Originally Posted by GOBB
I got rim blocked attempting to dunk on a break away.
I got my shot ate up twice on the same play.
I got my feet taken out from under me incidentally/wind got knocked out of me
I played an average game and was winded
I had a hot streak of knocking down 4 straight 3's
I had a cold streak missing my next 5 shots
I got outmuscled going up for a rebound
I cut that same players ankles and layed them up
I thought to myself after the game ended "Am I too old to be playing?"
Last time I played basketball was two years ago, playing full-court indoors after only playing half court outdoors for probably two or three years. Normally, I would play with friends from work that were my height (5'10") plus or minus 3-4 inches, I think the tallest guy to play with our group was 6'4"/6'5" or so without much vert. He could dunk, but nothing spectacular, and rarely in heavy traffer. But the last time I played I was one of the three smallest people on the court, which basically had me running more like a guard than a forward. So with that in mind, I felt even more out of shape and old:
I felt that I didn't have any grip, and I had absolutely zero confidence in my surgically reconstructed knee.
I felt like I was about three steps slower.
I felt like I had no control over my vertical leap. On plays where I pushed it to try and get some height for an inside move (I haven't dunked since destroying my knee), I felt like I had a two inch vertical.. but on other plays, like a simple fast break layup, I found myself much higher than I thought I would've been. Must've been the non-destroyed left leg doing that.
I lost about two feet of range. I never was a good long range shooter, my favorite spots were always 15-18' on the baselines and elbow of the lane, and college threes around the top of the key/edges of the lane. I could hit NBA threes, but only when I had my legs, so generally I'd take a couple early in games, and people would think I had a lot of range, and from that point on they'd close hard on me and I could fake and move in for a shot I could hit more consistently. The last time I played, there was no way in hell I was hitting an NBA three. College threes took about as much effort and legs as NBA threes used to for me, and I felt like I had to put a little more arc into my mid-range shots because they were real flat.
Pivoting and attempted spins off of my right foot just never went right. All I could really do with it was drop step to a jumper/fadeaway. After the first hilariously miserable spin attempt, I wouldn't do it again, but used a half spin as a fake so that I didn't have to rely on my right leg for it. That worked twice.
I lost my Miles Simon middle-of-the-lane floater! That bummed me out more than anything. I only tried two in the game, and both were way off. After the game, I worked on it a while and it was a bit better, but it's obvious that it fell off from lack of practicing.
I really didn't rebound nearly as well as I used to, but again, I was playing full court, playing more of a guard position, and playing in amongst the trees, so I don't know how much of that was due to degradation of game ;)
Only really had two nice crossovers, one resulting in a finger roll, the other in a nice bounce pass to a teamie for a layup off of the baseline. I was on a pretty good team, so I was doing more setting up of the bigger guys than doing much on my own. I had a few nice plays and really got to enjoy playing the pick and roll with some people who actually knew how to play the pick and roll -well-. But after those two crossovers, I attempted a couple more and they -all- got picked. The dude guarding me picked up on my tendencies real quick.
I found out how it it must be like when Shaq has a mismatch. I found myself picking up a massive 6'8" guy who looked like Arvydas Sabonis. He was probably in his late 30s, early 40s, all of his shots were set shots, and all of his inside moves were hooks, but due to his height and his sheer size (he was thick, like a freakin' linebacker) it was a tough time defending them. I got stuck on him in the low post, but he caught it about 10 feet out. He backed me in and made a move towards me that slammed into me like a ton of bricks. He definitely wasn't trying to hammer me, but that's what ended up happening. I went down like Ginobili, and at first a couple people smirked because they thought I flopped, but I just wasn't prepared for the hit and went flying! When you go to guard someone in the post, and your elbow is pretty much in line with the bottom of their ass, you're in trouble.
My nicest move of the game was "skying" in for a rebound from the right baseline, landing just about under the rim, dropping one dribble and going right up for a short fade, all in one motion. My buddy Bryan laughed and yelled "Barkley!" to bust on me for it ;)
I learned real fast that my handles didn't cut it to run the point. I got picked more times than I'd care to admit. After my guy picked me a few times and I was able to bait him into going for the steal without doing anything flashy, just maintaining control, the other small dude on the other team learned real quick that if the two of them swarmed me, it resulted in a turnover. I had to pick up my dribble a few times coming down that better handles would've gotten me through.
I did one jump stop move, something I was just working on when our basketball group kinda fell apart due to the massive layoffs at our company, and dislocated my knee. It was close to the end of the first game and I was wearing my brace, so it was just a matter of popping it back into place and it was all good. I can dislocate it pretty easily, all it takes is the wrong amount of lateral pressure and it'll pop out to the left side of the joint. Bad enough that you can see the difference. It hurts like hell while it's out, but once it's back in, it calms down. It'll swell up, and later than night it certainly did, but I was able to get three more games in that day thanks to the awesome brace I picked up.
I got one block! Yay!
I got blocked at least six times throughout the four games I played. At least two were impressive, sent into the third row blocks. Not having hops anymore isn't fun.
I felt like I sweated off fifty pounds. I had to have looked like absolute hell out there. It was fun, but made me really want to get back, get in better shape and work on my game before going up there again. That was a little over two years ago, and life has since gotten in the way. Now it'll be a hell of a lot more work, but who knows. The motivation just hasn't been there. I still go out and shoot around and play a little one on one, a little 21, but nothing serious.