Frustrated Incorporated -or- Why I'm Not a Betting Man

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

OK, so this is a personal rant. Read at your own discretion. The Rio Grande Valley Vipers just won the 2010 D-League championship. Congratulations to them, but they just drove a stake through my heart as well.

I entered the NBA D-League's 2010 "choose your own" Twitter contest. The rules were simple. Prior to the start of the playoffs, you had to tweet your picks for the D-League finals, who would win and the score of the decisive game. I had Rio Grande Valley over Tulsa in a 221-point finale.

As it turned out, only one other person had RGV vs. Tulsa in the finals. He or she had a final score of just 167 points. I'm not yet sure who that other person was, but I wonder if they were glued to the computer screen as I was, stuck watching a periodically updating box score with the game only being broadcast on tape delay on Versus and not streamed live via FutureCast.

If you do the math between our predictions, I needed the total to be 189 points or greater. The other person needed 187 or less. I was feeling pretty confident heading into the game, but the fluke was on. These were the same two teams that combined for 231 points in Game 1. Yet somehow, they had just 131 heading into the fourth, leaving me to root for one of these three outcomes.

Down the stretch it looked like they might actually make a run at the 189-point mark, but defenses stiffened down the stretch and the game was tied at 91 with 8 seconds left, Vipers ball. A stop from Tulsa and the game goes into overtime where all I would have needed was 9 combined points to cross the threshold. As fate would have it, Vipers guard Craig Winder beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer that won the D-league championship for Rio Grande Valley while simultaneously losing the contest for me...BY A MERE FOUR POINTS.

To put that into perspective, these teams combined to miss 96 shots in the game. Ninety-six! If they would've made two of those 96 and shot just 44.7 percent from the field, I would have won the contest. The teams combined to miss eight free throws. Convert on just half of those misses and I'd be in the winner's circle. Or, if Winder's shot misses and the game goes into overtime, I'm sitting pretty for a prize with an RGV win or a retry if Tulsa were to win.

Instead, I'm left to write this blathering blog post pining about what coulda-shoulda-woulda been had there just been a few more points. Four points to be exact. Of course, had I just predicted a 106-101 finale, this post never would have had to happen. Bummer.

2009-10 Players in Review: Mike Gansey

Gansey was acquired by the BayHawks in a Dec. 31 trade that sent Erie's number one draft pick, Donell Taylor, to the Idaho Stampede. At the time of the trade, I was a bit skeptical since Taylor was a focal point of Erie's offense and Gansey was a sixth round pick by Idaho.

Fortunately, Gansey's arrival in Erie unleashed the player that helped West Virginia make an Elite Eight and Sweet 16 appearance in back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005 and 2006. In 27 games as a BayHawk, Gansey averaged 18.4 points per game, highest among those who played at least 15 games with the team. He hit 59-181 3s (32.6 percent) and shot 83.1 percent from the line. But beyond the stats, what he gave Erie was the outside shooting threat that they did not have before acquiring him.

For the season, Gansey's 7.1 rebounds per game ranked him second in the D-League among guards. He actually averaged even better rebounding numbers with the BayHawks (8.2).

Gansey's best stretch of play came early in March. In six games, he averaged 26.2 points while shooting 18-37 from 3-point range, 10.5 rebounds, and 2 steals and led the BayHawks to a 5-1 record. He also earned D-League Performer of the Week honors for the week of Jan. 25, which was highlighted by the game against Springfield when he hit the game winning layup with just 8 seconds remaining.

Unfortunately, Gansey's time with the BayHawks was limited due to injury and illness. He missed 10 games in all.

Still, Gansey was one of the most valuable BayHawks this season and that's before you factor in the entertaining and informative blog he wrote over at Ridiculous Upside. After spurning the BayHawks in their inaugural season and choosing to play overseas after they made him their number one pick, Gansey won over the fans and organization with strong play on the court and great personality off it.

He showed glimpses of being NBA-caliber this season. Hopefully he's back in Erie next season to put together that same type of performance on a game-to-game basis and earn a shot at the next level.

