Rainmen Defeat Quebec, 124-112

Pictures taken by Richard LaFortune

Pictures taken by Richard LaFortune

Halifax opened the season with a solid win against the Kebs.  Quebec got taken out of their game by getting caught up in battling the officials and Halifax road out a few rough patches to get back in the game.  You can get the boxscore on the PBL stat page, you can see some pictures taken by Richard LaFortune here and Chad Lucas live blogged the whole thing.  My thoughts are available in point form after the jump.

– The crowd was 4,012 which is about 300 people smaller than last year’s franchise opener and biggest crowd ever.  I gather it’s not as high as Andre had hoped, but it’s still great.  The crowd was pretty subdued until a second quarter pass off the backboard for a Crookshank dunk got people into it.  Late in the fourth quarter some drunk dudes behind me joined in the heckling and the crowd in general started really getting into it.

–  Lewis showed some actual coaching adjustments, particularly when it came to defending the pick and roll.  His substituting pattern was totally reasonable with nine guys getting rotation minutes.

– SirVal and Mayes both had games which I would call bad.  Or atleast Brown was mediocre and Mayes was bad.  I get the feeling that SirVal is the highest paid Rainman, or at least right up there with Eric, and he just did not produce.  He showed some flashes of brilliance, but he seems to get in those headspace where he thinks “Fuck it.  I’m SirValiant Brown!  I almost led the NCAA in scoring as a freshman! I can hit this shot!” and then takes a contested deep three of the dribble or drives into the crowded lane and just hucks the ball up.  He really messes up ball rotations as a result of his total lack of conscience.  Mayes took to bad shots out of rhythm and didn’t do much else.

– Hammack started but played on 11 minutes.  He seemed a bit shakey with his dribble at times but I thought he should have had more minutes.  He had 7 points on 75% shooting and more importantly, the team just looks terrible with Dandridge trying to run the point.  Lewis seems to ignore the fact that Halifax needs ball handlers to run the fast break, and Dandridge had six assists and shot way too many jump shots (8 of 9 shots were from beyond the arc and he only knocked down two three pointers).

– This was Halifax worst regular season game when it came to shooting three pointers.  They hit just 8-22 or 36% of their attempts but they still won convincingly and Silverhorn did not attempt a three point shot.  Personally I see this as a positive, not a negative.  My big fear about the team is that they run the risk of knowing that if they get in trouble they can just jack up some threes and pull out the win, being able to win when the long range guns aren’t firing is something Halifax had to do, and I am glad they did it now.

– Crookshank and Sanders finished as the team’s leading scorers with 26 points each.  Eric had two blocks to Sanders’ zero, and but Rob outrebounded Eric 9-7.  Twyman chipped in with 15 – all of them in the first half.

– I listed three “What Halifax Need to do to Win” point before the game and Halifax really managed to pull of all three

  1. Keep the Kebs from Getting Offensive Boards – Halifax out-rebounded the Kebs 41-34 and limited them to just 14 offensive boards.
  2. Make Sure No Keb Has a Good Individual Game – The Kebs leading scorer was Fortier with 24, which is good, but he didn’t dominate and had to work hard to get those points and shot just 8 for 18.
  3. The Big Men Need to Show Up – Boy howdy did they ever.  Crookshank and Sanders combined for 52 points with Sanders shooting 100% from the field.  Jeanty had a bit of an off game, but Bailey supplied good defense, rebounding and energy.  Tyronne McNeal even looked good in his four minutes hitting a great 20 foot fade away jumper and then just bowling over JP Morin in the post (Morin probably took a dive… the guy was flopping all over the place)  Great game from the bigs and the offense looks best when Eric and Rob get touches early in the shot clock.  Jonas Pierre was a non-factor after having a dominant opening weekend.

– The actual game day production seems to have taken a step down.  There were fewer on-court games (and the ones that did happen sucked), the dancers got on late and it just seemed a bit sloppier.  I am quite sure that the games are being handled by a different crew than last year which is too bad.  Not having Mavs doing the announcing also hurt, too.  Hopefully the kinks get worked out.  The whole production lacked the feel of professionalism that it had last season.

