Intrigue Out East
By: Chris Croucher
In only a couple of weeks, the Atlantic Division has gone from a clear picture to an enigma. While
the Central seems fairly clear (London looks like the runaway best team, even despite recent struggles) the situation in the Atlantic has taken a turn for the unpredictable.
A lot of the change can be attributed to the Moncton Miracles, specifically the hiring of Paul Mokeski as head coach. The former Brampton A's assistant coach has taken a team that started the year with a paltry 6-11 record, and has won 6 of his first 8 games since taking over on February 16th. More importantly, Mokeski seems to have plugged some of the holes in the Miracles defence. The league average for points against is 105 points per game, and the Miracles have only allowed a team to surpass that mark twice since Mokeski took over. Both games, the Miracles lost (Niagara scored exactly 105 points in their Feb. 27 matchup).
The biggest loser in this change so far has been the Saint John Mill Rats, who have played the Miracles three times since the change. After squeaking out their first matchup, winning 116-115, they dropped their next two matchups against the Miracles, missing out on the chance to leap ahead of the Halifax Hurricanes in the standings in the process.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, they've led the division for most of the season, but now after a 2-3 stretch find themselves neck-and-neck with Saint John. In fact, they might have been the beneficiary of an easy schedule, as you have to go back to January 3rd to find their last win against a team with a winning record.
While it might be too late in the season for the Miracles to steal home-court advantage way from either of the top two teams, you would have to think that getting the top seed becomes much more important, because as it stands, it is almost certain that the top teams don't want to face Moncton.
G - James Justice (Moncton)
- Back to his high scoring ways after a slower February
G - Louis Munks (Orangeville)
- Averaged 22ppg over the week, leading O'ville to two narrow wins
F - Brent Jennings (Island)
- 23.5ppg in his two games this week, playing some of his best ball of the season
F - Chris Commons (Windsor)
- 18ppg this week for Mr. Consistent, has score in double-digits every game so far
C - Anthony Stover (Saint John)
- Quiet on the scoring front, but followed a 6 block game with 23 rebounds and 3 more blocks
- March 3: ORG @ NIA, LDN @ WIN
- March 4: MON @ SJ, HFX @ ISL, NIA @ WIN
- March 5: ORG @ LDN, SJ @ MON
- March 6: ISL @ MON, WIN @ ORG
- March 6: Released Joseph Bertrand. Signed and activated Brandon Bowdry.
- No transactions
- March 3: Activated Nick Evans. Released Mustafaa Jones.
- March 3: Released Jamil Terrell. Activated Kason Cheeks from Injured Reserve. Signed and activated Gary Gibson (IR designate for Derrick Hall).
- March 2: Signed and activated B.J. Monteiro. Released Dylan Edgar.
- March 2: Activated Brandon Austin from Injured Reserve. Released DaQuan Brooks. Placed Lewis Jackson (ankle) on Injured Reserve. Signed and activated DaQuan Brooks.
- March 4: Placed Brandon Austin (groin) on Injured Reserve. Signed and activated Dominic Cheek.
- March 2: Activated Jabs Newby from Injured Reserve. Released Mike Anderson.
- March 4: Signed and activated Sherron Collins as IR designate for Ljubisa Vrcelj.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
Southern Miss ➡️ @LondonLightning ➡️ @WindsorExpress— NBLCNET (@nblcnet) March 7, 2016
Maurice Bolden's story: https://t.co/7iwdFKGxvf #NBLC pic.twitter.com/DQrVgLGXT2
PS you can bid on certain jerseys after the conclusion of tonight's game! Thank you to Provincial Chrysler! pic.twitter.com/wb08Bo9Zy1— Windsor Express (@WindsorExpress) March 4, 2016
Former players give their takes on referees, salaries, and the #NBLC as a whole.— NBLCNET (@nblcnet) March 3, 2016
READ: https://t.co/d2xhaSwKUg pic.twitter.com/Bv4D0dqNjm