2009-10 Players in Review: Cedric Jackson

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rookie Cedric Jackson probably improved more than any BayHawks player from the beginning to the end of the season. His development was duly noted by scouts at the NBA level, too, as he earned call-ups from three NBA teams (Cleveland, San Antonio, and Washington).

At the D-League level, Jackson was one of the league's best point guards. He finished the season third in the league in assists (7.4), 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.25), and fifth in steals (2.06) per game. Jackson was also a force attacking the rim. Using his lightning quick first step to get past his defender, Jackson earned a team-high 249 free throw attempts in his 34 games as a BayHawk while converting at a 72.3 percent clip. His 7.3 free throw attempts per game ranked ninth in the league. His nine double-doubles were also tied for sixth most among D-League guards.

The weak link of Jackson's game was his outside shooting. For the season, he shot 42.6 percent from the field and hit just 27 of 100 3-point attempts.

His best stretch of the season came in mid-January just prior to his first NBA call-up to the Cavs. In five games from January 10-19, Jackson averaged 36.8 minutes, 27 points, 9 assists, and 2 steals per game, and shot 47-55 from the free throw line. The BayHawks went 4-1 over that stretch. They proceeded to go 2-7 after he was called up to Cleveland.

Later in the season, team chemistry wasn't quite the same with Jackson and newly acquired Blake Ahearn in the backcourt, but that should not overshadow Jackson's development as a first-year pro. After three separate stints in the NBA, Jackson has his sights set on making an NBA roster to start the 2010-11 season. Despite limited minutes at the NBA level, I think the odds are at least 50/50 if not better that Jackson does land an NBA gig, possibly in Washington, where he finished the season on a high note.

He has NBA quickness. And at 6'3" he has good length for a point guard. Defensively he has a lot to offer. He was the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year at Cleveland State and was one of the best on-ball perimeter defenders in the D-League. Spending time in San Antonio under Gregg Popovich and in Cleveland under Mike Brown likely helped him learn some more about playing defense at the NBA level and defending the pick 'n roll.

If he doesn't make it, the reason will be shooting. Jackson should be spending hours every day this summer with a shooting coach, working to improve his outside jumper. If he can develop a respectable perimeter game to keep defenses honest, there will be nothing stopping him from earning a backup point guard role. If he remains the player he is today, he may still catch on somewhere in a niche role or he may wind up back in the D-League or playing overseas. It would be somewhat surprising to see him back with the BayHawks next season. He has NBA athleticism. If he can augment the skills he has and continue to work hard to refine his offensive game, he'll have an NBA contract as well.

Filling Out My NBA Playoff Bracket

Friday, April 16, 2010

March Madness left me wounded (thanks a lot, Syracuse!) But the D-League playoffs have me on the rebound with my predictions after going 4-0 in the first round. So, I thought I'd take a stab at the NBA playoffs while I'm at it.

For what it's worth, I hit on six of the eight playoff teams in both my East and West preseason predictions. I narrowly missed on the Thunder (9th) and seriously underestimated Milwaukee, who I picked to finish dead last in the East.

The biggest difference is between the NBA playoffs and NCAA Tournament is that March Madness is one-and-done, which, as we all witnessed this year, opens the door to plenty of unpredictable upsets. In the D-League, the playoffs expanded to a best-of-3 series this season, so upsets are still possible, but it can't happen with just one fluke performance. The NBA model of best-of-7 means the best team usually wins. With that in mind, here are my picks:

1st Round
1. Cleveland Cavaliers over 8. Chicago Bulls in 4
4. Boston Celtics over 5. Miami Heat in 7
3. Atlanta Hawks over 6. Milwaukee Bucks in 6
2. Orlando Magic over 7. Charlotte Bobcats in 6

1. Los Angeles Lakers over 8. Oklahoma City Thunder in 5
4. Denver Nuggets over 5. Utah Jazz in 7
3. Phoenix Suns over Portland Trail Blazers in 6
2. Dallas Mavericks over San Antonio Spurs in 6

2nd Round
1. Cleveland Cavaliers over 4. Boston Celtics in 5
2. Orlando Magic over 3. Atlanta Hawks in 6

