In his infinite wisdom as team chairman/injury expert, Adam has asked me to write a sort of Basketblog for the front page! I’m going to try to do it once a week, maybe more if I have some important news, or less if I can think of nothing to say.
So, let’s start with the obvious: we’re back to winning, we’re still top of the league and we should all be immensely proud of ourselves and each other. I know some of you know this but with any luck it’s news to some of you, I’ve never played on a team of any sort before joining Nailsea Basketball, so it’s the first time I’ve had the experience of a team win, and it feels good! I come away from each game buzzing from the adrenaline, and I hope everyone else feels the same.
We’ve had some tough games, one notably easy game, and one absolutely shocking game, but at this point in the season I don’t think we could have hoped to be in a better position than we are……apart from our recent spate of injuries! What’s going on guys?? And why is it all the big guys too? I look to people like Paul, Jon and Nick to be our big, tough, opposition intimidating inside presence. So what do they go and do? Get themselves banged up in the following ways: falling hard on their behinds following a (post-game!) dunk attempt. This is bad enough, but it is topped by Jon’s effort, a three week lay off as a result of a washing up mishap! I’m only kidding though guys, it just goes to show how easy it can be to damage yourself, and I hope you’ll both be back on the court with the minimum of wasted time.
The NBA season has got off to a flying start, incredible to think that these guys are playing an eighty-two game season in less time than we manage our fourteen! Gives you some appreciation of how fit and tough they are. I can’t help but feel they justify their exorbitant salaries a little more than your average premiership footballer.
The big story of the NBA so far is the Utah Jazz, they missed out on the playoffs last year with a 41-41 record, this year they’re off to an 11-1 start! Top of the tough western conference, and playing most of their games without their star player Andrei Kirilenko. Amazing stuff, and with Phoenix and Dallas starting off cold (1-5 and 0-4 respectively), some NBA commentators in the US are already predicting a changing of the guard in the western conference. Perhaps not surprising is that the Spurs are still winning as they always do.
In the eastern conference no team is looking quite as dominant, but it’s nice to see my particular favourites the Orlando Magic with the best record. Especially when the ’06 champion Heat are struggling away without the injured Shaquille O’Neal. I’m sure I’m not the only Orlando fan hoping to see the Magic’s Dwight Howard usurp Shaq as the premier centre in the East.
Well that’s ended up being longer than I thought it would, I’ll keep it shorter in future! If you’ve got any comments on anything send me a PM on the board, or just post on the main forum.
Cya on the courts!
On Wednesday 15th November Nailsea travelled all the way out to Devizes to face the Wizards. A gritty battle ensued resulting in a Nailsea victory, 64 - 61. Stats and match report to follow, or discuss in the forums.
Click on Coach’s corner above to read Coach Boulton’s reflections on the game.
Nailsea Basketball back to winning ways.
The 15th November 2006 saw a depleted Nailsea Basketball side travel to Devizes in Wiltshire to play the Wizards. Playing without forwards Jon Moore and Nick Oldfield, and starting guard Brian Gleeson, the rest of the Nailsea team stepped up to gain it’s sixth win of the season.
The game started late, but both teams came out of the gate fast, running the floor well and matching each other’s effort. Nailsea’s guards drove the lane at every opportunity, taking advantage of the Wizards loose defense to get to the basket for layups. The Wizards finished the quarter with a three point lead, benefiting from a combination of strong inside play and a number of offensive rebounds.
From the start of the second quarter it became obvious that Nailsea’s guards would dictate their offense, captain Jason Boulton and sixth man Jake Watkins getting into the paint to score seemingly at will. Nailsea’s forwards worked hard on the defensive end, hustling for rebounds against the taller home team. Early foul trouble for forward Paul Roy saw Jonnie Taylor playing extended minutes in the quarter; along with Adam Beaumont the Nailsea frontline held it’s own against the Wizard’s tough interior play.
With neither team able to break away in the first two quarters the game was tight as the second half began. Nailsea’s guards continued their strong play from the first half, getting to the line frequently and knocking down foul shots. Reserve Mark Close provided strong play off the bench, scoring a tough layup and helping to limit the Wizard’s perimeter shooting. The home team’s formula remained the same however, and despite Nailsea’s tough defense their inside scoring could not be stopped. The quarter saw a number of hard fouls and tough defensive efforts, Nailsea’s forwards experiencing foul trouble as a result of the Wizard’s continual pounding of the ball inside. With neither team taking control of the game the game entered the decisive fourth quarter.
With both teams looking hungry for the win the final period saw more of the physical play which had characterised the whole game. With Nailsea’s guards continuing to penetrate and draw fouls the home team were soon in team fouls. Game MVP Jason Boulton would capitalise on this, repeatedly getting to the line and finishing with a team high twenty-seven points. Nailsea needed the strong play of their captain to nullify the scoring of the Wizard’s forwards, with all of Nailsea’s available forwards fouling out before the end of the game. In it’s third consecutive close game, the away team would eventually gain the victory, taking good care of the ball and the lead in the dying seconds to improve to 6-1 for the season.
In an unprecedented match Nailsea struggled offensively leading to a 4 point defeat. Match report to follow, or discuss in the forums
After a perfect start, Nailsea Basketball hoped to carry their momentum into the second month of the season. On 1st November 2006 the fledgling team did just that, winning their home fixture with UWE Phantoms.
From the tip off it was clear that the Phantoms were a serious team, coming out strong, disciplined and looking like a good match for the home side. Nailsea player/coach Jason Boulton put on a show in the first quarter, using a mix of outside shooting and strong drives to break down the UWE defense. Boulton finished the quarter with 13 points, on his way to a game high 26 points and the MVP nomination. The away team kept the game tight, crashing the boards and coming up with loose balls throughout the quarter, as time expired Nailsea held the lead 18-16.
The second quarter saw the teams continue to play on level terms, guards Jake Watkins and Simon Baker, and forward Nick Oldfield carrying the scoring load for Nailsea, with the Phantoms continuing to benefit from offensive rebounds to sink easy baskets near the rim. Both teams played a physical game throughout the quarter, scrapping for possessions and trading elbows in the paint. Despite Nailsea’s hard work the game remained close approaching the half, UWE scoring two baskets in the final two minutes to close the half trailing by only two points.
Following the halftime break the intensity and pace of the first half continued, Nailsea using a zone defense in an attempt to break the away side out of their rhythm on the offensive end. UWE countered with a display of strong outside shooting to ensure Nailsea never pulled more than a few points ahead. Forward Jon Moore continued his reliable inside play, battling against tough interior defense to score inside. The Phantoms had the best of the quarter, and the period finished with the away team holding a slender lead.
With the crowd rooting for the home team and making sure that each UWE possession was accompanied by an abundance of distracting noise, the fourth quarter saw Nailsea rally back from their third quarter deficit. Captain Jason Boulton regained his first quarter form, driving the lane and scoring to restore Nailsea’s lead. With less than two minutes left in the game Nailsea held a seemingly comfortable seven point lead, after a timeout the Phantoms used a tough full court press to force two Nailsea turnovers in quick succession, the resulting baskets left Nailsea with just a two point cushion. UWE could not force another turnover however, the game finishing with Nailsea taking the hard fought win, 64-62.