I played my first official game on a new basketball league today. Really cool of Josh to invite me onto the team, and I’m looking forward to the season ahead. It’s great to get some consistent court time, especially with the onset of dreary winter. The chill basically kills any lingering thoughts of even trying to play outdoors – it is just too damn cold, period. Hell, I get cold when I sit at home with slippers and the trusty bathrobe; to even think about basketball outside is just well, unthinkable.
So, new team. Schmohawks.
Joining the team is great in a few ways:
Position change: I’m more of a guard on this team, so I’m playing at the top on defense. It’s a welcome change from playing center, where I was trying to keep an eye on everything at once; defending the arc requires that I shuffle to stop shooters from wide open shots, and from people at the high post from waltzing their way into the paint. Different, but fun. It’s great that Joe and Nick help to bring the ball up, I’m a sort of liability at the moment.
Court location: The previous league was in Doncaster, and this one’s in MSAC. And I like MSAC. Nearer to home, easily accessible by tram and all that.
Game time: It’s on Sunday evening, which makes things a little easier. Monday evenings are not the best time for games; a full day’s work leaves you drained even if it’s a slow day.
Ball sharing: This team actually shares the ball more. Admittedly, the lack of team practice does show up at times, but I do get the ball more often that I did on Shohoku. Dinesh reminds me of my 1.2 shots per game thing on Shohoku, and I’m taking an average of five to eight attempts per game now. Which is reasonable. I don’t want to hog the ball, but I like my shots when I get them. Which reminds me of the wonderful times when I would touch the ball maybe three times on offense the entire game. Ahh, nostalgic.
Today’s game was just another example of how 4v5 on the full court isn’t a good idea. Danny fouled out in the first half and we gave away too many transition points throughout the game, plus insufficient scoring equals loss. We have an advantage on height with Danny and Josh around, and rebounding should be top priority, especially on defense. If we miss a shot, we should just get back on defense and not try too hard to steal the ball on the open court. That’s probably the Doc Rivers in me talking; I would rather give up two points on a half court shot than an uncontested layup. And the other team is just not that great, especially on transition.
If we get a rebound and the opponent’s not prepared, running the break is fine. Otherwise, we should probably just take it slow and jog it upcourt. Josh has a good three shot when he’s feeling it, but I like him better when he’s finishing near the basket; he’s really acrobatic sometimes. Nick is an excellent distributor who can do a bit of everything, and the way he flies in for the offensive board is just inspirational at times.
I have to admit, I botched quite a few easy shots today, including an open layup. Damn did I feel like Rondo just now – the bad Rondo.
It’s just bad trying to get back into form after two weeks’ of inactivity, my shot was just plain inconsistent. Have to haul my ass down to MSAC on a weekday morning and get some shot practice in!
Not to mention the fact that I played for about three hours before the league game – invigorating, enjoyable but very bad idea. Legs were beginning to cramp in the final game minutes, amazingly managed to hold it off and even score on a drive on a 1 v 4 situation. Stupid decision I know, but we were down thirty points or something, and I figured trying to drive just once couldn’t hurt. I think I have to remind myself to drive more often, can’t just rely on curling and cutting for mid-range jumpers all the time.
Now if you will excuse me, I have some serious drinking to do. Drinking water that is. Gotta avoid dehydration, sweated a ton today.