Halifax Defeat Montreal, 130-89

This game was not nearly as close as the score suggests.

At the game against Manchester I remarked to my dad that the Rainmen should organize an AND1 style streetball style exhibition game… that’s basically what this game became… lots of long alley-oops, Stick being Strick, guys jacking up threes to try to get the fans a big mac (they ended up hitting nine – not processed sandwhich for us), etc..

The Sasquatch basically did nothing but jack up shots from the outside due to being undersized and exhausted.  Halifax ended up finishing with a remarkable 75 rebounds. The teams combined for a an amazing 222 shot attempts.

On the plus side, Halifax got to play Tyronne McNeal.  He even started!  And he almost got a double-double, finishing with ten rebounds and eight points.

It was pretty crazy.  Tomorrow will likely be just as messy.

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Pre-Game Get Together

I am not even going to bother writing a preview for this weekend’s games.  If Halifax don’t come out and win by 40 points a night then we should all be embarassed.

What is more important is that people are meeting before the game at the Elephant and Castle at 5:15pm  near Parade Square to drink, eat, and talk Rainmen.  It’s the last chance to do so in the evening until next season and last time I went there were over a dozen people in attendance.  Join the facebook group and tell your friends.

Preview: Rainmen vs. Manchester

This is just  quick post to remind everyone that the Rainmen face the Manchester Millrats tomorrow at 2pm.  It is the last actually competetive game of the season for Halifax so I highly recomend attendance.
Manchester have already clinched the Atlantic division, but rested some key players in their last (exhibition) game against Vermont.  I’d expect the ‘Rats to play all their guys tomorrow, but take players out at the first sign of injury.  They want to go into the play offs on a winning streak, but at the same time they don’t want any injuries.

For Halifax this is a must win game, but even a win doesn’t mean they’re in the play offs. They’re still counting on an unlikely meltdown by Wilmington.  So it likely won’t matter if Halifax do win this, but it would be absolutely excruciating if Detroit did somehow beat the Sea Dawgs three times and Halifax didn’t get in because they lost tomorrow.  Unlikely scenerio, but enough to drive me insane.

Look for a physical game, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it got chippy with the Rainmen playing out an ultimately disapointing season.

On another note:  There is a season ticket holders brunch before the game.  Another excellent step towards adding value to season tickets and a good chance to see people and get our eat on before the game.

Last Minute Thought

So I had my wisdom teeth removed yesterday and have been trying to get school work done so I wasn’t really able to update.   Just a reminder that arguably the most important game in Rainmen history goes down tonight.  It should be an absolute battle and I hope a good crowd is on hand to witness it.

After the jump are power rankings for this week.  I wasn’t actually able to finish them properly due to time constraints but I’ll give the rankings without explanations.

Continue reading

Preview: Halifax vs. Detroit

I am at the library trying to finish writing a draft of a chapter before 4:00 so this is going to be brief.

Halifax take on Detroit tonight and while Detroit are a bad team this is a game Halifax can’t afford to lose and the Panther do have a surprising amount of fire power.  Stane’s Bufford, a 6’5 shooting guard, is third in the league in scoring with 22.4 ppg and Randy “Biggest Doucehe Bag Ever” Gill is averaging 21 points and 7 assists per game on the season.  When he is feeling it he can be almost impossible to contain.

Expect a high scoring game – Detroit have the third worst defense in the league (and that is against downright bad opposition for the most part).  The two biggest challenges facing Halifax are the chance that Stane’s and Randy both heat up tonight and combine for 60+ points, and the fact that Berry does not have any tape to look at when it comes to figuring out ways to beat Detroit.  The Rainmen need to stay discplined and not give up stupid second chance/transition baskets and take this as an opportunity to polish their new offense.

In other news:  Fans will be getting together at 5:15 at the Elephant and Castle to tailgate.  It’s starting small but the numbers are growing come out and talk about the game, eat, drink and get ready to get rowdy.  The facebook event is here. Please come out and join us, even if you don’t know any of us – we’re the annoying jerks in sections 22 and 23.