1. Los Angeles Lakers over 4. Denver Nuggets in 7
2. Dallas Mavericks over 3. Phoenix Suns in 6

Conference Finals
1. Cleveland Cavaliers over 2. Orlando Magic in 6

1. Los Angeles Lakers over 2. Dallas Mavericks in 6

2010 NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers over Cleveland Cavaliers in 7

I know the Lakers are entering the playoffs with several question marks. Their play has tapered off down the stretch. Andrew Bynum hasn't played in weeks. Kobe Bryant is showing signs of wear and tear. Plus, LeBron James has been a force all year long and seems hell bent on winning the title this year before becoming a free agent this summer.

Still, I picked the Lakers over the Cavs way back in October, and I'm a Lakers fan, so I'm sticking with the pick. It's almost impossible for a defending NBA champion to come in under the radar, but this Lakers team is not expected to win. People are talking about them like they're a lost cause. If anyone can perform an instant playoff turnaround, it's Phil Jackson. And if they do advance to the Finals to meet the Cavs, the Phil Jackson vs. Mike Brown coaching dynamic favors the Lakers. And although Kobe-LeBron is no longer a question in terms of athletic talent, LeBron still hasn't gotten it done in the postseason. There is no doubt that Kobe's competitive fire will be at an all-time high if this series materializes because he wants no part of being a torch passer. Not now. Not yet. Lakers in a memorable seven games is my prediction.

All NBA D-League Teams Announced

The official 2009-10 All D-League teams were announced today as follows:

1st Team
Guard: Curtis Stinson, Iowa Energy
Guard: Reggie Williams, Sioux Falls Skyforce
Forward: Mike Harris, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Forward: Cartier Martin, Iowa Energy
Center: Dwayne Jones, Austin Toros

2nd Team
Guard: Will Conroy, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Guard: Mustafa Shakur, Tulsa 66ers
Forward: Alonzo Gee, Austin Toros
Forward: Rob Kurz, Fort Wayne Mad Ants
Center: Brian Butch, Bakersfield Jam

3rd Team
Guard: Antonio Anderson, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Guard: Curtis Jerrells, Austin Toros
Forward: Alade Aminu, Bakersfield Jam
Forward: Larry Owens, Tulsa 66ers
Center: Earl Barron, Iowa Energy

Honorable Mentions
Guard: Morris Almond, Maine Red Claws
Guard: Desmon Farmer, Reno Bighorns
Guard: Orien Greene, Utah Flash
Guard: Cedric Jackson, Erie BayHawks
Guard: Coby Karl, daho Stampede
Guard: Keith McLeod, Albuquerque Thunderbirds
Guard: Garrett Temple, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Forward: Romel Beck, Dakota Wizards
Forward: Rod Benson, Reno Bighorns
Forward: Bennett Davis, Utah Flash
Forward: Trey Gilder, Albuquerque Thunderbirds
Forward: Donell Taylor, Idaho Stampede
Center: John Bryant, Erie BayHawks
Center: Byron Mullens, Tulsa 66ers
Center: Greg Stiemsma, Sioux Falls Skyforce

Today also marked the release of the D-League blogosphere's All-D-League selections over at Ridiculous Upside, which included a vote from yours truly. The results can be seen below.

1st Team
Guard: Curtis Stinson, Iowa Energy
Guard: Reggie Williams, Sioux Falls Skyforce (Morris Almond)
Forward: Mike Harris, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Forward: Cartier Martin, Iowa Energy (Rob Kurz)
Center: Dwayne Jones, Austin Toros

2nd team
Guard: Will Conroy, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Guard: Morris Almond, Maine Red Claws (Mustafa Shakur)
Forward: Carlos Powell, Albuquerque Thunderbirds (Rod Benson)
Forward: Rob Kurz, Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Reggie Williams)
Center: Earl Barron, Iowa Energy

3rd Team
Guard: Mustafa Shakur, Tulsa 66ers (Curtis Jerrells)
Guard: Alonzo Gee, Austin Toros (Orien Greene)
Forward: Cartier Martin, Iowa Energy (Romel Beck)
Forward: Larry Owens, Tulsa 66ers (Carlos Powell)
Center: Rod Benson, Reno Bighorns (Brian Butch)

