Thursday, June 3, 2010

Home Sweet Home

As I type the title of this blog, I question whether or not I really mean that. Follow me on this for a second. I love being around my family, I love spending time with my friends from America, and there's nothing I love more than my mother's cooking...but is this my home? I'll be moving into my beloved New York City in a few weeks (after a short west coast stint) but is NYC my home? In recent years, I always had a internal countdown until I got back to America. Partly the break from basketball, partly the taste of Angela  Boone's Fried Chicken, partly the chance to ride around in my younger brother's Toyota Scion and hear stories about his adventures in college...but this year it wasn't the same. I used a "rehabbing excuse" to stay an extra week and a half but the truth of the matter is I didn't want to "go home" because I was "at home." And having a chance to see how good "Winning It All" felt...I did not want to leave Gottingen.

For those of you that don't know how the season ended...I'll try my best to be descriptive but understand every word I type is a little more painful than the last...

So we do enough to secure home court advantage in the opening Best-Of-Five game series. We are a lock at the number 3 spot and are awaiting an opponent. Up until this point in the season we'd only lost two games at home (one in the Eurochallenge and one in the regular season) making us feel extremely confident that we could beat whoever we played. Turns out, due to a conflict of schedule, our home gym, the Lokhalle, was being used during the first day of the Leagues playoffs so we had to travel to a neutral site. Our nervousness was calmed by the fact that we'd bring our home court floor/baskets and 2000 fans. Game 1 was a blowout in our favor. Game 2 rolls around and we're sure that if we can get this W the series is just about come back and beat us 3 in a row (with two of them at home) is a task that no team in the league could have possibly done but unfortunately we didn't come out ready to play and this time the blowout was in their favor. So game 3 rolls around, all knotted at one game apiece, it's back home, we're thinking about what happened last season (where we won the first game and then got beat 3x in a row) but we fought our way through a tough battle and ended up taking the 2-1 lead in the series. Closeout game...on the road, don't want to have to play a game 5 so we come out in game 4 ready to finish it up. Had a solid lead but they hit some big shots down the stretch (and also shot 50 fts as a team) so we're forced to come back home and play a fifth game. Although we blew a lead in game four, we were supremely confident going into game 5...I mean it was at home, the place was sold out, and we were watching the number 1 seed lose to the number 8 seed, the number 2 seed lose to the number 7 seed and the number 4 seed lose to the number 5 seed...meaning if we won game 5 we'd be the highest seed left and secure home court advantage throughout...but we weren't able to make that happen...and the worst part is that we were winning by 12 with 3 minutes to go...shortly after that I fouled out and was forced to watch our opponent come back more and was a pretty helpless feeling and as I watched that last shot go up and fall in at the buzzer I was in complete shock that we had just been eliminated.

So being home is bittersweet because I'd give almost anything to still be in the hunt for a title...and I hadn't realized until I got back that nothing here is enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, the season wasn't all bad, we had a ton of success and even won the EuroChallenge championship but there's no feeling worse than feeling like you've left something undone...

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