FINAL FOUR BREAKDOWN, Game A: #4 REBELS vs #1 HURRICANES
SEMI FINAL Game A (12:00 pm)
#4 REBELS (Blue Division Runner Up, 6-4 Overall) vs # 1 HURRICANES (Blue Division Champs, 10-0 Overall)
For another year the Rebels have made another great run deep into the AABL Playoffs, but this time they are not considered a Cinderella team like in seasons past. With a starting 5 that can match up favorably against any team in the league, this team has a nice shot at the chip if they make the most of every possession, limit turnovers and the bench provides hustle and defense.
A team consisting of a plethora of All-AABLers, the Hurricanes have made an impressive run throughout the Regular Season by defeating the top teams in dramatic fashion and crushing all the others. With a get up and go type offense with players that can put the ball in the bucket from every position on the court, the Hurricanes simple offensive motto seems to be if they can put up more shots than the other team, they will MAKE more and WIN. Defense? Starts with a good offense.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- Give the ball to Tony Leary: Leary scored a career-high 43 points against this very squad, and averages 27 ppg. Also, season defensive scoring averages suggest that Hurricanes won’t be able to stop him.
- Find another scorer: Outside of Leary, only Josh Lambert scored in double figures (13 pts). Someone else has to step up in order to keep Hurricanes honest defensively. Hopefully, Lambert (7.3 ppg), Joe Marlowe (14.7 ppg), or Roland Tilar (15 pts in season debut) can provide some much needed scoring help.
- Transition defense: Hurricanes love to run (74.6 ppg), so getting back on defense and making them work for their points will certainly help.
- Limit turnovers: Rebels must take care of the ball. Hurricanes average 9.3 spg (1st), so less turnovers means less fast break opportunities the Hurricanes will have.
- Attack the Paint: Although they lead the league in steals because of athletic guard play, the Canes are last in the league in Blocks, lacking a true shot stopper at the rim.
Key Players: Tony Leary, Joe Marlowe, Herschel Mack, Josh Lambert, Roland Tilar
- Give the ball to Calvin Johnson: Johnson averages 20.7 ppg and can score in a variety of ways, so setting him up should be a given.
- Neutralize Tony Leary: Leary scorched the Canes in Week 4, so stopping this swingman is a top priority.
- Run, and run some more: Hurricanes have plenty of depth, so running the ball is an obvious option. Another plus to a fast break offense is to tire out Rebels, since they aren’t as deep.
- Three-point accuracy: Averaging an AABL-high 7.8 made threes means the Hurricanes like to shoot, especially Andy Sanderson. He’s as much a key as Johnson.
- Team Rebounding: The Rebels hit the boards hard and get a bunch of second chance ops thanks to Herschel Mack. Canes need to limit offensive rebounds while sparking their fast break from crisp outlet passes to their quick guards.
Key Players: Calvin Johnson, Andy Sanderson, Alex Webb, Marvin Todd
Notes: Since Hurricanes consist of members of many past AABL squads, the closest comparison is the Rebels’ matchup against ’08 Squires. Rebels lost that game, 73-39, and if you include the contest earlier this season, the Rebels are 0-2, losing by an average of 29.5 points.