Sunday, January 23, 2011

PBL Hoops- Halifax Rainmen vs. Bluegrass Stallions

In this contest, the Bluegrass Stallions jumped out to an early lead due to Kenny Jones's 7 points, which came from put backs and post ups inside. Following this boast in the opening minutes, the Rainmen went on a run to close the first quarter, after Boo Jackson and Kavon Jones effectively attacked the rim. Finally, the Stallions were able to close the second quarter on a run and thereby regain the lead due to Aubrey White's dribble penetration.

In the third quarter, the Bluegrass Stallions got out in transition and extended their lead. In particular, Bo Harris was effective driving to the basket. Aubrey White reentered the game rejuvenated and full of energy. He helped to maintain the Stallions' lead in the late third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Rainmen fought to cut the lead down. Early on, White's heroics sustained the lead- he grabbed several key rebounds to create extra possessions. But, Kavon Jones' play inside cut the lead down to 2 points mid way through the fourth quarter. When Kenny Jones responded inside, Taliek Brown came back and scored twice cutting to the basket. In the end, though, Jones was able to grab several key rebounds and McLeish stole a critical pass to close out a Bluegrass Stallion victory.

Halifax Rainmen

Taliek Brown- In the PBL, Brown has taken a more active role as an offensive player, acting as one of the top distributors in the PBL while also looking to score the basketball. While Brown did not always make ideal decisions- he traveled on several plays and lost the ball on occasion- he was always willing to make the extra pass, particularly in transition. Moreover, when he did not turn the ball over, Brown provided a solid leadership presence, looking to take the game into his own hands at pivotal moments. In the second half, he was assertive finishing at the rim whenever his team was behind. With that said, he fouled two players while they were shooting three point shots- so these poor decisions counteracted the strides he made on offense.

Boo Jackson- Jackson is an athletic combo forward who has played in the D League. Not only does he pick his spots offensively, but he also has active hands on the glass and in the passing lanes. Jackson must work to improve his free throw shooting if he expects to play at a higher level of basketball. Defensively, Jackson poked away the basketball several times from the opposing team, but struggled with his post defense against Kenny Jones- specifically, he allowed Jones to receive low post position and draw contact.

Kavon Jones- He was extremely aggressive attacking the basket today. Jones is an athletic forward with a face up game. Jones came into the contest and immediately made his presence felt, grabbing several key rebounds. He also demonstrated an ability to dribble past multiple defenders and get to the basket. In the second half, Jones functioned primarily as a post option, using his girth to muscle his way inside. Because of his solid athleticism, Jones is able to contest shots at the rim and thereby serve as a barrier for the opposition's dribble penetration.

Josh Dollard- Dollard was the most valuable player for the Rainmen in the first half. He was aggressive attacking the basket and provided a solid option inside for point guard Taliek Brown. He was able to contort his body and finish through contact. Moreover, Dollard was able to help the Rainmen obtain a rebounding margin in the first half. When he left the game with foul trouble, the Stallions gained an edge on the glass.

Bluegrass Stallions

Kenny Jones- Jones was fairly active inside early in this contest. He displayed active hands on the glass, and was capable as a post option despite being undersized at 6'6. Jones got himself open inside and showed some promise as a pick-and-roll player. Further, Jones demonstrated sheer will on the offensive glass, hustling for rebounds and positioning himself nicely. Overall, Jones has been the Stallions' most valuable option throughout the season, and his play in the fourth quarter really cemented a nice home victory.

Aubrey White- This former Georgetown College standout looked like he was at home in this professional contest. White is an extremely skilled offensive slasher that is capable penetrating to the basket or pulling up for a balanced jump shot. White demonstrated remarkable athleticism on the defensive end, blocking an alley oop attempt in transition. Further, he was able to draw several charges, positioning himself and displaying solid lateral quickness. Not only was White able to create extra possessions due to his prowess on the defensive end, but he also exhibited excellent hang time when attacking the basket in transition. White further displayed his athleticism on the glass, where he was able to collect offensive rebounds amongst the trees. All in all, White has the tools to play at higher levels of basketball. He must maintain his consistency on the offensive end, and look to lead his team to a PBL championship if he ever hopes to make this a reality though.

Bo Harris- Harris is a slashing 6'7 forward who is able to get in the lane and attack the basket. He is a willing passer that can set up his teammates inside. One post entry feed to Reo Logan- in particular- helped solidify Harris's position as a dynamic point forward.

Jason McKleish- McKleish came alive in the third quarter, hitting long range shots and attacking the basket. Aside from his marksmanship from beyond the arc, McKleish's most important contribution came on the defensive end. In the middle of a Rainmen run in the fourth quarter, McKleish stole a pass to effectively end this contest.

Reo Logan- This 7-footer is a standout who displayed an intriguing skillset inside. Most of Logan's potential comes from the defensive end, where he is a solid help defender- employing nice length to deflect passes and decent lateral quickness, which allowed him to hedge on screens. Not only was he able to contest just about everything on the defensive end, but he also displayed an interesting post game. Logan was able to find openings and score inside when given the opportunity. He must continue to work on attacking inside instead of choosing finesse moves.

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