Last night’s performance can only be summed up in one word, “yikes.” I apologize ahead of time, I usually keep my posts professional, but today’s will be recreational. As in recreational hoops. Last night, my best friend (Arlito), my very good friend (Eugene) and I, hit the town for some good open gym run … it was anything but good … at least on our end.
The night started with us meeting at Arlito’s house, and of course, those jerks made me drive (despite the fact that I drove the week before) in which I obliged. The time was around 6:40P when we hit the freeway, and because of the San Francisco traffic, it took us over 1/2 an hour to reach our destination when it normally takes 10-15 minutes when the roads are clear … I can’t complain, that’s not too bad.
We had some pretty funny, yet casual conversation … but inevitably, it switched to hoop talk, and specifically what we need to do as a unit to win games. We were 0-4 at this gym when playing together. We had great ideas, and we all know our strengths and weaknesses, we admitted to them, and we seemed focus to correct them, or at least improve on them. I distinctly recall one topic that was tossed around, and it was the idea that some of us get “gun-shy” after a few missed shots. I just remember saying, “Just keep on shootin’.”
We’re at the gym now, and after a two game wait, we were ready to roll. I was quietly confident as I was coming off a solid performance in our league game this past Sunday, and I felt like I found my stroke again. Boy was I wrong. I started off 0-3, but I wasn’t shaken. I followed my own advice and tried to shoot myself out of this mini-slump, but I ended up with a bigger hole to climb out of. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I think I finished -3 for 37. Now I’m trembling. On top of that, I left my “lock-down D” at home (wink, wink). My friends didn’t fair too well either … Arlito usually picks up the slack if I’m off, but he did slightly better then me, -2 for 36. Euge was our most consistent scorer, but he had 1,455 turnovers which didn’t help us much. The best part of the night was when the three of us got into the open floor on fast break opportunities …
If you’re a coach, and you want to teach your kids how to properly run the break, just video tape the three of us executing our version of it, then tell your kids, “Do the opposite of what they did.” I guarantee you success. Several times we had 3-1 breaks, and let me break it down for you:
1) Euge has rock, I run the middle lane, and Lito has the opposite side.
2) Euge takes the ball as deep as he can, and forces the defender to commit to him (this is the correct thing to do)
3) Euge passes it to me running the middle lane, and I have a clean look at a bunny shot. The defender somewhat recovers to me.
4) I’ve been missing everything, and couldn’t throw a marble into the ocean at that point, so I swing it to Lito on my right.
5) Lito hesitates (probably because he feels the same way I did) and let’s a trail defender catch up to us.
6) We force up a well contested shot. Miss.
Now repeat that three or four times, with our positions being interchangeable, and you have the By, Euge & Leets fast break. It was utterly disgusting to say the least, and these were things we spoke about prior to reaching the gym … I shake my own head in disgust for my part in that … that … I don’t even know what to call it anymore, I’m at a lost for words.
To make matters worse, on our very last game of the night, with an opportunity to break our losing streak, I drive to the hoop and “deuce” up the game with a lay-up (best play of the night for me) but get side-swiped by a truck. “China” as we call him, makes a fair play at the ball, but in the process nearly capsizes my body with his bull-like strength when we met at the top. I shriek in pain, and shrivel to the floor, my night is done, and I can only watch as we go on to lose, yet again. We are now 0-8.
All was not lost that night, as I got to referee my first game. Euge & Lito decide to go “NBA Jam” style, 1 on 1 full court, and in a well played match, Euge edged out Lito 10-6 (I think) … so now Lito drives next week!
Oh and by the way, those were fouls Leets!