Preview: Vermont vs. Halifax

Halifax play host to the Vermont Frost Heaves, a team that they still have not beaten, tomorrow.  This might sound harsh but I feel like Halifax need to win this game, not just for the implications in that standings, but also because if they can’t defeat Vermont this weekend then they may never beat them.  Here are all the things working in Halifax’s favour that they haven’t had in the past:

  • The extreme fatigue facing Vermont – they’re playing tonight in Buffalo this afternoon, and while Vermont play 12 deep and Buffalo don’t exactly grind teams down, the travel will be rough on them.  Halifax are at home after having a full week off.*
  • Vermont’s coach Will Voigt has no idea what sort of sets he’s going to see from Halifax and can’t really prepare before the game.
  • Halifax will be riding high on emotion with an anticipated huge crowd, the return of Eric Crookshank, and a new coach whom they’re all looking to impress.
  • Halifax have no major injuries
  • Vermont just suspended their centre Anthony Fuqua for the season

That said, Vermont are a great team who find ways to win.  My favourite player on this year’s team is Thomas Sanders, a PG who is a great defender who is solid all around on offense.  Vermont tend to rely on whoever has the hot hand to do the scoring and Will Voigt likes to make subs early and often.  Kyle, Nixon and Plummer are all perimeter guys who can do some real damage if they get hot and Cole can bully his way inside for points if Halifax’s bigs don’t keep their eye on him.  Voigt likes pressure defenses so expect a lot full court pressure with the Heaves trying to generate turnovers.  On offense expect a lot of staggered screens and jump shots.  Vermont this year seem to live or die by the mid and long range shooting.

I think this game will be won on the boards – if Vermont are allowed second chances off of their missed jump shots then Halifax won’t be able to pull this out.  We’ve said this about every game for the last few weeks, but this game is huge.  Halifax can’t afford to drop any more games at home if they want to make the play offs and they need to get over the mental hump and take out Vermont.  It’s an exciting game – perhaps the game I have the highest expectations for since the pre-season opener – and it has the potential to be an absolute classic.

Some fans are meeting a head of time at the Elephant and Castle at 2pm for some pre-game socializing.  They serve brunch until 3:00 and the beer flows liberally there.  So go out and get worked up before welcoming Coach Berry for the first time and Eric back for the second time.

* As crazy as it is that the Frost Heaves are making the trip overnight by plane from Buffalo this is even more crazy:  Three of their fans are driving overnight from Buffalo in order to make it to the game.  Now that is dedication.

Rainmen Head South for the Weekend

So Halifax will be heading to New England where they hope to pick up their first wins in either socialist Vermont or libertarian New Hampshire.  I am of the mind that Halifax need to walk away with at least a split but I don’t think it’s impossible to sweep the series.  It’s likely that the wildcard spot in the play offs will come down to a game between the second place team in the Atlantic and the second place team in the East so Halifax need to not only get wins against Manchester and Vermont, but prevent the Rats and the Heaves from getting wins as well.

We know what to expect from Manchester, but I’d expect them to come out even more motivated to beat Halifax after Thursday’s win.  They will also have Kenyon Gamble all geared up and ready to go.

Vermont have made some line up tweaks but they have been inconsistent this year so here’s hoping Halifax can steal a win on their home turf.

Both games will be available live on line.

In other news, the next home game for Halifax (Sunday, Feb. 8 ) will be “Kids Day” and children’s tickets will be five dollars.  The next two games after that on the 13th and 15th will mark the triumphant return of Duncan MacLellan to the the lower bowl of the MetroCentre.

Preview: Halifax vs. Manchester

Tomorrow night figures to be the best game of the season so far as the red hot Manchester Millrats come to Halifax to take on the Rainmen.  Halifax have a tough three game stretch (Manchester at home Thursday then road games against Vermont and Manchester again) and picking up a road win here is an absolute necessity.  The Millrats are looking to extend their five game winning streak.  One of the most impressive things about said streak:  during it they’ve beaten every other team in the Atlantic Division.  The winner of this game is leading the Atlantic Division, and in its first year Halifax failed to beat either Vermont or Manchester, so this first win is a big mental hump to get over.  All of this adds up to the potential for a real barn burner, unfortunately very few people may be around to see the game – Thursdays are always bad game nights and the weather is supposed to be dreadful.

