Weekend Games Preview: Iowa Energy (8-1) vs. Erie BayHawks (3-7)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. Now it's time to dig into some holiday hoops with the BayHawks, who host the D-League's top team Iowa in back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow. Erie dropped a pair of games in Iowa last weekend, 95-88 and 99-89.

Games 10-11 Preview: Iowa Energy (8-1) vs. Erie BayHawks (3-7)

Erie coming in: The BayHawks snapped a five-game losing streak with a convincing 108-94 on the road against Springfield on Wednesday. Four players scored 19 points or more and Erie's point guards had a combined 24-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. More importantly, Erie limited its 3-point attempts to 9, converting 4 of them, and instead focused on pushing the ball in transition and working it into the paint in halfcourt sets.

Iowa coming in: The Energy sit atop the D-League standings with just one loss so far this season. They haven't played since defeating Erie twice last weekend. Prior to that, they suffered their first lost of the sesaon, a 109-99 defeat on the road in Sioux Falls. The Energy are probably the most balanced team in the league. They have seven players that average between 9 and 17 points per game. But speaking of coming in, the Energy had some trouble coming into Erie. According to Iowa's Twitter account, they ended up flying into Cleveland this morning and busing to Erie.

BayHawks keys to success:

  • Push and post
    Whether it's forcing turnovers or dominating the defensive glass (or preferably both), the BayHawks need to push the ball whenever the opportunity is there to get some early offense in transition. When those opportunities are not there, they need to be patient and dump the ball inside to John Bryant and Alade Aminu. This may sound familiar as it's basically keys one and two from the last game, but it worked to perfection in that one, and I think it's a key ingredient in the BayHawk's recipe for success this season.

  • Contain Curtis Stinson
    The Energy point guard controlled both games against the BayHawks last weekend, recording a double-double on consecutive nights, averaging 20.5 points and 11 assists. The pressure is on Cedric Jackson and Cliff Clinkscales on the defensive end to limit Stinson's penetration and limit his impact on the game.

  • Give the crowd something to cheer about
    Erie has only led at the end of the first quarter one time in its first three home games. A fast start would be a big boost for the team and help energize a fanbase that has had little to cheer about so far this season. The BayHawks didn't do themselves any favors winning over new fans with an 0-3 opening homestand against Maine. Iowa won't be any easier, but the BayHawks need to find a way to break through. After this weekend, there is just one home game left this calendar year, and they certainly don't want to extend their home losing streak into 2010.


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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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