Monday, November 3, 2014

Omer's Foul Shots

Here is a brief video of New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik, a favorite around here, stepping to the line in the fourth quarter of the Pelican's loss to the Grizzlies tonight. Asik was put on the line when Tony Allen fouled him while going for a defensive rebound try on the other end.

Omer glances at the basket with a small register of annoyance. He one of the NBA's best defensive centers, doing his job well enough that his opponent tried to grab his arm to stop him. But instead of just letting him have the rebound or giving a new possession to his team, his customary reward for a job well done, Omer, a career .541 free throw shooter has to go to the line all the way on the other side of the court and take two shots.

"I wasn't even attempting a shot," says the look, "They just fouled us so many times that we got into the bonus. I don't want to be in the bonus. We are behind. We need three pointers, not the one pointer I will likely make here. This system is completely insane."

Every time Dwight Howard takes a hack or makes high leverage foul shots, you can feel his stress. It's uncomfortable. He want to make them so bad, so maybe the curse will finally go away . Here, Omer is just annoyed. It's not the demon that haunts his nightmares, it's a scab that never goes away. He's just here to play defense. These fouls shots are some out of his jurisdiction bullshit. It wasn't HIS fault someone fouled him. He was just trying to play defense, and then you say, "No, man, you get (Have) to play offense, because your team played well enough that the other team is being punished for committing too many fouls against your team."

But the moment passes. This is the structure he works in, no matter how absurd it is. Omer takes a breath in through his nose and out of his mouth and makes one of two.

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