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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 8 Recap

Playing 5 on 4, Never a Good Idea

Team Denzell Smith 58
Team Mr. Rhodes 40

In the season preview, when describing Team Connor, I used the phrase "I really, really, really like this team". Looking back, it was foolish to say that about a team who lacked a true point guard. Currently, a statement like that could be used to describe how I feel about Team Denzell Smith (4-2), but this time I do not think I'll have any regrets. Their guard play on Monday was outstanding with Syid Young doing the scoring (18 points) and Keith Spencer doing the assisting (12 dimes, although he'll tell you he had at least 20). The great thing about Keith is that he is a natural facilitator who values getting an assist more than scoring himself. Although that mindset may make Spencer seem like an alien to many KBAers out there, those who like watching good basketball appreciate it. Young, Marques Hudson (15 points, 10 boards), Denzell Smith (13 points, 4 blocks), and Demario Lofton (7 points) should all take Mr. Spencer out to a steak dinner to show him their appreciation for taking this unselfish approach. Smith was dazzling again, displaying the all-around game that makes him one of the more versatile players in the game. He was even able to keep pace with Nick Norals for second in MDPG (missed dunks per game) when he matched Norals first half blunder with an "Anything you can't do, I can't do better" clank of his own. Although Marques Hudson started preparing early for his upcoming semester abroad by travelling all over the court in the first half, he was able to settle down and help push the lead out in the second half through an assortment of low post "Dream Shakes." By game's end, the five from Team Smith, were too much for the four Rhodes Scholars.
The Rhodes Scholars (2-4) scratched, clawed, and toughed out a quality first fifteen minutes which had them down only two at halftime. They re-introduced their fallen leader's (By the way, it looks like Mr. Rhodes may be out at least 2 weeks with a finger) demoralizing 2-2 zone which seemed to confuse Team Smith for a large portion of half one. The havoc that the zone played resulted in Team Smith settling for a lot of perimeter jump shots and standing around the three point line playing a game called "First to 5 missed threes" wins. At least I think it was the zone that did this, for it does satisfy the causal relationship of: If you play a zone that another team is unfamiliar with, then they will do a lot of standing and very little attacking of the tin. But some in attendance might argue that the real causation was: If you wear god-awful smelling jerseys capable of permeating their stench across than entire gym, then the offensive team will not even think about venturing inside the three-point stripe. Regardless, the success was short-lived, as Team Smith was either able to figure out a way to attack the zone from the inside-out, or the psychological process of habituation (I suggest Wikipedia if you don't know what this means, because we all know that this is the best source for accurate information submitted by the elite of academia) finally kicked in. As a result, the four horsemen for Team Rhodes were unable to put up much of fight in the second half as Team Smith cruised to an 18 point victory. Nick Norals was able to help his team by contributing a season-best 22 points and five rebounds. Surprisingly though, his aforementioned botched cram, did not provide the spark to his teammates that most missed dunks often do. Instead, it almost seemed like missing it caused a change in momentum similar to a player handing the ball directly over to the other team. Coach Rodgers and I will have to keep this anomaly in mind next year before deciding to diagram our best "missed dunk" quick-hitter in a key late-game situation. That said, Squirt Polk had a quiet 13 in the loss.

Blockbuster Deal with "Cash" Considerations

Team Patrick Glostner 41
Team Kyle Bailey 21

When I first learned about the deal that sent Cash Jones and Phillip Strong from Team Jones to Team Glostner (4-1)
for Kevin Swanson I was very, very, very, skeptical. Why would Glostner, captain of one of the best teams in the league, mess with his roster? Well, today's game may have proven my skepticism to be ill-founded. In fact, this may be a case of the rich getting richer for Glostner's squad. Cash played within himself on Monday under the watchful eye of Glostner. In the past, what might have been a forced shot, turned into a kick-out to an open man. What might have been a basket-hang, turned out to be hustle play at the defensive end of the floor. What may have lead to an argument before, turned in to a man hug with a teammate for Cash. While it may be best to reserve judgement until this initial honeymoon period is over, as of right now, the decision to acquire Cash looks money. Gloster's collection of all-stars cruised to a 41-21 victory behind 13 points from Mr. Glostner. While Glostner's pre-game routine of doing the Lebron powder throw is getting old, his back-flip (A KBA first), post score, was rather entertaining and well deserving of a blog mention. Teammates Remy Price (11 points, 4 steals) and Korey Williams (6 points, 7 assists) rounded out the total team effort. One thing did have me worried for this team after the game. After finding out that he only had nine points, Cash said "That's okay, we are only satisfied with the W". Moments later, I saw him in deep contemplation and what looked to be counting going on his head. Right on cue, Cash came back over and says he really thought he had 11. To me, that doesn't sound like someone who is only satisfied with the W. Patrick Glostner better make sure he keeps his superstar in check in order to keep the good times rolling.

Jordan, Magic, Bird, Kobe. They have all had off nights in their illustrious careers. Cebron proved that he is no different today in Team Bailey's (2-3) loss. Something just was not right with him. His normally automatic jumper was not falling. His handles looked more like door knobs. His defense resembled a matador. His normally no-look dishes (necessary or not) were telegraphed turnovers today. To me it was clear that carrying this team on his back for the past four games had taken its toll on Cebron. Luckily, he has a couple days off to rest, and can come back to perform like the man, the myth, and the legend that he is. Unfortunately for Team Bailey, no one was able to step up and bail Cebron out during his uncharacteristically poor performance. Kyle Bailey (4 points), Jeremy McClendon (5 points), and Bam Brisco (4 points) had a balanced scoring attack, but equality does not matter when it only results in twenty total points. As was mentioned before, Team Bailey needs to score big at the trade deadline, otherwise it may be a long second half to the season.

First Forfeit of Season has Everyone Contemplating League Contraction

Team Laquinn Parks 99
Team Afure Obeabor 0

Nothing to write about in this one except that Team Laquinn Parks (4-1) gained another victory, while Team Afure (0-5) suffered it's fifth straight defeat due to first league forfeit of the season. This was unfortunate for those who paid to see Courtney Ealy, Mario Sawyer, Laquinn Parks, and Mister Mister perform. Team Afure owes the league and it's followers a huge apology for their truancy.

Big-Time Free Agents: With the second draft approaching later on this week, I think it's time to start talking about the big names that will be available. GMs better do their due diligence, otherwise a player they pass on could come back to haunt them as the season winds down.

Jermaine Taylor: He is the best big man available without question. He has talent and the ability to block shots and could be a huge difference maker for a team looking to go on a long post-season run.

Vinnie Sanchez: This guy can shoot, pass, and dribble. I have to imagine that if he was in the initial draft, he would have gone off the board in round three. I highly recommend teams that lack true point guards to seriously consider adding this guy to their roster (I'm looking at you Team Connor and Team Afure).

Royale Jones: He would certainly be a quality candidate for the all-name team, to go along with his ability to shoot the three. Like Chaz Thrailkill, he uses his strength and aggressiveness to pose a threat on the defensive end. Plus, if you ever need a guy to shoot in for a single-leg take down if things get chippy, he is your man. Keep in mind, that one negative to picking up Jones, is his inability to knock down half-court shots. The guy loves to shoot 'em, loves to miss 'em.

Frank Lopez: Have never seen this guy play, but if he is as sneaky on the court, as he is with his early exits out of the lunch room, than Lopez is a guy that I want working the seams of my 2-3 zone.

Nic Collie: This guy could battle Chris Pride and Mr. Mister for best lefty-shooter in the KBA. If you could get the head-phones out of his ears for the duration of the game, you may have a solid contributor on your hands.

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