Game Preview: Erie BayHawks (11-15) at Maine Red Claws (16-9)

Friday, January 29, 2010

First, an update on the BayHawks' guard situation:

Cedric Jackson is still with the Cavaliers. His 10-day contract runs through Tuesday, February 2, unless he signs a second contract with the team.

Maureece Rice is still on the team's radar, but he'd have to be bought out of the deal with his Ukraine team.

Cliff Clinkscales was hurt late in Wednesday night's win against Springfield but said he plans to play tonight against Maine. He will likely get the start considering the fact that he's the only point guard on the roster.*

*Not anymore. The BayHawks announced the signing of Tychicus “Tic” Snow today. Snow is a 5'7" 165-pound point guard from Mississippi Valley State. He played two seasons for the Delta Devils from 2005-2007. It's likely that he's a stopgap solution while the team figures out the situations involving Jackson and Rice, but it's not a bad idea to add someone considering how thin they've been at guard the past few games.

And now, on to tonight's preview:

Game 27 Preview: Erie BayHawks (11-15) at Maine Red Claws (16-9)

Erie coming in: The BayHawks snapped a three-game losing streak with a dramatic come-from-behind win at home against Springfield Wednesday night. They have a rematch on the road against the Armor tomorrow, but first they have to focus on doing something they have yet to do all season: beat Maine. The BayHawks are 0-4 against the Red Claws this season, including a 94-86 loss New Year's Day in their only trip to Maine so far this season.

Maine coming in: The Red Claws return home after a 3-0 trip out west where they defeated Bakersfield, Utah, and Idaho to improve to 16-9, good for second place in the East Conference. The Red Claws have been one of the busiest teams with NBA player movement this season as Alexis Ajinca, Bill Walker, Lester Hudson, and J.R. Giddens have all seen time with the team this year. According to the team's current roster, Giddens and Ajinca are on the roster for tonight's game. Additionally, the team just signed guard Dominque Coleman and made a deal sending Will Blalock to Reno for guard Russell Robinson. Both acquisitions are expected to be active for tonight's game against Erie.

BayHawks keys to success:

  • Keep the game in check early.
    Two of Erie's losses against Maine were losses of 20+ points. They need to fight and claw through the first half to keep within striking distance. As they found out Wednesday night, anything can happen late in a close game. No one's expecting Erie to win this one, but if they stay close early, maybe they find a way to steal another one with some late game heroics from Mike Gansey...again.
  • Speaking of Gansey, ride the hot hand.
    The BayHawks are just 11-15 on the season. Not so good. They are, however, an impressive 5-1 when Mike Gansey is in the lineup. The midseason trade that sent top draft pick Donell Taylor out of Erie raised some eyebrows (guilty as charged), but it's paid off for the BayHawks so far. Gansey gives them a pure shooting presence that they didn't have before, and he's also an underrated rebounder and defender.
  • Find a way to lesson the load for Clinkscales
    Cliff Clinkscales has done an admirable job filling in for Cedric Jackson, but it's taking a toll on him. As the team's only point guard, he's played 40 minutes per game since Jackson was called up to the Cavs, and he's missed important minutes down the stretch of each of the past two games with injury issues. With Snow in uniform tonight, perhaps he gives Clinkscales a few minutes to rest up in this one. Otherwise, Mike Gansey and/or Frank Tolbert are going to have to play out of position. Neither is a natural point guard by any stretch of the imagination; however, the BayHawks did use a Gansey/Tolbert backcourt to go on an 8-0 run to close out the game Wednesday night versus Springfield. It might not be pretty, but they need to be creative in the short term until they get their point guard situation straightened out.


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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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