Hoops went well

I think I played 5 games today. My first two were definitely my best and then I tapered way off for the last few. But, my first two were spectacular games. We play to 12, straight-up, by ones and twos. First game, I think I had 4 or 5 points and 3 or 4 assists (along with a few rebounds and a steal or two); second game, I had 5 or 6 points and at least 4 or 5 assists (along with a few rebounds and a block on a 2-pointer). Basically, my team ran through me and I got at least one touch per offensive possession for both games. In fact, we were mostly running a fastbreaking offense that rarely had to setup in the half-court.

Then, it started going downhill. I wouldn’t say I played poorly the last few games, but I just wasn’t playing super well on my teams. The last 3 games were all teams that intentionally slowed the ball down into a half-court offense and I rarely got any touches. I was “0-fer” from the 3-point line today and that was pretty discouraging. I didn’t take too many 3’s (maybe 6 or 7 over 5 games), but it would’ve been nice to hit at least one.

So anyway, I played really well for the first couple games and I’m seeing serious improvement from week to week. I’m realizing that I can’t allow myself to be a purely perimeter offensive player because my strength is in driving and scoring or dishing. I’m also remembering how to reward my teammates for running the floor on a fastbreak. It’s sometimes difficult to convince guys that if they run–even trailing–the length of the floor on every offensive possession, they’ll get buckets on put-backs and assists.

Strange rules

A couple summers ago, I wrote about the strange mid-west rules for “Twenty-One” or, as they call it here, “Twenty-Five”. Today, I ran into a strange rule in full-court basketball: If there’s a controversial call, instead of obeying the (invisible) possession arrow, someone shoots a 3-pointer (“do or die”) to see who gets possession. That sounds good and everything, but I’ve always played with the invisible possession arrow: whoever had last possession (either at the beginning of the game or on a jump-ball or a controversial call) gives the ball up on the next such possession. I tried to explain this to the guys, but they didn’t wanna’ hear it. Here’s their logic:

The team that has the ball first has it because they won*. So, because they “earned” first possession (along with their choice of end of the floor and the “right” to keep their status as either “shirts” or “skins”) they feel the possession arrow doesn’t point the other way. So, if there’s a controversial call where the possession arrow would come into play, they simply shoot for it. I guess that’s all good and well, but there’re reasons the possession arrow was invented to begin with. Also, claiming that they shouldn’t lose the possession arrow because they “earned” first possession is really a moot point. I mean, in a game with a tip-off, the first team with the ball “earned” the possession by winning the tip, but the possession arrow is still pointing to the other team. The “reward” for winning the previous game or for winning the tip is that they get first opportunity to score (and, in the unlikely event that a game came down to a shootout where each team hit a shot every trip down the floor, they’d win), not that they get a free possession and immunity from the possession arrow for the rest of the game.

I guess it just doesn’t make sense to me why they’d ignore a pretty fundamental part of the game. In reality, this rule didn’t hurt our team as we ended up with the ball anyway (more because of the controversy than the rules), but I could see where it might have a big effect on a game. Maybe I just need to lighten up.

*Their logic begs the question: What do you do the first game when there was no previous winner? Is the possession arrow in effect then? If not, why not?