Game Reviews (Yes, Plural): BayHawks Complete 2-0 Sweep in Tulsa

Monday, January 18, 2010

All of a sudden, the Erie BayHawks are starting to show signs of life. After winning back-to-back home games against rival Fort Wayne, the BayHawks travelled to Tulsa and won a pair of tough games on the road against a 66ers team that entered the weekend second in the West (apparently not Western?) Conference.

Erie won 97-91 on Saturday night and 102-97 on Sunday. Highlights are below:

The story of the BayHawks' mini-resurgence (let's not get carried away, they're still just 10-12 on the season) has been authored by Cedric Jackson. Whether it's Ridiculous Upside's Scott Shroeder or GoErie's Duane Rankin, Jackson has been the lead story from the past few BayHawks' games and for good reason. Over the four-game winning streak, Jackson has averaged 25.3 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. He has had some ball control issues, turning it over 4.3 times per game over that four-game stretch, but he gets a good chunk of them back, also averaging 2.3 steals.

Most impressive has been the way Jackson's been scoring. He's always been good at getting to the line, leading the team with 131 free throw attempts (Alade Aminu is second on the team with 96 attempts), but lately he's been making the most of his opportunities. During the four game streak, Jackson's shot 34-38 from the line. I'll do the math for you: that equals 89.5 percent. As someone who still struggles shooting from the field (39.4 percent for the year, 29.5 percent from 3), that kind of performance from the free throw line is huge. And it's been a major key in Erie's recent success, but Jackson hasn't had to do it alone.

Erie hasn't lost since acquiring Frank Tolbert. After making a 15-minute cameo Wednesday night in Erie's win over the Mad Ants, Tolbert got the start in both games against Tulsa. He made Coach Treloar look smart right off the bat, scoring 8 points in the first quarter as the BayHawks jumped out to a 24-15 lead. He followed that performance with a team-high 25 points yesterday on 8-10 shooting and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line.

Tolbert's starting role came in place of Mike Gansey, Erie's other recent addition. Curiously, Gansey didn't play at all in Tulsa. No word on whether this was injury-related, a coach's decision, or what. Seriously, how is it that there is no news on this? He went from starting to not playing at all, and no one knows why? Lack of accessible information FAIL.

On a more positive note, Alade Aminu also played well over the weekend. Consistency has been the issue for him this year. With four straight double-doubles, he's on a bit of a streak of his own. Scott Schroeder thinks he'll get an NBA call-up before the year ends, writing, "If there was a stat that combined youth+athleticism+length+untapped potential, Aminu would lead the D-League." DraftExpress also values Aminu's potential, ranking him as the #2 D-League prospect.

The BayHawks head to Austin for a showdown with the 9-9 Toros on Tuesday night before returning to Erie for three straight home games.

Quick observations of the opposition

  • Moses Ehambe is one of the best shooters I've watched play against the BayHawks this season. He went 7-15 from downtown over the two games, but it seemed like every shot he hit was a big, momentum-gaining shot.
  • Mustafa Shakur had the dunk of the weekend, driving past his man and then hanging in the air long enough that Kyle Goldcamp may see himself on a poster someday. Kevin Henry of 66ers Nation said Shakur's a quiet scorer and generally, I agree. He gets 20 points, and you wonder where they all came from, but the two from that ferocious dunk were anything but quiet points.
  • High school-to-pros player Latavious Williams managed to grab 13 rebounds in 36 minutes, but he's clearly a raw talent at this stage of the game.
  • Deron Washington is a great energy player. It shows most in this stat. Of Tulsa's 66 free throw attempts in the two games, Washington attempted 22 of them, making 15.


P-Flaw said...
January 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM  

I have really enjoyed watching Jackson play. And overall the team has definitely looked more comfortable out there ever since the Showcase. 10-12 is near remarkable considering their poor start & constant player movement. Their turnaround reminds me the Grizzlies this season. Hopefully they can ride the momentum to another win tonight. Keep the coverage coming.

Matt Hubert said...
January 19, 2010 at 8:51 PM  

I totally agree. It's been great watching Jackson develop. Hopefully he and the team can continue the upward trend. Thanks for the comment!

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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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