Home > fun, personal, sports > Finals Game 1 take aways

Finals Game 1 take aways

You can’t blame a game on the refs. Especially when you dig a huge hole and only score 9 points in the third quarter. But the refs didn’t help much. In the last ditch effort in the fourth quarter, the Vipers closed the gap to within 4. The fans were into the game and really cheering them on, believing they could do the impossible again. A couple of what seemed to be bogus calls and no calls turned into several 3 pointers on the other end that took the wind right out of the sails. It was felt by all.

I was there and came home to Brownsville, and hour drive and stayed up to watch the Versus broadcast. I tried to watch the referees objectively. They definitely were “letting them play”, well Iowa anyway. Here’s what I saw, and again, I’m trying not to be biased.

Lot’s of Vipers points taken away by offensive foul calls. VanderMeer at 7 ft. getting grazed by a 6 footer and tumbling down should be nicknamed VANDERFLOP. (In the refs defense, Roby got away with a block that was called a charge too, but only once.) VanderFlop had foul trouble early, then with 5 fouls managed to draw several charges, and not foul out, while racking up a rare and impressive 7 blocks! I noticed what a presence he was down there, but come on! Who get’s 7 clean blocks in a game? They were not all “all ball” and if only one was called, he’s out of the game. I bet the refs had an escort out of the building. They got booed a lot more then usual last night and rightly so.

A quick look at the stats and I found out that Iowa went to the line 5 more times than RGV even though the Vipers shot the ball 9 more times than the Energy. A series of no calls, offensive foul flops, not calling a clear shot clock violation of Iowa’s, overlooking obvious traveling, not counting 5 seconds on Stinson, these were places where the refs influenced the outcome. But as I said, you can’t blame the game on the referees. It’s only a factor. The symptoms of the loss were toughness and offense/ defense.

Way too many transition points for Iowa, who seemed to play with more Energy, pun intended. Bad offense must not lead to poor defense, if they are to repeat as Champions. So while the refs can’t be blamed, what can the Vipers do to ensure a better outcome?

Here are my thoughts: McNeal is getting double and triple teamed. That means 1 or 2 players are wide OPEN. He does a good job of feeding others, but they need to get into a good passing lane for Jerel and call out for the ball and be ready to convert.

Get tough, and since it’s a physical finals contest, protect the ball better. Be smarter and limit the careless turnovers. Scheyer and Janning, while faking the three, driving and dishing, know what you want to do before getting in the air. Onuaku also had some uncharacteristic turnovers and missed hook shots, including an air ball. Sullivan had an off night, though Faye was huge.

I mentioned in my last post that Connor Atchley needed to play like a big man, after grabbing an offensive board to take it up strong and not automatically look for the outlet. He did just that, some three times! We need that. Too bad his 3 balls were in and out. Others who struggled lately with 3 pointers started to connect again.

Don’t leave the shooters open. At one point Hannah had a good 3 seconds to set up a 3 pointer with Scheyer and Janning both standing together by Stinson. Nobody budged.

We’ve got guys who can attack the rim. McNeal, Roby, Harris, even Scheyer and Janning are. Keep that up and you should be able to get to the line more. Well, you should! (I know, ref complaint, again)

Traditionally we play well in must win situations (5-0 the last two years). I wish it didn’t come to this having to play on the road. But it is what it is. As Coach Mo says, gotta play all 48 minutes. At one point Coach Finch yelled at the players during a time out. Something to the effect of waiting all year for this moment and blowing it. The whole arena could hear him. This got even the complacent fans behind the guys again, showing some encouragement. It was too late. But I believe they can win twice in Iowa. It’s gonna take a “firing on all cylinders” approach.

Last year, with a completely different team, the Vipers had the #1 rank, the coach of the year, the league MVP. This year all those belong to Iowa. This year, we’re the underdogs who usually respond when under intense pressure. The pressure is ON!

What a rivalry! Good friends, now enemies, Coach Finch and Coach Nurse. Curtis Stinson and Jerel McNeal.  Gotta love it. Our guys can play with them, no doubt. I’m sure the hunger will be there. Go Vipers!

(you can see my boys in the fan tunnel)

  1. April 26, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Van Gundy actually said it right when it comes to flopping- http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/04/stan-van-gundy-wants-the-hawks-to-stop-flopping/. I know everyone does it, and I hate that, but it should take a little more to topple a 7 footer like VanderMeer!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: