Saturday, September 13, 2014

If you crave for thrill then root for Serbia

Don't get me wrong. I am really not fond of watching International or European basketball because I'm used to the style of physicality and action the NBA type of gaming brings. The Serbian national basketball team which features Nenad Krstic and that guy you'll see below, Milos Teodosic, is one great exception.

You better watch out for this guy.
I have been a very big fan of underdogs and Cinderella stories in almost all sorts of sporting competition from boxing, to MMA, and to basketball - be it in the NBA or played internationally. This is why for the zillionth time, I am on the side of an obvious underdog for the 2014 FIBA World Cup Championship to be played between the Teodosic - led Serbian national team and the star studded USA men's national basketball team. But this is not just about the Americans overshadowing their opponents that made me favored the latter, it's what these Serbians are capable of doing when their backs are against the wall. I know this sounds weird but I find Serbia more exciting to watch than the USA. Cross-overs and alley-oops are entertaining but down the wire games and upsets are far more exciting over-all.

Watch my handpicked videos for them. I personally saw these games live and I was like... wow!

1.) Serbia vs Spain 2010 FIBA World Cup Turkey

When France knocked out the host country this year, it wasn't a surprise for me because 4 years ago Serbians showed the world how to beat the Spaniards. Rain them with triples!

2.) Serbia vs Turkey 2010 FIBA World Cup Turkey

Ahhh.... Their last run for the final two spot fell short against Turkey but they gave one of the best FIBA games in the history. Down the wire, I said.

3. Serbia vs France 2014 FIBA World Cup 2014

You heard it from the start of the video, keep your eyes on Serbia's number 4. This was their recent win against France to secure the final two spot of the tournament. Let's go Serbia!

There you go, buddy. Four years in the making and I hope this could be their year. On tomorrow's game between USA and Serbia, which squad you at? Let the title of this article guide you.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Crack on the Stone

We all hate the shot blockers protecting the rim, they’re those that turn our potential poster moments to their personal block party. They will always be the last man to beat on the defensive end altering your sweet looking shot attempt for a high percentage field goal. Manning the middle serving as the anchor on the defense is how we see them, that big bad man with a wide wingspan responsible for imposing on every wingman’s mind that scoring is never that easy. Hell yeah! But as they say, “there are a million ways on how to kill a cat,” which is very applicable even to those fearsome and perceived impenetrable shot blockers in the NBA. I ain’t got time to give you 1 million moves to beat Serge Ibaka, Birdman Andersen, Mt. Mutombo, and KG which is why I’ll have to narrow it down to 1. One move to get past these feisty defenders?! Yes, my friend and it’s not to wait until he’s bedridden – that’s silly. Well, in this edition or should I say in this only edition I’m dedicating it to the little man: point guards and shooting guards. 

Now boys take note. Never attack like you’re on a one-on-one situation unless if you have ups like MJ or Vince Carter. Well, if that’s the case you can take your exit now because this so high school for you. Remember, always play as team player. Get your team mates involved, if they have a better shot than yours, don’t be a schmuck, pass the ball, a lay-up or a dunk no matter how emphatic it is will only count as 2 points. It is important to use screens, curls, and more importantly, make yourself comfortable with the old but gold pick and roll. Google it! 

Now, to your most awaited part. What I’m about to teach is you how to beat a big man if the defense switched assignments momentarily or, as rampant nowadays, cross matched. 

1. Make a quick move be it a crossover or any hesitation move like the jab step to get him out balanced. If he loses his ankle and falls to the floor, cheers buddy, but if not, attack him on the side where he has to double time on getting back to protect your driving lane.

2. I assume you’re on your way to the shaded area now while he is at your tail ready for some nasty chase down. Once you’re close to the rim, step on the gas a little bit more to allow you to get a step ahead making him think that you’re up for a blow by. 

3. And lastly, fake it like you mean it. It’s every shot blocker’s weak spot – they fall for the fake. I say again, they fall for the fake. Once he’s up in the mid-air jerkily reacting how he got fooled and in the middle of nowhere, I suggest you avoid that “everything but the basket” to be on the Sportscenter and not on Shaqtin’ a Fool.

Here’s how they do it:

That's a young Steph Curry showing his moves on the Birdman.

Another one, this time, in the Finals.

 Ah... Just listen to Mark Jackson on this.

Lastly, Knee Wade... yah I mean that.
Enjoy while it last. That's the flash before a cold series against the Spurs.

Okay, I guess you boys are ready. Bear in mind that to become a successful scorer you need to be unpredictable in your approach. Practice those J's, post them up, move without the ball, and fake some shots. Open those eyes for possible shooters or cutters while you're driving and if that time comes, send that big fella to school now that you know the crack on the stone.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Same spot, not the same result

ICYMI, Vince Carter sinks a shot against the Spurs that  he once took 13 playoffs before. Yeah that's right, it leads us back to the 2001 Eastern conference semi-finals against the Sixers. A pass from a former Raptor, Jose Calderon, just makes it much sweeter for redemption for the man who Canadians call as 'Air Canada.' I saw this clip on 'The Starters' and I'm glad to see VC was able to convert a very identical shot in which he missed on a do or die game during his prime.

Vince Carter may have been not the same man we used to watch but it's really exciting to see someone redeem himself all thanks for a pass right on the money and some pump fakes to create just enough space for the needed shot.

Hey, I was once a Carter fanatic until he had some issues with the management of Toronto Raptors and left. This shot really makes me look back at some of his highlights while he was still the best 'wing' man of the league. I also once thought "what if he made that shot against the Sixers?"