There are a lot of things I want to write down that cannot be written and gets lost in the stream of time.
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BTSL 28/03/2015: Mono Vampires 65 : Nakhon Pathom Madgoat 85
If you haven’t figured it out by now from some of my past articles, I’ll just say it here again: I love “Arm” Nattakarn Meungboon’s game so much. There’s a certain flow and calmness to his game that soothes you while you watch. You can see that he feels the tempo of the game and knows what to do to make it go his way.
That’s how good he is.
I could write stuff like that for every article. I could draw up beautiful fantasies for all of my few readers (LOL) out there to synchronize with what I depict with my words.
I love doing that. That’s fun. But I don’t want to do that. At least not entirely. I want the imagination part, the fantasizing part to be up to yourselves. You don’t need me to tell you stuff like that.
We live in a world of numbers now. Computers and smart phones have become a more essential part of our lives. We probably consume numbers in one day more than we eat.
And it’s all for the better. We get a more clearer visual perspective of something with numbers. We can look at our calorie intake and say “Hey, I’m eating way too much than I should”.
It’s the same with basketball. The numbers game has evolved so much in basketball that it has become almost essential to the game. NBA Teams have been warm to the idea with several teams taking the numbers game to an extreme, namely the Houston Rockets and their Number Wizard General Manager, Daryl Morey. You can pretty much find information in details about the numbers game in the NBA all over the internet, because the internet is quite informative and it is a major topic in today’s game.
And it’s all because they have numbers to work with.
Let’s move a little closer to Thailand at the Philippines Basketball League.
Right now, Terrance Romeo plays for Global Port Batang Pier and he has been on a tear winning the All-Star game MVP and Rookie-Sophomore Game MVP as well. His game consists of an array of yo-yo dribbling, acrobatic finishes, and dazzling passes. He is the sensation of the league right now and Barangay Ginebra, the team with arguably the largest fan base in the PBA, have been rumored to trade for him. He is in the running for a Best Player of the Conference award.
And then we also have Paul Lee. Paul Lee plays for the league’s conference leading team, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. He is a star in his own rights and a flashy player as well. He hits threes and he gets to the line a lot. He has a quick first step and a killer crossover. He old contract ended last offseason with Rain or Shine and it was rumored that he might sign with Barangay Ginebra, but obviously that deal never fell through. Lee is also in the running for Best Player of the Conference.
So let’s say, it came down to these two for the award. How would you decide?
You could say that Lee is second in the League in PER among locals. You could say that among players who have a usage rate over 25%, he leads the league in TS% at 58.7%. You could say he grabs 12.2% of total rebounds which is more than touted rebounders Cliff Hodge and Vic Manuel. He’s the only player in the 40-40-80 club in this conference meaning he hit at least 40% of his field goals, 40% of his three-point shots and 80% of his free throws. He actually hit 93.2% percent of his free throws despite going to the line 4.4 times per game, among the top for locals.
Lee has all that going for him.
Romeo is 3rd among locals in PER despite leading in usage rate at an insane 30.4%. He led all locals in scoring per game at 21, which was almost 4 full points clear of second place Jayson Castro. This while hitting the TS% at 51.8% which is not something to laugh about.
Or you can look at both of these guy’s ridiculous shot charts.
I raise this up not to say which player is better or which deserves the award [Editor’s note?: of course it’s Paul Lee] but that information that I just threw in your face right there made the argument all the more compelling, visual, and less biased. I’m not going give an award to someone just based on numbers because then a computer could determine that, but the actual facts and the emotional feeling towards a player must be combined to comprehend the game of basketball as it truly is.
And that conversation right there, is all possible with the magic of having access and information to the numbers. (Thanks to the stats via Humble Bola)
That is the problem I am having right now with the Basketball Thailand Super League. The league itself is an intriguing concept. Imagine if you take the top 5 teams in the NBA every year and put them in a double round robin league format to decide the best of the best. Every match is a must watch.
Yet, the problem for viewers is that it lacks continuity. You know which teams are on a run from their win-loss record, but beyond that, it’s all just emotional feelings.
According to facts, you don’t know who has been scoring the most points in the league on a per game basis. You don’t know who is most efficient scorer. You don’t know who has been the best at distributing the ball and taking care of it.
At the end of a game, you don’t even get a visual number to tell you who scored the most points in the game, a privilege for only those who paid close attention to the commentators.
I’m guessing that the organizers have recorded the stats, because the commentators have to have access to the numbers somehow, which makes it even more frustrating why this information is not allowed for public viewing.
I’m not trying to bash on anyone. This league has been organized marvelously and I would never be able to do something like this. But the numbers game is a big deal in sports now, we have to accept that fact.
I love “Arm” Nattakarn Meungboon’s game because it’s just so fun to watch and he makes it look so easy…but I just to be able to explain “why” with factual evidence to back me up.
I’m frustrated now, like Arm is up in that GIF in that play, but I gonna keep going on writing nonetheless. Just as Arm keeps the play going on.
In my Opinion
In this part, I talk about the things I liked and did not like from watching this game.
1. Huddle Time: There’s one thing that I must raise up that separates the league-leading Madgoats above the rest and that is how they approach their huddles. You watch Mono Vampires and PEA approach their huddles and the coaches are the ones doing most of the talking. But then when you see the Madgoat huddles and you will see that sometimes “JO” Ratdech Kruatiwa will have something to say. Sometimes “Yak” Chaiwat Gaedum has something to say. Sometimes “Palm” Darongpun Apiromwilaichai will have something to say.
In managing a unit, it might be easier to have just one voice to lead, but if you have a unit that understands each other and knows what to do, that one voice won’t have to work so hard to get the message through. The Madgoats are a unit that seems to understand each other and how to play which is a result from forming a team that has played together in the highest level of basketball for so long.
2. Point Forward: When “Singh” Chanachon Klahan is on the floor, he tends to be the one who brings the ball up the court. I must remind you that Singh is more known as a Dennis Rodman type player (as who he tries to emulate and devotes his jersey number to). The fact that Singh is the guy bringing the ball up the court means that Coach Seng likes the idea of a Point Forward igniting the offense and/or “So” Sorot Suntornsiri is more comfortable playing off the ball as he would be if “Bas” Kanut Samerjai wasn’t injured.
3. Pounding down low: Someone asked me why McClain wasn’t getting the ball more inside the paint and I found that I couldn’t answer that question as well. As I watched the game, it wasn’t as if the Madgoats were swarming McClain with a double team the whole time, yet you could count on your fingers how many times McClain actually got the ball in the post. Biggie got his chances and made them count when he got them, but I would like to see him get more chances.
4. WHERE DID THE GOGGLES GO?: Brian Sherman lost the protective goggles and I feel like he is a completely different player. I hate this so much more than it should matter in my life, but until Brian Sherman comes back with his goggles, I’m just going to call this goggle-less imposter Bryan Shermano.
Bring the goggles back Sherman.
5. Dem Scoop Passes: Defenders are warned, no matter how far JO is away from you guy, if you give him a seem, he will find it. And he will scoop pass his way through it.
This weekend the BTSL will have 2 games with the schedule as follows:
Saturday, 4 April: Mono Vampires vs. Thew Phai Ngarm @ Siam University Stadium
Sunday, 5 April: Hi-Tech vs. PEA @ LED Building
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 from the BTSL by Kuk Ornvisa Thewphaingarm