Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yieldings from Bad Labor

What up! There is a famous cliché " You reap what you sow" and that is exactly what happened in our game on Sunday against Givat Schumel. Leading up to the game, I didn't fell like the team was practicing very well during the week and it showed when the game arrived. We opened the game very lethargic and didn’t posses any energy in the way we played. Similar to the successful teams that have come against us, Givat switched early on from man to man defense to 2-3 zone. We didn’t have any ball movement and penetration so they were able to be very effective in the zone in the first half.

The start of the second half our team was able to build a little momentum and add a little more energy to the game. We able to get the ball in transition and get some easy shots before their zone was able to set up. But time after time Givat was able to break our momentum with big shots in key moments. Our defense allowed them to shoot a high percentage from the field and it took a mental toll on our team. Despite the terrible first 38 minutes of the game, we were in a good position down four with two minutes to go and the ball. Our team wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunities we were given and we suffered a bad home loss 88—77. It was another tough one for me with 16pts and 5rbs. So the team and myself must focus in and work hard this week because we play Holon, a very talented team who just won the Israeli Cup. The Israeli Cup is a single-game elimination tournament for the top eight teams in the mid-season.

Back to the Gym….Peace!

Son Of The City

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Exh. Game/ Free Time

What up!

This past weekend we had a exhibition game with Ramat Gan, a team we have already beaten once, because it was a bye week in the schedule for us. It was a good chance for us to get some practice against someone other than ourselves and work on some new things we have been implementing in practice. For me personally, I wanted to concentrate on sprinting the lanes and pushing the fastbreak whenever I got the rebound. The last game we lost against Haifa, I didn't get any easy basket or wasn't able to attack the basket in transition. The first half we did a good job of it and I was able to get easy baskets and get to the foul line often, where I often shoot a high percentage.

In the second half, Ramat Gan started to apply a soft press and dropped back into a 2-3 zone to slow us down. It worked a little to their advantage, but I was able to work on moving without the ball and getting into open spaces for shots. We won the game 86-82 and took a lot of positive things out of that game.

On another note, people ask me a lot of times what I am doing when I am not playing in games or practicing. Honestly, when I am not in the gym, I am at home brainstorming about everything. It is really the reason why I am involved in a lot of the activities that I am back home in Louisville, Ky. The Summer Basketball Classic Pro-Am, The Larry O'Bannon Foundation, Larry OBannon Basketball camp, etc.. is all brain stormed and put together during my down time while playing overseas. I wish that I could take the credit for everything but a lot of the ideas come from simple conversations with my family or an idea from a friend. I take my time on thinking it all the way through and if it is something that I want to go through with, then I start to write out the plan on paper. I try to find someone that has done a similar event in the past or has some knowledge in my area of interest so i can talk to them. If you were to walk into my european home, you would find a big desk in front on my couch with a bunch of papers scattered everywhere. But I know where everything is located and which papers go together, guess I need to buy some folder huh? lol.

I'm currently reading a book called Forty Million Dollar Slaves, it's a good book that gives a different perspectives on the athletics and where it orginated. Other than that, Im playing Madden on PS3 online or Im relaxing watching TV.

We have a big game coming up this sunday against Givet Schmuel, a team that is sitting one place ahead of us in the standings. They are also occupying the last playoff position, so it is very important that we get this victory and protect our home court. We must continue to stay intense in practice and maintain focus so that we may be sharp when game day arrives. Be back later this week to let you know how it turns out. God is Good! Peace...

Son Of The City

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tough Loss

Whats up! I just got back from a two day vacation trip to Italy to hang out and see some friends. Thats why I didn't have my normal blog up right after our game on Monday. It was a much needed and perfectly timed trip because I was really disappointed and upset from our performance after the game Saturday night. We don't have a game for two weeks, that's why our coach gave us a couple days off.

