Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Full Squad Equals a Win

The Price is Right took down last-seeded NBN #2 this past Sunday, 68-62 in a game that was not as close as the score indicates.

The good guys led 41-35 at half and after a short scare during the middle of the second half, the PiR locked down on defense and took home the victory.

Brandon Hunter led all scorers with 22 points and also added a game high 14 rebounds.  Andy Kempf followed up with a double-double of his own, totaling 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Captain Jason Hunter and point guard Kyle Komer also scored in double digits, scoring 15 and 13 points respectively.  This is the first time this season that the team had four players scoring in double digits.

The PiR shot 37% from the field total (26/71) and for the first time in quite awhile, had their entire roster dressed and available for the game.

Ryan Stuver returned from his hiatus overseas, totaling 4 rebounds and gave Andy Kempf much needed rest in the middle.  The PiR do not lose as much size when Stuver is available to play.  In cases where he is not available, Jason Hunter may end up playing in the post on defense, which reduces the teams effectiveness to pressure the ball up top as well as losing some physicality under the basket.

"It's good to have a full roster moving forward," big man Kerry Hunter said after, "especially with me not being at 100%, with no one truly at 100% once these playoffs start.  It's good to be able to go to your bench and get guys a breather for a few minutes.  It really helps us in the second half when we can pressure the ball on D and push the pace on offense."

Schedules have yet to be posted for the official playoff schedule as of today and the team may be looking at another week of practice as the Easter holiday comes up this Sunday.

The PiR overall record for the year sits at 12-3 and recently won the Western Division of the BMRBL.  They will have the top seed when playoffs begin in a week or two.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Bumpy Road to the Playoffs

The Price is Right have hopefully found their groove again beating Wacky Waver 48-34 last night in BRMBL action.

The team now stands at 8-3 on the year.

Yes, 8-3.

The last time I wrote the good guys held a fine 7-1 record, sitting a top the Eastern Division.  Yet a two game losing streak, one of the longest in team franchise history, had the team reeling a bit coming into last nights game.

"It's different," coach Jason Hunter said during morning shoot around, "we aren't used to losing and we definitely aren't used to losing two in a row.  We have been really sloppy the past few games and we come out extremely slow in the first half."

All of that holds true.  During the two losses, the PiR scored only 14 and 17 points respectively, in the first half of those games.  The team averages 61 points a game on the year, so that goes to show how much they need to push the tempo and score in the second half just to stay in games.

The team exploded for 54 points in that second half in a 74-71 loss versus Team Button, but could only account for an average 29 against We Got Buckets in the loss two weeks ago, falling 48-43.

The second half has been kind to the team over the season averaging a little over 42 points during that half through the past five games.

But the first half is another story.  The good guys have only mustered 22.4 points per game in the first half over the past five games, which has put them behind heading into halftime three of those five games, with two of them coming in on losses.  The team has dropped all three of their losses over the past six games this season.

"It's a bit of a slump, playing .500 ball," big man Kerry Hunter said during a radio interview this week, "most other teams would be happy playing that type of basketball.  We definitely are not.  Hopefully we can pull together a little streak here of good games heading into the off season."

If you had to tailor the offense around one player on the PiR offense, it would have to be leading scorer Brandon Hunter.  He epitomizes what the offense has looked like over the past five games.

After last nights game (20 points, 12 rebounds), here is a look on how Hunter has fared in the two half's:

First half:
3P - 6/30 (20%)
2P - 5/21 (24%)
Total - 11/51 (22%)

Second half:
3P - 10/25 (40%)
2P - 12/24 (50%)
Total - 22/49 (45%)

When told this statistic, he could only shake his head, "It's an interesting stat line. It could be a matter of me getting comfortable, maybe getting some easier looks in the second half.  Our endurance and ability to push the pace a bit in the second half gives everyone some easier baskets."

Another interesting stat from Hunter's line is this; if you take the last five shots that he has taken in these past five games, Hunter is shooting 48% from the floor (12/25).  When it comes to needing a basket down the stretch, he just seems to come through.

"It's good to come away with a victory tonight," point guard Kyle Komer said after the 48-34 victory against Wacky Waver, "but the first half still needs to be addressed for us.  We came out relatively flat again, turning the ball over and missing some easy baskets.  Our defense has been stepping up, we just need to get the ball rolling sort of speak, in the first half of games."

The team finishes out the regular season next week against Darice, who had a record below .500 as of recent standings.


Not Enough Ball to go Around?

There have been reports that some members of the PiR team have commented on shot selections, and the number of shots, during the two game losing streak.

Coach Jason Hunter was dismissive when asked about it a few days after their second consecutive loss, "You know, everyone wants to score.  Everyone would love to step in and put up 10 to 20 shots a night, score ten to fifteen points on every given night, but it just doesn't happen that way."

Taking a look at the last five games, here is how the shot chart looks:

Brandon Hunter - 101 total, 21/g
Kyle Komer -      67 total, 17/g (4 games)
Jason Hunter -     44 total, 9/g
Kerry Hunter -     37 total, 8/g
Andy Kempf -     32 total, 7/g
Mike Petrilli -      26 total, 6/g
Ryan Stuver -      8 total, 3/g (3 games)

Obviously the ball is going to come out of the hands more often near the top with Brandon and Kyle leading the team in scoring.  The ball is then as evenly distributed as possible amongst the remaining few members of the team, with only Ryan as an outlier, with a much smaller sample size.

"Would I love the chance to be a larger part of the offense, average 15 shots a night?  Absolutely," coach Hunter continued during the teams radio program interview, "would Mike? Would Andy?  I am sure Brandon would love the chance to go for another 10 touches as well.  This is not an issue here.  We have been struggling offensively more for our lack of urgency in the first half of games, being sloppy, turning the ball over.  When we get our first half problems figured out, we will be tough to beat."