I suppose it’s entirely appropriate that I post my recap of the Breakers’ curtain raiser 5 days late, considering the Breakers’ similarly sluggish and complacent performance coming out of the gate in defense of their second consecutive NBL title.
Sure, the Breakers faced a quality opponent in their finals rematch with the Perth Wildcats, but the performance that they put forth in front of the rabid sold-out crowd of 4500 was nothing short of MEH-TACULAR. So in honour of this week’s performance (or lack thereof), I present to you my top 5 favourite things to do while procrastinating, paired with 5 related/semi-related/not even slightly related take-home points from the game.
1. CAT VIDEOS
Who doesn’t love cat videos? My current favourite is “Maru’s Greatest Hits vol. 1”. Everyone say hello to Maru! Maru’s whacky Japanese owners do all manner of odd and offbeat things to their cat and film the ensuing hilarity. Similarly, the Breakers decided to give the ball away in hilarious fashion (20 turnovers) and instead of doing anything about it, they stood and watched in a kind of dazed stupor as the Wildcats ruthlessly converted them into 25 points. The lack of determination in getting back on transition was a little disappointing to say the least, especially considering the occasion, but hey, cats just do the darndest things!
2. Smoke weed errday
Oh Corey. 17% shooting 1 assist and 3 turnovers for the recently returned from exile guard. I usually choose one stoner on each of my favourite teams as “my guy” (Aaron Hernandez and Delonte West say hello!) so this was dispiriting for me personally to see him struggle like this.
3. Teh basketball blogz
Thanks to some spacing issues (more on that later) there wasn’t much of an opportunity to drive the lane, clogged as it were with big bodies, but the Breakers played a passive offensive game in settling for too many jumpshots. The home club were outscored 44-26 on points in the paint, as well as being victims to a 21-8 free throw disparity. The Wildcats clearly looked like a team which had a bitter taste in their mouths after last year’s finals series, and played about as sound a game of basketball as was possible, on the road, no less. Matt Knight dominated with his inside game, while Kevin Lisch looked in his element here in this early season contest, devoid of championship pressure (I swear to God, I’m gonna make this Lisch-Kobe thing happen). Even Jesse Wagstaff the Curly Haired Bitch (shorn of his curly hair, unfortunately for us haterz) enjoyed a quietly efficient 14 points on just 8 shots.
Lol jk. I absolutely do not understand the appeal of tumblr, in much the same way that I don’t understand the appeal of Mika Vukona. He submitted a Boris Diaw-like line of 6 points 6 rebounds and 5 assists. But the assists weren’t necessarily indicative of much offensive creativity, and while his rebounding was adequate, it’s hard not to notice the stark difference between Vukona and the game changing energy that Boucher brings off the bench (5 steals and 2 blocks, although he may have been a little too excited, as he led the team with 4 turnovers), or the sheer unguardability of Pledger’s 7 foot frame. Rebounding issues aside, Pledger looked unstoppable as always in establishing post position, and once again showed his deft touch around the rim. Both these players deserved more playing time over Vukona on Friday – although I do acknowledge that Boucher probably won’t be able to sustain DILLONSANITY-mode for extended periods of time in his old age.
New import Will Hudson’s debut performance was equally as hard to watch in person as the box score might indicate. He did manage 9 points on an efficient 4/5 shooting, but within the team context, he looked lost and out of position, which really hurt the offensive flow. CJ Bruton didn’t enjoy the same type of looks that he got last year playing off the Wilkinson pick and pop, and Cedric Jackson had to assume the entire creative burden by himself, which hurt his efficiency. And while his 3 rebounds look good in comparison to the big dump that Chief laid on the boards, it was still a disappointing effort for the supposed high-energy hustle-and-defense specialist. Of course you can’t blame the guy too much, this being his first real game with the club, but the lack of spacing on offense could potentially be a cause for concern going forward if the Breakers wish to return to their championship-level offensive output.
Going for my pre-game whiz, I had to do a double take as standing next to me at the urinal was none other than the towering braided behemoth that was Matty Knight. In retrospect I should definitely have done something creepy to rattle him, like trying to cross swords with him or looking deep into his eyes as I finished my business before whispering “huge fan, Matty…” but them’s the breaks folks. Stop me before I say something hacky like “IT’S PRESEASON FOR US FANS TOO!”
Ah fuck, too late.