It’s hard to predict who will come up big for Manchester – they seem to have a different guy go off each night and Ferguson, Salscheider, and Mitchell are all capble of putting up big numbers.  But Manchester aren’t really about scoring – they have the best defense in the PBL and held Halifax to just 98 points last time the teams met.  They’re leading the league in opponent scoring (by which I means their opponents score less than everyone else’s) by allowing just 96.4 ppg and have given up 100 points or more in only two games – both against that strange Montreal squad.  To make matters worse they’ve upgraded their interior defense with the addition of Kenyon Gamble – a big shotblocker.  Manchester just play a hardnosed, tough, physical defense – it’s not dirty, but they frustrate teams and don’t give up easy baskets.

So what does Halifax have to do to win this game?  I think the key is to get out and run on Manchester.  Halifax need to convert on the fast break (i.e. no stupid alley-oops when a lay up is there) and generate turnovers in order to get some easy baskets.  Hammack and Ramey are both phenomenal at stealing the ball and pressuring opposing guards and with SirVal out of the picture both of them will probably get some more minutes.  Halifax also have to avoid giving up the easy baskets that they’re notorious for – if Manchester are going to make them work hard to score then they need to force the Rats to do the same.

I really see this game as a must win for Halifax – if they’re going to come out and beat the better teams in the league then they’re going to have to start at home.  Here’s hoping it’s a great game and that there are actually people in the stands to witness it.

Fans Organizing Roadtrip to Quebec and Montreal

Please note: actual bus may differ from one shown above

I can’t make the trip but Suzy Hansen who runs the “Halifax Rainmen Fan Club” facebook group is organizing a bus to go support the team on their next road trip to to the land of Québec solidaire*:

ok i have the info for the trip to montreal/quebec games for feb 27/28 finalized here it is: the cost will be $310 it will include
Bus there and back to all locations( montreal game and quebec game then back home
Hotel in montreal double occupancy(so you will have to share a room, you can pick someone to be in th eroom with you if you are traveling in pairs…or you could pay full fare for the room, talk with me about it)
hotel in quebec same deal
and bus trip home.
now all the while we can shop in montreal, mall is close to hotel and if there is any ideas about a field trip along the way send me info and i will consider it, but basically it will be from thurs night to sun morning we will leave for home, hoping to be back late evening on sunday.
I am requesting that those that want to come along need to have the payment to me by no later than first week in feb, so that i can pay for the bus and also to have the guest lists for the hotels, so the bus has limited seating if you want to come email me back or give me a call after 6pm on my cell 402–8992 so that i can put you on the list.
just remember here is our chance to support our Rainmen away and as well to all those that like to shop/like montreal/or just plain need to getaway for the weekend this would be a great time to do it!!!!! call me our email. thanks guys hope to hear from ya’s
Suzy

There are a few reasons I can’t go (school, work and dental surgery being the main ones) but it should be a real adventure.  If you’re interested I encourage you to go to the facebook group and message her, or give her a call.  Either way do it sooner rather than later.

*okay, fine so they only have one seat in the national assembly, but that’s still enough to make me happy.

Watch/Listen to Halifax On the Road

As strange as it seems to have to move past the Crookshank suspension, there is basketball to be play this weekend and Halifax take the show on the road and battle two teams that they went a combined 0-12 against last year: Vermont and Manchester.   Manchester are 2-2 with both wins coming against Vermont, and Vermont are 1-2 with their losses coming to the Millrats.  Halifax are the odd man out in this Atlantic Division rivalry and are hoping to come through the middle to hold on to the divisional lead.

Halifax need to at least split these games – it’s been said time and time again that the PBL season is short, but it’s worth mentioning again:  these two games are 10% of the total schedule for Halifax.  Splitting these games puts them at a very good 4-2, losing both drops them to .500.  I had originally thought that Halifax could win both games, but with the confusion with the Crookshank situation and the injury to Silverhorn I think the more reasonable goal is a win and a loss.  (Although winning both is not out of the question)

Both teams play tough defense so Halifax should not anticipate many easy scoring chances.

You can watch or listen to both games online through links on the team websites, Vermont here (audio) and Manchester here (video).

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