Monday, November 5, 2012

Nice: Anything But Nice

DMBC at Nice.

  When your team's win-less more than a month into the season, you have a sense of desperation. You don't know when that first win in going to come, but you want it, and you want it bad.

  For DMBC Dunkerque, we've had several games so far this season where a victory was so close, we could taste it. But so far, we've come up empty-handed. The only 'positive' about underachieving thus far, is the possibility of sneaking up on someone, and surprising them. Get a win over a team we aren't necessarily 'supposed' to beat because they're overlooking us.

  After a bus ride that took us from the northern-most point in France, to the south (16 hours, if you're counting), that opportunity was presented to us this past Saturday in Nice. 

  Nice was favored to win. They were a perfect 5-0 going into Saturday night's game, and atop the league standings. But that didn't mean I (and I hope my teammates too) went into the game expecting anything less than a win. A win over the league's top-ranked team would just be all the sweeter.

  Nice was a big, strong, athletic team, that would challenge us physically. They featured an inside presence and then some. But I think our team has a strong front court as well, so I was looking forward to the game.

  We started the game off strong. Played as a team on both ends of the floor. Moved the ball, and made plays for each other. We were tough defensively, and communicating. You could feel the momentum rolling in our direction, we just needed to sustain it.

First half action at Nice.
  Our start was, by far, the best start we'd had in the championship.

  But it didn't last.

  It's difficult to say what happened. Where we lost our crisp play, and thus, the momentum. Maybe we lost focus just slightly, and Nice was a good enough team to make us pay for our slip-ups.

  All I know is when you felt you've played a really good first quarter, and you look up at the scoreboard after 10 minutes, and the score is tied, you can't help but be a little disappointed. Especially when we held a 10-point lead just minutes earlier.

  The good thing about basketball though, is that it's a 40-minute game. We had 30 minutes to regain our momentum, and retake the lead when it mattered the most: when the clock hit 00:00.

  We put up a good fight, but came up short. Nice wore us down with their depth, and won the game by double-digits. So we're back to work this week, still searching for our first win.

  The thing about playing on a successful team (just like being on a team at work, I suppose), is that each member, first, needs to know their role, and then, needs to do their job each and every time they step onto the court. You don't need to do more. Just do YOUR job, and be content with that. Some people may have bigger roles than others, but each and every player, and their role, is just as important as the other.

The only thing that was nice: the weather and the beach views.
  If your role is to come off the bench and provide a spark, then that's what you focus on. If your role is to be a defensive presence, and rebound, then that's what you focus on. If your role is to be aggressive and make plays for yourself and your teammates, then that's what you focus on. And so on.

  When everyone succeeds, and does their job, the game is made easy. That's what makes it a team. It's the sum of each individual effort. Sure, sometimes you are out-matched by a more talented team, but that's just the nature of the game.

  We play another top team on the road next weekend, so the road to our first win doesn't get any easier. But if we focus on recreating our start against Nice, and sustaining it; doing our jobs as individuals, while playing as a team; there's no reason we won't be celebrating next weekend in Calais.

  I have to admit, I'm getting tired of writing about losing, and finding the silver-lining in each loss. We need a win. Period.

  We just have to find a way to get it.


  1. You looked RIPPED in picture 2, if that's any consolation! Hang in there.