Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Look at the PBL: Augusta Groove vs. Wilmington Sea Dogs

After severing ties to the infamous ABA, several teams have coordinated this new league, which airs live games on their website In this matchup, several key minor league prospects stood out.

In terms of team effort as a whole, the Groove were a very scrappy defensive team- they were able to put their hands in the passing lanes on multiple occasions. In the second period, they caught fire from the perimeter in order to take the lead. However, a minor run by the Sea Dogs and a technical foul on Donyell Davis gave the opposition some momentum. The Groove had no answer for the post play of McGinnis in the second period. He was able to draw fouls on Augusta and slow down the tempo of the game. They had several intelligent outlet passing plays that gave them easy layup opportunities. The Groove got to the line a great deal in the second half and were able to capitalize the vast majority of the time. However, they also committed a great deal of fouls in the third period.

The Sea Dogs are a fiesty rebounding club, who lives off of second chance baskets. Clark and McGinnis collected many offensive rebounds, creating several extra possessions for this Wilmington squad. Their ball movement was quite good for a minor league team, and they were more than willing to share the wealth and play within themselves. At certain points in the game, they were relatively foul prone though. Instead of grabbing players, they should have played better team and help defense. The inside combination of Joe Buck and Cedric McGinnis was simply too much in the second period. The Sea Dogs are not a tremendous shooting team, but they are more than capable of hitting open shots down the stretch. In the end, McGinnis a dominant presence in the paint.

Wilmington Sea Dogs
Joe Buck- Early on, Buck demonstrated a nice array of fundamentals- boxing out nicely and utilizing nice post pivot moves. He possesses a decent form on his jump shot but has a tendency to go a bit flat. He corraled several offensive rebounds and displayed great hands on defense. Buck stopped his man and was an excellent help defender that was able to clog the passing lanes.

Cedric McGinnis- He is a strong big man, who establishes nice post position. He is fairly mobile for his size and is adept at drawing fouls in the post. In this contest, he utilized the drop step in order to get around his defender. Surprisingly, McGinnis was able to step out and attack the basket as a faceup player. As such, it can be said that Cedric possesses an underrated ball handling ability. If he is going to play at a higher level of basketball, he must continue to work on his perimeter shooting. While he did hit a few three pointers, he was not consistent enough in this area.

Chris Clark- He is one of the top guards on this squad. Clark was able to penetrate to the basket, and was explosive enough to set up shots for his teammates. In the third period, he dribbled around three defenders and made a nice pass out to his teammate for the open three. This play simply demonstrates his impressive handle. He does not have great lift on his jumper, but is able to hit outside shots when called upon.

Jim Jones- He is the steady ball handler for the Sea Dogs, who drew several fouls throughout the course of the game. Jones is also a sparkplug shooter who made several tough jumpshots in pivotal moments.

Joseph King- King is a solid shooter, who was able to collect some steals on defense as well. He played at a high intensity level and looked to get his teammates involved.

Augusta Groove
Lance Leach- Leach is an explosive small guard that was able to drain many shots from beyond the arc. At times, he looked a bit out of control, trying to drive through four Sea Dog defenders. But, he played under control for the vast majority of the game. Leach had a pretty behind-the-back pass to his teammate for an easy layup to close out the third period.

Kenneth Curtis- This big man possesses considerable girth, but has a fairly diversified game. In this contest, he was able to bring his defender outside and nail the three point shot. On several plays inside, he utilized both hands to score inside. He was a bit foul prone, not able to contain the quicker Joe Buck.

Cory Sims- Sims seemed to be the best player on the Groove. Despite being the team's point guard, he grabbed several key rebounds and displayed great effort when attacking the basket. Sims had several second chance opportunities and played bigger than his 6'1 listed height would indicate. He is a consummate slasher that should show more of a perimeter game.

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