|Well, we didn’t get our free taco.|
Thanks a lot Bearmen. Thanks a lot Thelonious Dunk. You had us all worked up. I’ve been thinking about it so much that today, I’m going to actually go to Taco Bell and pay for a taco. That’s how much I wanted it.
The B-Men brushed past TD Wednesday night and while they didn’t come anywhere close to their 187 combined points the last time they met, they came out firing like they wanted it. We think they were trying to give the audience what they wanted. Both sides came out jacking and at one point, we spied a defender who shall remain nameless purposely let his guy take an open shot by running away from the shooter. Alas, that shot, and the game’s other opening 9 shots, all clanged off the rim, and we soon figured out that taco dreams and Coke wishes were probably likely not going to happen.
It didn’t. The game ended 74-59, the B-Men move on to face the winner of Thursday night’s Gritty/Baroness game and TD falls into the loser’s bracket where they will now have to take the long route back to the championship if they hope to get there.
It was once again alotta Kash (Miah) for the B-Men as KM dropped 25, 13 in the 4th when the game still hung in the balance after the 3rd ended. The return of Ricky Vien was also key as RV (man, he’s an endorsement waiting to happen with some auto company, and how does one say his surname in Chinese anyway?) culled 13 points, 7 boards, 7 dimes, and 3 swats. A ton of his dimes came from the high post as he and little big man Mike Chin played alley-oops on a few occasions in picking apart TD’s zone. Mr. Consistency MC totaled 15 points, 8 boards, 3 dimes, and 2 steals.
TD must regroup now after the wheels fell off their wagon in the 4th. Getting down 14-0 to start the game didn’t help either, but methodically, they clawed their way back into the game, cutting it to 2, and keeping it close into the 4th. In the end though, Dave Wang, who dropped 4-0 in his last outing against the B-Men, went 0-4 in the 4th quarter, finishing flaccidly when it counted most. Credit the B-Men – dare we say it – defense(???) When it mattered most, and they wanted to play some, they did. Kudos to them.
Even if it was at the expense of our free tacos.
So, about this Gritty/Baroness game…
Winner of this 1/8 game meets 2.0 after the New Year and while we love what the B-Ness gave us on Sunday in their buzzer-beating win over Team Biny, with them destined to run with just 5 players again tonight, pulling off an upset over the #1 seed may be asking too much of this little engine that could.
The playoffs are not a time for your teammates to be abandoning you, but the B-Ness boys have better things to do than basketball. For the Gritty guys? It’s ball above all.
These two never met in the regular season although they played in the same conference. They have contrasting styles and thus, he who plays his style better, is going to win this game.
Slow and methodical? That’s the Baroness although Jimmy Chang has been unleashing outside shots off of screens recently as if his name is Brandon Jennings. Normally, they pound it inside to Noh-Joon Choo and let him go to work. They believe basketball is a game of inside-out and they should just stick to that against the Gritty who believe basketball is a game of outside-in.
The Gritty are uptempo and have four 3-point threats on their team who are not afraid to shoot it in transition. Their big, Vic Chia, is a handful down low and he even likes the midrange game more than pounding it in the post. Gritty has been shooting a decent percentage this season and with capable guys at every spot on the floor, their train isn’t looking to slow down anytime soon.
Mad that they dropped their regular season finale, thus preventing them from a perfect season (did they rest their starters??), they’ll be looking to unleash a little hell on this cold December night. Of course, Mike Tomlin said that about his Steelers before December started, and look where that got them.
The most interesting game of the first round, at least on paper, is the nightcap.
#2 Run & Gun faces #7 Team Wet at 9pm and while both teams hold double-e, both teams will be playing like there’s no tomorrow.
These two met in the regular season when Wet was still known as the Oldboys right before Wet changed their name to reflect their game more. Calling themselves old wasn’t becoming, so they went with what their jumpers felt like.
That game resulted in a R&G 10 point win and many can say that Tommy Zheng was the difference as he had a dozen points. Well, he’s likely out of the lineup for the rest of the season now, so what will Wet get?
Probably a lot of Tim Chin, R&G’s brawny middle man who can play inside out upside down. Wet has to put a body on him lest he lets loose for another double double. Easier said than done, but Sam Nam, now is your time. (Incidentally, if Sam Nam is not the AAA’s Samuel Dalembert, color us pink.)
Elitar Kim, as passionate a player as there ever was around here, will be ready to rock his 13.2 ppg, hoping his guys will follow his lead. After a 31-point opening round win over Firstrade in which every player made waves, Wet will look to carry over the momentum.
It’s Christmas time and while everyone should be happy, after tonight, some people will not be so merry.
PLAYOFF PLAYER INTERVIEW
As the playoffs continue, regularly during the run, we'll bring you inside the head of player as we sit down to get 3-5 good minutes with them. This week, we give you a man whose team has already been eliminated as of last week - CS Hsia of Firstrade.
DL: When was your first “Hey, I’m pretty good at this game, maybe I should play in an Asian basketball league in the future” moment?
CS: When I was 12, I played in a community basketball league in Maryland. Despite my shiny (literally VERY shiny) pair of patent leather Air Jordan 11s, I scored no points for the entire season of 8 games. The coach even put me in for an entire game on the last game of the season, and told everyone "pass the ball to CS, we need to get him a basket). It was a game in which I went 0-2 from the charity stripe.
Luckily I grew to 6'4" in high school, and played varsity in Taiwan. P laying in Taiwan didn't really improve my game, but it built my stamina running suicides in humid gyms at 100 degrees. I'm always running up and down the court.
DL: What position do you play and why did you decide to join up with Firstrade this season?
CS: I grew up as a shooting guard, then in Taiwan everyone started calling me "long man" (big man in local talk) and assumed I played back to the basket. Having a coach who was a tennis teacher definitely didn't help, as he refused to let a 6 footer outside the paint. At 150lbs back then, I definitely wasn't built for post play. Now that I'm close to 200 lbs, I'm more a power forward/center, but I still love to take the ball up the court.
I was introduced to DL a few years back by my friend and teammate Gary Chen. Last year my boss attended a local tournament where I played with my own team named after my start-up company "Pay4bugs.com", and he promptly asked "Where's Firstrade's team??". My answer was simply, "Boss, you didn't pay for one". It's good to get a sponsor. Hopefully for the long run.
DL: What current NBA player best describes your game?
CS: Let me think, which player is more defense than offense, loves to dribble, and doesn't shoot freethrows very well..... Haven't got a clue. I'm aspiring to develop the funky euro inside game of Luis Scola, without the hair.
DL: Come playoff time, what makes your team so dangerous?
CS: We're not, we're out. Too bad we didn't have Sean Zhang for the entire season, or our chemistry would have been even better, plus with better seeding. Having so many players who lived in Queens makes 7PM game rosters so unpredictable.
DL: If we win a Championship this year it’s because of …
CS: A tear in the fabric of time. I think we'll be a .500 team next season, now let me go talk to my boss about sponsorship.