– In other results, Vermont had the first blow out of the PBL season with a 133-111 home win against the Montreal Sasquatch.  The ‘Heaves are now 1-0 and Montreal are 1-2.  The Sasquatch will try to get back up to .500 on Sunday when they come to the MetroCentre.

Edit:

I just watched about 15 minutes of the middle of the game on the Haligonia webcast.  The production values are quite high with one glaring weakness:  it’s just the direct feed from the jumbotron video so you end up with some unrelated graphics like 50/50 draw tickets.  I actually thought Mav’s play by play was good, particularly for the first try, and I am not just saying that because I like the guy.  He seemed a bit overwhelmed from time to time and didn’t always know how to deal with the strange assortment of graphics that appeared in front of him (“And as you can see the winning 50/50 ticket for tonight is *image disapears*… uhh… yellow”) and tried to fit too much in.  He really, really needs a partner doing colour commentary.  He needs to have someone to talk (and to have a conversation with him) during time outs, to be able to bring up information on players, and to just allow him to not have to fill air time every single second.  He told me at half time that the plan is to get an assortment of high school coaches to serve as guest colour commentators for webcasts… while I admit it’s good to bring in people who know the game, I think I’d prefer consistancy.  The best play-by-play/colour teams are a result of chemistry and knowing how to work with someone and play off each other, you can’t do that anew every game.  I also think that it’s importantly that the people brought in know about the Rainmen, the league and their opposition – will high school coaches have time to do the homework needed to provide actual analysis beyond the Xs and Os?  I think trying to get a retired university or high school coach or recently graduated CIS player to do it game in and game out would be ideal situation… basically I just think they need consistancy.  You can’t have new guys coming in fresh every game and expect things to click.

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26 thoughts on “Rainmen Defeat Quebec, 124-112

  1. I saw the game online. It was kinda sloppy. Both teams tried to push tempo and ended up creating a ton of turnovers, but it was still fun to watch. Amazing how this team almost went 60% on the game while shooting terrible from 3. Crookshank/Sanders look damn good playing together.

  2. Your team has great balance on offense. You have guys who can slash and guys who can drain the three. Your also very deep at positions 1-4. Its an impressive offensive team. I’m looking forward to seeing the Heaves play you guys.

  3. I didn’t think SirVal was all that bad. His stat line was nothing impressive, eight points on 3-7 shooting, but he played pretty solid defence for a guy known solely as a chucker. He was on the floor for most of the decisive second quarter when Halifax outscored Quebec 38-22 and really got things rolling by playing great D.

  4. Good game team, looks great. That being said, I agree with this whole heartedly:

    – The actual game day production seems to have taken a step down. There were fewer on-court games (and the ones that did happen sucked), the dancers got on late and it just seemed a bit sloppier. I am quite sure that the games are being handled by a different crew than last year which is too bad. Not having Mavs doing the announcing also hurt, too. Hopefully the kinks get worked out. The whole production lacked the feel of professionalism that it had last season.

    It’s too bad. Also, Mavs was an amazing PA guy. Stick some other bum on the webcast and bring this guy back. He was great.

  5. Chad – I don’t think he looked terrible, but he is a poor decision maker for a guy his age. He played solid D (but he was matched up with Yul for most of that period and that guy is a serious weak link on the Kebs) but on offense he really doesn’t give you much except for on the ball scoring – 1 assist (which barely counts since it was a breakaway backboard lob, it wasn’t him creating two points, just making eric score those two point prettier), no boards, no steals. He took two deep threes which were unforgivable and had one drive that was just a mess. I’m okay with guys coming in and only being responsible for putting up points, but I expect the scoring to either be more efficient or in higher volume than what he provided.

    I think he’s a fine minor league player, but I have a gut feeling that he’s getting a handsome sum based on his reputation and his agent. I also don’t see what he gives us that Hammack, Ramey and Twyman don’t. That said, I think the guard situation will make more sense when Mayes inevitably gets cut by the team.

