Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm an Adult. I'm Jewish. I play in the Adult Jewish Basketball League - Game 14

This was our last regular season game, and it was a doozy! We had our entire team for this one, and we needed everyone's contributions.

The bad guys got out to a quick 10-2 lead, hitting a couple 3-pointers in the process. We didn't know what hit us, but we settled in and scored a few baskets to get right back in the game. Actually, we went on a 33-11 run (but who's counting?) to get out to a 14 point lead and held on to a 42-38 halftime lead. This could have been the final score in many games in this league. I wouldn't say the defenses were even that bad. It's just that both teams were running and gunning and converting.

As for me, I converted a 3-point play the old fashioned way right off the bat. I was able to get out on the break and score two more easy buckets to have 7 points at halftime. My defense was solid, too.

The second half was a lot closer, with neither team taking that big of a lead. It was see-saw for a while, which lead to some great basketball. There was a lot of physical play and chatter out there, and I'd say this was a thoroughly enjoyable game throughout. I was complimented by the other team 2 or 3 times on my speed and general "blow-by-ability". One guy even yelled out "let me pick up my shorts" after I blew past him for an easy lay-up.

As the game neared its conclusion, I grabbed a crucial rebound and hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it a 3-point margin. We held on to win, 69-66. A very high scoring affair indeed!

We finished the regular season with 10 wins, which should put us as a 2 or 3 seed in this league. Playoffs begin in a week.

Update on the wrist: All good!

Another update: Another double-digit game!

Free throw update: 2-3. 35.5% on the season. Felt good out there!

Stat line: 12 pts, ~2 assists, ~2 rebounds, 1 block.

Uni-tracker: White jersey, Blue Nike Dri-Fit shorts, "Collaborative" undershirt.

Team record: 10-4.

PPG: 49.9
Opp PPG: 44.9

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm an Adult. I'm Jewish. I play in the Adult Jewish Basketball League - Game 13

Today we were missing our big man, but the other team was missing their speedy point guard. Fair's fair, right? You'd think with their really tall big man, they'd have an advantage on the boards. They didn't. You'd also think we would be able to run on them at will. We did.

This one was pretty ugly early on, as we got out to a 12-4 lead and ran them ragged to a 35-21 halftime lead. I got out on the break plenty of times, scoring 3 lay-ups and making a free throw as well. I picked up 3 or 4 steals in the first half alone, pestering them on every possession.

We won this one easily, 67-42. Our defense was great. We rebounded. We ran on them. A lot. Not much more to say. I guess I'd trade speed for inside presence any day.

One more regular season game and then it's onto the playoffs. We got our two best players back today, which made it all the easier to carry out this ass-whoopin'.

Note: I drew a charge. That was fun. My left wrist is a little sore. We'll see how this plays out.

Another note: I scored double-digits in points. Finally!

Free throw update: 1-4. 32.1% on the season. I'll chalk this up to being out of practice.

Stat line: 11 pts, ~4 assists, ~3 rebounds, ~5 steals.

Uni-tracker: White jersey, Blue Nike Dri-Fit shorts, "Juniper" undershirt.

Team record: 9-4.

PPG: 48.4
Opp PPG: 43.3

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm an Adult. I'm Jewish. I play in the Adult Jewish Basketball League - Game 12

This was our last game with only 5 players, although we had to pick up a player from another team to make 5. Again, I played the whole game, but this time I felt good the entire time, so that's a good sign.

We held a lead for the entire first half, playing a man defense and doubling up on their top scorer the entire time. The only problem was, the guy we left alone hurt us with several baskets. We were able to run on them and it seemed we would tire them out for the rest of the game. We led 28-27 at halftime.

I personally shut down my guy for the second half (gave up two 3-pters in the first half), as he scored a mere point from a silly shooting foul called on me where I blocked his shot without even jumping. According to the ref, I didn't let him finish his follow through. Whatever.

Offensively, I was able to get to the rim a lot in this game, but I was forcing some passes and turned the ball over a few times. I also couldn't make some open lay-ups. You're shocked, I know. We didn't stay aggressive to the end, just as last game, and we blew a 6 point lead in the last few minutes of this one. We lost on a last second lay-up, 50-49. This one hurt a little more as it was against two guys I'm not a big fan of. But, again, we played well for what we had. And, again, it wasn't representative of our entire team. I'll take our competitiveness as a major plus as we're coming down the stretch.

