Oh Holla! 51, La Nueva 43
Ball Bounces Oh Holla's Way, Semi's Here They Come
|September 16, 2005 – New York, NY (DL) – Hi. I am a basketball. My name is Wilson Baden Spalding, III. This is my life.|
I spend a lot of time bouncing around in the hands of all kinds of players. Sometimes they’re tall. Sometimes they’re small. Sometimes it’s a male. Sometimes female. Sometimes the player is good, and other times, not so good.
Whatever it is, whoever I’m with, my existence is a good one so long as they keep the air in me and my skin in good condition. I’m really petrified of concrete pavement or water. When people who don’t understand that my leather hide needs to be protected, I hate that. Young kids and non-ballers are the worst. They see me and just think that I’m this thing to be bounced no matter where they are. Then, sometimes they fumble me and I roll out into the street. Oh jeez, that’s the absolute worst. Getting crushed by a car is my worst nightmare. That’s just no way to go out. It happened to a distant cousin of mine once.
Anyway, one can’t live life in fear and so I’m not here to harp on the negative ifs and maybes of life, but rather the good things.
I get used a lot in the Dream League games and man, that’s when I’m at my best. I shine on game nights. Players can’t wait to get their hands on me and I get a real kick by being passed around, especially in a competitive game where it’s back and forth, forth and back.
Let me be the first to tell you – you may think that it’s not up to a ball to determine the outcome of a game, but us balls know that if we really want, we can shift the trajectory of a shot by putting our minds to it if we concentrate. Not that I’ve done such a thing…
When the League told me that I got the call on Thursday night for a very big playoff round, I was pumped. Apparantly, that Nike ball wasn’t around cause he was participating in some WNBA conference championship or something. Whatever, this is where the action’s at!
Oh Holla! against La Nueva. Yes! I was loving it when I got this contest.
There is nothing like coming off the hands of a smooth stroking shooter. This game would feature some of the best around at doing that.
That kid Wilson Lew on La Nueva jacks me up like 25 times a game and I swear everytime he does, I feel like I’m going in. Same thing for Oh Holla’s Dave Scott. Scott, who played collegiately, must have practiced his jumper for hours and hours during the countless practices a player in college must do. That means a couple of things: perfect form and ample made baskets. There really is nothing sweeter to a basketball than those things. I mean dunks are cool to you guys who watch the game, but to a ball like me, I’d rather get that free flowing feeling through my hair (if I had any) that comes with traveling through the air from 19 feet out off the hands of a shooting guard than being merely slammed into the basket by some athletic freak of a player for a fancy two. I mean, do you know how much it hurts to get slammed? Us balls have feelings too.
I hear (cause I can’t read) that this game is a 3rd round game as Oh Holla! has advanced here by discarding Gen X and La Nueva is on a Cinderalla like ride after having defeated Da Bien in their 2nd round match-up.
They beat those Da Bien guys? Wow. Da Bien is a team that knows how to work me around to find the open shooter. I respect their game much. If La Nueva took them out, then I’m guessing these guys are no jokes. I know Lew can shoot, but their team seems to have improved all around to become a championship caliber one. And that’s no coincidence due to the addition of Alex Stewart.
Well, let’s tip off! I love being tipped off. When the official throws me in the air and 2 guys fight for me, I sorta know what it’s like to be the hot girl at school that 2 boys will wrestle each other for. I always wondered what that felt like.
It really is fun being the object of everyone’s desire. You should try it out if you ever get the chance.
Well, Stewart knocks me away to his team and La Nueva comes out strong. Lew tosses me up in about a tenth of a second it feels like from beyond the arc. He misses, but I told you the guy can jack! He winds up with 4 period points to go with Stewart’s 5 and La Nueva holds an 11-10 lead after the first.
When Stewart shoots me, he rocks my world. He has such smooth hands and can do so much with me. Sometimes he’ll drive the lane and then lay me up softly. Other times, he’ll go rack like a bull and it feels like he’s going to slam me in, but he’ll spare me and just throw me through the hoop with just enough force that it doesn’t hurt. Often, he’ll perform this wicked post turnaround jumper and then launch me over everyone and I’ll fall in soft as church music into the net. When he does that, there are usually several oohs and aahs. Pretty cool.
