20 January 2012
A lot has been going on since my last column.
The NBA is back which is a good thing. I couldn't imagine a whole season without it, and while I like watching European basketball I still need to see some NBA games here and there. Over here in Czech we get two games a week. I know all the guys that were playing overseas had opt out clauses in their contracts and are happy to be back. So congratulations to the NBA and Player's Union for reaching a deal.
As for me, my season is in full swing.
We are currently 5th out of 14 teams and are on a two game win streak. I know it's not much but we have been inconsistent this season so it's a good chance to put some wins together. We had some injuries that interrupted our team chemistry but hopefully we get it together. We have three more games and then the league will split into two groups. The top six teams will play another ten games and the bottom eight will play another 14 games. The top six teams automatically make the playoffs. From the bottom eight teams, whichever two teams finish seventh and eighth with play a mini-playoff against the ninth and tenth teams.
So seven plays ten and eight plays nine. They will play the best of two -- home and away). From those four teams two will join the top six teams to form eight and the playoffs will begin. So we have a couple months until the playoffs start.
I had a talk with my coach and he told me he needed me to score more.
We had been struggling a little bit to score so I have been taking more of an active role on offense. I wanted to get guys involved in the game and run the team but coach thought it would help the team if I started to score more. I never had a problem to score in my career so it was easy to flip the switch and change my mentality to go back to being a scorer. I enjoy passing the ball and being a pass first point guard but I also like to score. I like to do whatever the team needs me to do to help us win. This past weekend I had 14points in the first half to get us off to a 20-point lead at halftime. The second half I didn't play as much because we basically had the game under control. I am sharing the point guard duties with another American so he took over the team and ran the show in the second half.
I just wanted to update you all on the season.
I also want to say a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who has purchased my book, A Guide to Playing Professional Basketball Overseas. Anyone who hasn't picked up a copy, do so: it is a book for anyone looking to head overseas to play ball or anyone who would like information on what some players experience overseas.
Ell Sanders is a professional basketball player with Bk Decin in the Czech Republic and has spent the last 13-season playing overseas after graduating from Seton Hall in 1998. The Pirates 19th all-time leading scorer, Sanders has also played in Belgium and Poland. For more information about his upcoming book, "A Guide to Playing Professional Basketball Overseas", visit his website or follow him on Twitter at @levellsanders. His "Inside The Overseas Game" column for Beyond the Beat will be updated regularly.
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