Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Playoffs Part 2

Sorry for the long layoff in between posts. Last time I blogged I wrote about how big of a beating we took in the first game of the playoffs. After that game I thought it was going to be a long series but we responded very well.

The second game of the series was back in Vacallo where we had lost the first game. We didn't even look like the same team and I think we surprised Vacallo a little bit. Everything was clicking right away. The fast break was well executed and our jump shots were falling. Mid way through the second quarter we had built a 16 point lead. At that point the Vacallo head coach started to get on the refs a little bit and even got himself a technical foul. He warranted a second one but the wonderful Swiss refs didn't want to kick the reigning coach of the year in Switzerland out of the game. His technical paid off and they got the benefit of the calls from there on out.

Game 2 was a really fun game to play in with all of the lead changes and the atmosphere from the fans. It was kind of strange too. I think I got a little wrapped up in the game because I didn't realize when it was over. I remember playing and then all of a sudden hearing the final horn. I had one other game like that in my basketball career and that was when Marquette player Arizona in Milwaukee during my junior year. Those are just those fun games that you don't want to see end. Unfortunately both did and I lost both of them.

Game 3 was finally back in the comfortable confines of Palamondo. We found ourselves down 0-2 and needed to win to keep the season going. Being down like that in a series is definitely a weird feeling. I have been in that situation one other time and the vibe around that particular team was just to get the season over with but it wasn't like that this time around. We wanted to keep playing ball and I think it really showed on the court.

Our pick and roll defense wasn't very strong at the start of the game but we were able to make some in game adjustments to keep the score close in the first half. The second half was where the real action of the game took place and also where we made our attack. Our young guys didn't give us a whole lot during the season but they sparked the come back for us. They were crashing the offensive boards, pushing the ball on the break and playing tough defense. It was a tie game with 3 minutes to go but Vacallo hit some really big shots and their experience was too much for us down the stretch.

The loss in game 3 was the final nail in the coffin for our season. It was very strange after the game. After the first game everyone assumed we were going to lose every game by 30 but we came out and played hard and strong in the next two games and could have easily won them both. It was almost as if our management viewed them as wins. They came out onto the court after the game and offered their congratulations on a good season.

So, the 2009-10 LNBA Swiss basketball season and my 4th year of playing professionally has come to a close. Now is the time to relax for a little bit, go home, re charge and get ready for next year.