Vermont Clinch Wildcard, Halifax Almost Certainly Out of Play Offs

Vermont, unsurprisingly, thrashed the Buffalo Stampede today in Barre, VT.  As a result Halifax are almost certainly out of the play offs.  This means that Halifax cannot overtake Vermont for one of the wildcard spots, but there is a very, very slim chance that Halifax could finish with a better record than one of the Eastern conference teams:

  • If Halifax win all their remaining games they will finish 13-7
  • If Rochester (11-3) lose at least four of their five last games (3 against Buffalo, one against Wilmington, one against Chicago) they would finish 12-7, and Halifax would win.  If Rochester lose three games and finish 13-6, Rochester technically win the tie break by virtue of having a higher win percentage, but that would be pure chaos since they’re playing one less game due to a rival folding.
  • If Wilmington (12-4) lose their last 4 games (3 to Detroit, one to Rochester) they would finish 12-8, and Halifax would make the play offs.  If they lose 3 games, including one to Rochester Halifax are still out of the play offs since the Sea Dawgs have a better record against Divisional opponents at 8-1.  (The tie break system is a bit complicated)

So Halifax fans are either relying on Buffalo to suddenly turn it around in a huge way, or else we’re sitting around hoping that our favourite player, Randy “White Chocolate” Gill, has three insane games in a row against Wilmington.

Things aren’t looking good but the Rainmen have only themselves to blame.  They lost two games that they had no business losing at the MetroCentre against Quebec and Montreal, and had a good opportunity to defeat Vermont in Nova Scotia.   The MetroCentre should be a fortess for the Rainmen, but that really hasn’t been ths case this year.

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30 thoughts on “Vermont Clinch Wildcard, Halifax Almost Certainly Out of Play Offs

  1. I really think that it would have been a different outcome for the Rainmen if Rob Sanders stayed for the whole season. He was your rock. He could rebound, score and draw a foul whenever he wanted.

  2. I deffinately noticed a difference last night in the Rainmen without Rob. Having seen him play for the past 3 years I knew what kind of player he was, and the Rainmen really do miss him. With all the roster moves they made, I don’t think they replaced what Sanders brought to the table.

    And don’t count on my Stampede, playing Rochester 3 times in a row should be fun, oh, and our last game is against Battle Creek too. Got to love our schedule!

  3. But as a Rainmen fan your obviously disappointed about playoffs, but you guys really improved this season and competed with the best, even beating Vermont and Manchester both this year. And you’ll also have a whole off-season with Les Barry and Andre working together and without question building the best team possible. No more Rick Lewis!

  4. Actually watching the team play, I think he definitely has made a huge difference. Their defense is infinitely better and when they’re doing things properly on offense they look better than they ever did under Lewis. There have been problems with the team actually running the sets properly but that’s a result of him coming in mid-season and them having no offense at all for all of training camp and most of the regular season. If he’s actually allowed to pick his own players to work with what he wants to do then I think he’d be phenomenal.

    That said, I think there is very little chance of him coming back to do this next year. If he wants to get back into coaching he’ll go to a university program and he may decide that he’d rather slog it out in the real world. (Then again, who knows if his non-basketball job options will be around at all given the economy).

  5. I assume Anderson and Jeanty played a fair amount of two guard with Bennett running the point for the 7 minutes that Twyman spent on the bench. That’s a fairly serious power line up with just 11 three point attempts.

  6. Good morning friends, Hope all is well is Scotia. Headed back to Wilmington in a few hours for practice. We have a BIG game tomorrow vs. Rochester. I feel we are ready. I look forward to us finishing the season at the worst 15-5…@ the worst. So with that being said, it is not looking so good playoff wise up there..???? Tough, either way thats is what the off season is about, a chance to rebuild, and look to the future.

  7. I am looking forward to watching the Rainmen finish the season strong at home. This season brought lots to blog about and I’ll bet Section 23 saw more activity in the past 2-3 months than it did for the year+ before that time. While Rainmen fans can hope for a complete collapse by other teams, this is highly unlikely, so let’s just support the team for the remaining home games and have fun with it.

  8. My one hope is that the players finish the season off strong at home rather than last year where they more or less mailed it in.

    I think I had just as much to write about this year as I did last year, the major difference is this year it was (almost) all about basketball and competition, not about the insane shenanigans of glorified rec league. The team definitely provided a ton of entertainment and I am going to miss seeing them play when I move out of town.

  9. Guys still have to play for their stats. We still have to cheer our guts out to impress the new guys so they MAY want to stay for next year. There has been huge improvements. That being said, I believe it is easier to work on the defensive end over a short period of time and we all agree that is where we have seen the most change. The offence takes a while to settle in. I think we will have a better idea next weekend where the offence lands as guys have had a couple weeks to practise together. Hope to see all the season ticket holders at the brunch on the 22nd.
    Lets go Rainmen! good luck Kadiri (but not too much just in case).. White Chocolate forever!

