The defending National Basketball League of Canada champions from Windsor got on a roll in the first quarter of their match with the host Brampton A’s last night and took the ‘Express’ lane to a 114-107 victory.
And even though his squad was able to compete throughout the game and finish strong, it was how the game began – not how it ended – that has Coach David Magley so concerned for his Brampton A’s.
“(Windsor) played really strong and aggressive basketball and we didn’t match it in the first quarter,” Magley said after the loss. “And it cost us the game.”
“We played them point for point the rest of the day and competed well,” he said. “But they play a very physical brand of basketball and we weren’t prepared to start with their toughness.”
Windsor’s physical style of play is most apparent when their starter wearing the number 2 jersey is on the court. Standing 6 foot 8 and weighing (officially) 300 lbs., De’Andre Thomas is much more than just a physical presence on the court.
According to Brampton’s big man Flenard Whitfield, below, who battled with Thomas most of the game only to see the Windsor starter top the scoring charts with 33 points, it’s not just his size that makes Thomas such an imposing opponent to cover effectively.
“A lot of guys go into a game looking at him thinking he’s pretty slow or he can’t run the floor,” said Whitfield, who managed 10 points coming off the bench on the night. “But ‘Dre’ has probably the best footwork I’ve ever seen for a guy his size. It’s incredible with his size and his footwork what he can do.”
Brampton now has five days to figure out how they’re going to answer to Windsor’s physical style and the play of their big man when they once again host the Express at the Powerade Centre on Friday, December 19 with tipoff slated for 7 p.m.