Honorable Mentions
Guard: Curtis Jerrells, Austin Toros
Guard: Donell Taylor, Idaho Stampede
Guard: Blake Ahearn, Erie BayHawks
Guard: Orien Greene, Utah Flash
Guard: Coby Karl, Idaho Stampede
Forward: Romel Beck, Dakota Wizards
Forward: Diamon Simpson, Los Angeles D-Fenders
Center: John Bryant, Erie BayHawks
Center: Brian Butch, Bakersfield Jam
Center: Greg Stiemsma, Sioux Falls Skyforce

Cedric Jackson Finishes NBA Season on a High Note

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It took three teams, four contracts, and 12 appearances, but Cedric Jackson finally got a chance to put his talent on display in the NBA last night in the Washington Wizards’ season finale, a 98-97 win over the Indiana Pacers.

In the game, Jackson set season highs for minutes played (19) and points (8). Granted the game was between two teams long eliminated from playoff contention, and Jackson did commit 5 turnovers to go along with his 4 assists. Still, the rookie point guard made plays down the stretch of an NBA game and scored all 8 of his points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 3-pointer, the first 3 of Jackson’s NBA career, with 1:31 left to play.

The game was just his fourth as a Wizard and only the third all year in which he played at least 10 minutes. His previous highs of 15 minutes and 6 points each came during games he played as a member of the San Antonio Spurs back on March 13 and 12, respectively.

Jackson, who earned his first call-up from the Cleveland Cavaliers, saw both his minutes per game and points per game increase with each subsequent call-up. He finished his rookie NBA season (12 games played) with averages of 6.3 minutes, 1.7 points, 1.2 assists, 0.9 turnovers, 0.7 rebounds, 0.2 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game. It’s a small sample size, but the fact that three different teams chose to take a look at him is proof that there is interest in the lightning quick point guard heading into next season. The biggest detriment of Jackson’s game is probably his shooting touch. He finished just 6-20 (30 percent) from the field, 1-6 (16.7 percent) from 3, and 7-12 (58.3 percent) from the free throw line.

After spending most of his call-up time with Cleveland and San Antonio riding the bench for playoff-bound teams, it was nice to see Jackson get an opportunity to finally play some legitimate minutes in the season finale for a Wizards team that has some serious questions to answer and holes to plug in its roster as it looks forward to the 2010-11 season.

An 8-point fourth quarter and game-winning 3? As Herm Edwards would say, he can build on this! If Jackson can put together a strong summer—especially if he can find a shooting coach and improve his outside jumper—then I’d say there’s no reason why Jackson shouldn’t be competing for a backup point guard spot in the NBA next fall, possibly even in Washington.

2009-10 Erie BayHawks Season in Review, Part 3: March/April

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This is the third part of my three-part month-by-month review of the BayHawks’ 2009-10 season. Be sure to also read parts one (November/December) and two (January/February). Today's post focuses on the months of March and April as Erie made one final push for the postseason only to come up short.


Record: 6-5 (3-5 Home, 3-0 Road)
Iowa 116, Erie 111 (box | review)
Iowa 120, Erie 127 (box | review)
Sioux Falls 93, Erie 116 (box | review)
Erie 101, Albuquerque 97 (box | review)
Erie 116, Idaho 102 (box | review)
Erie 111, Utah 101 (box | review)
Dakota 109, Erie 105 (box | review)
Dakota 101, Erie 100 (box | review)
Fort Wayne 90, Erie 86 (box | review)
Fort Wayne 82, Erie 95 (box | review)
Fort Wayne 114, Erie 108 (box | review)

March 2: Acquired Blake Ahearn in a trade with Bakersfield Jam for Alade Aminu.
March 10: Cedric Jackson called up by San Antonio Spurs
March 11: Acquired Mike Sweetney
March 20: Darnell Jackson re-assigned by Cleveland Cavaliers
March 21: Darnell Jackson recalled by Cleveland Cavaliers
March 31: Cedric Jackson called up by Washington Wizards

