Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Please Let Us Win

That's the name of my new basketball team. Kinda sad, and I should have taken it as a sign.

Tonight we played our first game of the season. It's going to be a long season.

The guys are nice, though I'm probably old enough to be their father. Their youth does lead to a couple of benefits: quickness, energy, and fitness. However, the lack of experience playing will make it tough to win a game.

The first half started off horribly. Luckily, the other team we played was just as bad. Really, this was probably one of the worst organized games of basketball I've ever had the fortune of playing. Our two point guards (one was the guy who invited me on the team) only had eyes for each other - often choosing to make a long, risky, bad pass to the other one instead of a simple pass to the person open right next to them. Oh, and instead of crisp passes, they preferred high lobs (one of the few passes to me was a good 15 feet in the air). They also felt that a pass to them was an indication to shoot. And shoot they did.

(Un)fortunately, their defensive skills balanced out their offensive play. The guys they were guarding regularly drove past them for open shots. Or, their men just appeared in the open with the defensive player nowhere in sight. The only saving grace was that the other team was as one dimensional as we were. For instance, the guy I had the fortune of guarding never shot and rarely got the ball (even though I barely guarded him).

Oh, and in the first half we played zone. Only one guy had no idea what a zone was and repeatedly followed a random offensive player around. I kept telling him, "you stay in this area and guard whoever is there," but he just didn't get it. The other guys similarly played more of a man-like defense, leaving the key wide open. That left a lot of the defense to me - and I had 3 or 4 'stuff-it-in-your-face" blocks that half.

In the second half I didn't get very winded as I realized I didn't need to run back on offense because by the time I got to half court, the guard I passed it to would have already shot. I may be old, out of shape, and slow, but I'm not that slow. As a result, I wasn't in position for rebounds. My stats were 7 boards, 8 points (1 missed free throw), 3 blocks, and 1 assist.

Hopefully the schedule will be kind to us and we'll play some other bad teams. But I have a feeling that it's going to be a long season.

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