Lightning keep the excitement going past Montreal
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
The London Lightning—the greatest show on earth.
Well, at least the most exciting in the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL-C) and they made their case again by beating the winless Montreal Jazz at Budweiser Garden on Saturday (Nov. 17) 134-86.
The 48-point gap is the largest in the league’s short history. This after the Lightning started the season by beating their opponents by 18, 26 and then 48.
London just recently etched their name in the record book when they picked up the most points in regulation with 153 over the Oshawa Power on Thursday (Nov. 15).
When Lightning’s head coach Micheal Ray Richardson forecasted his team averaging 115 to 125 points a game before the year started, the declaration seemed more like wishful thinking from the flamboyant bench boss rather than a basketball prophecy.
“I don’t know if it’s going to stop. If come into every game mentally, focused and prepared I really don’t think there’s a team that can beat us,” said Lightning guard Morgan Lewis, who picked up a game high 18 points Saturday. “The only way that you can beat us is if you outscore us. We’re now putting up 120 points it looks like on given night, we have too much fire power offensively.”
It might be unrealistic to believe the Lightning are going to keep the pace they’re going at, averaging 127.67 points in only four games, but the speed of the team is something fans can get used to.
Last year London had just seven matchups where they shot the ball more than 90 times in the 36-game schedule.
This season London already has three games with the high amount of field goals and the only matchup where they shot the ball less than 90 times was in the scoring assault against Oshawa.
It’s not just the high volume of shots that make Lightning the team to watch, though. It’s the way they do it.
In Saturday’s game Lewis cut to the basket to slam balls down, DeAnthony Bowden made a pass behind his back, Adrian Moss leaped towards the Jazz’s net before dishing the ball out to an open teammate and Jeremy Williams jumped up to pick up rebounds and then dunked the ball before hitting the ground.
The only thing it was missing to complete the excitement of a Ringling Bros. performance was ringleader Richardson having a plastic megaphone for all the fans to hear him chastise the referees.
“You always want to give a little bit of excitement when you’re winning,” said Lightning forward Tim Ellis. “You don’t want to have boring games, you want to keep the fans happy as well.”
By game’s end, eight London players finished with double-digits in points. Quite literally just about every Lightning player could have taken a clip from the game against Montreal and put it on their highlight reel.
That is everyone except for Osvaldo Jeanty, who is the newest and only player on London’s bench that didn’t see time on the court. The Carleton University grad is the latest Canadian content for the team in replace of the recent released Josh Whyte. Jeanty suited up in the purple jerseys of the Lightning—in honour of the Shine the Light campaign—but didn’t get put into his debut game because he hasn’t been cleared to play in the NBL-C since leaving the Basketball Bundesliga league in Germany where he last played.
London travel to Montreal on Sunday (Nov. 18) to take on the Jazz with the tipoff at 6 p.m.
“We’re just having fun,” Richardson said. “Basketball is about having fun, but for us it’s having fun and it’s winning.”
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