The undermanned loss.

With the approach of summer, Sunday league games that start at 1630hrs feel like games back in SG – hot, muggy and tons of sweat. Today, prime example of how things are going to be like in the months ahead.

Today’s opponent was a new team called the Warriors, and we were pretty shorthanded with only five guys – Danny, Josh, Gary, Nick and me. The other team had six guys, including a huge guy who was probably six feet two or something. Scary to look at initially, manageable after the initial shell shock wore off. He didn’t protect his ball very well on layups, and I smacked the ball clean off his hands just when the ref blew a travel call on him. Good thing, they would’ve kept the possession.

We lost the game by 6-7 points in the end, couldn’t stop their scoring enough in the second half to get the win, bloody shame.

Without James on the court, the scoring focus went to Josh instead, with Nick making many good passes to Josh’s favourite backdoor cuts and the easy finish under. Nick made a very timely three (surprise!) in the second, nothing but net. He was in foul trouble in the first half, which killed our rebounding by a fair bit – he’s far and away one of our best rebounders.

Danny had a few good shots in the mid-range, but he’s still fading away to avoid contact at times. If he manages to keep consistency on drawing the fouls, we’d be rolling in free throws.

In contrast, Gary is visibly improving with every game. His hustle and energy on transition defense cannot be commended enough. That, and he does little things that I like. For example, cutting into the paint to get the pass, then going straight to the hoop for the foul and free throws. Another thing would be his willingness to outlet the ball to the guards without hesitation, and to kick the ball out to the open guy for the shot (including me). Some of the other guys like Danny, fail to see passing options unless they get trapped.

I think the passing flow’s better with Nick as the primary passer, because the ball gets to Josh a lot more when he’s in the paint. With Joe, not so much. James passes a less because he makes his own shot count, whereas Nick seldom takes the shot, and is always a pass-first guy. That being said, our passing is still kinda sticky. I’m also working on my own ball-handling and playmaking, hopefully my feel of how everyone moves gets better as the season goes along.

My own score? Keeping up the average 2 PPG, 1/3 or 1/4 FGA. Nothing spectacular as always. I’m going to be in SG for a couple of weeks, so no league game posts for two weekends. Doesn’t feel good to miss games, but a holiday is always welcome.

Back to MSAC in three weeks’ time!

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