So the first edition of the NLU Delhi Basketball League has come to an end and it proved to be a successful endeavour. Here are some of the takeaways from the first edition of the Justice League (tentative name. Sattu’s idea. Don’t hate.)
- We Love Basketball.
Before the league started, at the most 15-20 people played basketball on a regular basis in the college. At least that’s what we assumed based on the turn out for the evening games. But there was amazing participation in the league. 56 people took part and played in the first edition of the league. People in NLUD sure can ball.
- It all starts with the bidding.
The most successful teams in the league were the ones who bid the most wisely. There are certain exceptions and I’ll deal with them later. However the general trend was that teams who bid smart reaped the benefits. Dunking Donuts had a run to the finals after using all 100 million allotted to them. Chin Chin Chu chose to build around Sattu with some smart buys and was rewarded with a championship. Suttadhari Ravans had a semis appearance inspite of having the cheapest roster. In terms of not so wise spending, there was mainly the problem of overpaying certain role players. Chin Chin Chu escaped lightly from their decision to buy Somil for 16 million. His defence did make up for half that price but his offence was less consistent than the cockroaches in our mess food. However, Chin Chin Chu managed to get three very good buys relatively cheaply in Rishi Raj and Purshottam (who were consistently good at rebounding) and Ankur Saxena who surprised everyone who hadn’t seem him play before with some very good game sense (being afraid of Sagar aside). Barcemona were also guilty of overspending on a few people and not building a complete team around Adi P. They bid 22 million on Abhishek and it proved to be a bad bet as Abhishek was not consistent enough to support Adi P which was surprising given that he seems an upgrade on Bubba. Oh wait, that’s why. (Clearly this was Editor’s Note)
- Teamwork Rules
It turns out that its team chemistry and not defying physics that makes teams win. After that pathetic attempt at scientific humour let’s move on to the substance of the argument. It became very clear as the league progressed that if a team lacked cohesion, they were doomed. That’s the cue to bring up Nothing But Net. Considered to be a frontrunner by many at the start, they unravelled in a spectacular fashion as the matches progressed. They seriously underutilized players and except Sanjeev, the entire team seemed alien to the concept of passing. While Aakarsh is a spectacular dribbler and can drive against the best, his lack of vision or rather his one man mission to change the way basketball (for that matter any sport) is to be played hurt NBN. Hardik was unutilized when he did recover from illness and Sanjeev was often a frustrated figure in a better position to shoot or create plays than Aakarsh. While Aakarsh did make up for his inability to pass the ball with some really consistent shooting, he needs to learn that involving others is more often than not going to yield results. The Rebounders suffered a mini melt down in the semis and lost to Dunking Donuts. Before that they were reliant on the Parag and Anurag combo to work on offense whereas Linesh proved that he is more than a solid defender. His performance against Maanas in the league stages is a lesson in effective man marking. However, the Rebounders suffered as there was not enough offensive contribution from the rest of the team given that some of them are decently consistent shooters. (Archana Negi is hiding her face somewhere when reading this.) Barcemona also didn’t find its groove and was bumped in the league stage. Teams are likely to keep chemistry issues in mind next year while building their rosters. On the other hand, Suttadhari Ravans stunned everyone by reaching the semis on the back of some great teamwork and contributions at critical moments from everyone. Suttadhari Ravans played some great basketball built around Wangdi and Sujit and ably supported by Sagar BM.
OK, honestly, the culture of shouting at the referees and vilifying them needs to change. Instantly. Not only is it likely to give our players technical fouls and get them ejected from games at competition, it also becomes annoying for in college referees (Ask me. One bad game and I don’t stop hearing about it). They are not professionals and will make mistakes. Heck, NBA refs also make mistakes! Everyone is human. It is understandable that a person is frustrated at a no call but let’s not go ballistic on refs please?
- We can win outside college
I’m not joking. With the level of play shown by people in the league, it is a surprise we haven’t won already. We have tremendous talents on the court, both on offence and defence. I dare anyone to drive in with a perimeter defence of Sattu and Sanjeev. On offence, everyone showed they were capable of putting up points in bunches. There is serious talent in the college. We just need to get together and practice. And improve the stamina a little. After all, if Bubba can prove that he can do more than drive in and get monstrously blocked by Parag (Editor’s note – or Adi or Sattu or anyone who is next to him) and actually put up 19 points, then I’m sure others can pick up the slack. That and someone needs to keep a bloody eye on the timekeeper and ensure we don’t keep playing till we lose. Editor’s note – Bubba writing about Bubba scoring 19 points as an inspirational tactic smacks of cheap self glorification. Nice 3 pointer in the final though.
Get Sattu. Period.