Friday, November 03, 2006

nats comment

Welcome back to AJ, who was obviously holding onto his secrets for the past 9 months. Congrats, AJ and all of Chain, except Kid, of course, for a great tournament.

I'm reposting what I wrote at the end of the comments, just so those who only check in at ultimatetalk will be able to read about me. Nothing else new here.

I felt like I played pretty well, although I had only one play worthy of a highlight film (at least one I'd want to be part of; I also got skyed once by a taller player, although I have evidence that my feet were higher than his). It was mostly just getting open and completing passes. I think I had four turnovers and two other incompletions on passes to me. First turnover came when Forch changed his cut as I was throwing and I couldn't stop it; I almost nailed the marker in the face with that one. Second came when I threw a with-the-force backhand into the ground a lot shy of my target; there was something funky with the mark that made me think I was just going to be fouled or maybe I just lost sight of where I was throwing or something that my mechanics were way off. I dropped a low pass in the wind against Rhino (got a brushburn from that one). And I threw a pass to BVH when he wasn't open but was still cutting; it was my first point after being on the massage table for 20 minutes (I took this long only because we were up by several and there was only one O point in that time) and I was out of the flow of the game a bit, so when I caught a swing I just turned and threw, but his defender was already on his way by him by that time. He called a foul, there was some bitching about it, after about two minutes the coach went up to him and said something and I came up to him and tried to say that it wasn't a foul but he had already put the disc down. On the receiving end, Alex threw me a huck in the Furious game after we were already down by 6, I looked up to the forehand side because there was a lot of room there and I thought the force was that way, and by the time I caught sight of it and turned the other way, I had lost too much momentum and couldn't catch up to it. Had I been expecting the backhand the whole way, I would have caught it. And Doug threw me a too-weak forehand in the Sockeye game where another cutter took too long to clear out and his defender got the layout poach block.

I felt that Friday was my best day of the tournament, in sharp contrast to the past several years where Saturday was my best day. I once again felt stronger on Saturday, but the space wasn't there or something such that I didn't get the disc as much as I wanted to against Sockeye, without feeling that it was because my man was on me (although maybe he was, I don't know). Sockeye was effective at clogging the lanes against us, and maybe our overall team speed (especially on offense) killed us.

Defensively, I felt ok. No blocks, but I created several high stalls (some of them leading to turnovers) due to good non-fouling marking, and I remember preventing some cuts. There were two long passes thrown to my man and caught on the first day, but none after that despite playing some HnH teams who got the disc plenty of times when I was on the field. There were a few passes over the weekend where my guy beat me right away on an in-cut so I just ambled in after him. Maybe it's a little lazy, but there is no practical difference (given that I'm not going to administer a bump as soon as he catches it even though the kids today seem to think it's cool) since I'm not going to be able to catch up anyway and I was there by the time he caught it and turned and the force didn't change.

I played a little more than I expected and probably about as much as I deserved, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. Forch played well offensively except for a bunch of forced hucks, but otherwise I didn't feel anyone on the O stood out as playing well.

I had two points that stood out for me. One was against Furious on the first point of the game. Pitted against a defender that apparently everyone on Furious knows I can't stand playing against because of his hands and bumpiness, I was determined to show him, but I established that I wasn't going to be intimidated, got open for four or five passes with the force, and scored the goal. The other point was an upwinder against Rhino. I was called as the third handler, and got open on several resets and quickly got the disc moving again, leading to a big goal.

Overall, I was somewhat disappointed in the amount of contact and petty calls. In order, among the teams I played with and against, I would rank them Furious, Sockeye, Revolver, us, Rhino, the others. 3 of the 4 NW teams outcalled/outfouled us despite us being a little chippy ourselves. I didn't watch either semi (beer tent was too far from the fields), so I can't comment on them.

11 comments:

llimllib said...

Speaking of aj, what did you think of his huck & hope theory? His "studs should play more theory"?

parinella said...

I suspect he might be right about the "studs" theory. The orthodoxy maybe has gone too far with the idea of platooning.

As for HnH, well, you all know how I feel, even if I exaggerate a bit for emphasis. Certaintly the extent to which you HnH (or employ the Sensible Long Game) should depend on your personnel, so if you have nine guys who can dunk, that tilts the odds a little towards putting it up.

