Monday, 12 June 2017 13:54 Written by Kevin Hitch
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2020 NatCon Round 2 Preview


2020 Lavoie 01
Mack Lavoie and the Knights have the Toronto Huskies in their sights in the 2nd round of the NatCon playoffs.

 #1 London Knights (62-18) vs. #4 Toronto Huskies (49-31)

How did the teams get here?

London took care of business in the first round of the playoffs. The Knights defeated the #8 Manhattan Swing 4 games to 1. The Knights won by an average of almost 15 points per game.

#4 Toronto swept the #5 Quebec Coyotes. The Huskies had two one-point wins in this series against the Coyotes.

About the Knights

They are the top of the league in defense. They allow just 90.2 points per game which is top in the league. They also lead the league in rebounds per game and are third in blocked shots. Defensive player of the year, Jean Larry, leads the team. He averages 10 rebounds and 4 blocks per game. He is joined by Herschel Hofer, who came over in a trade last year, and forms the second part of the dominant inside defense. Hofer's plus/ minus per game is better than Larry. He averages 8 rebounds and 3 blocks per game. No one stands out on offense as seven players average in double figures.

About the Huskies

The Huskies are fourth in the league in scoring. Charles Flowers is one of the best offensive players in the league with 28 points. per game. Mathew Cole is the other offensive threat at 25 points per game.

Their defense gives up eight points more per game than the Knights. Toronto's offense has a problem with turnovers that may give the Knights easy baskets. The Huskies are second worst in the league at giving away the ball.

Injury concerns

Motya Kamensky (TOR) is out 10 days.

Val Crumley (LON) is basically day to day.

James Willhite (LON) is out 3 days.

Season Series

Went to the Huskies 3-2. However, the Knights won the last two.

Prediction

Defense wins championships. Jian Lan and the Knights beat Jim Tessier and the Huskies in six games.

 


 #2 Arizona Thunderbirds (56-24) vs. #3 Boston Buzzards (52-28)

2020 Campbell 01
Malik Campbell and the Buzzards will have to contend with the extremely tough defense of the Thunderbirds.

 

How did the teams get here?

The #3 Buzzards advanced in seven games by beating the #6 South Florida Sharks. The #2 Thunderbirds beat #7 Seattle SeaDogs in five games. After losing game one at home, Boston had to win the final game on their home court to advance. The Thunderbirds dominated in the first two games at home. They had wins by 15 and 31 points.

About the Buzzards

The Buzzards play well as a team. This is both on the offense and defense The team concept contributes to not one player sticking out on the offensive end. This means anyone can step up offensively on a given night. The Buzzards 102 points per game is ranked eighth. The defense is giving up 96 points per game. This is the sixth best.

Will the younger players like David Watts and Octavio Morrison be able to contribute in this series? Will the offseason acquisition of Malik Campell give the Buzzards enough to win?

About the Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds are not known for their offense. In fact, they rate low in the league on points per game. However, Harry White is still considered one of the better players in the league. He gets help from SG Mark Marble. The two put 40 points up per game, but the rest of the team barely doubles it. Angel Kurzyna is a valuable veteran that will help on the front line.

Arizona ranks third in defense at 98 points per game allowed. They block shots at the leagues' best clip which makes it tough for inside scoring.

Injury concerns

None

Season Series

Tied 2-2. However, the Thunderbirds won the last game by 33 holding the Buzzards to 9 in the 4th and 27 in the second half.

Prediction

Both teams rebound well, the Buzzards create turnovers well while the Thunderbirds are last in the league. The team effort will not be enough for the Buzzards. Arizona will take the series in five games.

 

 

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