Oh Holla! struggles with me in the 1st and goes 4-14 from the field. If it weren’t for Scott and Stan Yeung each getting me to go down once from the three, they would’ve been even further behind. I’ll let you in on a little something. Oh Holla! relies a lot on the three pointer. It can be a weapon, but I want them to go inside more. If they’re shooting me too much outside, I’ll wiggle a bit as one of their plethora of 3 point shooters launches me and make myself brick in order to teach them a lesson. They took 7 3’s in the first, and 8 two pointers. That’s nearly 1 to 1, which, in my book, is too much. I don’t want to be laid up all the time, but a team needs to mix it up.
Oh Holla! does a little better in the 2nd and only takes 3 3’s – and makes 2 of them. I think they listened to me. I can’t speak, but they listened to what I was channeling them through my bodily actions. They went inside more and wound up building a 23-17 lead at the half.
Primarily, their rebounding of me and good defense stifled La Nueva who could only muster 3 baskets collectively. They shot me 3-15 from the field and at intermission, I had to get the official to massage me as I was sore all over from all the clanging and beating I took off the cold, hard rim.
The rim. He’s mean. He’s not my friend. The net – he’s a different story.
It’s too bad I didn’t meet much of him in this game. Don’t get me wrong, I still love being in the game no matter what, but when I’m hitting nothing but the bottom of the net on more occasions than the rim, it makes for a smoother ride.
There was a lot more abuse of me in the 3rd quarter, especially on the Oh Holla! end as they went 3-14 (and 2-8 from 3). La Nueva did a little better, and as a result, shaved their deficit in ½ to 33-30.
Lew started to get me in a little more consistently. He hit his first trey of the ballgame and notched 7 of his team’s 13 in the frame. Meanwhile, Stewart threw a block of me coming off Oh Holla’s Tony Lee’s hands so hard that I turned from orange to red. A huge block is definitely a momentum shifting moment, but believe me, we balls would rather you maybe tip us away and catch us. Not swat us into the 3rd row. Unless we wind up in the lap of a pretty girl. Then, it’s all good.
As ugly of shooting game as this was up to the 3rd, it was still an exciting game. I knew La Nueva, based on their previous outing, was not a team to be taken lightly, and would come to play.
They hung around and then scratched and clawed their way into a brief lead in the 4th. For awhile, I really had no idea who would win. Oh Holla! held the lead most of the game, but it was always a real tenuous one. You just felt like Lew would bust out with like 8 3’s at any moment. He was really being subdued.
Guess you gotta credit that to Yeung though. Oh Holla! came out and played in a man to man defense determined to not let Lew go off by hanging Yeung on him and then later in the game, having Scott – a jack of all trades – defend Stewart. The former worked okay, the latter...it was a mixed bag of results.
Both teams started placing me in the basket on a more consistent basis in the 4th and I guess if you’re going to save the best for last, that’s the best way to do it. La Nueva used a whole lot of Lew and Stew in the 4th and when Stewart scored back to back on inside moves over Scott, they held a 38-37 lead, and poised themselves for a 2nd consecutive “upset.” I use that term lightly since who would have been surprised if this 11 seed topped this 5 seed?
Lew wriggled free for 4 points in the 4th, but his defender, Yeung, equaled that, most of them coming on a huge trey (when I left his hand on that one, I knew I was going in) that put Oh Holla! back on top, 40-38.
Every time I was passed to a new guy’s hands on the court, I got more wet. The moisture that built up on the players’ hands as this game intensified grew and grew. I’d have to say the worst was that #10 guy on Oh Holla! I don’t know his name, but when he gets me, I just want to deflate myself. He’s so gross. I mean, do humans have sweat glands in their palms?
