Time literally whizzes by.

Just noticed my last post was made on the 4th, and it’s already the 28th. I had meant to post findings about my HTC Desire’s battery life, but it was dumped as a draft and is still unpublished; I’ll have to get to that tomorrow.

The month has been pretty peaceful so far with the usual stuff going on.

  • Met up with friends for dinner (more of note Andrew and Chai Ling who came over from Singapore)
  • Weekly indoor basketball at Monash Caulfield, but looks to be stopped thanks to unavailability.
  • A mad rush of PS3 gaming over last weekend, completed Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood as well as The Force Unleashed II. Traded them back to EBgames for store credit and should have plenty for any new games that’ll be out. Began God of War 3 just now, but called it a night after I got slammed by Poseidon on the first stage.
  • Watching the Celtics get on with the season games. Rondo’s hamstring looked to be fine in the game vs Toronto, Delonte’s broken wrist just plain sucks and Shaq has been phenomenal the past couple of games. KG/Ray/Pierce looking good, and Baby needs to stop shooting that many jumpers, hesitate less and do more of his spin moves in the low post. And yes, brownie points to Semih, Nate and Marquis for performing well.
  • Continuing to read Isaac Asimov’s works on the Desire, his Foundation series novels are still as fascinating as they were years ago.

Cold night, just seems like Melbourne is happily stewing in winter-like temperatures while blithely ignoring the fact that summer is almost here. It doesn’t make sense but I’ll be more than happy to have the scorching summer delayed as long as possible.

Basketball: Shooting the J and defending the big guy

So Melbourne Cup wasn’t exactly all rainbows and sunshine, and I took time out to brush up on my shooting that afternoon. As luck would have it, I got a half-court all to myself at MSAC – perfect! Then proceeded to work on the following:

  • Right-handed layup: having some difficulty on this, mainly because I step off with my left-handed layup steps, and the right shoulder is lower than it should be, making the release a little harder. It’ll probably take quite a few sessions before I can use it effectively in-game.
  • Dribble-stop-shoot: this means driving in towards the paint, then stopping and releasing the shot. Difficult when tired, needs more work.
  • Mid-range jumpshot: concluded I needed to work on the form a bit more, because it’s not that consistent at the moment. Shot a hundred jumpers at the free throw line in one sitting, took a short break and shot about fifty more, and more.
    Main things I noticed:

    • Follow-through: especially important when you are fatigued; having a good follow through motion keeps the spin of the ball right and increases the probability of a smooth shot.
    • Hanging in mid-air: I know this sounds retarded, but I have a stupid habit of hanging for about half a second before releasing the shot. This ends up in nothing but a waste of energy for each shot taken. This has since been corrected, and my motion from stationary-jump-release is a lot smoother.

And it looks like the practice shots did some good after all, since I made quite a few jumpshots at the free throw line last night. It’s kinda satisfying to see the results of practice, and gives more motivation to practice even more.

On another note, I had the pleasure (?) of defending a much taller (and bigger) guy in a half-court game. What would you do, when faced with a similar situation? I did what I could, which meant I basically harassed him physically in every way I could. Bumped him so that he was out of position upon receiving the ball and then used my body to muscle him into taking uncomfortable shots. If his teammate took a shot, I made sure he was immediately boxed out so that rebounds were limited, ideal scenarios being either far away from the rim or behind the backboard.

Key to rebounding: screen your guy out! It doesn’t matter if you don’t jump for the ball afterwards, your task is to keeping your opponent from the ball which increases the chances of your teammate getting the ball back.

I was really quite drained after that non-stop grind, but I was nonetheless quite pleased at being able to limit someone bigger than me to a much reduced offensive capacity.