Seek­ing a win­ning for­mula

Storm adds three play­ers in search for more of­fence

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - FROM B1

The Is­land Storm is look­ing for a spark.

They hope they found it in a trio of for­mer NBA D-League play­ers, in­clud­ing for­mer Storm point guard Josiah Turner.

The team also added Tir­rell Baines and Ge­orge Bea­man Wed­nes­day while re­leas­ing Mike Martin, Gary Gib­son, An­dre Malone, An­thony Simp­son and Ra­heem Sin­gle­ton.

The Storm (4-8) finds it­self in an un­fa­mil­iar spot in the base­ment of the four-team At­lantic Divi­sion.

“Our or­ga­ni­za­tion has a track record of win­ning,” said owner Dun­can Shaw. “That comes from hold­ing ev­ery­one in the or­ga­ni­za­tion ac­count­able for our per­for­mance. The play­ers we re­leased were great young men who will con­tinue their ca­reers else­where. We ap­pre­ci­ate their work with us, but our per­for­mance this year was not to our stan­dards so changes had to be made. We’ve made changes, and will con­tinue to fo­cus on mak­ing our team bet­ter ev­ery day.”

Turner helped lead the team to the league fi­nals in 2012-13.

“Josiah is one of the most gifted play­ers I have had the op­por­tu­nity to be around,” said Storm coach Joe Salerno. “He has the abil­ity to make ev­ery­one around him bet­ter, which is some­thing that we need right now.”

The six-foot-three point guard played two sea­sons with the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers D-League af­fil­i­ate, the D-Fend­ers.

Baines, a six-foot-six for­ward out of Mar­shall Univer­sity, played with the Ottawa Sky­hawks and also spent time with the D-League’s Erie Bay Hawks.

Bea­mon, a six-foot-four guard, has sev­eral D-League stops, in­clud­ing with the Ok­la­homa City Blue and the Texas Leg­ends.

“We have re­ally strug­gled scor­ing the ball over the past four to six games,” Salerno said. “This is some­thing that our fran­chise has never had is­sues with, so it was fairly clear we needed to bring in some more of­fen­sive tal­ent that will fit in with the sys­tems we have run that have shown suc­cess over the past sev­eral sea­sons.”

The Storm re-signed Martin in the off­sea­son hop­ing he would be an im­pact player for the team, but dur­ing the past six games he’s av­er­aged less than seven points per con­test.

“Play­ers are brought here, given a role and have cer­tain ex­pec­ta­tions. That role needs to be filled, and those ex­pec­ta­tions need to be met,” said Salerno.

An­kle in­juries have im­pacted Gib­son’s abil­ity to play.

The Storm left Wed­nes­day morn­ing for On­tario where it starts a two-game road trip Fri­day in Wind­sor be­fore play­ing the for­mer Storm guard Nick Oko­rie and his Lon­don Light­ning team­mates Sun­day. The three new play­ers are ex­pected to be ready for Fri­day’s con­test.

E.J. SINGLER/GETTY IM­AGES

Josiah Turner is re­turn­ing to the Is­land Storm af­ter play­ing in the NBA D-League.

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