BayHawks C0-Players of the Month
Mike Gansey: 44.3 mpg, 21.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 48.9 percent shooting, 45.2 percent 3-point shooting, 2.1 spg
Blake Ahearn: 45.1 mpg, 24.6 ppg, 6.1 apg, 97.7 percent free throw shooting (85-87), 41.2 percent 3-point shooting

20/20 Hindsight
March was perhaps the most interesting month of the season for the BayHawks. Despite losing their all-star forward Alade Aminu, the BayHawks started the month strong, including a season-high five straight games behind the amazing guard play of Blake Ahearn and Mike Gansey. When Cedric Jackson returned to the lineup, the team suddenly seemed to have too much talent at guard and the team chemistry appeared affected. Mike Gansey then came down with an illness that cost him about two weeks worth of games, and the team ultimately came up short of the playoffs. Still, the team that played for much of the month of March looked like a team that could've been a playoff team had they played the full season together.


Record: 2-0 (1-0 Home, 1-0 Road)
Springfield 90, Erie 107 (box | review)
Erie 105, Maine 97 (box | review)


BayHawks Player of the Month
Blake Ahearn: 45 mpg, 31.5 ppg, 10 apg, 54.1 percent (13-24) 3-point shooting

20/20 Hindsight
The BayHawks closed the season on a high note, winning both of their games in April. The first game was a game they almost had to win, the Fan Appreciation Night home finale against league worst Springfield. The follow-up was much more telling of this team's character. The night after the Springfield game, Erie had to play in Maine in a televised game that the Red Claws needed to win to get into the playoffs. Erie was playing for pride, and yet they prevailed on the strength of Blake Ahearn's hot shooting.

Gansey Part of NBA Contingent Headed to China

Monday, April 12, 2010

Straight press release from me today:

Erie BayHawks guard Mike Gansey is part of a contingent of NBA Legends and NBA Development League players headed to the Sichuan Province to participate in NBA Cares events and play two games in support of Beijing Aoshen basketball team charity efforts April 16-18. The activities are part of the NBA’s continued commitment to support rebuilding efforts in the earthquake stricken Sichuan Province.

Gansey was one of several D-League players that was asked to participate in the events and jumped at the opportunity to travel abroad. “I’ll represent Erie in the best way I can,” said Gansey. “As soon as I was asked I said ‘of course I want to go.’ I’ve been overseas before but never to China. I’m really looking forward to playing and hanging out with guys like Chris Mullin and Robert Horry and the rest of the D-League players,” he added.

Gansey departs Wednesday morning for the weeklong trip. The rest of the roster is still being finalized due to the ongoing D-League playoffs.

On April 17 and 18, Gansey and his teammates through an invitation from Beijing Aoshen basketball team, will participate in two exhibition games to celebrate the successful completion of the Chengdu International Basketball Invitation Tournament. The Chengdu NBA Aoshen Legends Game will be two friendly games that will see the NBA Legends switch sides and play for Aoshen at halftime of each game. The New Jersey Nets Dance Team and Mascot, SLY the fox will also make the trip.

Preceding the games, on April 16, Mullin, NBA D-League players and the New Jersey Nets dance team and mascot will join NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program, to unveil four refurbished courts at the Dujiangyan Qingcheng Mountain Advanced Secondary School. Following the unveiling, the former NBA stars will host a basketball clinic for the students.

One hundred selected students and earthquake orphans from the Dujiangyan School will also be invited to attend the exhibition game on April 17 and 18 and will be recognized on court during the game.

Fans can watch for updates of Gansey’s trip on the team’s website at

2009-10 Erie BayHawks Season in Review, Part 2: January/February

Friday, April 9, 2010

If you missed it, I looked back at November and December yesterday in part one of my 2009-10 season review.

Here now is part two of my three-part month-by-month review of the BayHawks’ 2009-10 season. Today's post focuses on the months of January and February when Erie continued to retool and reshape itself on the fly in an attempt to turn its fortunes around.


