Semi-finals Game 1 review: Slingers lose heartbreaking game in OT

Tied at 66 at the end of regulation, the game went into overtime. Even in OT, the game was tied at 73 with one minute remaining. That was when Piyapong Piraoon, hit 2 clutch three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to seal the deal. The final score: Slammers 81, Slingers 76.

Again, it was a game that could go either way. It was a game that the Slingers could have won, but they didn’t. I’ll let the statistics do the talking.

Both teams played excellent defense, limiting each other’s field goal percentage to less than 40%, in 72 attempted field goals. But what the Slammers did way better was in block shots. They had a total of 11 blocks, with 7 coming from center Jason Dixon alone. That significantly reduced Slingers points-in-the-paint.

And how did the Slingers respond to that? They shunned away and allowed Dixon to dominate the paint defensively.

How did I know?

The Slingers shot 33 treys out of their 72 field goals, but only connected 5 of them. That’s a dismal 15% from behind the arc. At the third quarter, the Slingers were even 1 for 20 from three-point range, before Leo and Al combined to hit 3 consecutive three-pointers.

More evidence. Kyle Jeffers, who scored only 8 points, attempted only 9 shots and connected only 3 of them. I see that as backing away from Jason Dixon. Why shift the game to the outside and shoot 33 three-points (the most the Slingers have attempted EVER?), knowing that they are not falling, instead of getting the job done inside? Kyle Jeffers, if you noticed, went to the line only once. That shows how little effort was made to rough it out in the paint with Dixon. If we want to win, we need Kyle to start scoring!

Kyle Jeffers playing outside? NO WAY!!!!

This is beyond comprehension. The Slingers have 2 low-post scorers in Jeffers and Skinner as compared to the Slammers with only one – Dixon. Instead of using that advantage, the Slingers choose to play an outside shooting game (one that won’t work out well considering that the Slingers have only 2 shooters, Al and Leo, not 3 or 4). The game could go the Slingers way should Jeffers play his post game against Dixon and draw some fouls on him. Jason Dixon picked up only 2 fouls in total. Drawing a few more on him would certainly take away his defensive dominance in the paint.

The excessive three-point shooting also has drastic effects on the Slingers rebounding. How in the world could the Slingers be outrebounded by 11 (26-37)? Excessive three-point shooting, leading to hustle rebounds, which would be grabbed by smaller and quicker players. True enough, the Slammers’ “smalls” (meaning small forwards and below) outrebounded the Slingers’ “smalls” 16-4. That’s a pathetic number. With Desmond Oh, who will hustle down the loose balls, benched (due to Coach Neo’s preference of playing taller guards like Han Bin), we don’t expect the Slingers’ “smalls” to grab that many rebounds. Rebounding will continue to be a problem if the Slingers continue to shoot that amount of treys at a low percentage. If the Slingers expect only their bigs to rebound, get the ball inside!

On top of that, in their frenzy to shoot treys, the Slingers committed the same error of NOT passing the ball (especially to Kyle Jeffers). A total of 8 assists, the same number as when they lost to the Slammers 66-77 back in December 4. There’s no way those treys would fall if the Slingers don’t couple the outside shooting with passing the ball inside to Jeffers!

Even with these errors, the Slingers were so close to winning. Should I say, correct these errors, and take the next game?


Game 2
Singapore Slingers v Chang Thailand Slammers
DATE: Tuesday 1st February 2011
VENUE: Singapore Indoor Stadium
TIME: 8:00pm

-photo by Thananuwat Srirasant-

Game 1 video highlights:


8 thoughts on “Semi-finals Game 1 review: Slingers lose heartbreaking game in OT

  1. Great analysis and spot on. Coach Neo should have stopped them from shooting treys and make them foul out Dixon and easily won the game. Let’s go Spartans on 1st Feb…will try to make it..let me know if u need pics..

  2. Thomas Luy says:

    agree with chang. did you check how many times jeffers touched the ball? how many times did the ran plays to get the ball inside? was it a drive and kick out tactic to ensure that thailand played catch up defense?

    basketball is more than the statistics that you see at the end of the game.

    tough seeing that a team’s own blog does a poor job of post-game analytics. not even citing which writer did the writing is worse.

  3. moh says:

    To me it was a simple case of poor free throw shooting. If you look at the regulation 40 minutes, slingers were very poor from the free throw line…they were shooting only around 60% as a team…..thats what made the difference. In fact, if you were to check up on the regular season free throw shooting perecentage of each team I suspect slingers may have the lowest (have not checked it myself as yet). When the team are this evenly matched, its these small things which will make a team lose.

    As for your analysis, I think that Avenido has been given the go ahead by the coach to shoot if he is open. It is the way they have been playing all season so it is very difficult to abandon that and change the game plan. So, in a sense, they live and die by how well the guards are shooting…in this game the slammers seem to have been content with crowding the middle and the slingers could not adjust. So they kept pulling the trigger on open shots but the shots were not falling.

    @Thomas – FYI, this is not the team’s blog.

  4. Thomas Luy says:

    @moh – Not a team blog eh? Must be infringement if you use Singapore Slingers name and not be authorized.

    Replays have been shown on ESPN several times. Good basketball analysts would see that Jeffers would be able to score against Dixon if he had the ball. However, Jeffers rarely got the ball down low in position because the Slingers backcourt kept shooting from outside (look at 3PT FG %)

    • moh says:

      @thomas …. errr… isn’t that what I posted in the first place? Slingers backcourt has been given the go ahead by the coach to launch if they can…thats why i said that they live and die by how well the shots are falling… but its the way they have been playing all season…so its difficult to adjust and start playing jeffers as the first option… but yes, it can be done.

      i am not the creator of this blog – please ask the person who runs the blog about the infringement problem…i am just another poster like you 🙂

    • @Thomas
      “Must be infringement if you use Singapore Slingers name and not be authorized”. Who says so? This is a fan’s blog. There’s no infringement in blogging about the Singapore Slingers without being authorised, just as every blogger is entitled to blog about anything under the sun.

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