Isn't the game supposed to be fun at some level?
Now this may be a gross over-simplification (it’s kind of what we do) and a bit of a rush to judgement (another thing we do far too often) but one thing struck me watching the Heat these past few nights.
They don’t seem to have a lot of fun playing the games.
I don’t mean giggling and laughing and not taking things seriously; I mean just the way they handle themselves.
Now, I don’t know that it’s all that important that joy comes through publicly, it’s tremendously hard to win games and the intensity you need to compete doesn’t lend itself to smiles and giggles, but I do think the better teams consistently look like they are truly enjoying themselves out there.
Perhaps it is a reaction to two seasons of being hammered almost all the time by fans and some media, of hearing how evil they are and how they somehow jilted the rightful order of the world when they got together; or maybe the Heat are just more businesslike because of their age and the experiences they’ve had.
But just watch things like facial expressions, body language, how they react to each other and the game. Even when they were winning early and into the third quarter, you didn’t get the impression the Heat were particularly enjoying themselves.
Far too often it looks like it’s a chore to some degree rather than fun, and while it’s not the make-it-or-break-it trait for a team, I do think it translates a little bit into “how” they play as well.
I guess it hit me hardest sometime in the second half of Game 1, it simply looked like Oklahoma City, despite trailing most of the night, seemed to be enjoying themselves more.
Bit a bigger bounce in their step, a bit more enthusiasm at the end of plays, more smiles to some degree.
It won’t be the thing that decides the series – and this series still has a tremendous amount of basketball yet to be played and to count Miami out is folly – but it might be something you want to look at.
A penguin one day, this the next.
Who knows what’s around the next OKC corner.
A somewhat ho-hum day of workouts yesterday, I’m told; no one jumped out as some rotation-busting must-have draft pick and today is Canada Day to some degree.
Montreal’s Kris Joseph and Vancouver’s Robert Sacre are in; not sure either is someone they’re seriously looking at (Joseph more than Sacre if they are; he’s more athletic, and scouts think he’s got more room for skill development) but it’ll be good for them to be seen.
I have a Joseph interview somewhere in my notebook from last week in Chicago; guess I have something else to work on this morning.
I think “booked for dissent” is now my new favourite sports phrase and should be adapted by all professional leagues.
Either that or steals in the NBA should now be called “dispossessions.”
I tell you, soccer does play by play like few other sports, doesn’t it?
I know it’s not nearly as lyrical as baseball or frenetic as basketball or hockey but it’s fun to listen to a guy do a game.
(Can you call how I’ve been killing time since Euro2012 began?)
Okay, I just don’t get Erik Spoelstra.
This whole “will Bosh start” stuff is getting a little ridiculous by the way he’s obfuscating every day about what he might do.
But for Spoelstra, it’s just the opposite and he fully admitted it before Game 1.
“I'd be willing to tell Oklahoma City. I don't think it's a competitive advantage … just one of the few times that hopefully we can control a little bit of the noise out there, we don't have to get into the debate about the pluses or minuses about it before the game. The guys can just focus in, get into their iPads and focus on the game.”
How silly is that.
You have to realize he said this about 80 minutes before tip-off in the main press room, there was hardly enough time for us to go charging off to the Heat locker room to converge on Shane Battier to tell pester him about losing his job and, besides, if we did, he’d probably say “um, yeah, okay; he’s better than I am.”
And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that the players – any players – disappear before the game for the precise reason that they don’t really want to talk to us.
Spoelstra may be a good coach – it’s debatable – and it can’t be easy to handle that group of players and the attention – but that’s just a guy taking himself, and a benign situation – far too seriously.
Maybe this “Heat needs to have more fun” thing starts at the top.
Tough call, need some help.
If I get done in time and find a stool, do I watch Strasburg-Drabek from the ballyard or Netherlands-Germany from the football?
What would you do?
Okay, folks, here’s the deal: Game days are a bit slow, especially here in OKC, and Friday’s a bit of a bear of a travel day so I’m going to have to start the weekend mail early.
As in Thursday afternoon sometime so let’s get going, shall we?
Time to catch up a bit with Canada because it’s that time of year.
The women’s national team split two games in Britain on the weekend, losing the first and winning the second, and that’s not entirely surprising because it’s always hard to win that first game in Europe after some arduous travel.
They’re off to France now for another series of exhibitions before the Olympic qualifier starts in 10 days or so and as coach Allison McNeill said to us they day they left, it’s vitally important that Canada Basketball got them over there early so they could get acclimated to the time, get over the physical toll travel takes and get re-acquainted with the European style of the women’s game.
The results of these games really don’t matter; it’s making sure they’re getting better consistently, remembering what it takes to compete over there and being ready when the big tourney finally starts.
On the men’s side, and we’re really giving this short shrift today because I need something to use here tomorrow or Friday, the Cadet team (under 17) is about to start camp as it gets ready for the world championships that begin later this month in Lithuania and the Junior team (under 19) is off the FIBA Americas qualification tournament in Brazil.
There, you’re caught up a bit.