NBLC Power Rankings Week 20: Final Positions, Thoughts and Outlooks Heading Into Postseason

NBLC Power Rankings Week 20: Final Positions, Thoughts and Outlooks Heading Into Postseason

Magic finish No.1

By José Colorado

The 2018 – 2019 NBLC regular season is officially in the books.

And while that spells the end for the Windsor Express and the Island Storm - two clubs eliminated from the postseason - it doesn't mean that each team shouldn't be spending some time to reflect on what the four-month long campaign has shown in terms of developed strengths, weaknesses and overall tendencies.

After a close look at each squad since late November here are the final Power Rankings and what key trends have emerged in the process.

1. Moncton Magic (27-13)
Final Power Ranking: First
Team MVP: Billy White
Reason for success: Defense leading to offense allowing for team's great athletes to excel
Reason for downfall: Offensive dry spells compounded by careless turnovers, poor foul shooting
Three most important players to retain: Billy White, Corey Allmond, Trey Kell
Outlook from the sidelines: A veteran-laden group of NBLC players with an experienced coach who has seen plenty around the league and knows what it takes to win; best balance between offensive and defensive capabilities in the league

2. Halifax Hurricanes (25-15)
Final Power Ranking: Second
Team MVP: Mike Poole
Reason for success: Versatile wing/forward players capable of wrecking defensive havoc
Reason for downfall: Poor foul-shooting
Three most important players to retain: Mike Poole, Terry Thomas, Jordan Washington
Outlook from the sidelines: Very similar to the Magic, a strong mix of long-time NBLCers knowing when it's time to peak; club looks primed for a deep playoff run

3. London Lightning (22-18)
Final Power Ranking: Third
Team MVP: Maurice Bolden
Reason for success: Unselfish and balanced team with multiple players capable of stepping up
Reason for downfall: Greatest strength is also greatest weakness; lack of clear cut go-to guy in close games creates some uncertainty especially in playoffs
Three most important players to retain: Maurice Bolden, Marvin Phillips, Xavier Moon
Outlook from the sidelines: While still very capable as shown by its first-place Central-division finish it's evident this year's version of the Bolts lacks the firepower as in season's past; do not expect a three-peat

4. Sudbury Five (21-19)
Final Power Ranking:
Fourth
Team MVP:
Braylon Rayson
Reason for success:
A frantic pace creating many shot opportunities
Reason for downfall:
Long shots equals long rebounds and potential transition opportunities for opponents
Three most important players to retain:
Braylon Rayson, Mamadou Gueye, Travis Releford
Outlook from the sidelines:
The most exciting brand of basketball in the NBLC but clearly not sustainable for long-term success; too many quick undisciplined shots with little ball movement

5. KW Titans (19-21)
Final Power Ranking: Fifth
Team MVP: Ashton Smith
Reason for success: Plethora of shooters who are capable of exploding on any given night
Three most important players to retain: Ashton Smith, Akeem Ellis, Joel Friesen
Outlook form the sidelines: A very promising team whose true potential may never be known due to a season derailed by injuries, inconsistencies in player line ups

6. St. John's Edge (21-19)
Final Power Ranking: Sixth
Team MVP: Junior Cadougan
Reason for success: Playing inside-out & sharing the ball from side-to-side to create good looks, particularly from three-point range
Reason for downfall: Players not buying into their respective roles
Three most important players to retain: Murphy Burnatowski, Junior Cadougan, Glen Davis
Outlook from the sidelines: The league's most talented yet underachieving roster bar none came with big-time names but also the need to clearly delineate roles and willingly sacrifice - two things the Edge simply couldn't manage

7. Saint John Riptide (17-23)
Final Power Ranking: Seventh
Team MVP: Frank Bartley
Reason for success: Unmatched defensively with size, speed and strength at each position
Reason for downfall: Lake of elite-level scorers puts too much pressure on Frank Bartley, TJ Maston to produce at high-rates every night
Three most important players to retain: Frank Bartley, TJ Maston, Brent Arrington
Outlook from the sidelines: As currently constructed an NBLC championship will be a stretch but if htey had a few more solid scorers/shooters, it's likely the Riptide would be the odds-on favourites given its sound defensive prowess

8. Cape Breton Highlanders (19-21)
Final Power Ranking: Eighth
Team MVP: Jamal Reynolds
Reason for success: League-leaders in free-throws made, second in attempts equals easy points
Reason for downfall: Multiple key departures mid-season
Three most important players to retain: Jamal Reynolds, Chris Johnson, Devin Sweetney
Outlook from the sidelines: Departure of multiple key performers, including former MVP candidate Bruce Massey, late in the season all but destroyed the Highlanders' chemistry; unfortunate given its talent and relentless playing style previously

9. Windsor Express (17-23)
Final Power Ranking: Ninth
Team MVP: Juan Pattillo
Reason for success: Low turnover rate, allowing for multiple shots, second chance opportunities
Reason for downfall: Despite minimal miscues, team struggled to get defensive stops and thus weren't able to maximize its greatest strength
Three most important players to retain: Juan Patillio, Chris Jones, Ryan Anderson
Outlook from the sidelines: Collapse of epic proportions down the home stretch of the season must be leaving a sour taste in Express management's collective mouths, expect for a complete rebuild

10. Island Storm (12-28)
Final Power Ranking: Tenth
Team MVP: Guillaume Boucard
Reason for success: Stacked with relentless attackers in rebounds, offensive penetration, defensive activity (i.e. steals)
Reason for downfall: Inefficient shooting from the field and long-distance, putting too much strain on the defense as a result
Three most important players to retain: Guillaume Boucard, Alex Campbell, Tyree White
Outlook from the sidelines: Retain Canadian standouts Boucard and Campbell at all costs and surround them with a few more shooters to complement their attacking styles