Tough Sked Working Against Rainmen

The Halifax Rainmen dropped game two of the National Basketball League of Canada finals Monday night to the London Lightning. The team will host their first game of the finals, but down 2-0 it could also be there last.

Game one went to London as well in a tight game that was decided by only three points, 86-83. Game two was a vastly different story. Where many thought Halifax deserved to win the first game, London clearly outpaced the Rainmen in game two, 113-96. In additon to facing a strong London team that posted the best record in the regular season, the wider margin of victory may be in part be due to a rigorous schedule of late that won’t get any better for the Halifax squad.

Monday night’s game marked the Rainmen’s fourth game in five nights. The only off day they had to rest came on Saturday the 17th, but they also had to travel to London following their game Friday the 16th when the ousted the Quebec Kebs in the semi-final. Foolowing last night’s game two loss, the Rainmen get another day off, but again will have to use it for travel from London back home to Halifax for game three tomorrow night.

Should Halifax manage to stave off elimination Wednesday, the two finalists will square off again Thursday night at the Halifax Metro Centre. That would make six games in eight days, and the only off days requiring close to 2,000 km of travel eacy time.

On the other hand, London had eight days in between the end of the NBL semi-final series and the start of the finals. They haven’t been on the road since March 4th.

Part of the reason could be that both clubs share facilities with Canadian Hockey League Major Junior clubs who will both be kicking off their postseasons Friday March 23rd, although the Knight will open on the road in Windsor.

None of that means much though to the Halifax Rainmen that simply have to face the reality. Despite the fact that these guys are professional athletes in great physical shape, playing almost every night and having to fly 2,000 km and be away from home can make recovery from intense match-ups extremely difficult.

Here’s to the Rainmen for the valiant effort so far, and let’s come out in force to give them the extra shot of adrenaline from a raucous home crowd Wednesday night in Halifax. It’s an uphill battle made more difficult by a grueling schedule.

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