Free throw update: 5-8. 33.3% on the season. I even made 2 in a row today!

Stat line: 9 pts, ~5 assists, ~4 rebounds, ~2 steals.

Uni-tracker: Blue jersey, Blue Nike Dri-Fit shorts, "Milwaukee" undershirt.

Team record: 8-4.

PPG: 46.8
Opp PPG: 43.4

Friday, May 14, 2010

AJBL Uni-Tracker Analysis Magic!

I've now played in 10 games this season in the AJBL. If you're an avid reader, like I know you are, you've noticed I keep track of what I'm wearing in these games. Here's a breakdown of my team's record and my PPG in each jersey, shorts selection, and undershirt selection. You can't find a more hardcore breakdown than this right here, baby!!!!

Record: 3-2
PPG: 6.2

Record: 4-1
PPG: 2.8

Nike Dri-Fit:
Record: 5-3
PPG: 3.6

Record: 2-0
PPG: 8.0

Plain White:
Record: 1-0
PPG: 7.0

Record: 1-1
PPG: 4.5

Record: 3-1
PPG: 5.5

Record: 2-1
PPG: 2.3

Clearly, my team plays well in the White jerseys, however, I score more in the Blue jerseys. Tough call there. It's out of my hands, though, as I don't determine Home and Away.

I've performed at my best in my baggier AND1 shorts and we're undefeated. I've also played well - as has the team - when I'm wearing the slightly tighter fitting plain white t-shirt or Collaborative undershirt.

Going forward, I'll give my AND1 shorts more run. I'll bust out the more stylish Collaborative undershirt as long as it's not too ratty. And, well, I'll pray we're the Home team!

Down the stretch we come - and now I'm going to be dressed for success. Thanks for reading. And thanks for humoring me!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm an Adult. I'm Jewish. I play in the Adult Jewish Basketball League - Game 11

We knew we'd only have 5 tonight, and unfortunately that didn't include two of our best players. A good showing was important and a win, in my opinion, would only be icing.

The other team only had 5 as well, so we had hope going in. Played a man defense all game, which I think really helped us with rebounding. We got out to a slow start as we always seem to. I ran the point and penetrated a little bit. Wasn't able to find our big man inside, as they were doubling him up a lot. We were trailing 23-15 at the half.

In the second half, we stepped it up. Found our big guy earlier and more often. Tried to get out on the break as often as we could, although I was the catalyst for that and wasn't always keeping up. I did step it up and we made a run to then take the lead halfway through the second half.

I was able to penetrate, but unable to finish. Story of my life. Got a few steals and some offensive boards where I could to extend possessions. Around the 3 minute mark, I was a bit woozy from playing the entire game and hustling a lot more. We tried to stall with the lead and I was unable to convert a lay-up late in the game. They got the ball back in the final seconds and my guy scored off a missed steal attempt by me - I had it!!! Oh well. We lost 39-37.

Tough loss. I asserted myself on both ends. Had some really nice assists and was able to see the court well on the offensive end. Got my feet - that's right, my feet - on 3 balls during the game. I was very active on the defensive end, even picking up a couple blocks, too. My team was down after the game - I was disconcerted with this, as I know I hustled and put myself out there. I was the only sub-40 player out there for us tonight, and I'm the one with the perspective? Something to be said about people that can't handle losing this late in their lives. I promise not to let this keep me down. We should all be proud of how we were able to come back in this one and pull together as a team without our two best players. That, to me, is what it's all about and will prove valuable in the playoffs.

The "100 Lay-up" project needs to happen. I am consistently among the quicker guys out there but I can't finish when I get to the rim. Gotta work on that.

Free throw update: 0-0. 18.8% on the season.

Stat line: 4 pts, ~6 assists, ~4 rebounds, ~3 steals, 2 blocks.

Uni-tracker: Blue jersey, Blue Nike Dri-Fit shorts, "Collaborative" undershirt.

Team record: 8-3.

