Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Highly Anticipated Evening of Sports in the Bay Area

For many San Francisco Bay Area sports fan, tomorrow (October 27th, 2010) will be one of the most anticipated days in a long time.  The main attraction will the San Francisco Giants as they play game 1 of the World Series against the Texas Rangers at AT&T Park in San Francisco at 5 PM.  For another subset of fans, the Golden State Warriors will open their season against the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena at 7:30 PM.   Almost as an afterthought, the San Jost Sharks (who already started their season a couple of weeks ago) will be playing at home against the New Jersey Devils.

I am admittedly not one of the biggest baseball fans though I followed the Giants throughout the season and was riveted throughout September into the playoffs and now the World Series.   Yet, I am also a huge basketball fan.  Like many Warriors fans, I am happy that the Chris Cohan / Don Nelson era has closed.  While my expectations are low for the Warriors this season, I am eager to see how the team will do under new coach Keith Smart.

As for the Sharks, I throughly enjoyed their playoff run last season and will follow them a lot this season, thought for tomorrow night, they are going to be shoved to the background.

It's gonna be hard to focus on work tomorrow but I will do my best.  Go Giants, Warriors and Sharks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The conundrum that Jeremy Lin faces..........

(Hadn't blogged too much recently and in the span of 30 minutes, I have done three blog posts on different topics.....call me MOODY....hahahaha)

The Golden State Warriors have started their preseason and with all the recent changes (new owners, new coaches), there is excitement in the air.  However, to many local and Asian-American fans, there is only one change that matters:  Jeremy Lin.

Lin had a nice game in some garbage time duty against the Clippers Friday evening.  However, according to reports, he struggled mightily (3 turnovers in one minute) against the Kings tonight that he was benched by coach Keith Smart.

Not knowing the specific circumstances of what happened tonight, I can't comment on exactly what happened.  However, one thing I sense is that Lin is pressing to impress in limited minutes he is getting.

In high school and college, Lin had more free rein and tons of opportunity to gain experience and iron out his kinks.  Plus, it was obvious he had the talent to compete at the high school and college levels.  Things are not so clear cut in the NBA.

Many lower tier NBA players ride the pine and gain experience from practice.  Once coaches feel the players are ready for the rigors of the NBA, they start to play more.   I think this will be a BIG adjustment for Lin.  It's hard to go from being a star to a bench warmer.

However, I think Lin is feeling the pressure of his personal expectations and perhaps the fans as well.  I think Lin needs to step back and play within his game in the few minutes that he gets during the preseason. I have a very strong feeling that Lin can play in the NBA.  However, just like his high school and college days, it takes him a while to get adjusted.   After all, Lin is not the strongest of most athletic players out there.  He is an intelligent player who reads situations and adapts.

I think Lin's still reading situations like he used to.  The biggest different is the window of opportunity to execute the right moves can be closed VERY FAST because NBA players are so athletic.  Lin's adjustment is to find counter moves.  We all saw this in summer league, so it shouldn't be a surprise.   Lin can drive by people but help defense in the NBA comes quickly.  That is why Lin tried adding some spin moves during the NBA Summer League with limited success.

Many people have said this may be the biggest challenge for Jeremy Lin ever.  Indeed it will be.  He's never had to face the level of athleticism he will face in the NBA.  This is not something you can just simply practice or train for.  It's hard work and Lin will need to prove that he can play in the NBA.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

San Francisco Giants: National League West Champions 2010!

I had a bit of an interesting day today.  I was scheduled to officiate some youth basketball games from 11 AM to 2 PM near Downtown San Francisco.   Then at 6:30 PM, I was scheduled to play in an adult basketball league a few miles away.   That left me quite a bit of dead time in between.  I could have gone home but my 6:30 PM game was closer to where I was than home.

After I finished officiating at 2 PM, I realized that the gym had the San Francisco Giants / San Diego Padres game on.  This game was a huge one.  It was the final regular season game for both teams.  For San Francisco, it was win or they had to travel to San Diego to play a tiebreaker game.  For San Diego, it was win or go home.

The Giants managed to pull out a 3-0 win and clinch the National League West Championship.  This will the Giants first playoff appearance since 2003.  This reminds of 2002 when there was so much excitement because the Giants made the World Series that year.  The Giants had a great chance to win but unfortunately lost in seven games.  My friend and I actually made a trip to Southern California in 2002 to watch Game 6 and were bitterly disappointed.

In any case, I like the 2010 edition of the San Francisco Giants and have a feeling they might go far.

For the moment, the Giants are basking in the glory of their victory but starting tomorrow, they will need to get back to business.