As the second week of the FirstTeamLeague kicked off, FIST looked to get its first win of the season while HeatCheck hoped to improve to a winning record. This was a very close and competitive game, with one period of overtime needed to separate the two sides.
HeatCheck eventually came out on top 51-49, with its efficiency on the offensive end being the main difference-maker. FIST’s interior defense could have been better, and this was something HeatCheck exploited well. Game MVP Cxntro_’s inside scoring was a big help to the HeatCheck offense, as he scored easily in the pick-and-roll and even occasionally finished over the help defender from the corner. As a team, HeatCheck did not rely heavily on outside shooting, making only three 3-point shots in the entire contest. However, when the pick-and-roll offense is as effective as it was, threes might not be necessary to win, as HeatCheck proved here. Both teams did well in turning defense into offense, playing passing lanes and running out in transition, which we know is very important in today’s game.
For FIST, WelshJordy- played on an outside shooting build at center, which was interesting to see, although having both guards attacking the paint so frequently can sometimes lead to spacing issues, as was evident at times. Both MGoCrzy and xpabax often attacked the same space, causing the paint to become very crowded and making it far more difficult to get a clean shot at the rim.
I also would have liked to see more interplay between the two guards, as both have shown themselves to be capable ball-handlers. FIST’s offense, however, would improve even more dramatically if both guards made an extra effort to get the other involved in off-ball actions. On numerous occasions, one missed the opportunity to hit the other on a cut to the basket, as you can see in the clip above. However, they proved able to be involved in the offense simultaneously, as in the clip below, where MGoCrzy found xpabax for an open three. While FIST is currently 0-3, the team has a very talented roster and I’m looking forward to seeing them figure things out and hopefully improve their record in the coming weeks.