Basketball team has fallen to 1-3

Basketball team has fallen to 1-3

The week after we eked through our first game, we got pounded by the defending champs. After a bye, we got beat by a mediocre team even though we were within five points with about three minutes remaining. This week, we lost to another mediocre team by one point even though we led most of the game.

In general our problem can be summed up in one word: Inconsistency. We can’t get the same guys to show up from one week to the next (our roster is nine deep, but we probably have only four guys who are there every week) and that inconsistency leads us to be inconsistent on offense. Last night, I’m pretty sure we led all statistical categories except FG %, FT % and Points. We took a lot more shots than they did, we had a lot more rebounds (especially offensive) than they did and we took probably twice as many freethrows as they did. We played great defense, took good shots on offense, drew a lot of fouls, but simply couldn’t put the ball in the bucket.

Personally, I felt I played one of my best all-around games in a while. I ran Point Guard most of the night and I was very comfortable in that position. My passes were on target and usually to a wide-open man, I don’t think I had any turnovers and I had six points on something like five shots. My six points came on consecutive three-pointers in the first half. Both shots felt and looked perfect and were set up because my team got me the ball when I got open on the weak side of the floor. I’m pretty sure I only had three points scored on me, and my defense was pretty solid off the ball.

It’s frustrating to keep losing (especially to inferior teams), but I guess we can’t really expect to win if we don’t have the same team from week to week. We need our guys to start showing up so we can start getting into a groove.


Another basketball season in the books

Tonight was the last game of the season, a season that wasn’t as bad as it looks on paper. We finished 2-6, but our last 5 games were much better than the first 3. The first few games, we just got whooped and our team was awful. A big reason was that we couldn’t get anyone to show up and we hadn’t played together at all. The fourth week, we pulled out our first win and actually looked like a decent team. The fifth week, we looked even better and pulled out our second win. Then, we ran into the three best teams in the league and lost all three games.

What is promising is that we hung right in every game down the stretch. Our first losses are all by double digits. Our lost losses (against the best teams) were all single digits. If our schedule had been reversed, I think we could’ve finished 5-3 instead of 2-6. C’est la vie.

We still don’t know if we’ll get to play in the playoffs. We’re at the bottom of the league, so if they axe the teams with the worst records, we’ll be out. But, if we make the playoffs, I think we can actually make a run because our team has improved every week. Also, it’s likely we’ll get a rematch with the team we played tonight and I honestly think we can take them now that we’ve played them. They basically beat us in the first few minutes of the game when they killed us from the 3-point line. We outscored them by 4 in the second half after we switched to a 3-2 Zone defense.

Anyway, it was a good season. I think if we can get the same together for the Winter league, we’ll be in good shape.

As for my individual performance, I played pretty badly at the beginning of the season. I scored every game, but very few points. The last three games, I scored 12, 10 and 6 points respectively and hit 8 3-pointers. The 12-point game was a 4-for-6 shooting night beyond the arc. I’ve been pretty much exclusively running Point Guard since the middle of the season and I’ve been doing pretty well. I’ve had some turnovers, but I’ve also had some nice assists. For next season, I’d like to learn how to take better care of the ball and when to “camp out” at the 3-point line and when to be slashing and crashing.

That is all.


Mom’s in town

My Mom is in town for an annual conference that she always attends. Of course, she’ll be spending most of her time at the conference, but I got to spend some time with her yesterday. We went to Kathleen’s Art Cafe, which is probably my favorite local place for getting really good food. The atmosphere is also really great. I think Mom liked it a lot.

After dinner, we went to Starbucks for some coffee and she finally got to see all my pictures from Europe. There are about 1,000 of them, so we just kinda’ skimmed most of them. All in all, I had a super time and I’m glad I got to spend some time hanging out with my Mom.

Another basketball win

Last week, we got our first win (I think we started 0-3 this season). I don’t really remember it, but I think we played a pretty good game. This week, we got another win, but in a very unusual way. First of all, we only scored 33 points. Second, one (of six) of my teammates scored 22 of those points. Third, we won by one point in Double Overtime. In this league, Double Overtime is “Sudden Death”. That’s right, I said “Sudden Death”. But I should go back a bit before the end of Double OT.