  10. I know a win’s a win and no disrespect to Buffalo, but let’s be honest, if we can barely beat them, shortened bench or no, we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.

    Let’s finish the season with class and good support, but then let’s ask ourselves some serious questions about the talent we are putting out on the court. We’re not doing ourselves any favour by pretending we’re a better team than we really are.

    Here’s some questions I have at this point:
    1. Can Jimmy really run an offense? Does he have the ability to finding passing lanes?
    2. Do we have a legitimate outside threat who spreads the zone, or just some decent 3 point shooters?
    3. Do any of our players have the capacity to dominate the defensive boards and limit second-chance points?
    4. What is our team offense based upon? I say this to distinguish it from having skilled power forwards. Are we a run and gun team? What pace of game do we want to set and how do we play to control games? etc. Again, as a team.
    5. What are we prepared to do in terms of bringing energy and consistency into our efforts given the short season etc? Do we have team leaders who can inspire that from their teammates?

  11. I hope the Rainmen continue the BOGO (Buy one get one free promotion)
    for the last three games.

    With the Rainmen out of the hunt (unless a minor miracle happens) I have no interest in going to the last 3 games at the full price. Why should I? Based the crap us fans had to go thru this year.

  12. Rain Mania:
    I think the Manchester game is definitely worth the full price of admission. I thought the last game Manchester played in Halifax was one of the better Rainmen games ever. The Montreal games are going to be absolute blood baths and probably pretty sloppy and they should sell a “two games for $20” or even “both Montreal games for the price of one” promotion for those.

    I actually feel like fans got our money’s worth all season. I can’t think of a single game which wasn’t fun to watch (the Quebec loss might have been the closest that any game came to all around sucking), and the team has outperformed 7 of the other 12 teams in the league… so as negative as we’ve gotten and as much as we all realize things need to happen differently next year, I certainly don’t feel like I had to put up with a whole lot.

  13. The Rainmen have been one of the better teams in the league while playing in the toughest division. The basketball has been leaps and bounds better than last year in the ABA. We got a better team and strong opposition than last year. It’s been a good year for watching some good basketball. Way better than last year. I felt it was worth the money in a big way.

    Next step is taking it to the playoffs next year.

    But yeah, the Montreal games will probably be the worst of the year.

  14. VT is offering Gen Adm tickets to the VT vs Manchester game at the Barre Aud this Thursday at $5. This is half price.

  15. chris902

    I don’t deny that the Rainmen games I went to this year were fun to watch.

    However, their was so much more potential. The Crookshank suspension cost us a playoff spot? Maybe. That was management’s mistake. So why should we pay for that?

    I’m just bummed out that these last three games won’t mean anything. Will the players try these last three games? That’s the question.

  16. I never believed in the Maple Leaf fan philosophy. Support a terrible team that is mismanaged, doesnt try etc.

    This Rainmen team borderlined on that at times. They had some great moments as well. That is what’s so frustrating as a fan.

    I don’t blame the new coach. I have a feeling some of the current players don’t have a good work ethic. You can tell in how they warm up etc.

  17. I think we have to make some allowances for growing pains.

    Was the quality of entertainment provided by the franchise generally food or not? I vote yes.

    Were we better this year than last? In terms of the move to the PBL instead of the ABA, I’d say definitely yes.

    We’re not entitled to a winning season, let alone a playoff spot. We’re entitled I think to have management trying to, within economic realities, put a solid effort out there. I’d say they did.

    Could things be improved? Well, duh. But while I’m disappointed we didn’t make the playoffs, I’m not disappointed in the team as an entity. I’m concerned as any good fan would be that we’ll lose forward momentum, have coaching hole to fill next year, etc. I think we haven’t yet realized that to beat the Vermonts and Manchesters, we need a well-rounded team which plays every minute of every game. That’s a development league challenge, for sure. It may in fact be THE challenge.

  18. Rigs, I agree with your summary and viewpoint. Halifax has greatly improved over last year. This year you beat VT and Manchester, this didn’t happen last year. Even though it is good to have high aspirations for playoffs, it doesn’t always happen with good teams.
    If Halifax improves at the same rate next year, I believe that next year you will be in the playoffs and possibly Champions.

  19. Here is a quick view on the season as a first year ticket holder brought in by BDP:
    I enjoyed every game, even the one where we got blown out by the Kebs because of our ongoing conversations with the bench. That pretty much makes the season. Sweats and Bling were on fire. The vermont game where we sucked in free throws thanks to Striquille and the rest of the team, while long, was another highlight. Beating manchester! Trash talking “Moneyball” Ferguson, you know he is remembering that against us next game. Sorry Rainmen. The double Bailey/ Crook dunk.. Pre-game at the Elephant and castle, postgame at Boston Pizza and some great new friends and fans. An excitable message board- Hilarious at times.

    Having conversations with Simplice, Bryant, white chocolate and others makes for great talking points and stories. Being able to get “into your head” with white Chocolate makes me laugh. He was terrible because the crowd remembered his reactions to the last game when he cleaned us. Halifax doesn’t like a bad winner.