Luckily for them, #10 didn't shoot me and instead would pass it over to Scott each time he got it in the 4th. Smart move, cause Scott went 3-3 from the field in the deciding quarter. He hit a long jumper to make it 42-38. Lew answered with a deep threebie from the corner to cut it to 42-41. (I helped him only a little as I wanted to see a good game!) But then Scott stepped forth again and drained me on a stop and pop from beyond the arc to put Oh Holla! up 4 again to take a little wind out of the La Nueva sails. The rest of the way, Scott and Yeung put me in from the free throw line 4 out of 5 times to ice the game and send Oh Holla! on their way to the semi-finals, 51-43.
Now, I don’t play favorites for any team as I am there just to serve as an object for the game. But the Oh Holla guys seemed real happy and the La Nueva guys down only a bit. Why weren't they crushed? They didn’t seem overly concerned, but I think that’s cause inside they know they have found a legit team and will come back strong from the get go next season. If they keep that team in tact, look for them to be a favorite.
I viewed this from my perch atop the scorer’s table after the official set me down there after the game concluded. I was also able spy the official stat sheets and I think I saw (it was messy handwriting) that Scott scored 21 points to lead all scorers. I don’t know, you may want to check the box score of this game. I then glanced down to La Nueva’s box score and got a clear look at their stats. Lew scored 18 points and Stewart had a doozy of a game with 15 points, 9 boards, and 4 steals. Sometimes I try to keep track of how many times a player rebounds me if I’m really feeling up to it and I thought Stew got me 10 times for a double double, but I could be off. Either way, he had a whale of a game. Or maybe I got him confused with Joe Yen, who did have 10 boards. That dude usually scores a lot more, so kudos to Oh Holla! for shutting him down on the offensive end. Probably one of the primary reasons they are advancing to the next round and La Nueva is settling in to watch the new football season.
Speaking of football…shoot! I nearly forgot I gotta get to a wedding this weekend. I know this pigskin who’s getting married to a little hottie soccer ball. A little incestuous if you ask me, but who am I to judge?
Gotta bounce, see ya’ll.
Score by Quarters
|La Nueva - 43|
|Player||FG||3PT||FT||REB||AST||STL||BLK||TO|| F ||PTS|
|Boonkeut(dup), Tommy||0 / 1 [0.000]||0 / 1 [0.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||2||0||0||0||0||1||0
|Kyung, Joon||1 / 1 [1.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||2||0||0||0||0||0||2
|Lew, Wilson||7 / 23 [0.304]||2 / 8 [0.250]||2 / 3 [0.667]||2||1||1||0||3||3||18
|Stewart, Alex||6 / 12 [0.500]||0 / 0 [0.000]||3 / 4 [0.750]||9||2||4||1||1||2||15
|Tran, Vin||0 / 1 [0.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||3||1||5||0||0||1||0
|Wg, Arka||3 / 11 [0.273]||0 / 2 [0.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||3||1||2||0||4||3||6
|Yen, Joe ||1 / 11 [0.091]||0 / 6 [0.000]||0 / 1 [0.000]||10||0||1||0||2||2||2
| ||18 / 60 [0.300]||2 / 17 [0.118]||5 / 8 [0.625]||31||5||13||1||10||12||43|
|Oh Holla! - 51|
|Player||FG||3PT||FT||REB||AST||STL||BLK||TO|| F ||PTS|
|Cho, Sung-Mo||2 / 5 [0.400]||1 / 1 [1.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||8||1||0||0||3||2||5
|Lee, Jason||1 / 2 [0.500]||0 / 0 [0.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||6||3||1||1||1||0||2
|Lee, Tony||2 / 6 [0.333]||0 / 0 [0.000]||0 / 0 [0.000]||9||0||0||1||1||3||4
|Scott, Dave ||7 / 17 [0.412]||4 / 12 [0.333]||3 / 4 [0.750]||6||1||2||0||3||3||21
|Yang, Brian||2 / 11 [0.182]||0 / 1 [0.000]||3 / 6 [0.500]||7||3||0||0||3||0||7
|Yeung, Stan||4 / 10 [0.400]||3 / 6 [0.500]||1 / 2 [0.500]||0||0||1||2||1||1||12
| ||18 / 51 [0.353]||8 / 20 [0.400]||7 / 12 [0.583]||36||8||4||4||12||9||51|