A lot of times, when you look at the box score of the winning team of a basketball game and you’ll see that one guy who barely missed a hot in that game. We call that the “being hot”. When you look at the box score of the losing side, you usually see that one guy that missed a ton of shots as well. We call that “being cold”.
And on some weird days, you have both hot and cold on the same team.
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BTSL 01/03/2015: Mono Vampires 72 : Nakhon Pathom Madgoats 77
Let’s start things off on a positive note. Michael Fey won this game for the Madgoats. Not single handedly of course, the other Madgoats did a fair share of their damage. But if you had to put a number on estimate amount of how much Fey effected the outcome of this game, I give him around 70%.
Enter [Cheat Code]
Fey was the true definition of a “hot hand”. It was like watching a pro-gamer going through the NBA 2K16 tutorials (in the case that NBA 2K16 adds teams from the BTSL as a playable team).
“Press [Square] and hold to attempt a jumpshot.”
“Press [Square] while simultaneously pulling right analog stick away from basket to attempt a fadeaway jumpshot.”
“Press [Square] while rotating the right analog stick in a counter clockwise motion away from the ball to attempt a turnaround fadeaway jumpshot.”
At one point, the camera actually assumed Fey was “ON FIRE”.
After that, it was just “Press [Square] for two points.”
No seriously, just let him touch the ball, and he’ll score.
Fey ended the game with 27 points, shooting 62% off 13/21 shooting, while grabbing 11 boards as well.
Like I mentioned earlier, Fey didn’t single handedly win this game, but he sure as well tried to.
It’s tough being a shooter I guess. You’ll have days like the day Michael Fey had, and then you’ll have a day like the one “J.O.” Ratchadech Kruatiwa had.
J.O. shot 17 times in this game and 15 were three point attempts. He made 2 three pointers.
That stat line just says so many things:
- That is the level or green light that Coach “Joe”, Suntorapong Mawinthorn, gives to his star player. Let that 17 field goal attempt and 12% shooting sink in for a second there and also considered that J.O played almost 36 minutes. Imagine how many minutes you would get if you hoisted 5 three point shots and missed all of them. That level of approval is “Ambulance” level, in which it doesn’t really matter if there’s a red light or green light: I’m jacking this shot up.
- How off-the-charts is J.O’s confidence level? Imagine playing a game of competitive basketball and missing your first shot. You think “Hey, it can’t be that bad. I’ll get it next time”. But that “I’ll get it next time” attitude drops after every attempt. Imagine taking 13 missed shots in a game without wavering for one second and think “Hey, maybe I should try doing something else”. J.O knows he can shoot and sooner or later, he’s going to make a shot.
- It’s remarkable how committed he is to his role as a shooter. J.O is currently the only active Thai player who has had experience in an American Professional league, as has been mentioned here, and he has strength, handles and quickness. But he knows that his role on this team is to be a shooter. And he sticks to that.
As a stats geek, I’d tell you that I really don’t like his game. He takes too many contested three point shots after dribbling for too long. You can see him getting double-teamed after a screen in the video above (at the 0:07 mark) and inside of passing to the cutting inside player, he takes a step back three. J.O is taking all of these shots that just reek of “inefficiency”.
But as a fan of basketball, it’s just awesome. J.O keeps on taking those shots, and even if the past 10 shots were clanging, you always felt “Yeah, this is the one”. And once he hits that one shot, you feel like he’s going to hit the next 23 shots. That’s just how it “feels” to watch J.O play, and it’s amazing.
J.O might have missed 13 three point shots, but one of the two three point shots that he made were crucial to pushing the lead of Madgoats from single digits to double digits while halting a Mono Vampire run. So I guess that stat line was impressive as well.
It’s not always going to be a pretty game, but he knows how to get the job done.
Drive Baby, Drive.
I found that this pregame interview was pretty clairvoyant:
For those who do not speak the Thai tongue, that there is J.O. declaring that “the Madgoats weapons are not only limited to three point shots, and I’m going to show that today”.
The three point shot was clearly not the Madgoats main weapon in this game. It’s a good weapon to have when it’s hitting, but it’s not how they win game.
This is how they win games:
The Madgoats are a team with big and strong guards and they are not afraid to use that. The “Magic Twins”, Darunpong and Darongpun Apiromwilaichai, “Arm” Nattakarn Meungboon, and “JO” are all tall guards with strong upper bodies. Not of them are extremely quick like Sorot (Mono), Kannawat (Hitech), or Kannut (Mono) but they are really strong and can get to the hoop almost at will.
Moving the Ball
I’ve said it from time to time and possibly every article that has the Mono Vampires involved: the Vampires run the most flowing offense in Thailand Basketball right now.
Mono was able to breakdown the Madgoats Man-to-Man defense on several occasions by drawing continuous double teams and passing out of them until eventually getting the open man.
It’s really a thing of beauty when the Vampires get there offense clicking and I can’t wait until they get “Bas” Kannut Samerjai back from his wrist injury.
In My Opinion
In this part, I talk about the things I liked and did not like from watching this game.
1. End game Execution: The Vampires clawed their way within 6 points with 35 seconds left on the clock and possession of the ball on their own baseline. They just needed to inbound the ball and get a good look at a shot,
They ran a set play which required the passer to send a ball through the entire zone. I know it’s easier to say in retrospect, but it still was an awkward decision.
The Madgoats split free throws to take the lead up to 7 and it seemed hopeless for the Vampires before this happened:
That brought the Vampires within 4 points, but only 24 seconds left on the clock. All the Madgoats would need to do was burn the clock and wait for the foul from the Vampires. And then this happened:
Danai Khongkum took a shot with plenty of time left on the clock and didn’t even get the foul which is a mistake that you wouldn’t expect from such a seasoned veteran.
Luckily for him and the Madgoats that the Vampires couldn’t hit a shot on the other end.
It was quite a crazy finish to say the least.
2. Boxing intro: I understand that Muay Thai and Boxing are still one of the major sports in Thailand, but did they really need to make the intro of this game so much like a boxing match?
3. Point game: It’s just been fun to watch Sorot Sunthornsiri play each game.
All of the passing, dribbling, and floaters are all great but it’s the fact that he plays with a passionate edge to his game which you can visibly see that makes him so easy to root for.
Really look forward to see him grow up and hope that he gets the best mentoring that he can get to improve further on.
The next weekend the BTSL will have 2 games with the schedule as follows:
Saturday, 14 March: Thew Phai Ngarm vs. Hi-Tech @ Thung Kru Stadium
Sunday, 15 March: PEA vs. Nakhon Pathom Madgoat @ Nakhon Pathom Stadium
The games will be played from 2PM to 4PM local time on their respective dates and can be viewed live at Channel 3 Family.
Please support this league by liking their facebook page as per the embed picture above.
Pictures by Kuk Ornvisa Thewphaingarm as always.