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7-0 in the basketball league

Last night’s game was well in hand until the other team scored 15 points in about 80 seconds. We were up by 16 or 17 at the time and we just got lazy and sloppy. All of a sudden, the other team can’t miss and we had a ball game. Fortunately, one of our guards knocked down a crucial 3-pointer near the end of their run. Once he did that, the other team realized they had to start fouling us because they just didn’t have enough possessions left to close the now-shrinking gap.

Earlier in the second half, I was talking to the score keeper and she said she meant to tell us before the game that she thought these refs were calling the games very tight (we were the last game of the night). I said, “Yeah, it seems like they’re calling a lot of fouls, but I think that will benefit us down the stretch.” Sure enough, the other team went had 10 fouls with a couple minutes left, so we got to shoot two freethrows for each of their desperation fouls near the end. Fortunately, our team is pretty solid from the freethrow line.

I finished with 7 points on three pretty good shots. The first was a driving lay-in made possible because they were in a 2-3 zone and the top two defenders were up too high and far apart. The lane was wide open, so I took it right down the middle. One was a contested 3-pointer from the top of the key. The other was a layup on a little play I like to run against man defense. Basically, I start on the wing out past the 3-point line. If I have the ball, I center it to another guard or forward, so he has the ball at the top of the key. I expect he’ll probably continue swinging it to the other wing because that’s how we typically run our offense. As soon as I make my pass, I run toward the baseline, but I’m ultimately crossing through the paint, just in front of the rim. After the guard/forward at the top of the key swings it to the other wing, I’ve usually beat my man and have position for an easy layup. If the wing sees me open, he can fire it in to me for an easy layup. If I don’t have a good look when I catch the ball, I can usually just kick the ball back out to either the wing (who just passed it to me), or back up to the top of the key.

I also had two very good looks from the 3-point line that I simply missed. One was off a nice little pseudo-give-and-go I ran with one of our forwards. I was at the top of the key and he was over on the wing (about 10 or 12 feet away). I passed the ball to him and took off as though I was heading around him on the wing and over to the corner on the perimeter. He held the ball, facing away from the basket and I used him as a pick. His defender was behind him (between him and the rim), as he was basically positioned to back him down. Because I used my forward as a screen, my defender went underneath to try and catch me on the other side. As soon as I saw him go underneath, I hit the brakes, back-tracked to my original spot at the top of the key and had a wide open 3-point shot because my defender was still caught somewhere on the other side of the pick. Of course, I missed it, but it was a really nice play, mostly made possible by the smart play and good position of the forward.

Enough about all that. We’re 7-0 and that means we’re guaranteed a 1-seed in the playoffs. We have one more regular season game, then a bye and then the playoffs start. We have a very good shot at winning it all.

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