An early game today, first one on the schedule. This unfortunately led to minimal warmup time on my part, because I spent the better part of ten minutes waiting for the CYMS lady to stamp a gazillion other people’s hands before she could get some bibs for me and Emre.
And yes Emre, latest guy on the team. After playing today’s game I have to say he’s a good chap, a team player and has good perspectives on the game. For example, his take on not setting picks but instead passing the ball faster to get someone open. It’s similar to what Clifton always preached, a bad pick leads to bad results. That, and a pick clogs space up when we should be spreading the zone defense out. I thought about it for a while, and I have to agree on that. The key to a good pick and roll, depends a lot on the ball handler being a good driver. Without that threat, setting a pick gives minimal results and I have to say James is the only consistent driver who can finish at the rim. Not much benefit on running them, in short. I think we have been getting more success on running drive-and-kicks, or on the fancy backdoor cuts that Nick/Danny/Josh like.
And talk about today’s game! Bill came down to get an eyeful of the league, and James sure gave a good showing; it felt like every three shot he took ended up swishing the net, “just like Kobe” he said. We won the game today largely based on his offense, FT points and Nick’s ceaseless rebounding. It’s really funny how Nick hates taking shots at the mid-range when he has a pretty good shot; in contrast, I would be anything but shy about taking every damn shot if I had an open one. The opponent honestly have a good transition rhythm, and would’ve kicked us over if James hadn’t been feeling his stroke. That, and their horrible transition turnovers helped a lot. Lots of bad passes going out of bounds, simply careless.
I had two shots today, made one. And that made basket was incidentally, my first shot of the day – didn’t even have time to shoot the damn ball during warmups. And I tried to drive twice, kicked it out once to Joe who popped it right over to James for a three, and the other one got stolen with successful transition. I need, need, need to get my dribble better. Tried pointing the ball on a few possessions so that James could set up for the shot, and it didn’t feel too bad. Think I’ll try to do that more often. My earlier gameplan about working out of the high post didn’t really bear much fruit, mainly because I plain forgot about it.
Bill and I went over to watch a grade A game after our game ended, and bloody hell this guy #13 from the Melbourne Feng Shui (checked fixtures to confirm team name heh) was simply awesome. Not very tall, did not seem too athletic but whew terrific handles! Went into the paint like he was on a stroll at the park, finished with ease and boy could he jump – he leaped up and intercepted a lob pass to the enemy big while playing defense, just crazy. Everything seemed to be in such control, and we were laughing in disbelief at his shots. It seemed like he was cornered by a big with no room, the next moment he had spun around the guy and laid it in, just like that. So damn impressed.
Wonder how we’ll fare if The Usuals (I cooked the name up) really is formed and we went into the league on grade E hmmm. We did catch about a half of a grade E game, and it didn’t seem too easy either. Hell, what’s the worst that could happen?
Grind, lose and improve.