Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Basketball Season Is A Wrap

Been a while but I'm back!  Tonight, my summer basketball league season wrapped after about three months worth of games.  From early June until tonight, I squeezed in 15 league basketball games between my Monday and Tuesday night leagues.  Unfortunately, from a team standpoint, neither one of my teams did exceptionally well and missed the playoffs.

My Monday night team finished a disappointing 1-7 overall.  We had good players but the team chemistry was never quite there.  We did managed to get it together enough for our only win (and I scored 26 points).

My Tuesday night team actually played well throughout the season but finished with a 3-4 record.  We had our chances to win a couple of games against young teams but fell short.  However, the team played fairly well as a whole.  Despite my somewhat advanced age, I managed to lead the team in scoring at 11.4 points per game.

While the teams didn't do well, all the players had their individual moments to shine.  I scored in double figures more often than I remembered in years past.  I guess there is a fountain of youth for guys even if we are in the upper 30's!

So while my Monday night team is done playing, we will help out with scorekeeping and officiating in the next couple of weeks.  So I will remain involved.  I might take some time off from playing too much basketball except for my weekly Saturday runs.  I'll plan to get my exercise via other means (gym, badminton, walking).

But there is no rest for basketball players.  The fall league will start in about a month!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Coaching Is About Making The Tough Decisions

During the summer, I've been playing in two basketball leagues.  On my Monday night league, I was just a player on the team.  The Captain of the team has played in the league for a while but has never been captain or coach before.

After a slow start (zero wins in four games), I told the Captain, I'd help out with the lineups and subs.  Two Mondays ago, I didn't need to interject too much.  The team had only six guys and we all played well enough to win our first game.

This past Monday was an entirely different story.  Unexpectedly, our ENTIRE roster (9 players) all showed up.   I told the Captain I would figure out the lineup before the game.  I made a decision to go with a certain lineup and had the subs planned out.  Alas, neither the starters or the bench lineups worked particularly well and we were down by about 25 points at halftime.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  With nothing to lose, I inserted the starting lineup from two Mondays ago.  I told the guys that we needed to make a run early or the bench was probably going to play the rest of the game.   This group had been successful and I thought we could do better than we did in the first half.

It ended up working pretty well.  The rotation went from nine players to about only six (with a 7th playing briefly) throughout the second.  The large deficit hurt us pretty bad as ultimately lost by about 7 points (79-72 or something like that).  However, we made the other team sweat quite a bit.

On one hand, it was good that we came back.  It's never fun to lose in a blowout fashion.  On the other hand, I felt bad for the guys who sat on the bench in the second half.  After all, it's an adult league and you pay to play.  You don't get PAID to play.   I've been through that kind of situation personally and I try to avoid this when I am coaching.

Safe to say, it was a bit of a weird night and I apologized to the guys who didn't play.  The Captain didn't really have much to say and I think he was ok with my decision to ride the starters.  It is definitely a delicate balance between trying to win and giving out playing time, especially in adult league.