Leonard suddenly stood up and called a time out.
Baron was pissed. He just found the new coach quite irritating.
"A time out? This early in the game?"
Claude tried to calm him out as his voice was slightly getting out of hand.
"Your temper." He reminded.
Baron looked at Claude, "Is this normal? He is deliberately messing up our momentum."
Fin did not react while hearing both of his teammates. He just looked at Leonard's side with curiosity.
James came to his side and said, "We haven't even made a sweat yet. It's still too early in the game."
Fin looked at James and nodded.
Leonard began to discuss his strategy to his team and pointed out different things. The team nodded their heads and obediently listened to him.
"... Do you want to win?" Leonard smiled as he looked at his team.
At his words, everyone nodded in agreement. Of course, they wanna win, who doesn't in the first place.
"... Follow my words and you'll instantly change the game's tide."
The time out quickly ended and the players began to return to the court.
It is the second string's possession. The shooting guard has the ball and dribbled outside the line. He looked at the court remembered the coach's words.
"Just stay out of the line and no one will guard you. Look at the center and watch the defenders near the rim..."
He looked at his teammates and glanced at the shot clock timer. The time dwindled down as kept the possession of the ball. He looked at the ball and looked at the new coach.
Leonard saw him and nodded.
The shooting guard remembered Leonard's words and took a deep breath.
'Let your teammates spread out and mess the defense. When the time is right, just shoot the ball.'
He felt nervous as he could hear his heartbeat through his ears. He was unsure of what to do but he could feel the fine texture of the ball in detail as he dribbled it outside the arc.
Should he do it?
The shot clock is counting down...
4 seconds remaining...
3 seconds remaining...
His next action is going to be a decisive moment in the game so he couldn't help but feel nervous. He remembered what he is supposed to do...
2 seconds remaining...
'Shoot the ball from way downtown.'
The spectators were confused, the shot clock is about to go off but the ball shooting guard is still not doing anything. They couldn't understand as the team did not even show signs of scoring and just ran around the perimeter.
Lance saw what is happening and realized what is at play.
"They are destroying the defense through isolation..."
Suddenly at the last second, the shooting dribbled just before the 3 point line and pulled up. The defense could not react as they thought the shooting guard is going to drive inside while the defense is loose but no.
Nathan and Johan shouted as they watched the ball soar high into the air.
And then it descended and perfectly shot through the hoop.
The referee raised a sign implying that a three-pointer was made. The scores changed and the lead cut into 1.
6 - 5
"three? Are you messing with me?" Baron was surprised.
"Hahaha" Claude just laughed it off.
Even Fin and James couldn't help but be surprised by the three.
The second string was also surprised because they did not expect it to go in too.
They quickly transitioned to defense and started to go with the strategy made by the coach.
Slowly no one noticed it but the game is starting to change.
The ball went out of bounds and the second string once again got the possession. Their defense improved.
"Tsk!" It was Baron who lost the ball.
"Defense!" Claude shouted as he ran backward.
Brent dribbled the ball past the line and once again passed it to the shooting guard before charging to the paint and run around with his other teammates to mess up the defense.
Brent had his mark James beside him and looked at the shooting guard outside the arc. Suddenly he jolted and moved around and had James follow him. Just like earlier, except the shooting guard, all of the team began to run around and mess up the defense.
The shooting guard once again entered isolation and waited for the right time before unleashing a three. And Alas it once again made its way to the hoop without mishap but still unexpected even to the shooter himself.
"Again?" Baron shouted as he felt frustrated because he was the one supposed to guard the shooting guard.
"Hey, Baron! Do your defense properly!"
Brent just laughed as he also did not expect the three.
James nudged Brent and asked, "Is this a part of the plan?"
Brent looked at James helplessly and said, "I don't think so..."
"Ha! Is it?" James wore an expression like he knows what is going on. Though it is true that making a three is not a part of the plan strategized by the new coach.
Leonard laughed as the 3 pointers go in.
"What luck! Haha..."
Honestly, Leonard did not ask for a three-point shot but just an attempt. No matter if it goes in or not. His plan is to initially make his team take an offensive and score a bucket inside not outside while the defense is still a mess but who would have thought that it would go in.
Now, the first string team will start to tighten their defense and will be wary of their shooting guard.
"It may not be a bad thing."
He looked at the score and smiled.
6 - 8
The second string pulled off a 2 point lead. Its a small lead but it is surely a good start.
Fin Stee and Claude quickly made a paly as soon as they got possession of the ball. It did not come smoothly though because Fin was heavily guarded and making him almost miss his jump shot.
The quickly tied the game and transition into defense. In the next possession Baron once again managed to cut in while the second string Shooting Guard is isolating.
He attempted to steal the ball but he overdone it and unintentionally hit the ball out of bounds.
"I'm not gonna take my eyes off you."
Baron gestured with his fingers and then watched as the shooting guard threw the ball into a teammate before getting the ball once again.
He noticed how the strategy is not changing.
He looked at the second string players always changing places and moving around every now and then. It was the same tactic as what the second string has been doing in their offense. Nothing has changed and assuming that it will go like earlier the second guard will surely attempt a three-point shot.
Baron looked at Leonard's direction and whispered, "Is this all you got? We already know what you are planning but you are insisting on doing it."
He sneered and thought, 'Your only scoring player since the start is the shooting guard and without him, you won't be able to score. As long as I contest his 3, there is no way his team is gonna score.'
Confidence began to rise from him as he watched the shooting guard closely. He positioned himself where he could easily contest a three.
Actually, it is not just him that is thinking of this because his whole team does.
They began to slowly focus on the shooting guard than the ones they are marking unconsciously.
Claude suddenly felt strange and shouted, "Guard your marks! Focus on defense! Don't lose your marks because he might not shoot another three! It is impossible to rely on threes so he might just pass it to others while you are focused on him!"
Everyone heard it and nodded. Then they started to tighten their defense and followed the offense even though they moved around a lot.
The shooting guard and his teammates saw this. They looked at the coach and then to each other.
At the bench, Leonard's lips went upwards as he smiled.
He is now sure that the first string is treating the shooting guard as the one getting the points while the others as a distraction. Up until now, it was the shooting that has always been shooting baskets while the others move around and acted like they are meant to distract the defense so that the shooting guard can freely score but no, that was not the strategy and the first string is still not in the know of this.
The shooting guard looked at him so he nodded in return, the shooting guard saw him and nodded in response.
Despite the close guard of Baron, the shooting guard pulled up from three regardless of the defenders.
Baron contested it but he wasn't sure if the ball gonna go in.
Everyone looked up and watched the ball cross the court mid-air. As it started to descend they were sure of one thing and it is that it is way too short.
Brent noticed this and suddenly moved to make an offensive rebound. James who is guarding him tried to follow suit but couldn't because of Brent's teammate who is conveniently near him for a screen.
The defense crumbled and Brent got the ball finally making a successful basket. The first string could not defend but just watch the scene unfolding. They were helpless as every way towards brent was cut off.
Leonard smiled as this is what he was aiming for all along.
"In Basketball, a strong defense keeps you in the game and stops the opposing offense but when a gate is opened, even the greatest and sturdiest wall is useless and pointless."
THANK YOU FOR READING!
Please do tell me what you think.
I am sorry that my release frequency is only once a week. It is because I haven't been writing much this month, but I swear I will try to increase my release frequency.
It may not be today but I think I can make the frequency twice a day next week or the other that comes after.
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