Not since the season opener against Maine on November 12th had the Legends (7-6) dropped a home game, winning three in a row. On Friday night they dropped to the Westchester Knicks (7-4), D-League affiliate of the New York Knicks, 132-124.
The Legends put together a last effort run, having trailed by 18 heading into the 4th quarter. The top scorer in the D-League, Pierre Jackson only raised his average with 42 big ones tonight. It’s his fourth straight game of 29 or more points and his fifth 30-point game in the first half of December.
Jackson also had 8 assists, 8 rebounds and attempted 15 free throws, making 12 (80%).
Manny Harris chipped in 21 and Quincy Acy had 19 with four --count em, four-- blocked shots. Harris also had five steals. Jameel Warney (14) and C.J. Williams (10) also contributed double figures. Kyle Collinsworth put up 7 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals in his familiar versatile box score.
Legends assistant coach and 9-year NBA vet Charlie Bell says the defense must improve for the team to start reaching their full potential.
“I think the last two games defensively we haven’t been locked in,” Bell says. “When we come out and we play aggressively on defense, it’s hard for teams to score on us. When we come out and just go through the motions like we did tonight, we let (the other team) get going.
He also points to ball control, stressing teamwork and holding back turnovers.
“We got a lot of great players on our team. I think we gotta do a better job of distributing the ball. We’re making some unforced turnovers sometimes. We didn’t really have a training camp together so they kind of learn on the fly. I think they’re starting to learn each other better and better every game.
He does think that very soon you will start to see the payoff. “I think as the season goes forward they’re only gonna get better playing with each other.”
Legends “Super Fan” Cheers Team On
Terry Halterman has had his season tickets since “before the floor was put down.” Halterman, who fittingly goes by @LegendsSuperfan on Twitter, is a Legends season ticket who sits smack dab next to the visiting bench.
Every game he brings a blackboard sign with him and personalizes different messages throughout the game, often directing playful jabs at the opposing team he practically shares a couch with.
“I’ve been doing this since I got these seats,” he says, sporting a Spud Webb jersey. “I don’t wanna be rude. If they’re paying attention to me then they’re not paying attention to the coach. That benefits the Legends (laughs), so I’m helping!”
He hasn’t always had the pro-grade sign. In year one he had a small sign, until it was broken by an opposing coach. “Next night I brought a board twice as big.”
This reaction from the visitors is definitely the exception, not the rule. “Some coaches that have been here look for us. One actually congratulated me on my marriage.
“People will tell us they were asked, ‘Is that sign guy still there?’
Halterman rotates through quite a few messages, with the pace of the game dictating when and what he writes with his silver marker.
“I go through 15-to-20 signs or so (a game). More if we’re winning. Sometimes the opposing guys give it right back,” he laughs. “They give it right back to me.”
Halterman has a lucky history with the franchise. He won the team’s very first car giveaway back in 2012, a Fiat 500c which he proudly displays in his Twitter profile picture.
Asked if he has a favorite sign, he points out the one that reads ‘Hey bus driver, start the bus’ if the Legends are on the verge of a victory. The expression came from a security guard named Rob, a friend of Halterman’s family. “Every game I try to use that because he gave me that sentence.”
The team also recognized DART Police Officer and season ticket holder Misty McBride at halftime in an emotional ceremony. McBride was among the 11 officers targeted in Dallas. McBride was shot twice while aiding civilians. She survived and has undergone multiple surgeries but is recovering well and looks to continue her service in 2017.
The Legends have given her and her family season tickets for life.
Texas hits the road for a three-game trip starting in Northern Arizona against the Suns, affiliate of the Phoenix Suns. They will play a matinee on Sunday at 4 PM CST. Their next home game is Friday, December 30th at 7 PM CST vs. Reno, with Legends Superfan sure to be in attendance.