Monthly Archives: January 2015

Middle-Aged Mutant Dribbler Turtles

EL CAJON, CA — One of the most effective defensive strategies in Lunchsketball is the full-court press. When done properly, 10 point deficits can be erased and replaced by 10 point leads. A lot of the press success has to do with the apathy of teams with large leads. Up 20 points or so, Lunchsketball players tend to favor experiencing their lunch break as a leisurely stroll, from baseline to baseline. They are not interested in making aggressive cuts to get open for the ball. Point guards resultantly find themselves stranded, alone on the opponent’s end of the court, left to deal with ferocious, full-court defenders.

Turtle!

Turtle!

This does not work out well for point guards. It seems that in general, the typical lunch player is relatively more advanced as a one-on-one defender than as a dribbler or passer. The defender, more often than not, has a skill advantage. So the press is very effective, especially late in the game when the guys are winded. That is when a pressing team might send one of their quicker guys down court to take the ball away from an isolated AARP-eligible dribbler. When one player is left to face a defender on an open court, with no option to shoot the ball (because the basket is too far away), the player who is dribbling is a sitting duck.

Lately, those ducks have been transforming into turtles. A solution has emerged from the great tactical minds of the game; an innovative answer to the dreaded press. It is simple, and easy to remember: Turtle. In Lunchsketball, this simply means to stop dribbling, tuck one’s limbs around the basketball, press it to the bosoms and make a protective shell of the body. When a dribbling teammate is under assail, but you are too far away to help him, you yell “Turtle!” It is a simple command that pierces the clouds of panicked confusion. The dribbler then assumes Turtle position until help may arrive.

So that is your tip of the day. If you’re dribbling, and you’re alone, and you’re in trouble, remember the Turtle.

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Dream Team Hasn’t Felt Great All Year

EL CAJON, CA — They just haven’t looked like themselves. The Dream Team has clearly been missing that magical edge of theirs that once propelled them to the status of demigod legends. This year, they are off to a disastrous start, piling up three losses by the time 2015 was barely a week old.

Kerry, George, and Darin finally opened up this week, admitting that they have not felt 100% since 2014.

“I haven’t felt great all year. I’ve had spurts where one or two games I felt good, and after that, I was just pushing through it, just being the competitive guy I am and wanting to be out there for my teammates,” said LeBron James, according to Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick, and incidentally expressing the exact thoughts of Darin (aka, “Darrell”).

On Friday, George (aka Jorge, aka SwampThing, and, lately from Gary, aka “Whorge” for reasons unclear) opted to take the day off to rest.

“I just finally listened to my body, ultimately,” James said, articulating precisely what George would have liked to have said. “I was affecting my game. And once I see my game being affected by my stubbornness, I had to just look myself in the mirror and understand I had to do something that was best for me as well. It was one of the hardest, one of the smartest, decisions I’ve made.”

For the time being, the Dream Team will need to play carefully, and concentrate on getting back to full health.

“Until we get healthy, we won’t know what we’re capable of doing,” James said, basically reading Kerry’s mind. “I don’t think we will ever be fully healthy, as far as being 100 percent, it’s impossible. I can never get my motor back to 100. As close to 100 as possible for all of us.”

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