    Growing crowds and some good atmosphere.

    A picture of me heckling in the paper in front of Darrell Dexter. Section 23 highlight!

    Knowing Strick would make at best 1 out of 2. At Best and telling the QC bench the same thing.

    The crazy trade/ free agent signings in the last 6 weeks – I guess there is no deadline.

    Watching a player like Bennett in full flight, Sanders working the boards, Crook throwing down, Bailey battling, Ramey’s killer passes and strong D, Silverhorn lighting a few threes, Dandridge shooting from half, SirVal getting drunk and going off against the team, Jimmy’s dependability, heckling Freiburg, drinking with Freiburg and Dick and Linda from vermont, Strick with the goggles, the hand, the prayers, the talk – awesome, I hope he stays one last year, Millien, Brown, Anderson coming in for the last burst and spending time with my wife and friends at the games.

    Section 23- AWESOME
    Chad Lucas- AWESOME- we won’t heckle if you bring your four year old to our section.. I kid, I kid..
    Metro News- Cheeky- well done and good reporting by Wuest.

    Lastly, although the franchise has had some issues and bad PR, overall this is par for the course at this level of ball. I think overall the franchise is in good shape and if we can keep some of our players to next year, we should have a solid squad. A little less revolving door next year and some early wins shoudl stand us in good stead.

  20. Topic for debate: Did A.J. Millien’s coming to Halifax cost him the league MVP award?

    I would say Yes. Before he came here he led the league in scoring in a convincing way. (over 30 ppg and 14 rebounds or so a game as well)

    Since he has come to Halifax he has disappeared. Disappeared from discussion around the league. He has lost his “Heat” as they say in show business. To no fault of his own.

    It was a huge career mistake for him. Winning the PBL MVP would have been a huge feather in his cap. His agent could have sold him based on that heat. Now he has disappeared into obscurity.

  21. Terrific question. You have to remember though that Augusta was never going to make the playoffs and they apparently had stopped paying him. You can’t fault his move on that basis.

  22. Being the MVP on a losing team is kind of like being the skinniest person at a pie-eating contest.

    Here are the 10 most recent NBA MVP’s and their team records:
    2007-08 Kobe Bryant L.A. Lakers – lost NBA finals
    2006-07 Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavs – won division, top conf. record
    2005-06 Steve Nash Phoenix Suns – West Conference runner-up
    2004-05 Steve Nash Phoenix Suns – West Conference runner-up
    2003-04 Kevin Garnett Minnesota T’Wolves – West Conference RU
    2002-03 Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs – NBA Champs
    2001-02 Tim Duncan Spurs – won div.,2nd-best record in NBA
    2000-01 Allen Iverson Philadelphia 76’ers – lost NBA Finals
    1999-00 Shaquille O’Neal L.A. Lakers – NBA Champs
    1998-99 Karl Malone Utah Jazz – tied for div., best league record

    As you can see, players who win the MVP do it on strong teams that either win their division with the best conference or league win-loss record, or they go deep in the playoffs. Augusta would not have accomplished either of those feats. Even with AJ, they were 5-4. As of today, they are 9-9.

    For the MVP, I think AJ is still in the running, depending on how much time he gets and how well he performs during the last 3 games in Halifax.

    AJ leads the league in points per game – even with Halifax games included, he sinks over 60% of his 2-pointers (which is good for a scorer in this league), over 80% from the FT line, averages 10 rebounds a game, and is 4th in the league in blocks (and the only player with more than 20 ppg with over 1 block per game – BTW, Eric and Bailey are #5 & 6 on the blocks list.)

    Cedric McGinnis of the Sea Dawgs has to be in the consideration for MVP and so does White Chocolate, although he is kind of the guard version of AJ – outstanding player who gets crazy minutes on a so-so team.

    Rochester and Battle Creek might each have a guy, but they seem to have a bunch of Steady Eddies on those teams, with no super-dominant player, just a good bunch of starters who get the job done.

  23. I just hope A.J. Millien has a shot at getting some minutes in the last three games.

    Since Halifax is more or less out of it. Let him play, fight for the MVP award.

    It’s an individual award in a team game. Yes. But he deserves his shot. That’s why he came to Halifax. Was to play, not disappear.

  24. Yeah, if I had a vote for MVP I would vote for Johnson. He leads the league in steals and assists by a wide margin, lead the team with the best record in the league, and has decent rebounding and scoring numbers.

    As for Millien – the only way he was getting MVP was if he was in the play offs. I don’t think you can give the award to a guy who couldn’t get his team into the post season. That said, I think he should get tons of touches against Montreal for both games. He can’t win MVP, but he certainly can get the scoring title which is a big feather in his (and Halifax’s) cap.

  25. Let’s see him get some minutes. I will be interested to see when the season ends if he blasts Halifax’s management.

    An article something like “Why did they bring me here if they didn’t want to play me? type article.

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