|Did this past Wednesday night feel like a national holiday or what? While we saw a ton of you hoopsters flooding into the Garden, the DL took the night off in deference to, yes, that kid from Harvard so many of us could comfortable go take the game in. 5 minutes, 2 steals on one play, and a nice dime? JL is showing a propensity for the pro flavor. Keep the support up, DL Nation!|
Meanwhile, back at HQ, with the homestretch of the regular season in full swing, the past two weeks have started to clear up the murkiness that was.
How about what didn’t?
First, for the first time in the history of maybe forever, a team went from being 2-3 to 4-2 in a single night. How?
Last Thursday, Queens DBL clinched a double-E playoff slot thanks to the Good News Bears failing to show up for their game against the Gritty Committee. Because earlier in the season DBL failed to show up for their game against Gritty, some lightening quick reflexes by league brass allowed DBL to instantly make-up their game against Gritty, who wanted to go at them anyways as opposed to taking the forfeit win they already had registered. Both sides were cool with it and suddenly, DBL found itself winning a 57-49 game that was the first of what turned into a doubleheader for them that night. Their originally scheduled game against TSIVOS still went on and despite tired legs and basically having to play 8 quarters of basketball without a break longer than 15 seconds, they won that one too, 68-65, in thrilling fashion surviving a buzzer-beating good look from Vegas Dave that could have sent the game into OT.
How quickly fortunes can change. A week earlier, DBL was looking done. They lost to Gen X 60-51 and then had that forfeit. This was all in light of their involvement in a bad brawl at the midway point of the season. Today, they are on the verge of finishing 6-2 especially because they bolstered their line-up with one Vick Manocha. Damn.
So speaking of those Good News Bears…they may not approve it, but we may just have to reserve the right to do the obvious and change their name on the website to Bad News. Like doing drugs, forfeiting is never cool. Especially if it’s your only game scheduled over the last 2 weeks.
And here our guest star Sung-Mo Cho was all ready to play for them last Thursday. Returning from LA on business for a few days, SMC decided he would surprise his old team by walking onto the court Willis Reed style to help give the Bears an emotional lift they oh so need badly. So, when Cho walked into the gym only to find this team decided to pull a no-show…gut wrenching. Good move, guys.
So, this past Sunday, SMC then tries to fill in as a Brooklyn Hustla when to his dismay again, all their guys fail to understand the concept of Daylight Savings Time and show up an hour late, forcing SMC to play on a 4-man team made up of 3 guys not on the BK roster just so we don’t give GRITTY another game involving another forfeit. BK eventually did get their 5, but by that time, hope and the game was lost as Gritty gashed them 64-51 as 5 Gritty guys hit double digits.
Teams, why the allergic reaction to SMC? He brought us all so much passion and joy for the game before and this is how you repay him? Okay, fine, he left us for the left coast, and some of us are still bitter about that, but this is no way to show respect for your elders! Negative, ghostriders! Next time SMC comes back, we want parades, confetti, champagne, and cake. Got it? Good.
Now, if you’re keeping count, that was 4 games in the last 2 weeks for Gritty. They did 3-1 to 4 games (okay one was a forfeit win) and are starting to get that look again as the playoffs draw near. You know – that one that says, “We’ve been here before. We are battle-tested and we have a chip already, so don’t mess with us. Oh, and plus we’re not really sure but we may or may not have Chris Youn with us the rest of the way.” If CY does make the playoff roster, their joyride may be just getting started now that they are all double-E’d up.
Good things are happening to Gen X too. Very good things. Like 3-game winning streak things. Like clinching double-E slot things. The bench jokes are officially over. Gen X has been coming correct as of late and in the last 2 weeks, went from cellar dwellar to cream of the crop. With the win over DBL and then Thelonious Dunk, they are just starting to gel at the most opportune time leading into the post-season. Is it just a coincidence that after they picked up Joe Chin, they’ve started to gel? Not. In these two wins, J-Chin averaged 6 dimes and 13.5 points, so while he can fill the bucket, his real asset to the team is dishing dimes. With Dennis Yang perhaps showing some of his age, Gen X needed a shot in the arm with a good guard who could get things going. Joe Chin is just that guy.
SMC shook the rust off in his guest visit. He even developed a right-handed shot!
Mostly good things happened for Shanghai Surprise in the last 14 days. They had a loss against TSIVOS, but they picked up wins against T-Dunk and, perhaps somewhat Shanghai Surprisingly, BearBall. That win was their season defining game thus far as they handled BB’s vaunted full-court press well enough and Garry Yeung had a career game going 9 of 11 from the floor (2/2 from 3) for 20 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists. Everything G threw up went in and he took a page out of Vegas Bank Shot Dave’s book doing it. It seemed to us that Yeung took out his hometown’s frustration over losing Chris Bosh all out against BearBall. Poor guys, they never saw that coming, but for it, SS finishes 5-3 and have a double-E slot too.
The loss for BearBall took the steam out of their runaway train a bit as they were primed to sew up the 1-seed for the playoffs before it. With an OT win over Team Nyce two Wednesdays ago that was Team Nyce’s first loss of the season (at that time that popped Nyce’s 1-seed steam) and a 67-51 win over BK after that, BB was looking unstoppable, particularly with Kash Miah averaging 33 ppg in those two wins. Now, they’re back down to Earth a bit still very easily looking at clinching the 1-seed as all that’s left is a game against winless T-Dunk next week.
While T-Dunk has been winless on the season (as has Good News/Bad News), BK and, Shanghai Surprisingly, Team Nyce were winless in the last 2 weeks. BK has lost whatever tough luck luck they had in their early season close losses and are now just getting skunked. They’ve lost their last two by 16 and 13 and, as already said, not even a Sung-Mo could save them last Sunday.
Nyce ran out of the gates at 4-0 this season, but lost two games on consecutive nights right before Halloween and are now suddenly feeling a little desperate. It seems for their big game against DBL this week, they’ll be severely underhanded which leaves them vulnerable to dropping to 4-3. Are you gonna let this happen, Elitar Kim??!!
Nyce’s last win now was against Old School, who are done with their regular season at 5-3, maybe feelin’ a little flat themselves. After a championship summer, OS started this season out 3-0 which included a dismantling of BearBall. Since then however, they finished the regular run 2-3 and just 3 points away from 1-4. They rest up – and no one needs it more than Arif Ansari whose knees creak so bad they wake his wife up at night – and hope to come out in the post-season recharged and ready to defend their throne.
So, there you have the last 2 weeks in more than a nutshell. Lots going on. Too much, in fact. Teams making moves up and teams falling down. A Sung-Mo sighting. A team reversing their fortunes completely in one night. Vick joining the AAA. JL making his annual NYC Fall visit, but this time not to the Columbia gym.
In a world that is ever-changing, life in this sport is no different.