Record: 8-7 (3-3 Home, 3-4 Road, 2-0 Neutral)
Erie 86, Maine 94 (box | review)
Erie 75, Springfield 97 (box | review)
*Reno 88, Erie 92 OT (box | review)
*Erie 102, Los Angeles 89 (box | review)
Fort Wayne 89, Erie 87 (box | review)
Fort Wayne 70, Erie 100 (box | review)
Fort Wayne 97, Erie 109 (box | review via D-League)
Erie 91, Tulsa 91 (box | review)
Erie 102, Tulsa 97 (box | review)
Erie 113, Austin 121 (box | review)
Rio Grande Valley 110, Erie 88 (box | review via D-League)
Rio Grande Valley 100, Erie 94 (box | review via D-League)
Springfield 94, Erie 95 (box | review)
Erie 78, Maine 82 (box | review)
Erie 93, Springfield 91 (box | review)

*D-League Showcase

Jan. 4: Acquired Booker Woodfox. Waived Martin Zeno.
Jan. 11: Acquired Frank Tolbert. Waived Booker Woodfox.
Jan. 23: Cedric Jackson called up by Cleveland Cavaliers
Jan. 29: Acquired Tychicus Snow.

BayHawks C0-Players of the Month
Alade Aminu: 33.4 mpg, 16.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1 bpg
Cedric Jackson: 35 mpg, 21.5 ppg, 7.8 apg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 spg

20/20 Hindsight
January was the month where Alade Aminu flashed his all-star potential with a 30-point, 23-rebound effort in front of NBA scouts in Erie's first game of the D-League Showcase. Unfortunately, the month ended with Aminu playing just 38 minutes combined in two games, foreshadowing the eventual deal that would send him out of Erie. On a positive note, January was the BayHawks' first winning month of the season, highlighted by a 2-0 performance in the Showcase, back-to-back road wins in Tulsa, and Mike Gansey's clutch free throws against Springfield that helped earn him D-League Performer of the Week honors.


Record: 1-8 (1-2 Home, 0-6 Road)
Iowa 101, Erie 87 (box | review)
Erie 94, Iowa 97 (box | review)
Erie 78, Iowa 102 (box | review)
Erie 82, Iowa 85 (box | review)
Erie 84, Fort Wayne 105 (box | review via D-League)
Erie 80, Fort Wayne 91 (box | review via D-League)
Dakota 108, Erie 114 (box | review)
Dakota 108, Erie 103 (box | review)
Erie 95, Maine 102 (box | review)

Feb. 5: Waived Kyle Goldcamp due to injury.
Feb. 16: Re-acquired Cedric Jackson.
Feb. 24: Danny Green adn Darnell Jackson assigned by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Feb. 25: Re-acquired Kyle Goldcamp
Feb. 25: Waived Tychicus Snow
Feb. 26: Darnell Jackson recalled by Cavaliers
Feb. 28: Danny Green recalled by Cavaliers.

BayHawks Player of the Month
Mike Gansey: 39.4 mpg, 14.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg

20/20 Hindsight
February was a month to forget for the BayHawks, featuring a season-long six game losing streak and just one win, which happened to be the night Cleveland assigned both Darnell Jackson and Danny Green. Alade Aminu earned an all-star selection only to regress in his performance and see his playing time diminish. Cedric Jackson earned a call-up that left the team void of ballhandling and movement on offense. Mike Gansey earned my nod for player of the month over the likes of Ivan Harris, John Bryant, and Jackie Manuel, even though February was Gansey's worst shooting month as a BayHawk at 39.3 percent from the field. That about sums it up. February was an ugly month for Erie as game after game they reinvented ways to lose.

2009-10 Erie BayHawks Season in Review, Part 1: November/December

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Erie BayHawks set the bar high by posting a 27-23 record and qualifying for the postseason in their inaugural season last year. The team had high hopes for the 2009-10 season despite an opening day roster that returned just three players from last year’s team. In fact, they were ranked fourth in the initial D-League power rankings.

But after winning the season opener on the road against Fort Wayne, Erie lost seven of their next eight games and never again rose above the .500 mark. The midseason trade that brought in Mike Gansey and late-season trade that brought in Blake Ahearn provided small boosts, but the team was unable to find a consistent winning formula, finishing the season 21-29, sixth in the East Conference and six games back of the eighth playoff spot.