  6. The webcast was pretty good, but also a bit choppy for me, probably a computer issue. I didn’t watch much as the Frost Heaves were on at the same time, but what I saw looked good. Hopefully all teams can adopt something similar.

  7. Some thoughts on some players as this is the first time I have seen them

    Hammock: Crazy fast and I did not expect the amount of penitration he got

    Dandrige: Sweet shot but has some defensive lapses

    Silverhorn: Got bigger in the oiffseason and looks like he worked on his defense

    Sanders: I love the bully

    Mavs: Loved the phrase Cannonizing dunk. Needs someone else with him to make it conversational because tough trying to fill all air time. I suggest Dicky V, Dick Vital help him out. It would be sensational BABY

    Game Ops: They need Todd and Evan back

    Brown: Seemed only semi interested

    Jimmy: (We want Jimmy) Solid setting up the offence and calming on floor because can get out of tough situations with his handles

    Quebec coach: Good think he didn’t get fired from his used car dealership (section 23 joke)

  8. The crowd seemed really timid in the first half to the point where I was worried but it really picked up by the second. I missed having a different PA announcer and all the games seemed sloppy and the t shirt throwers could not even throw the shirts beyond the floor. It seemed like night and day when it came to professionalism on the court during time outs.

    Halifax started very, very sloppy but calmed down after the first quarter. Hammack looked shell shocked and everyone other than Crookshank, Twyman and Sanders seemed to have a serious case of nerves. The defense looked good at times but they need to be more consistent.

  9. I don’t know what was going on with Cordell and Hammock. They were both great in the last preseason game and we need them both performing to keep our depth. Hammock took over in the fourth against Chicago even with a gimpy hamstring and Cordell looked unstoppable. Maybe they are getting used to the subbing, but they were out for 2.5 quarters in a row.

  10. Have they asked you to do color commentary? They are not going to find someone who does better research or has more opinions than you!

  11. I have the flu so I had to watch the game online and I thought the actual quality was very good. It ran smoothly and the images were clear. The play by play was good but you could tell it was his first time and he over used some phrases but by the fifth home game he will be as good as the pros. I am just very happy that I could see the game even though I was sick. They really should get you to do colour commentary! We should start a Draft Chris902 Campaign.

    The Rainmen looked good after a really bad first quarter. They need to stop turning the ball over on the fast break and a simple solution might be to have one of the four point guards run that fast break instead of Dandridge.

  12. Really enjoyed the game, but was pretty concerned with the sloppy start in the first quarter. The best 5 miniutes of the game was the end of the 2nd quarter with the trap defence on the perimetre. This hyped the crowd and turned into some great offence.

    Halifax is a basketball town, and really apprecites a complete game with a team approach. Monster dunks and slashes to the hoop are great highlights, but should not be the goal of every posession. Tougher defence and more ball movement will hype the home crowd and create great opportunties inside and for our 3-point shooters.

    The post-pick offence at the top of the key was a bit overused too. I loved the play at the end of the game with Silverhorn and Dandridge swinging the ball and the dump in – 2 legit 3-point threats to open the key and two big guys moving to the hoop… more of this and less of the playground post and slash!

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s game… go Rainmen!

  13. The ball movement and movement off the ball is so much better than last year I feel like this is an actual team not just a pickup game. Silverhorn really improved his ball handleing from last year.

  14. I love how there is actually movement in our offence this year. It’s not just Rick Lewis yelling out one of three plays (mostly the pick and roll) like last year. The offence flows and looks great. The defense is also much improved.

    New lets go 4-0.

  15. Dunc13 is WAAYY off with Dandridge, I thought he was hands down the best perimeter defender….I actually thought he was the only one who could defend a guy off the dribble.

    I liked seeing Rick Lewis up and on the refs in the second half, he needs to do more of that. Good coaches spend most of the game complaining about the calls, and the Quebec coach was good at that, douchebaginess aside, and it definately earned his team some whistles.

