Game Preview: Erie BayHawks (1-1) at Sioux Falls Skyforce (1-1)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The BayHawks return to action tonight on the road against the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Both teams enter the game 1-1, having lost their last game. Erie split a pair with Fort Wayne. Sioux Falls defeated Maine by 17 and lost to Dakota by 17.

Game 3 Preview: Erie BayHawks (1-1) at Sioux Falls Skyforce (1-1)

Erie coming in: The BayHawks have had almost a week to prepare for Sioux Falls and work out the kinks from a disappointing performance against Fort Wayne on Saturday. This will be Erie's third consecutive road game to start the season. After putting up 106 points in their preseason game, Erie's averaged just 83.5 points per game so far this season. It'll be interesting to see if their offensive attack can get on track tonight after an additional week of practice time.

Sioux Falls coming in: The Skyforce are led by Reggie Williams, a 6'6" forward who leads the team in scoring and assists. They rely heavily on the 3-ball, launching 56 attempts in two games. They shot just 6-27 from 3 in their loss but hit 11-29 in their win. Unlike Erie, Sioux Falls plays all 10 of its players. They balance the minutes pretty evenly with seven players averaging between 18-27 minutes per game, so they could try to wear down the BayHawks, whose starters each average more than 34 minutes per game.

BayHawks keys to success:

  • Slow the pace.
    When Erie decided to cut Rod Wilmont and Oliver Lafayette, the top two scorers in their preseason game, it was clear the direction the team was taking. This team is built with size, defense, and rebounding in mind. Along with that comes a mindset to slow the pace of the game. As their first two results showed, Erie may be best-suited to win games in the 80s and low 90s. On the flipside, Sioux Falls won by scoring 112 and lost by scoring 74. Keep this game low-scoring and it should favor Erie.
  • Play more efficiently on offense.
    One way to keep the game at your pace is not to commit turnovers. In their opening night win, the BayHawks scored pretty efficiently with (85 points on 66 shots), but they had more turnovers (22) than assists (18). Then the BayHawks scored just 82 points on 86 shots in their loss to Fort Wayne, a performance that included a woeful 6-15 from the free throw line. If they can find a way to combine game one's shooting with game two's ballhandling, they'll be in good shape to improve to 2-1.
  • Control the boards.
    This should be the case in most games this season, but it's important in this matchup because it's another crucial element to controlling the pace. Controlling the offensive glass will limit Sioux Falls' ability to push the pace. Defensively, Erie needs to be able to rebound the long misses bound to come with the Skyforce's 3-point barrage. If BayHawks bigs John Bryant, Alade Aminu, and Jarvis Gunter can rebound well against the likes of Keith Brumbaugh and Greg Stiemsma for Sioux Falls, look for the BayHawks to roll in this one.

The game tips off tonight at 8 p.m. in Sioux Falls. Catch the action live via NBA FutureCast or listen locally on WJET 1400 AM radio.


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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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