Here now is part one of three of my month-by-month review of the BayHawks’ 2009-10 season, a season that was ultimately disappointing but not without its share of memorable moments.


Record: 1-1 (0-0 Home, 1-1 Road)
Erie 85, Fort Wayne 77 (box | review)
Erie 82, Fort Wayne 93 (box | review)

Nov. 6: Acquired Alade Aminu from Fort Wayne for rights to Rob Kurz.
Nov. 16: Waived Derrick Mercer, Raheem Moss, Jeff Skemp, and Ryan Troutman.
Nov. 18: Waived Joe Jones.
Nov. 25: Waived Oliver Lafayette and Rod Wilmont.

BayHawks Player of the Month
John Bryant: 37 mpg, 15 ppg, 14 rpg, 2 bpg

20/20 Hindsight
Lafayette and Wilmont both signed with the Mad Ants soon after Erie cut them. Both would factor into Fort Wayne victories over Erie later in the season. Kurz pushed for a trade and had little or no interest in playing for the BayHawks, but I can't help but wonder how the season would've played out differently had he been on the roster all season in place of Aminu, who was himself eventually traded to Bakersfield.


Record: 3-8 (1-5 Home, 2-3 Road)
Erie 101, Sioux Falls 110 (box | review)
Erie 109, Sioux Falls 107 OT (box | review via D-League)
Maine 116, Erie 90 (box | review)
Maine 81, Erie 77 (box | review)
Maine 96, Erie 75 (box | review)
Erie 88, Iowa 95 (box | review)
Erie 89, Iowa 99 (box | review)
Erie 108, Springfield 94 (box | review)
Iowa 99, Erie 90 (box | review)
Iowa 100, Erie 95 OT (box | review)
Bakersfield 78, Erie 91 (box | review)

Dec. 18: Acquired Cliff Clinkscales. Waived Zach Sowers.
Dec. 31: Acquired Mike Gansey in a trade with Idaho for Donell Taylor.

BayHawks Player of the Month
Jackie Manuel: 42 mpg, 14.2 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.9 stocks (steals+blocks) per game

20/20 Hindsight
This wasthe month the train got off track. Erie lost its first five home games and sputtered offensively, failing to score 95 points seven times in 11 games. Fairly or not, Erie's offensive disarray was traced back to the failed experiment to play Donell Taylor at point guard. As a result, Taylor was shipped to Idaho for Mike Gansey, which also allowed rookie Cedric Jackson to take over the role of point guard. The Dec. 27 loss at home to Iowa was among the worst of the season for the BayHawks as they blew a 30-point lead before bowing out in overtime.

Final Game Highlights: Erie BayHawks 105, Maine Red Claws 97

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Erie wrapped up the season with a 105-97 win over the Maine Red Claws. It was their first win in seven tries against the Red Claws this season. The Red Claws finished the season with six straight losses and missed out on the playoffs at 27-23. Erie finished the year 21-29 by winning their last two games.

The 2010 D-League Playoffs will begin on Wednesday. The Erie BayHawks season is now over, but that doesn't mean Blog Talk BayHawk will shut down. We'll be transitioning into off-season mode, but not before recapping all of the ups and downs from the 2009-10 season.

Springfield Game Review + Season Finale Game Preview: Erie BayHawks (20-29) vs. Maine Red Claws (27-22)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The BayHawks closed out their home schedule yesterday with a 107-90 victory over the Springfield Armor. Tonight, they finish the season on the road against the Maine Red Claws in a game that will be televised on Versus tonight at 11 p.m.

Erie coming in: Yesterday's win was the second in three games for the BayHawks and their 10th home win of the season (10-15). Blake Ahearn led the way with 31 points, including 6-14 from 3, and 11 assists. Mike Gansey also made a splash in his return to the lineup, shooting 7-12 from the field for 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Ivan Harris and John Bryant each chipped in with 15 points, and Mike Sweetney and Kyle Goldcamp each had 12. Abdulai Jalloh was a one-man wrecking crew for the Armor, scoring a game-high 35 points in a losing effort.

