FINAL FOUR BREAKDOWN, Game B: #3 QUIET STORM vs #2 DREAM TEAM
SEMI FINAL Game B (1:15 pm)
#3 QUIET STORM (Red Division Runner Up, 8-2 Overall) vs #2 DREAM TEAM (Red Division Champs, 9-1 Overall)
One of the most long standing and successful teams in the AABL has once again made it deep in the Playoffs by utilizing their favorite style of play: UPTEMPO. But this team with a deep bench full of athletes was built for Tournament play at various out-of-state tourneys and they may have realized that AABL teams have grown accustomed to this style and have learned to prepare for it. AABL League play doesn’t consist of three or four games played in one day. It is one game at a time and opponents have learned to strategize and outmanuever the QS defensive pressure which is crippling to weaker teams, but the stronger teams are more than capable of beating and attacking it. If QS wishes to add their plaque for the THIRD TIME to the AABL CUP, they will have to control the pace and pick their spots to push the ball. But with the most dominant frontcourt in the league, it could be a wise idea to feed the post on halfcourt possessions and let the big guys go to work.
After much improvement throughout the years which has developed into a finely tuned machine this 2010-11 AABL Season, DREAM TEAM looks poised to reach the promised land. With each player knowing their role, adhering to a team first attitude and sticking to their keys to success faithfully, this may be the most prepared team in the Final Four. In the past, man to man defense has been used by the athletically superior teams to apply pressure to turnover-prone teams. Dream Team welcomes opposing man to man defense and the inability of the other squads to defend the pick-and-roll.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- Create turnovers: Quiet loves to press, and they love to score off of the press. Quiet needs to press early and often to keep Dream Team on their heels and create easy scoring opportunities.
- Defend the pick and roll: In their Week 9 matchup, Quiet had difficulty with the oldest offensive play in the book. They must be able to anticipate it and defend it accordingly, or Dream Team will have a field day.
- Run the ball: Quiet’s strength has always been their ability to score in transition. This is an attribute they must capitalize on because they have plenty of depth.
- Feed the post: Bollman and Ford have been the most talented frontcourt throughout the season. If/when Quiet is forced to play halfcourt, they would be wise to take advantage of this pair.
- Vary the Pressure: QS relies too much on athleticism and speed and they stick to a 2-2-1 press which is easily beaten with just one pass. QS can feed their pressure-hungry defensive style while throwing off their opponents by pressing and trapping in different full court and half court sets, and not be so predictable.
Key Players: Jimmy Harrison, Steve Bollman, Maurice Ford, Kaleo Kina
- Control tempo: In an effort to counter Quiet’s tendency to run, Dream Team can see success by playing to their strength – halfcourt execution. They can limit possessions and thus limit scoring opportunities for Quiet.
- Break the 2-2-1 press: Dream was able to beat Quiet’s press in Week 9, but that doesn’t mean that they can just waltz around the court. Quiet will probably go harder at them – Dream needs to be ready.
- Rebound: With Quiet’s strong frontcourt , keeping their big men off the glass is paramount. QS can be deadly when given second chance opportunities.
- Defensive transition: Dream Team, if they get back on defense, can limit easy fast break scoring opportunities and can force Quiet to beat them in the halfcourt. Quiet has improved their halfcourt offense, but it doesn’t mean they’re still comfortable doing it.
- Hit the easy shots: Dream Team goes to the foul line more than any other team in the league (besides the Hurricanes). They could have made their lives easier against the Raptors in their Overtime Quarterfinal victory if they weren’t so terrible from the line– they hit just 18/37 FTs (48.6%) for the game.
Key Players: Michael Macaraeg, Harold San Antonio, James Oaks, Melvin Floyd, Brent Woodhouse
Notes: Since 2007, Quiet Storm and Dream Team have met six times (including playoffs). Quiet Storm is 4-2 in those games, winning by an average of 27.25 points. Dream Team, though, has won the last two meetings, by an average of 4.5 points.