Storm needs clutch performances from its front line tonight
A banged-up Island Storm team hits the road today for Halifax.
They play the Hurricanes at 7 p.m. in National Basketball League of Canada play in the first of three games in four days.
The Storm placed centre Paul Cooper on the injured reserve with a scratched cornea on Sunday while power forward Brian Addison is suffering from back spasms and is doubtful for tonight’s game.
“It’s probably two of the last couple of guys we want to be losing,” said head coach Joe Salerno. “Halifax is really strong up front.”
It means the Storm’s starting power forward and centre will be key to tonight’s outcome.
“Mike Martin and Nick Evans, they really have to perform,” Salerno said. “They have to play smart and stay out of foul trouble.”
It also means Robert Nortmann will likely see more minutes and Andre Malone will have to play some at the power forward position.
“Guys are going to have to play bigger,” Salerno said.
Salerno said Brent Jennings is dealing with a lower-body injury, but he is hopeful the wing can play. Rashad Whack is expected to play after missing a few games with a hamstring injury.
Gary Gibson has returned to the Storm’s active roster after missing the start of the season with an ankle injury.
The injuries have created some adversity for the Storm in the first few weeks of the new season. The Storm plays 11 games in January.
“I look forward to seeing our full roster on the court,” Salerno said.
The Storm (2-3) is in third place in the four-team Atlantic Division, while the Hurricanes (5-1) are in first place.
Halifax won the first game between the two teams 115-112 on New Year’s Eve in Charlottetown.
The Storm’s top-three scorers this season are Brent Jennings (20.6), Malcolm Grant (17.8) and Mike Martin (17.2) while Mike Glover (22), Justin Johnson (19.7) and Shane Gibson (18) lead the Hurricanes.