Check out the highlights below:

Maine coming in: After sporting one of the top records in the league earlier this season, the Red Claws have fallen off down the stretch. They've lost five straight, including a 102-95 loss at home last night against Fort Wayne, and currently sit in eighth place in the D-League standings at 27-22.

What's at stake tonight?
For Maine, the stakes couldn't be much higher. They need a win plus a loss by Reno in one of the Bighorns' final two games in order to make the playoffs because Reno (26-22) owns the tiebreaker by virtue of going 2-0 against the Red Claws this season.

For Erie, they have a chance to play the role of spoiler in a game that will be on national TV. This is also their final opportunity to break through and get a victory against Maine. The BayHawks are 0-6 against the Red Claws so far this season, but this is the first time Erie has played Maine since acquiring Blake Ahearn and Michael Sweetney. It should be a fun backcourt matchup with Maine's Russell Robinson and Maurice Ager going head-to-head against Ahearn and Mike Gansey.

Home Finale Game Preview: Springfield Armor (7-42) vs. Erie BayHawks (19-29)

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's been a rocky season for the Erie BayHawks. Inconsistent play has led to a disappointing season that will see the team finish with a losing record and miss the playoffs after qualifying for the postseason as an expansion team last year. The season wraps up tomorrow night in Maine in a game that can be seen on Versus (tune in after the Final Four finishes!).

Tonight marks the final home game for the BayHawks. The friendly confines of Tullio Arena have been a bit too friendly for visiting squads this season. Erie is 9-15 at home. The good news is that their home finale opponent is the league's worst team, the Springfield Armor, who are just 7-42 this year. It's Fan Appreciation Night, and I have courtside seats, so here's hoping the BayHawks close out the home slate on a high note!

Game 49 Preview: Springfield Armor (7-42) vs. Erie BayHawks (19-29)

Springfield coming in: The Armor haven't won a game since March 16 when they defeated Albuquerque 108-104. They're currently on an eight-game losing streak. Worse yet, the Armor are 0-24 on the road this season. With tonight being their last game of the season, Springfield is going to be determined to break through and avoid the embarrassment of the 0-fer. It doesn't hurt that the Armor did defeat the BayHawks once earlier this season either, although both rosters are considerably different than they were back then.

Erie coming in: After winning five of their first six games in March, Erie closed the month by losing four of five and being eliminated from playoff contention. Point guard Cedric Jackson was called up by the Washington Wizards and thus will not be with the BayHawks for the final two games. Jackson's departure will shift Blake Ahearn back into the role as the primary ballhandler. The good news for Erie is that Mike Gansey is slated to return to the lineup tonight after missing the past three games recovering from the flu.

BayHawks keys to success: Honestly, there's not a whole lot new to say at this point in the season. Both teams are playing for pride, so I'm not going to get into the X's and O's for this one. But there are three storylines worth following tonight.

  • The Rockers Reunion
    Ridiculous Upside's Scott Schroeder dubbed Ahearn and Gansey as the Rockers. I'm not sure if the Armor is more Iron Mike Sharpe or The Intruder, but you get the idea. When Cedric Jackson was with the Spurs, Ahearn and Gansey were really clicking in the BayHawks backcourt. Jackson returned, Gansey got sick, and production dropped off, but the tandem gets one last chance to shine in Erie tonight, and there will be no Barber Shop Incident that breaks up this team

  • Fan Appreciation Night
    A large crowd is expected tonight in Erie as it is the final game of the season and Fan Appreciation Night. I don't know how much of a difference a packed crowd can make on a game, but I think it's safe to say the BayHawks would like to give their fans a good showing to close out the home schedule.

  • Springfield's Last Hope
    As I mentioned earlier, the Armor has not won a road game all season long. However, one of the Armor's closest calls came during their only other trip to Erie. Springfield led by 8 points with just over four minutes remaining before the BayHawks mounted a late surge, eventually winning 95-94 thanks to two clutch three throws from Gansey. If Springfield loses again tonight, that 0-25 mark is going to stick with them for a long time. On the flip side, Erie doesn't want to be the team that ended that streak, especially in the home finale.

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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