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What the Vipers must do.

The RGV Vipers squeaked by the Reno Bighorns in an exciting nail-biter of a game. Round 2 game 1 is in the books and my wife almost had a heart-attack in the stands. The game should not have gone to over time. If my memory serves me, Reno did not ever lead late in the game until 89-88.  This having led 86-73! They were 6-10 points behind the Vipers most of the game. After the game I gave Daryl Morey, the Rockets GM, the “whew” sign. He put his hand on my shoulder. I said, “At least it’s a W!” He said they’d take it.

The good thing is that now the ball is in their court, so to say, as they play on the road in Reno on Wednesday. The awesome home crowd won’t be there, but it’s Reno who will have the pressure of a must win. They’ll come hungry and ready and with the crowd behind them. What do the Vipers need to do to win?

Here are some of my thoughts, in no particular order. Marcus Landry is a DLeague all-star. He had an off night tonight. He looked better down the stretch, but still was off. That usually means that he’ll have a good next game. Contain him again. Don’t let him get hot behind the arc. Similarly, we had guys who had an off night tonight- mainly Matt Janning. Coach Finch has been starting Matt Janning instead of Richard Roby lately and playing well. Tonight, he only had one bucket, a layup.  He needs his confidence back to start draining those 3-balls. Terrel Harris only made 1 of 4 threes, but it was almost like Winder’s game winner in the finals last year! Atchley was cold from beyond the arc and Mouhammad Faye as well. This needs to change. Roby as well needs to attack the rim, but under control. Too many charges.

MAKE FREE TRHOWS! Stay aggressive defensively. Jon Scheyer’s defense is mentioned as being the one thing he needs to improve on.  He and the rest of the team played some very good defense. Connor Atchley fouled out. 2 of those fouls looked like clean blocks! Roby fouled out and 2 of those were offensive fouls with shots going in.  Aggression, without fouling! And if you do foul, foul hard!! Don’t let them make the bucket. So many times tonight, Reno had and 1 opportunities because of weak fouls.

Get Patrick Sullivan going. He plays with passion. He’s been a back seat to Patterson, then Adrien, and sadly to Thabeet for 7 games. They are 3-0 without Thabeet! Move the ball around, take it inside and Sully will put up great numbers for you, whether it be 1st option or trash points.

Jerrel McNeal was great and a leader. Scheyer too. Smart play wins games. Refs will miss calls or botch what should be no calls, but you can’t control that. The Viper had twice as many turnovers than Reno did (18-9). RGV many times this season has built a lead and loss it. Rebounding was good. They out rebounded a bigger Reno team 58-41 and must keep it up.

I think one more thing that needs to happen is to get newly assigned Marcus Cousin involved some more. He’s new to the system. Having played most of the season in Austin, he may not be used to the sets being run by his new team. He is, however, a DLeague all-star, and it’s time to play like one for the Vipers. Hopefully his injury sustained during the game that sent him to the locker room is not one that will have long term effects!

That’s this fans take on tonight’s “ugly” win, but a W nonetheless. Hopefully some of the items I bring up get taken care of in the next game. If so, a sweep of #2 and NBA experienced Reno is a very possible outcome. Go Vipers!

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  1. April 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm

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