Basketball: Thursdays, and the bloody NBA Finals at last!

So we decided to try a new routine last week, and played indoor ball on Thursday night. It’s a pretty good deal to be honest; cheap ($5 per person), our own court with no one else to interrupt, and having an indoor court beats outdoor any day. The only snag’s getting home after that, because we sort of have to count on the compassion of fellow basketball mates to get us back in one piece; the night train’s not exactly what I’d call safe.

Putting that aside, Thursday night was a pretty good night for learning. I’m still trying to figure out how to make an pass (that can’t be easily blocked) down to the low post, and to improve on my situational instincts. Like when I should be shooting, driving, passing etc. There were a few games when I should’ve attacked instead of sharing the ball, or taken a jumper instead of driving. More as experience is gained, nothing much to do about it. And I still have the urge to finish with my left hand, regardless of which side of the rim I’m on, zzz. Need. To. Be. Flexible. Andy was simply madness that night, all pumped up and ready to score from wherever, whenever. I figured out later the easiest way to make him miss was to block his face; worked pretty good if I might say so.

And what else has been going on? The Celtics finally cleaned the Magic off 4-2, despite a crap performance in Game 5 with Davis and Marquis being concussed out of action (courtesy of the un-T-able Superman elbows), crap T’s and ejection being called on Perk and an amazing 60+% in 3P% from the Magic.

Game 6: They bounced back with an impressive boost by Nate Robinson in the second quarter. The plays I enjoyed most from Nate were:

  • The finely-threaded pass from Nate to a KG rolling towards the basket for the finish, and
  • Nate making Jameer Nelson stumble into a back court violation.

Much, much better than seeing Nate hit those explosive threes.
Pierce was phenomenal with his timely steals, rebounds and dagger threes, and Ray Allen with his back-to-back threes that pumped the lead to 19. Rondo, for his guts in persistently going to the basket despite the lurking threat of Dwight Howard. Have I mentioned how he almost always makes those threes when the shot clock is winding down? No complaints about that at all.

The Lakers also finished Game 6 this morning with 4-2, despite the Suns doing their very best to hang on for a Game 7. Nothing much to say, except that Kobe did what he was supposed to do and made two of those WTF-did-he-just-do jumpers in the last quarter to put the lead out of reach. Very, very contested ones in fact. Just look at the clip below from 3:15.

The good old sportscaster quote comes in handy here: “Good defense, better offense.”

Nothing else to be said, but to await Game 1! Dammit all games will be on weekdays, how the heck am I supposed to be using League Pass Broadband?!

Two dudes and a dog.

That’s how life was like for the past two weeks while V was on her holiday back home – Stan, Cookie and me. Cookie doesn’t seem to realise that there’s one less person in the house, and carries on as usual. The good thing about having a short-term memory I guess, but I’m sure she’ll go amok and start leaping and yipping with joy once she sees V back home. Meanwhile, she’s doing her best to hide under the covers and stay warm. Yep, that’s how cold it’s been at night. I’m just not too used to sleeping alone in winter, so it’s a good thing V’s coming back on Sunday morning. The end is near!

One thing about guys, most of us don’t really care about food at times; roughing it out is fine. So I guess we actually saved quite a bit on groceries by eating the same stuff all the time. Like Stan says, “you can save money but your tastebuds will get bored.” Shopping time is drastically reduced too, we just grab what we want and get the fcuk out of the supermarket these days.

One sentence sums it up: stick to the game plan = save time and money.

Web: Custom 404 page on Apache

What exactly is a 404 page? It’s a page that’s set to be displayed on your browser, when the webpage you were trying to load is not found on the web server. Instead of serving the default 404 page to your users, why not do up a custom 404 page? It adds brownie points for usability, since you will be able to direct the user towards the sitemap, or popular pages that he might have been trying to reach.

Here’s some stuff you should be looking at when adding a custom 404 to Apache. For starters, modify httpd.conf

<Directory "C:/apache/httpd/htdocs/manual">
Options Includes Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
AllowOverride FileInfo
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

Don’t forget to add this to .htaccess – note that 404.shtml is my 404 page’s filename.

ErrorDocument 404 /error-docs/404.shtml

Most importantly? Restart Apache!

*Comments are welcome, I might have missed something out. (This post was drafted about close to a year ago heh.)

Um, no photos?

And in case you were wondering, why no photographs recently? Kinda too engrossed with NBA to do anything else, even the PS3’s gathering dust heh.

Basketball: Zone defense, and banner #18, we’re almost there!

I have been literally eating and breathing basketball these days. Watching the NBA playoffs, playing basketball, talking about basketball with the rest of the guys – I’m really lucky to have a bunch of regular guys to play ball with. The number’s been steadily growing, and I think the group’s grown to hmm, seven? Maybe eight, more at times. We had a really good session last Saturday, and I’m looking forward to the next session on Saturday – more playing time as the ball handler, my favourite spot for now : )

We had a bit of a discussion on zone defense today at lunch, and it was generally agreed that zone defense would be too tough a thing to use on our current group. It takes too much co-ordination and practice, and man-on-man defense works pretty good right now anyway, especially when most of us know when to help on the picks.

And yes, about the playoffs.

via Doc Funk: MIA-BOS Game 5.

The Boston Celtics have defied all predictions, easily polishing off the Miami Heat (and Wade) in 4-1.

via Doc Funk: CLE-BOS Game 6.

Also, the Cleveland Cavaliers (and James) in 4-2.

via Doc Funk: ORL-BOS Game 2.

And with two away games in the bag right now, they look to be polishing off the Orlando Magic (and Howard) soon.

Hello Lakers (and Bryant), we’ll see you soon in the finals!

Everyone in the team is absolutely playing with great hustle and determination ever since the playoffs kicked off. They really hit the switch, like they promised during the season. No pretty basketball right now, it’s all gritty defense and tough fouls to bring the wins in. The starting five together with Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace and Tony Allen are basically it – Scalabrine, Robinson, Daniels and Williams look to be benched indefinitely for the rest of the playoffs. Will we get championship banner number 18 on the rafters this year? It’s not a 100%, but chances are looking really good right now. No time to rest, only to treat each game as a must-win and bring their all into every single game. I’m really impressed by the intensity they’ve got right now, absolutely the mark of a bunch who’ve got their eyes set on that trophy.

The playoff semis were a little disappointing though; I guess no one expected to see 4-0 sweeps across three series, especially teams like the Spurs and Jazz. The Hawks just wilted in the playoffs, I have no idea where their excellent season offense went off to.

Game 3 for Orlando v Boston is on Sunday morning, I’ll be looking forward to a straight win at the Garden. GO CELTS!

And did I mention Doc Funk is absolutely hilarious with his captions?

ROFL mode.

Check out Red’s Army and Celtics Hub too, they’re part of my favourite reads during the playoffs now.