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Rough Third Quarter Sinks Sea Bears To Second Loss In A Row

Coming off of a tough loss in the second half of a back to back against the Niagara River Lions, there was hope that the Winnipe Sea Bears would bounce back in Calgary. They had a matchup with the 1-4 Surge, who’s season was essentially already on the line. A decent first half saw the two teams evened up on the score line, having played an even twenty minutes. Unfortunately that’s where the wheels fell off for Winnipeg, as Calgary put up 35 points to the Sea Bears 16, hitting all nine of their three point attempts in a red hot third quarter for the Surge. Winnipeg could only muster up 32 points total in the second half, losing that scoring margin 64-32. Not the response you would hope for after a tough loss just days before. More than just one thing went wrong for the Sea Bears, who have been showing some weaknesses of late.

With that quick recap out of the way, let’s talk about the three keys from this game!

Disappearing Act

I think teams have finally found a way to shut down the leagues MVP. Both the Surge and River Lions have had different defensive strategies than the other four teams the Sea Bears have played this season. They’ve decided they are content with anyone else scoring, other than him. They double him as much as possible, trying to get the ball out of his hands and forcing a turnover. Allen had already shown some turnover issues in other matchups, but he was out scoring his problems. (currently averaging 4.7 a game). Unfortunately the last two games he hasn’t been able to do that. While Brampton did not do it as much as the last two opponents, coach Mike Taylor’s adjustment was to run Allen more so off ball and get him open that way. It was really effective, while also still allowing flow in the offence. Coach Taylor needs to get back to this as it was the most effective way for Allen to score. They do have some reinforcements coming, which I will talk about later who should help levitate some of that offensive load organically.

Defence, Defence, Defence

The biggest trend we have seen so far through the first six games has been team defence. Overall rim protection from Byron Mullens has been good, but other than that it’s been a sore spot for Winnipeg. Transition defence has been their biggest achilles heel, along with pick and roll defence. The transition game was what killed them in this one, with the Surge running all over them and getting whatever they wanted in that third quarter. This is the biggest issue that the Sea Bears currently have and needs to be corrected immediately. The Vancouver Bandits will do the same damage if they can’t get that sorted out.

Ball Control

I mentioned it a little bit when it came to Allen, but the overall value of the basketball seems to be non existent with the amount of turnovers this team generates. 23 as a team? At the pro level? Absolutely no way that your winning a game that way. They need to value possessions much better and not try and force so much. They’re getting rushed at times and making mistakes. Should be something they clean up as they go, but if it continues they’re going to keep sliding.

With those three keys out of the way, it’s time for the individual player performances!

Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson

Another solid game for JOJ. Pretty efficient on offence, but did have a couple extra turnovers. I wouldn’t expect that to continue, but will have some extra help in the back court coming to give him an assist there. Overall a solid game that’s becoming the norm for him.

Teddy Allen

Meh? Six turnovers is rough and wasn’t super efficient on the night. I would have hoped for a better bounce back game after the ejection, but it really wasn’t what we got. Teams are starting to figure him out and he needs to adapt. And fast.

Alex Campbell

I’ll call this a decent game from Campbell. Decent defence to go along with a couple makes from three. I did say that two should be good enough, but it felt like he could have had more in this one. Not his fault though, he hit two in a row then didn’t get the ball back. Really think that’s the ceiling we get from him this summer.

Byron Mullens

Mullens had a good start to the game, then it seemed like he disappeared for the remainder. Not sure what else to think about it, but I thought his usage is getting better. I do hope he becomes that double double machine we hoped. But his offensive role might be diminishing with who’s coming in.

Shane Osayande

Solid defence and rebounding. Not much else to talk about.

Mason Bourcier

Another great game from Bourcier. Wasn’t his best performance on defence, but sure showed out on offence for his former team. Love what he brings to the table every game. Let’s hope this keeps up because Winnipeg needs a primary bench guy.

Simon Hildebrandt

Wasn’t the prettiest game from Hildebrandt, but we saw some flashes. Efficiency wasn’t fully there, but still contributed and grabbed some rebounds. Hopefully his minutes hold firm and he can continue to help out this team.

David Muenkat

A somewhat down performance from Muenkat who also had some flashes of high level play. Not his best game but still put up some numbers and filled the box score. Either he or Bourcier are going to need to step up and be that bench presence that this team needs to beat teams.

Chad Posthumus

Some rebounds and defence. Didn’t get as much from Posthumus in this one like the other games. Can’t always expect him to do everything, but some more help would have been welcomed in this one.

The Winnipeg Sea Bears will be back in action on Thursday in Vancouver to take on the Bandits for the fourth and final game of their current road trip. They will be adding in some reinforcements for that one, as the team announced today that they have signed 2023 CEBL MVP runner-up Justin Wright-Foreman. He should allow Allen to have some possessions off, while also keeping the pressure up on opposing defences. Massive pickup for the Sea Bears and no better time to bring him in. Should be very interesting to see how he is incorporated, but should give coach Taylor many many options on lineups.

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