Christmas-Style Game Preview: Erie BayHawks (2-7) at Springfield Armor (1-7)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Twas two nights before Christmas, when two teams would meet
with little common between them, except for defeats.
Their heads were hung low in disgust and despair,
hoping that a victory soon would be there.
The players were struggling, all feeling mislead,
while the coaches were scheming new plays in their heads.
And the fans in the stands and on FutureCast streams,
had just about decided to cheer for new teams.
When out on the court there arose such a cheering,
I sprang from the chair to see who was appearing.
Away to the corner, I flew like a BayHawk,
Turned off the TV and opened my laptop.
The glow of the lights on the scoreboard did show,
Erie was winning, two minutes to go!
Then, what to my wondering eyes should I witness,
But a defensive stop and a made 3 from Harris!
With a little more hustle, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment that this lead would stick.
More rapid than eagles, the Armor fou1ght back,
But Erie finally had an offensive attack!
Now Taylor! Now Bryant! Now Jackson and Harris!
On Jackie! On Cedric! On, Martin and Jarvis!
To the final whistle! To the final buzzer sounds!
Play offense, play defense, grab the rebounds!
As the final ticks ticked off the clock on this night,
the players were playing together just right.
So down on the sideline, Coach Treloar knew,
the five-game losing streak was finally through.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on TV
Erie BayHawks 91, Springfield Armor 83.
As I heard the score, I was jumping around,
blogging and Tweeting the good news I'd found.
The BayHawks had won, with strong offense and D,
and the victory meant their holiday'd be a bit more merry.
In a few days, to the court they'd be back,
and playing a team that won't cut them any slack.
But the Iowa Energy, they're a post-Christmas problem.
For now, the Armor's the team in need of solving.
The game likely won't have this rhythm or even a rhyme,
but it's less than four hours until tipoff time.
So, I'll cut off this poem a few lines short of a copy,
with hopes Erie wins, whether clean blowout or sloppy.

Game 10 Preview: Erie BayHawks (2-7) at Springfield Armor (1-7)

Springfield coming in:
The Armor are the only team with a worse record than Erie in the East Conference, but that could change if they win tonight. They have lost all but two of their games by double digits. However, they are coming in after notching their first win of the season, a 112-107 victory over Fort Wayne on Friday. The Armor's JamesOn Curry led the team with 31 points in that game. Morris Almond has also been a force for Springfield, averaging a team-high 28.3 points in his three appearances with the Armor.

Erie coming in:
The BayHawks enter the game carrying the burden of a five-game losing streak. The team has yet to demonstrate consistent play, and Coach Treloar has had a difficult time finding a group of five players with the sustained energy and output he needs and wants. The team has used several different starting lineups already this season and the roster tinkering isn't likely to stop as long as the losses continue to pile up.

BayHawks keys to success:

  1. Get out in transition.
    This may sound like a broken record, but Erie is terrible from 3-point range. They've now been outscored 201-63 from beyond the arc this season, and that stat isn't going to get better with their current roster makeup. So, if they're not going to score from 3, Erie has to find other areas to make up for that weakness. One potential area is getting some easy baskets in transition by running an efficient fastbreak offense. Cedric Jackson is very capable of pushing the ball, and this may be a way for him to seize control of this team at the point guard postition.

  2. Score in the paint.
    John Bryant seemed to respond well after being benched, going for 28 points and 17 rebounds over the two-game series on the road against Iowa. But points in the paint is not limited to Bryant—nor fellow big men Alade Aminu, Jarvis Gunter, and Kyle Goldcamp. Points in the paint is also about penetration from the guards. This is where Donell Taylor has to make things happen. He's not consistent enough from outside to be settling for as many jump shots as he's taking. As a team, Erie needs to be more aggressive. Force the issue, drive the ball inside, and score or get to the free throw line.

  3. Limit Springfield's stars.
    Morris Almond and JamesOn Curry account for the bulk of the offense for Springfield. I assume Jackie Manuel will take responsibility for one of them. If that is the case, whoever is matched up on the other one is going to need to pay extra attention to detail on the defensive end. Help defense is also going to be very important defending against this dangerous combination. Like Erie, the Armor are desperate for wins at this point, so there's no doubt that their top stars will be gunning for a team that's won just two games. If Erie can limit the production of Almond and Curry, I don't think the Armor will have enough firepower to match buckets with the BayHawks.

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About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

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