    Good game though, excited about tomorrow.

  16. I think Dandridge is a good on the ball defender, but he loses his man when he’s off the ball and rarely offers help defense.

  17. It’s good to see the Rainmen dominate Quebec, who had our number last season. The fact that we beat the Kebs in almost every area of the game augers well for the coming year.

    The PBL box score is fantastic! I liked the play-by-play and the stats on turnover, second chance and bench points. So that’s what a real league is like…

    Good chemistry between most of the Rainmen, it seems like some of them are actually friends. Having a double-digit lead for much of the game also helps boost team spirit.

    Eric: the most obvious game changer and team leader. When Coach put Eric back on to re-capture the energy on the floor, the game changed back to the Rainmen’s favour. After the game, Eric announced that they want to bring a championship to Halifax. I think they might do just that!

    Rob Sanders/”Shoulders”: just about knocked a guy out driving to the net; once he lowers that shoulder, count on him scoring.

    Jimmy: the most consistent point guard we have, who also happened to score 15 points.

    Dandridge: not his best game, hopefully he gets back to his former three-point draining self for Sunday.

    Silverhorn: was not in his usual shooter position, but mixed it up under the net and scored from the FT line. With Dandridge as an alternate shooter, I thought this role went alright for Brian.

    SirVal: OK, maybe he isn’t the second-highest scoring athlete in NCAA anymore, but I was impressed with his athleticism, in particular the grab he made of a pass that was behind him as he crossed the floor. Let’s give him some space and see how he performs before we write him off.

    Hammack: up and down game for him, impressive at times but 2 flubbed passes took the air out of our sails for a bit.

    Cordell “Ce n’est pas” Jeanty: like Dandridge, seemed a bit off for this game.

    David Bailey: probably going to be the player to be voted Most Like KD. He makes things happen, but isn’t the superstar. Also, he is a nice guy in person.

    McNeal: who knew our 7-footer could sink the long shot? However, would like to see him mix it up more around the net and use his size to back other guys off.

    Ramey and Mayes: didn’t see enough of them to make an impression, sorry.

    Coaching: Certainly improved from last year. Subbed in the bench when we had the game in hand but were not afraid to replace them with starters to ensure the win.

    Quebec Coach: Apparently selling Benz’s didn’t work out, he was sporting a Honda shirt. The Fit is Go! hahahaha

    P.S. the Quebec assistant coach looked like an extra from the Godfather movies; nice tie, buddy!

    Officials: Will the officials ever give a technical for coaches being on the court will play is on? Sure doesn’t seem like they will.

    Production: At half-time, the electrical cord that rose to the rafters in front of my seat was moved, thank you to whoever made that happen in my absence.

    Seemed like everyone was still feeling their way, production-wise and the Weather Girls (only one veteran from last year) were pretty disappointing. They need to either be a presence or be disbanded. Why are they not shaking their pompoms under the net when the opponents are shooting? I still think they should be leading some cheers and otherwise engaging with the audience, rather than simply walking in a group everywhere like the popular girls in high school.

    There were 19 people sitting at the courtside tables (PR, game officials, media types), versus about half that number last year. It looked like they were having an economic summit to try and solve the credit crisis, or something. Just seemed like a lot of people.

    Paul Palmeter is no Mavs Gillis.

  18. Defense:

    Let me preface this by saving I think the Rainmen have upgraded their line up.

    But some of the defence I saw last night was cringe worthy. I mean basketball 101 defence was thrown out the window on many occasions. I think anyhigh level team in this league would have exploited these weak areas.

    The team seemed way better on defence in the pre-season?

    Let me say: I’m not hitting the panic button. But the coach must be having fits with some of the poor defence we saw.

  19. Slam: sorry about that I should have been more specific. I thi nk he just watches the game too much when his guy does not have the ball and is not in the right spot if his man gets it. if he has ball coming down the floor i think he is great but if his man is coming off a screen or moving around he looses him.

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