Look to get back on track against Halifax on Thursday
Got five minutes?
The Summerside Storm could use them.
The Storm is playing the Halifax Rainmen on Thursday (7 p.m.) at EastLink Arena, and they need about five more minutes of good basketball than they’ve had recently.
Games in the National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada are 48 minutes long, just like in the NBA.
Four quarters of 12 minutes each. That’s pretty long – university or international games are 40 minutes – usually two 20-minute halves.
Summerside Storm head coach Joe Salerno said Friday that, to win in the NBL of Canada, you usually have to play hard and well for at least 45 of those minutes. The Storm has been stuck around 40 lately.
They had a lousy time of it last week with the time equation, when threes were wild as well – three losses in three nights, each hinging on quarter three.
Wednesday, in Saint John, they sagged in the third quarter, after playing fairly even with the Mill Rats in the first half. Thursday, at home against Quebec, they sagged in the third quarter after playing fairly even with the Kebs in the first half.
Friday, against the London Lightning, the Storm (stop me if you’ve heard this) sagged in the third quarter after leading by 14 at the half.
Actually, against London, the Storm came out of halftime with fire in their eyes, and started just as dominantly as they had in the first half. Things started slipping away midway through the period, and then a torrent of turnovers late in the quarter turned the Lightning’s offence into a layup drill.
The fourth quarter was just as bad as the Storm turnovers kept coming (an ugly 32 for the game), and the Lightning rang up 38 fourth-quarter points. Do that math, and it’s an amazing per-game rate of 152 points.
"The Storm is playing the Halifax Rainmen on Thursday (7 p.m.) at EastLink Arena, and they need about five more minutes of good basketball than they’ve had recently." Bob Gray
“We lost focus for a few minutes, and then started trying to force things,” Salerno said this week. “We have to play smarter with the basketball, and stop forcing.”
Halifax will gladly accept turnovers as they play a pressure game and like to run.
“We are watching a lot of film this week, and because it’s our only game we have more time to prepare,” Salerno said. “It’s a big game for us as we’re obviously in a bit of a slide.”
Salerno said Halifax has added two new players since the Storm played them a few games ago, and they’re making a difference.
“Eddie Robinson, who played with the Chicago Bulls, and Tyrone Levett, who they got in a trade with London, are playing well for them now,” said Salerno.
Add those two forwards into the visitors’ mix, which already features former star Saint Mary’s guard Joey Haywood, and the Rainmen suddenly seem better than their 4-4 (won-lost) record.
The Storm will be equal to the task if they can somehow manage those extra five minutes. It should be fun to watch.
Bob Gray is a freelance journalist with a long history of P.E.I. basketball reporting. He welcomes comments at email@example.com.