Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Game 4

No time to warm up this game, Tina got back late from the store. She forgot about the game and was wandering aimlessly in the grocery store until I called to remind her about it. I trained the kids to chant 'ooooohhhhhh busted' when she walked in which I found amusing.

Tonight's game is against Jim S. who is a good guy that I played a couple seasons with in the past. They also had Bruce who is a big guy, like 6'8 and really solid. I always have trouble with him down low because he doesn't jump for fakes and is tough to move around. Jim shot ok but a little below his normal I think. They also had a guy I recognize from Rincon but I don't know his name. He is a very solid guard but fortunately didn't score much against us. The rest of their team wasn't much to worry about.

Due to Spring Break, we had 5 guys. I doubt I scored much at all but I held Bruce under 10 which was big. Tommy went off slashing and scoring a big chunk of our points inside. We barely shoot from the outside at all in fact. Brandon was huge down the stretch making 4/4 free throws . I felt ok after the game, finally starting to get some wind back. I don't think I dogged it up the floor too much and we didn't run alot as their guards were always in position to get back.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Game 3

Arrived 30 minutes early and had a nice slow shoot around. I like to walk through for 5-10 minutes and just shoot simple inside stuff, not jumping much just getting loose. I like to work the old 'around the world' progression from each block around the free throw line back down the other block. The first time through I'll do it flat footed and and then jumpers on the way back. From there I'll go into a 3/4 speed series of post moves followed by free throws and then 15-18' jumpers. This works best if I can get someone to rebound for me.

Brandon showed up and wanted to shoot so I rebounded for him through a progression. People don't realize how quickly you can get out of breath just shooting around and he got a little winded which was funny.

The team we played was clearly very talented. Adam is their main guy, 6'2" white guy that is a great shooter and drives well but tends to get upset easily and we managed to get him off his game a bit. I didn't know the black guy on their team, and got a little andro for a minute and picked up a technical for throwing an elbow at one point. Pete hit in the throat w/ an elbow which was funny (he was fine btw) because it is the only time he stopped talking in the 3 years I have known him. Their big guy wasn't very good or active and I was able to move him around at will.

I Scored a bit inside, maybe 6 or 8 plus 3 of 4 FT. Better rebounding, didn't run the floor as much to save some gas. I am not getting many touches on the post and most of our offense is from guard penetration. We still struggle against a zone but our slashing scorers are becoming very difficult to stop. I'll need to focus on rebounding in the future.

Overall, we won a fairly close one and pleased with everyone's performance.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Game 2

This was actually my first game having missed last week on the Disneyland trip. Our team won the first one by 15.

JB and I had to fly from his practice ending at 6 to make the 6:30 game and have a little time for me to warm up. As previously mentioned, I have not run at all since December at the Half Marathon and haven't played ball since July in Sweden. My performance reflected the neglect. I couldn't get up and down the court (which was short but wide) without my lungs bursting and I had to sit out twice to rest which sucked.

I don't know the guys on the team that well but we had a total of 6. The captain is a guy named Jose who looks just like Carlos Mortenson the poker player. Carlos is short, pretty agile, good w/ the ball and has a nice 2 step runner in the lane that is always right on the edge of being called as a travel. Tommy is a little taller and thinner but moves well and has a good nose for the ball, cutting and getting open often. Haven't seen him shoot more than layups so far though. Brandon doesn't really seem like a ballplayer but hustles alot. He makes unorthodox shot selections but really crashes the boards. Matt definitely appears to be a ball player, nice outside shot and good technique around the basket. Richard is an older guy, he didn't shoot much but seemed ok overall.

They had 1 legitimate shooter (Bash) that we did a good job closing out on but the other knuckleheads could not miss. The 800 lb. Gorilla (and no that's not a racial thing you bastard, its a colloquialism referring to the person w/ the power in a situation to do just about whatever they want) is a guy named Ime who evidently played ball for Yale and is essentially unstoppable in this league. He is a really nice guy which tempers my hate (based 100% on jealousy) for him to a seething disgust. He is extremely strong and a great leaper but in seasons past had a weakness shooting from the outside that seems to have disappeared at least for this game. The had a strangely buff Asian guy (A-Train on his shirt) who despite AWFUL form made every long range and off balance turnaround jumper he took. The rest of their team were standard players but to a man, hit nearly every long range shot they took.

We started the game in a zone which proved to be a bad choice as they could not miss from behind the arc. We stayed close in the opening minutes and Ime didn't take over the game right away. Of our first 10 possessions, we probably got whistled for 5 various (and dubious) violations that limited our opportunities significantly. The ref's partner didn't show and he didn't do a good job managing the game. I nearly got a T pointing out a guy that had been in the key for an hour. Our half court offense was ok and we got some decent shots against their 2-3 zone but I didn't have the legs to get many offensive boards so we had a bunch of 1 and done possessions. Our best success was running the floor. Tommy, Matt and I all scored on nice passes from Jose in the open court some of which were after made baskets when they were dogging it back. We'll have to find a way to keep an uptempo game going which means I need to get some wind back quick. They didn't do anything special on O or D but as mentioned shot the f-ing lights out. I think we went into half down 5 or 6. The low point of the half was Ime driving the lane, me stepping over to block the lane and take charge, him elevating to the point that the heel of his shoe hit me in the upper chest as he dunked. I clearly was in position to take the charge but got no call. I am a donkey for not just going up and fouling the bejeezus out of him and wont' make the mistake again.

During the halftime shoot around, Matt grabbed the rim which turns out is a technical though the ref didn't warn us or mention it until we came out of the break and had to start the 2nd half w/ them shooting 2 T free throws. We cut the lead to 4 twice in the second half but could not contain Ime who decided to score more and their shooting accuracy didn't diminish. We switched to man with about 12 minutes to go and Jose did a great job defending Ime on the ball and denying him passes. I think we should stick w/ man D only for the rest of the year.

With about 2 minutes to go they extended the lead to 6 and we had to start fouling. They made most of the free throws and though we did score on several of the last possessions, its wasn't enough.

We are undersized but I think should be fairly successful this year especially if I can get more in synch with Matt and Jose.