Looking Ahead at the BayHawks Schedule

Friday, February 19, 2010

The BayHawks' 11-day all-star break finally comes to an end tomorrow when they open a two-game weekend series on the road against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Recall that Erie lost its last four games heading into the all-star break and is 2-8 in their last 10 games with the two victories coming by 1 and 2 points against Springfield, the D-League's worst team in the standings.

With just 18 games remaining, Erie is hoping to make a post-all-star break run at a playoff spot, but it won't be easy. The two division winners plus the teams with the next six best records regardless of conference will make the playoffs. As the standings are right now, that would mean and Iowa would be the top seed from the East and Rio Grande Valley in the West with Austin, Maine, Dakota, Tulsa, Albuquerque, and Sioux Falls rounding out the playoff field. Erie currently sits at 12-20, which puts them 12th in the D-League standings. The BayHawks are five games back of Springfield for that eighth and final playoff spot.

As I mentioned last week over at D-League Digest, the BayHawks have the toughest schedule in the D-League. It doesn't let up much down the stretch either. Ten of their final 18 games are against the eight teams currently in playoff position, including two apiece against Iowa and Maine. Erie is 0-13 this season against the Energy and Red Claws so far this season.

Last year, Erie made the playoffs with a record of 27-23. Bakersfield had the worst record of the teams that qualified for the 2009 D-League playoffs with a 26-24 mark. In order to reach that mark, Erie would need to finish the season 14-4, which is quite the tall task for a team that has just one win streak of at least three games this season (they won four straight in mid-January).

Here's how their remaining schedule breaks down:

By team:
5 vs. Fort Wayne
4 vs. Dakota
2 vs. Maine
2 vs. Iowa
1 vs. Sioux Falls
1 vs. Albuquerque
1 vs. Idaho
1 vs. Utah
1 vs. Springfield

By location:
11 at home
7 on the road

By month:
February: 5
March: 11
April: 2

With the return of Cedric Jackson, there is some hope that the BayHawks can make the late-season surge they need. Of course, they'll have to take care of business against Fort Wayne and Dakota (and finally steal a game or two from Iowa and Maine). But it's the three-game, four-day West Conference road trip that looms in March as a potentially crippling or uplifting experience for this team.

In addition to the return of Jackson, the continued development of all-star Alade Aminu will be one of the biggest storylines for the BayHawks down the stretch. With two games on Versus (March 20 vs. Dakota and April 3 at Maine), there will be some added national exposure. There's plenty to look forward to in what has so far been a season marred by inconsistency and frustration. The final push starts tomorrow with a 7:30 p.m. tip off against the Mad Ants.


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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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