PPG: 46.5
Opp PPG: 42.8

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm an Adult. I'm Jewish. I play in the Adult Jewish Basketball League - Game 10

For the second straight game, we allowed only 12 points in the first half. The problem this time was that we couldn't score much more. We were up 14-12 at the half after a lackluster offensive performance. We weren't able to get out on the break and convert in our half court offense. Thankfully, the other team didn't pose a threat from outside, so our zone was once again very effective.

Enter the second half. Our starting guard sat herself (yup, I said "herself" - the only woman in the entire league - and she'll kick your ass, too) so I had an opportunity to run the point. I went on to play the best 4 minutes of the season, and quite possibly my life. We went on a 14-3 run to blow it open in those 4 minutes, led by my 6 points and about 4 assists. Pretty sure I accounted for every basket. We were able to run on them at will. The skies opened up. It was a great feeling.

We got a little tight for some reason as the chatter picked up and the other team actually said out loud "it's time to make our run." The thing is, I seemed to be the only one relaxed and realizing that we still had control. They didn't come within 6 or 8 points the entire second half, and we "held on" to win 49-41. Safe to say we're a second half team - offensively at least.

I played my best game of the year. Was aggressive defensely all game. Picked up a couple steals. Was able to see the court all game, including a sweet no look pass underneath late in the first half. As our two best players will be out the next game or two, I'll have a chance to step it up again. I'm excited for that.

Free throw update: 1-2. 18.8% on the season.

Stat line: 9 pts, ~6 assists, ~3 rebounds, ~2 steals.

Uni-tracker: White jersey, Blue Nike Dri-Fit shorts, "Collaborative" undershirt.

Team record: 8-2.

PPG: 47.5
Opp PPG: 43.2

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm an Adult. I'm Jewish. I play in the Adult Jewish Basketball League - Game 9

We faced the first place team in this one. Their only loss came to us earlier in the year - the game I helped win with what had been my only made free throw on the year.

This one got off to a great start. We extended our zone defense really well and they weren't able to knock down their outside shots. We were also able to run on them effectively. At halftime, we were up 21-12.

I was aggressive from the start, as they threw a man-to-man defense at us. With my new way of shooting, I didn't hit any outside shots, but found the confidence to shoot the ball from mid-range and in. Had a sweet tip-in off a missed shot that got me fired up.

We held a solid 9-to-11 point lead throughout the second half, as the game became more physical, but the other guys couldn't put together a run. Instead, they argued every call and tried to push us around. I stayed out of that, and remained aggressive the whole game on both sides of the ball. I still have Knoblauch-like yips when I go to the rim, though, and I missed an easy lay-up in the second half. My next project should be "100 Lay-Ups".

We won, 49-42 and moved into a tie for first.

Free throw update: 1-4. New technique is working - just have to build confidence with it. 14.3% on the season.

Stat line: 7 pts, ~1 assists, ~4 rebounds, ~1 steal.

Uni-tracker: Blue jersey, White AND1 shorts, plain white undershirt.

Team record: 7-2.

PPG: 47.3
Opp PPG: 43.4

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm an Adult. I'm Jewish. I play in the Adult Jewish Basketball League - Game 8

This one was a nailbiter at the end, and it didn't have to be.

The other team only put 5 out there, and we had our full squad of 7. They slowed us down in the first half, and we also couldn't hit shots, so we found ourselves down 26-16 at the half.

I preached to my team that it would turn around and that we were getting good looks. With a little more pressure, we'd be in this thing. I knew the 5 or so 3-pointers the other team knocked down in the first half wouldn't keep up either. I was right.

We extended our zone and pressured at half court, causing a lot of standing around by the other team. We went on a 7-0 run to start the second half and got ourselves right back in there. I think the other guys hit one 3-pointer, too. We won a close one, 39-37.

I played solid defense throughout, although I gave up that one long bomb in the second half that tied it up late. They zoned us up, which I hate. When I did penetrate, I couldn't finish. I did still land a few offensive rebounds, though. Possessions are important in this game. I did have a few nice assists.

Free throw update: 0-0. 10.0% on the season.

Stat line: 0 pts, ~4 assists, ~4 rebounds.

Uni-tracker: White jersey, Blue Nike Dri-Fit shorts, "Juniper" undershirt.

Team record: 6-2.

PPG: 47.1
Opp PPG: 43.6