Saturday night we played a team called Haifa, from north Israel, who is currently sitting in third place in the standings. They are very athletic and have a good mix of talented American and Israeli players. From the opening tip, it was if our team were a bunch of deers in head lights. They played an aggressive man and box and 1 defense with a man face guarding me the whole game and my team didn't know how to respond. They clogged the middle with four players to keep us from driving and to help out on our big guy. We did not shoot well from the perimeter and could not get any rebounds offensively or defensively. As a result of that, we were not able to get in transition to get easy shots and my shots were very limited. It was very upsetting because they were leaving my teammates open to take shots that they normally make but they just were not falling. As I came off screens, I had a trailor and a big guy showing; Rotated to play the point guard and ran into a trap on every pick and roll. Still, I wasn't able to take a lot of shots but I could create shots for others. After all of that, we were still tied at 63 with three minutes to go in the 4th qtr. and me having fouled out in the third quarter was no help. Im not one to say this or that about referees because they do the best that they can do, but this night there was definitely some home cooking. In the third quarter, I was sprinting back on defense and it was one on one with a guy coming at me full steam. I read his crossover and picked it but the referee was anticipating a foul because typically in europe, teams foul in transition to prevent easy baskets. I was not only mad at the foul but he gave me an intention foul because I was the only man between him and the basket. Then after all of the frustration of my team playing with a lack of confidence and having limited opportunities, the referee gives me a phantom foul on a play I was nowhere near; I hadn't even crossed half court to get back on defense when the foul was called under our basket. Mistaken identity happens I guess, but after the score was tied at 63, Haifa shot free throws the rest of the game and came out on top 75-68. It was a very good game, both teams made runs throughout the game and I think the outcome would've been different had I played in the forth quarter. I had 13pts on 4/7 shooting ( 3/6 3-fg). We have two weeks of practice, so it good time for me to go over some game film and see where I can improve and keep the team going forward. Back to the gym.....Peace!

Son Of The City

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Victory!

Well, I usually wait until the day after the game to write my blog but I am sitting here waiting for the Superbowl Game to come on TV, so I will just tell you about the game while I wait.  We won today against Kiryat Ata, a team that is dead last in the Israeli standings 108-86.  We played like we normally do, jumping to a big lead, and we were able to maintain it today.  Even though it wasn't the best team, it is still something that we need to learn how to do.

Newcomer, Demarco Johnson, made his presence felt today in the middle in his debut game.  He had 30 pts and 11 rebs.  Robert Conley, the other wingman had an excellent game as well 28pts and 9 rebs.  The game started out a lil slow for me, think the effects from last game were lingering around a little bit, but was missing some easy shots around the basket.  After a few misses, I got it going with a post up on a smaller guard and went on to drop in 21 pts and grab 6 rebs.  Went 6/11 FG's and 4/5 from 3pt. line.  Only went to the foul line four times ( 3/4) and I have been averaging ten free throws a game.  Still wasn't too pleased with my game because I am a player that thrives on efficiency and capitalizing on opportunities.  Still, I'm very happy with the fact that we won and we are on a two game winning streak.  The team is heading in the right direction and we started the second round of play with a victory.    We play a team called Haifa next Sunday and they are No. 3 in the Israeli Standings.  They are probably the most talented team in the league, so I am definitely going to have to be sharp from the gate in that game.  Tomorrow we have a day off, so Im going to hit the weight room hard and work out in the swimming pool.

The Superbowl is coming on, think Im going with Arizona because I am a big Kurt Warner fan.    Lets go Cards!  Peace..

Son of The City   

Game Day

Its game day on this Sunday morning, so I'm up doing my usual game routine. I went to practice this morning and got some shots up during the walk-thru. Cook me some breakfast while my gospel music is play( don't listen to any other music until after noon). I check sportscenter to see how my boys played yesterday and just seen that Jerry Smith and T. Jennings had a good game. Glad to see Jerry playing and shooting well and see the young guy picking up the system and growing in confidence. Now I'm about to watch church service on tv and take some notes while I have a my little devotional service. After, Im going to eat and then sleep until the game....If you have any good verses I can read drop me a comment. Hit you back after the game.....Peace

Son Of The City