But both points raise the greater question: how do we know that we're playing (even close to) optimally (given our personnel)?

Anonymous said...

the "studs" theory makes sense to me

after reading the write-up of the final, I only saw MG's name mentioned once or so

FG's plan of using him on the D line is a great idea, but it also means that they aren't using one of the top O players on the planet on their O points

tp

Sam TH said...

TP -

If you watch the UVtv video of the finals, you'll see that in fact MG (along with AlBob, Shank, Kubalanza, Lugsdin) were the ones getting it done for Furious. Of the 26 goals/assists by Furious in the finals, I think each of those 5 had at least 4.

Tarr said...

Slightly exaggerated there Sam. According to UV, Grant 3, AlBob 2, Shank 4, Kubalanza 4, Lugsdin 4.

For Sickeye, leaders were Moses with 5, and Sam and Chase with 4 each.

Anonymous said...

MG and Lugs played both O and D for Furious in the second half against Sockeye, maybe even every point of the second half (at least it seemed that way).

Anonymous said...

How come nobody talks about who was huge for Sockeye? Didn't they win?

Anonymous said...

So, you going to be watching WUCC on ultv? How did Sub-zero play, to your knowledge? Are you expecting Sub-Zero to take out the Open division at WUCC?

Anonymous said...

I hate seeing these threads die cause they seem so much better than RSD.

Why is everyone overlooking Doublewide? They lost a tough game to a hot VC who crashed at nationals. Conversly Subzero has been getting talked up because of a game they lost. The infamous "Furious Meltdown" has propelled them way above their actual talent level. Before the "FM" they beat VC, Potomac, and Pike. This year their big wins have been chain by 1, DW by 1 and a good win over Rhino. Why all the hype? Jim you had em pretty high on your Jim-Orithim too.

parinella said...

I don't expect that either team will be at its full strength in Perth. I had thought I heard that a lot of SZ alumni were going.

Anyway, SZ ranked high on the algorithm because they did well last year and placed well this year at every tournament except Colorado Cup (albeit with relatively low RRIs owing to close wins and getting into the semis on a three way tie).

Playing at Nationals has two big effects on a team. First is that you get really beat up, and playing a weeklong tournament two weeks later would be difficult (would be especially so for a 41 year old). Second is that the team is drastically different by the end. Most teams improve, as they finally test out their strategies and skills where every point matters and you can't simply outathlete or outskill your opponent. Weaknesses are exposed, whether it was something you didn't know or if it was something you knew about but didn't suspect would be so devastating. The tournament gives you a chance to identify them and work out alternatives, or if you have no alternatives, it destroys your confidence. Usually it doesn't matter which is the case because the season is over and the next year is different.

So, chalk this up as another reason the NW does so well at Nationals: the bloodbath that is NW Regionals. In the Golden Age of Ultimate, NY and Boston benefitted from battling each other all the time. But since the UPA went to the 16 team format in 1999, no NE team other than DoG has made it to quarters, I think. Makes it tough.

Anonymous said...

You say "On the receiving end, Alex threw me a huck in the Furious game after we were already down by 6, I looked up to the forehand side because there was a lot of room there and I thought the force was that way, and by the time I caught sight of it and turned the other way, I had lost too much momentum and couldn't catch up to it."

Absurd excuse, Alex hasn't thrown a forehand huck at nationals since 1990.

And, seriously, you say:
"There were a few passes over the weekend where my guy beat me right away on an in-cut so I just ambled in after him. Maybe it's a little lazy, but there is no practical difference (given that I'm not going to administer a bump as soon as he catches it even though the kids today seem to think it's cool) since I'm not going to be able to catch up anyway and I was there by the time he caught it and turned and the force didn't change.
"

Gotta disagree. Good defenders (not that there were any on the field at the same time as you) would be checking in to see the mark/situation after every catch and when the see you amble in it creates stress on the D bc more throws are available and they aren't sure you know the mark. getting to the mark quickly is a requirement for good D and there is a real difference for the other defenders if they are any good.

signed, dick. (didn't feel like loggin in)