"Help me if you can...I'm feelin down...and I do appreciate you bein 'round...can you pleeeease help me, help me...oooh...?"

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November 30th, Wednesday evening Post Game Thoughts and Whatevers...We lost a really tough one tonight, friends...How tough? 100-99!! On the road in Beijing, no less, and we played our hearts and left it ALL on the court...It was a really tough loss when you consider we went up 3 with the ball,less than 1:50 left in game, and a "phantom" call is made on a reception baseline in front of our bench, "stepped out of bounds before catching pass", was the call on Wong Bo, our best Chinese player and National Team member...Let me tell you this, I watched Wong Bo come from one side of the court to the other and no one was guarding him in their Zone defense on this particular play, and he spots up in the corner, gets a perfect pass from the guard, and squares up (front turns INSIDE the 3 point line), drawing the defense and all of 2 FULL seconds goes off clock on his jab step and then the "whistle blows...Now you gotta let me "vent" here a little bit: this was what is called a "bulldeposit" call if there was ever one to be made...I mean OUT OF NOWHERE was this call made...If they review Officials games here, and I'm not sure they do, this cat is going to lose the "pea" in his whistle 'cause he made that one up...Anyway, we had the ball with 6 seconds to go at halfcourt, and inbound to D Tate, who jab steps and crossover dribbles right by the perimeter defender and I'm thinkin "yeah, he's got a wide open mid range jumper for sure, BUT, instead he takes another dribble and goes for the hoop on a drive, facing 7' Michael Fey, former Washington state (Tacoma, I believe) high school phenom who went to UCLA and got lost in Westwood for 4 years as they went through 2 coaches...So, DT stops, up fakes and there's contact but not enough to draw the foul and his shot gets blocked to another teammate, Cash, who then with .08 on the clock shoots a short corner jumper only to have it hit the side of the basket and the game is over...Now I gotta tell you something, I don't need to run laps around a track, swim for an hour, or ride a stationary bike for 45 mins. to get my "cardio" in order and burn calories...This game tonight took off a comfortable 6,000 I'm sure...It was that exciting...We played defense aggressively and consistently well, made crucial stops when needed and we all were on the same page UNTIL...the new GM comes off the end of the bench early in the 4th qtr. to go off on an Official's call and gets whistled for a "T"...this mind you when we're only down 5...the guy hits 2 FTs then they get the ball out of bounds and proceed to score another field goal meaning that we have given up 4 pts. with NO time off the clock and now down 9 with the ball...THAT hurt obviously, as the outcome of the game indicates...The team to a man and the staff as well, we're disappointed and "knew" that "we wuz robbed..." but they shrugged their shoulders and tell me: "Coach, this is the CBA, these things happen like this..."...All I can say is that the Chinese are a lot better getting over disappointing losses than any high school, college and NBA coach and team I've ever been around...I told the fellas that I was so proud of their "Warrior spirit and best effort tonight, that we played team defense as well as we ever have and that IF we continue to work together and help one another on defense, we will not be disappointed at season's end..."...And I mean that! Okay, we just finished a team dinner...It was very good, nothing distasteful or bitter to complement the feelings we had after a very tough loss...We leave for Changchun City, where I'm living now, in about 5 hours...it's a two hour flight and hopefully we'll NOT have any practice as the fellas don't NEED to get on the court, rather they need REST and RECUPERATION...DT pulled his hammy again, YET PLAYED his "posterior" off like you wouldn't believe...This young man has a chance to perhaps play in the NBA someday, folks, as he continues to improve his overall game at both ends...After reflecting upon his last move in the game with the ball, he honestly felt that he should have "pulled up and taken the jumper, but it was a clear lane to the hoop and I thought I could get there, finish and draw a foul..."...I love his courage and willingness to go strong at the end...He's a cross between Raja Bell of the Suns, and Bruce Bowen of the Spurs...You might hear about him someday as a "unknown" who played overseas and came back to the League...I hope so, he's a wonderful person to work with and I really love his energy...he has NO FEAR whatsoever when he plays...100% full out...my kind of Team Player...

Okay, enuff of that...I'm tired, disappointed but happy with the effort of tonight's game...We played well enough to win...Lessons learned hopefully, is knowledge gained...Good night, blog to y'all soon enough...Thanks for caring and wondering how life is in China...Take care, safe travels to all...Coach tom

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