TORONTO, ON–There is a lot of movement in this edition of the National Basketball League of Canada’s power rankings. A few teams are catching their groove, while some are slumping and one remains consistent.
1. London Lightning 6-2
London remains on top of the power rankings. They continue to be defensively sound, leading the league or near the top of the key defensive statistics. They are also the league’s only team to have not lost back to back games.
Gabe Freeman continues to be the heart and soul of the Lightning. He is the only player in the league averaging a double-double. Freeman’s 16.4 points per game and 13 rebounds are a major reason why the Lighting are the highest class of the NBL Canada. The addition of former NBAer Rodney Buford has also given the Lightning another scoring option, and a go-to player down the stretch.
Upcoming Games: November 24 vs. Moncton Miracles 7:00pm, December 2 @ Summerside Storm 7:30 pm, December 3 @ Moncton Miracles 7:00 pm.
2. Halifax Rainmen 3-2
The Rainmen make the biggest jump in this edition of the Power Rankings. They are riding a three game winning streak after losing their first two games. They made the biggest trade of the early season trading away Rodney Buford to the London Lightning for Tyrone Levett, and haven’t lost anything offensively hitting the century mark in each game during their streak.
Lawrence Wright and Canadian Joey Haywood have led the way offensively for the Rainmen averaging 18 and 17 points per game respectively. If they can continue to get secondary scoring from their bench, who averaged an amazing 59.3 points in their three victories they will be a tough team to stop.
Upcoming Games: November 27 @ Oshawa Power 2:00pm, December 2 @ Saint John Mill Rats 7:00pm
3. Saint John Mill Rats 4-4
After starting the year 0-3, the Mill Rats have turned it around and gone 4-1 since the subpar beginning.
Antoine Tisby who is averaging 18 points and 7.8 rebounds per game could be the best low post player in the league. If teams do not double him he will abuse any defender. If teams decide to double him he has the ability to find the open man. Its double edged sword when dealing with Tisby, but for any basketball fan, it is a joy watch the potential chess match he creates between head coaches.
Upcoming Games: November 30 vs. Summerside Storm 7:00pm, December 1 vs. Oshawa Power 7:00pm, December 2 vs. Halifax Rainmen 7:00pm.
4. Quebec Kebs 5-4
It was an emotional week for the League’s busiest team. They grieved the loss of their fallen teammate Sam Carey, who passed away in a tragic car accident. With heavy hearts the Kebs took the court in memory of Carey and delivered a win in his honour.
The Kebs have slowly been able to find their stride. After a shaky beginning, they’ve defeated Oshawa on the road, avenged a lost to Summerside and have played the Lighting tough in both meetings this season. The Kebs are a matchup problem for most teams, and that fact alone will turn into more victories for the team from “La belle province”.
Upcoming Games: November 29 @ Oshawa Power 7:30pm, December 1 @ Summerside Storm 7:00pm, December 2 @ Moncton Miracles 7:00pm.
5. Oshawa Power 3-4
After having a week off following a big road win in Quebec against the Kebs. The Power played four gruelling games this past week while losing three. The young Power team are still trying to figure out how to win close games, taking some tough losses in the process.
An injury to number one overall draft pick Morgan Lewis, suffered in a loss to the rival Lighting might be a small set back to the progress that Lewis was on. Lewis was coming off his best performance of the season 21 points, 12 rebounds in an overtime victory over London in the first of back to back games in the battle of the 401.
With almost a week off before their next game, the Power are optimistic that Lewis will be ready to go.
Upcoming Games: November 25 vs. Summerside Storm 7:30pm, November 27 vs. Halifax Rainmen 2:00pm, November 29 vs. Quebec Kebs 7:30pm, December 1 @ Saint John Mill Rats 7:00pm.
6. Summerside Storm 4-3
The league’s most high flying offense has been grounded as of late. If they can find themselves defensively they may gather a lot more wins. But offense sells tickets, and the Storm may be the most exciting team to watch this season. They have six players who average double figures in points per game. If you have the opportunity to see the Storm play you should jump all over it.
Upcoming Games: November 25 @ Oshawa Power 7:30pm, November 30 @ Saint John Mill Rats 7:00pm, December 1 vs. Quebec Kebs 7:00pm, December 2 vs. London Lightning 7:30pm.
7. Moncton Miracles 0-6
The Miracles have struggled out the gate. A tough first couple weeks saw them play five games before finally getting an opportunity to play at home. In front of a loud and enthusiastic crowd the Miracles fought hard and played easily their best basketball game this year. Their first victory is not too far away.
Upcoming Games: November 24 @ London Lightning 7:00pm, December 2 vs. Quebec Kebs 7:00pm, December 3 vs. London Lightning 7:00pm, December 4 @ Halifax Rainmen 2:00pm.