Just before the end of regulation, the other team had possession with 1:18 remaining. They got it across half court and then the Point Guard said, “One shot! One shot!” A team will usually go for “one shot” if there’s approximately one shot-clock worth of time left in the game. We don’t have a shot-clock, but 1:18 is a lot longer than the shot-clock in any league. Fifty seconds later, they finally decided to go for a shot and their Point Guard made a nice 3-point play (in our defense, it’s tough to defend for 50 seconds and still get a stop). Our super scorer immediately answered with a 3-pointer and we went our first OT.

We made it through the first OT without scoring. Neither team could score and no one was hitting free throws. It should be noted that OT was only 2 minutes with a running clock, so there weren’t really many scoring opportunities. We began the second OT looking about as well as we began the first. With very little time remaining, their big man got two free throws. He missed the first. Then made the second. But wait! He also stepped over the stripe for one of the few “lane violations” I’ve ever seen called. It was a good call, but a pretty unusual one. We got the ball back, used a couple time outs and took it up the floor. On what looked like a broken play, one of our guys pulled up for a three-pointer and intentionally double-clutched to try and draw contact. Lucky for us, he succeeded…at drawing the contact, at least. He connected on the second free throw attempt and that ended the game (remember, we were playing sudden death).

So, that was probably the most bizarre ending to any basketball game I’ve ever played. That is all.


Coasting along

I haven’t posted much recently because I haven’t done much recently. My basketball team played our 7th and final game of the season on Wednesday and we won by about 20. I probably played my best game at Point Guard, although I didn’t have many points to prove it (I think I finished with 7). Our team played well and it’ll be interesting to see how we do in the playoffs starting Wednesday. Fortunately, our first game is against another team that we beat by 20 (and they ran 10 guys to our 6), so hopefully we’ll win again and continue working on a team strategy that will work for us. So far, it seems to work with me at Point because I do a good job of bringing the ball up, but also because it allows the other guys to play in the positions where they’re most comfortable (wings and post).

Online Poker

Next week, I’ll probably start playing a little poker online for real money. I think I’ll initially stick to playing “Sit N Gos”, which are basically one- or two-table tournaments where the top four places finish in the money. Because I feel more comfortable and confident in tournaments, I figure I’ll start with these to build up my bankroll before I start playing cash games. Above all, I’ll be playing only with the money I’ve put into my account for the next month. In a month, I’ll evaluate and decide where to go from there. If I’m up, I’ll just keep playing online. If I’ve lost the cash I allotted myself, I’ll have to decide whether to try again or find another hobby.


Current Competition Compilation

Well, after the tournament a couple weeks ago, I started playing in a home game with a few of the guys that were in the tournament. Last week, I didn’t do so well. I lost 30 bucks in 3 hours (it was a 20-dollar buy-in) and just didn’t seem to be able to win a hand. So, I thought about it all week and decided upon a strategy that I thought could be used to beat this home game. It’s simple: I don’t raise before the flop (there’s simply no point in trying to drive anyone out before they see the cards in this game), I slow-play almost everything and I’ll play drawing hands only if it’s really cheap to draw. This week, I won 35 bucks, so I made back what I lost last week and then 5 bucks bonus. I only played about 6 hands in 3 hours, but that’s because I just didn’t need to play any more than that.

I’m probably going back next week and I’ll see if the strategy is legitimate or if I was just experiencing the large swings that come with a loose aggressive group of players.

Basketball: Game 6

Well, we’re now 3-3 after starting 3-0. We lost badly tonight, 51-29, or something like that. I only scored 5 points, but that’s about my share since we had 6 guys. We just couldn’t execute in offense and we got outplayed. However, I felt I played pretty well. I certainly could’ve shot better and put up some more points, but I ran Point Guard for most of the game and I did it pretty well. I was playing very aggressively because they were playing a high 2-3 zone. That meant there was a huge soft spot about 18 feet out, all the way around the arc. I felt like I was finding open men and making passes to set them up for open looks, but we simply couldn’t hit our shots. I only had one turnover and probably 3 assists, but that assist number really should’ve been higher.

The last few games, our biggest weakness has been simple offensive execution. We just didn’t put the ball through the hoop, and we had plenty of opportunities. I really hope we can get back on the winning track before the playoffs in a couple weeks. Until then, we have one more regular season game against the first team we played. I expect we’ll win, but it’s hard to say with this team. We’ve shown that we can be very inconsistent.

Time to sleep.