Establishing consistency of identity is hard within the constantly shifting terrain of international basketball. Such are the challenges amidst the churn of personnel from qualification phase to major tournament; the gap between said major tournaments renders it difficult to glean worthy intel about how a team will actually perform when it matters.
The Boomers’ brains trust have often extolled the virtues of the program and the brand of selfless Boomers basketball that would come to define this team – the connective tissue that would bind them. In that vein, though wary of their opponents, the game against Senegal provided the Boomers yet another opportunity to solidify good habits.
The day before the game, after an optional practice session, assistant coach, Luc Longley discussed the threat of Senegal. Their next opponents were long and athletic, a gap in this Boomers team (said Longley, “we’re not the most bouncy, athletic group in the world.”).cheap nfl jerseys china nike
“So, it’s a puzzle for us to solve on our feet,” he said. “And every puzzle we solve, we get better at it.”
Longley may as well have been referring to the puzzle of consistency.
Amidst the veering, oscillating emotions of their opening victory over Canada, they displayed equal parts electricity and grit, with a dose of lethargy and sloppiness. To put it bluntly, it was wild.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
The yo-yo trajectory of the Boomers has been stark. Even within the tumult of a single game – Canada’s dramatic fightback in third quarter on Sunday night took two to tango – is a telling personification of their fluctuating fortunes. No team can play a perfect game; it’s an impossible concept. In the parlance of Longley, “stuff” happens.
“The wild ride of the Canada game was interesting,” Longley said of game one in the World Cup. “We lost our concentration. We started getting distracted by referees, distracted by stuff that was out of our control. We lost our composure for a moment.”
In the grand scheme of things, the result was not impacted. But, equally, it’s also those same moments of inattention- those three-four minute intervals – whether the start of a third quarter, or the start of a game even, that can be so harmful, and potentially derail a campaign.
In that respect, to cast away any doubts over legitimacy, the Boomers needed to put Senegal to the proverbial sword. It was a chance to reduce those lapses to more manageable bite-sized portions which lessen the impact to a result. As Gregg Popovich has said, basketball is a game of mistakes.
“We understand the same thing as you guys have seen,” said Nick Kay. “We briefly mentioned it today in terms of how we don’t want it to be a recurring thing.”
Zooming into microscopic game management within a contest, Kay noted that internally, the team had addressed in-game consistency, and to adhere to the standards they had set. If the Boomers had two bad possessions, it was imperative to reset and not allow a third one in a row.