrible last night. The game was just on another level. I knew he would be raw, but he just didn’t do what I expected. He somehow got backed down into the post, and he had trouble grabbing rebounds. We need a starting calibre center. That being said, he only played with a bunch of our bench guys. He is huge and he is fairly athletic for his size. He might look better with some other guys on the floor. It’s too bad because The Crime Dog would have been perfect for this team.
    -Mayes looks terrified. He must be able to offer more than this. He had a great college career. Is he just having a tough time adjusting to the two spot? Is it just confidence? Or does he really have nothing to offer? I have no clue. We need to find out soon.
    -I really want to see what SirVal can do. I love Jimmy’s game, and Hammack looks like a solid bench player with a great knack for reading the other team’s passes. However, in my mind, Jimmy is the hands down starter right now.
    -Sanders and Crookshank are two of the flashiest passers I have ever seen. These guys are incredible big man playmakers. I love it.

  5. Late thoughts:

    Rob Sanders: Everything that made me love to hate him when he was with Manchester now makes me love to love him with Halifax. Hard screens, good decisions, swagger, flair… but the one thing I liked the most was how hard he was fouling. He does that Pat-Riley’s-Knicks thing where his obvious fouls are so hard, refs tend not call his ticky-tack stuff as much. So much impact when him and Crooks got in the game.

    Brian Silverhorn: Fantastic game, especially that killer steal at the end that kept Chicago from tying the game. You could see the work he put in on improving his shooting under pressure paying off.

    Dandridge: It was surprising to see him play the point, but honestly, I don’t think the Rainmen suffered at all. He made good decisions, didn’t turn it over at all to Chicago’s little guards, and still got his shots. If anything, I think it helped his offense since he was forced to distribute the ball more and not take so many terrible shots early in the clock like in the first.

    McNeal: I’m in the minority here, but I liked what I saw. he had a few great plays in his limited time including a crazy post up where he tied up two post defenders with those gigantic shoulders, plus a third coming in, leaving Silverhorn all alone. He had a GIANT stop at the end of his time as well where he flat out suffocated one of Chicago’s forwards, though he followed that up with a pass to the timekeeper and was pulled almost right away. He’s raw, but he’s definitely further along than Tyler was. Give him another game or two, I think he’ll be fine.

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