Give and Go
By Erie Times-News Sports Erie Times-New staff bloggers
The Erie Times-News sports staff delivers in-depth coverage of the Erie BayHawks and pro and college basketball   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘playoffs’
Posted: December 27th, 2012

The Erie BayHawks take a four-game winning streak into Friday night’s game against defending D-League champion Austin at Erie Insurance Arena.

The Toros beat the BayHawks in the first round of the 2012 D-League playoffs en route to winning the league title.

Posted: August 1st, 2012

Former Erie BayHawks star forward Ivan Johnson appears on course to return to Atlanta after the Hawks extended him a qualifying offer last month./AP.

Nearly a month ago, the Atlanta Hawks extended a qualifying offer to Ivan Johnson, who starred for the Erie BayHawks in the 2010-11 season.

The deal is for one year and nearly a million dollars guaranteed. Not bad for someone who didn’t make $30,000 in the D-League with the BayHawks.

Basically, the Hawks can match any offer sheet Johnson signs as a restricted free agent. The reserve power forward averaged 6.4 points and four boards in 56 games for Atlanta in the shortened 2011-12 season.

With no news of any other team offering Johnson a deal, it appears Johnson will be back in Atlanta if he chooses to sign with the Hawks. The deal expires Oct. 1, but the Hawks could extend the date.

Johnson came into the NBA with his share of issues I saw first hand while he was with the BayHawks, but he also arrived hungry and determined to stick.

The latter shined brighter even though his pocket was $25,000 lighter after getting fined for flipping off fans after the Boston Celtics eliminated the Hawks in Game 6 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

The key for Johnson, who turned 28 in April, is to stay hungry and find that unique balance of playing hard, spirited, but not reckless. Johnson has to walk that line to maximize his full ability.

If he plays passive, he’s not effective.

If he plays too fiery, he loses control.

If he plays better than he did last year, Johnson will get more than a qualifying offer after the 2012-13 season.

Posted: May 19th, 2012

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade must take over or find themselves watching the NBA Finals from home./AP

60.

That’s the magic number.

With Chris Bosh out with an abdominal injury that will take 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 weeks to heal depending on who you believe, the Miami Heat need their two superstars – LeBron James and Dwyane Wade – to average at least 60 points in order for the Heat to get past the Indiana Pacers and win it all.

Right now, James and Wade are averaging a combined 46.6 points in this Eastern Conference semifinals series that the Heat are trailing 2-1 heading into Sunday’s Game 4 in Indianapolis.

James is at 27.3 a game. Wade 19.3.

That’s not enough.

In desperate times, the superstars get it done.

Ten years ago, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant showed us all how.

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: April 27th, 2012

(1). San Antonio Spurs (50-16)

1st round foe: (8) Utah Jazz (36-30)

Biggest concern vs. Jazz: With big boys Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, Utah can cause the Spurs problems in the paint.

Last 10: 10-0 (Won 10)

Strengths: The hottest team in the NBA, the Spurs have great chemistry, Tony Parker is playing at a very high level and they’ve got one of game’s best coaches in Gregg Popovich.

Weaknesses: Still wondering if this regular-season success is a product of the schedule? Are they really as good as they appear to be? What happens if Parker gets in foul trouble early?

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Posted in: NBA
Posted: April 27th, 2012

(1) Chicago Bulls (50-16)

1st round foe: (8) Philadelphia 76ers (35-31).

Biggest concern vs. 76ers: Don’t have a true superstar, but enough good players to make you have to compete to beat them.

Last 10: 7-3 (Won 3)

Strengths: Defense. The Bulls lead the NBA in fewest points allowed (88.17 per game). They have front-court depth, great team chemistry and a closer in Derrick Rose.

Weaknesses: Key injuries to their two best players – Rose and Luol Deng – make them vulnerable. Although they’ve had success without Rose, in the playoffs, he’ll need to be close to 100 percent to reach NBA Finals.

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Posted in: NBA, New York Knicks
Posted: April 25th, 2012

Get it out of here.

After turning the ball over, former Erie BayHawks forward Ivan Johnson swatted away a dunk attempt by Nick Young of the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

Johnson has become a key reserve for the Atlanta Hawks as they head into the NBA playoffs.

Posted: April 16th, 2012

Two in. Two more to go.

Tonight, seventh-seeded Canton and second-seeded Springfield will settle their best-of-3 D-League first-round playoff series beginning at 7 in Springfield. The expansion Charge took Game 1, but the Armor stayed alive after winning Game 2 in overtime Sunday.

At 8:30 p.m., fifth-seeded Erie and third-seeded Austin will have their Game 3 at 8:30 p.m. in Austin. The BayHawks won Game 1 at home, but the Toros took Game 2 by 10 points Sunday.

The winner of these two series will face each other in the semifinals.

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Posted: April 12th, 2012

D.J. Kennedy and New York Knicks rookie 7-footer Jerome Jordan each had 19 points to lead the Erie BayHawks to an 108-95 Game 1 win against the third-seeded Austin Toros on Thursday night at Tullio Arena.

It was the first-ever home playoff win for the BayHawks, who have made the playoffs in three of their four D-League seasons.

A fifth seed in this year’s playoffs, Erie scored 37 bench points in taking an 1-0 series in this best-of-3 series. Game 2 is Sunday in Austin.

Game 3, if necessary, will also be in Austin on Monday.

Posted: April 11th, 2012

Rookie guard Jeremy Green is averaging 7.1 points in 19 games for the Erie BayHawks this season. Photo by Janet B. Kummerer/Erie Times-News

This D-League playoff series will end in his hometown.

After Thursday night’s Game 1 at Tullio Arena, Erie BayHawks rookie Jeremy Green will return home for Game 2 of this best-of-3 series against the Austin Toros.

Game 3, if necessary, will be in Austin where Green grew up. So out of all the BayHawks, Green was probably the happiest Austin chose Erie as its first-round opponent.

“I was actually excited,” Green said. “Austin is a good team. That’s where I’m from. Everyone around the city goes to watch the Toros. It should be interesting with me coming back there as a visitor instead of cheering for the home. It should be fun.”

Out of Stanford, Green expects family and friends to attend Game 2 and Game 3 if necessary.

“It should be a pretty nice homecoming,” Green said.

No booing the hometown boy now.

“Austin is good city,” Green said smiling. ” Good fans. I don’t think there will be any booing or anything like that, but it should be fun.”

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Posted: April 6th, 2012

The eight-team field for the 2012 D-League playoffs has been set.

The Los Angeles D-Fenders are the top seed. The West Conference champions have the D-League best record of 37-12.

Dakota (29-20) has a game lead against Springfield (28-21) for the East Conference title. That conference champion will get the No. 2 seed.

Austin (32-17) has the No. 3 seed. The top three seeds get to pick their first-round opponent Sunday. Last year, Reno chose Erie and beat the BayHawks, 2-1, in a best-of-three series.

Bakersfield (28-21), Canton (27-22), Erie (27-22) and defending D-League champion Iowa (25-24) round out the eight playoff teams. The D-League playoffs begin April 10.

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