Monday, December 2, 2013

Long Range Shooting Woes Continue in Biggest Loss of the Year

January 31; February 7; March 27. 2011. The reason those dates are important is that you have to go back that far in Highlight Reels history to find a stretch of games where the team has shot as poorly as it has the past few this season. Oh how the past haunts us. In those three games (one game skipped due to a forfeit/no-show by the opposition), captain Jason Hunter was 4 of 24 (16%) from three point range; not to be outdone, his younger counterpart Brandon Hunter took 40 three point shots and only connected on 9 of those (23%). In their defense, the offense was nearly totally dependent on how both brothers shot on a night and night basis. They did have a younger, more agile Kerry Hunter underneath, but now heavy-rebounder Andy Kempf was in his infancy as a basketball player and the team relied on many free agents who are no longer in the league. Fast forward to this season. The Human Highlight Reels got out to a snail-like 15-2 deficit this past Sunday to Powerstrokes and the game was never close again, falling 94-79 against an opponent they are 1-2 against now over the past few months. The offense is abysmal and that is putting it lightly. Couple that with an opposing team that connected on 18 three points, most of which did not seem to even hit the rim and you have a recipe for a poor outing. In the past three games, the Brothers Hunter are shooting a combined 8 of 53 from the three point arc, a pleasant 15%. The team, in turn, has shot better...but not by hitting a blazing 18% of their three point attempts or 6 of 33. Before their 79 point effort last night the good guys (or bad guys, depending on how you look at it) have only managed 83 points over the past two games. If you take the 15 or so points scored in basic garbage time this past week, the team has averaged less than 50 points for three games, well below their near 63.9 points they were averaging in the fall. So what happened? Right now there is no true indicator on what has befallen the Reels shooters. Everyone on the roster is shooting below their three point mark from the fall season, except Kyle Komer who had added five percentage points to his 33% mark from the fall (38%) and Andy Kempf who only attempted one three ball in the fall but made one of the three he has taken this season. Chuck Caldwell is hitting the same amount of three's at 23%. Here is a look at the roster and their percentages from the fall in (-) and their winter league percentage: Brandon Hunter - (26%) - 23% Jason Hunter - (38%) - 22% Andy Kempf - (0%) - 33% Kyle Komer - (33%) - 38% Alex Yablonsky - (29%) - 0% (0/8) Chuck Caldwell - (23%) - 23% Justin Woo - (31%) - 8% TEAM TOTALS - (28%) - 21% It is far from pretty. You could argue that the team did not shoot that well from deep during the fall season (which they did not); and if that is the case, what do we call the winter so far? There IS, believe it or not, some good things to take away from the past few games however. Andy Kempf has turned into a rebounding machine and possibly posting his best three-game stretch of his career. Kempf led the team in rebounding for three straight nights, totaling 15, 10 and 14 to help his season average at around 14.4 per game. He has also pushed his scoring total near 10 (9.4), doubling his output on the offensive output from the fall and from his career average of 4.2 per game. Despite the losses piling up, Kempf seems to be shining. The Reels also have put in a generally good game from everywhere else on the floor as well. The team is shooting 45% from the field inside the three point line and even the sour shooting Hunter brothers combine for a near team average of 44% (18/41). The team has also rebounded from some poor free throw shooting at the beginning of the season and has hit 15 of their past 20 attempts from there, much better than their 52% mark this season and also better than their 72% mark during the fall. So what do we take from this? Despite the poor shooting, especially in the last game, the team has been able to eek out one win in the three games. If not for a beyond red-hot shooting opposition in this past week’s game, the good guys may had been looking at a close game and even a win Sunday. Good shooters will find their stroke; great shooters will shoot out of slumps and get hot. We would take consistent right now.