So, since my last game breakdown we’ve had three fixtures, some fresh trims and a pair of new kicks visible from space! Wellingborough left a bitter taste in our mouths as the Barons racked up a record number of fouls, whilst the opposition appeared to get away with their own aggressive plays. #8 requested a new player profile picture after his haircut left him feeling utterly fabulous (although others have told him different). #77, well, #77 thought bright orange sneakers were a great idea in the shop, until he became the focal point of last Tuesday’s highlights… they give us an incredible advantage though, now he just bolts through the defence, leaving them stunned and confused as they try to re-gather their thoughts and eyesight.

First up is Wellingborough. Going into this a few players short, we knew the challenge was real. This team has extremely physical tactics and the dent in our defence provided them with the opening they needed to break our structure. Never in a million years would we have allowed any opposing team to put 85 points on the board, but despite our relentless effort, the game was against us. Questions were raised about the refs decisions too and where they stood with regards to objectivity. This is always a tough topic to broach without stepping on toes, but equally, it must be raised to preserve the integrity of sport, whether it be a local basketball fixture, or a global football organisation. We stood straight up in our defence; but we fouled for leaning. We blocked as we always do; but we reached. We took some elbows; but we were never violated. Taking all of these into consideration, the height in our team, #1 and #9, spent one and half quarters on the bench from fear that they’d both foul out.

BUT, guess what we did? We played on. Our two bench-bound players embraced time out and saw the game from a different perspective, coaching as they watched and really understanding how their team mates worked together. The guys who had to stay on for the full game practiced immense will power and switched off the exhaustion to give some explosive final plays. Our dynamic may have changed, but we adapt, turning a 16-point difference into a 4-point difference in under 5 minutes- lay up after lay up after lay up!

Tuesday night brought us the MK Knights 2, but this time our sparse line-up only gave the guys more determination to succeed. In short, an extremely positive attitude and less tense atmosphere saw our defence pull together. #4 was on point with steals and rebounds, so much so that I had to cut him from the highlights multiple times (shh, don’t tell him). A strange phenomenon did occur though, the slide. I mean, these guys were slipping all over the place, and they leave a trail too, just picture a giant snail and you got it! After each trip, it takes 3 minutes and not one, but two players and a ref to stamp out the wet patch, I mean a court towel is a great shout, but I’ll leave that for them to figure out. So, dry turf and the clock finally resumes, only to have #4 use half the court as his own personal slip’n’slide!! Nzenwa immediately got subbed, in a ‘planned’ switch, but I’m still convinced it was because he caused so much chaos every time he dropped.

Finally, Thursday night we took on the Northampton Falcons. Now let me tell you, our team was back together and our defence was on point, like damnnnn. #10 took three-pointers like it was nobody’s business, the precision made it feel like you were watching the same moment on repeat. But, the falcons gave an admirable game, had such an inspiring team spirit and never gave up despite the point gap. On the bus back, the guys were talking about how I’ve turned them all into divas with the publicity and boy did it show in that game, #8 let his ego take over, he saw his opportunity, made the clean break, picked up the pace, flying past the opposition, and set his sights on the hoop, rising for the dunk, it was incredible… then he missed and the ball hurtled through the air almost as quick as his ego hit the ground. It was perfect, well, for me anyway because I’m gonna slo-mo the hell out of that shizz for the highlights!

On a personal note, I also learnt a couple more facts about this marvellous sport as Thursday night’s game welcomed a mind-blowing revelation. When coach shouted from court side ‘tuck your shirt in’, it hit me, this is a requirement! All this time I thought these guys had really poor fashion sense… my bad for doubting you all. And when the guys shout from the sideline, it pays to listen, before you make an utter ass out of yourself. They aren’t shouting ‘my knee’ when a basket is gonna make it, no no, it’s ‘money’. When #35 talks about food after the guys make a basket or a block, he isn’t expressing his hunger, no no, this is a term of endearment, ‘yeah, that’s your dinner, BBQ chicken’ is actually a very positive shout that serves to motivate… go figure.

As you see, these guys are totally crazy, camera loving, egotistical excuses for human beings, but the Barons wouldn’t be the Barons any other way. I mean if you can’t score a free cherry coke post-game at KFC because the server’s name is Cherry, then your game needs some serious revising (yeah, Ed we see you).

Thank you for sticking with us this far and if any of you guys read this, please re-share it, your social media presence is the only way I ever get any traffic on this story of the world’s greatest basketball team! Shout out to Chim and Chris, your player profiles LIT UP MY STATS!!!

 

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