By: Cole Shelton
The Halifax Hurricanes have a deep roster this season, no question about it. They have an All-Star line-up and a solid bench that features a very important player in Joel Kindred.
Kindred, who has experience overseas came to Halifax to help lead the Hurricanes to a championship. And, to do so, Kindred knew he had to become a dynamic shooter which he has done. He is shooting 47.2 per cent from the field and 41.1. per cent from three.
"Coming into this season my main focal point I needed to work on was my shooting," Kindred said. "In the summer I was in the my focusing on my shooting, my range, spot shooting. It is starting to pay off for sure."
Although the offence is important, for the Hurricanes and Kindred, defence is the main focus. They all understand the saying of defence wins championships and they are all fully embracing it this season.
"Coach always takes about defence as the main focal point," he explained. "Defence is part of our offence, actually. To get stops and handle everything on the defensive end of the court, the offence will take care of itself. That is the main thing coach has been talking about. Just this off-season just working on defence and being aggressive.
"It goes back to defence. We have a lot of different weapons on our team, a lot of different guys to score," Kindred added. "We stop someone on defence we know we can score the basketball. Just everyone doing their part to get the win. It all goes back to defence. If we play aggressive defence, and follow the game plan everything else will take care of itself."
Meanwhile, something else that has been crucial for Kindred's success this season is the fact that he has experience playing pro basketball elsewhere. The guard has played overseas and has helped him adjust to the grind of the Canadian game.
"It helps a lot because coming out of college you have to adjust to the game speed," said Kindred. "It definitely prepared me but a lot of things go to the coaching staff and the veterans on Halifax as well. They have helped me as there is different things I have learned that has helped me in the playoffs."
Ultimately, for Kindred, he is just doing what it takes to help the Hurricanes win the playoffs. Whether he is starting or coming off the bench he is ready for whatever. How is able to change his game in a second he credits to his high school days.
"It goes back to when I was in high school, where I played with a lot of D-1 guys. Being in that situation prepared me for everything," he explained. "I know if I need to do different things to be a fit in the game I know how to do it. Or, if I need to step up and be the scorer or play defence. Just play my game."
In the end, the Hurricanes won the first game of the division finals which was a huge momentum boost for them. To steal a game in Moncton was huge, but that is something Kindred knew this team could do from the get-go.
"From starting early in the season, a new team, it has been a really good process to where we are now," he concluded. "To where we want to get to, and seeing how far we have come as a team the handwork we have put in is very good to be a part of."