Category Archives: media

A coach’s observations from Game 1 of the NBA Finals

Much has been written about this year’s NBA finals match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Basketball enthusiasts all over the world salivated at the prospect of a Steph Curry-LeBron James match up over a historic best-of-seven series. The Warriors are chasing their first title since 1975 while the Cavs are fighting for their first ever one.

The first game was played yesterday, which saw the Warriors winning 108-100 in overtime. Both teams played well and all of their superstars showed why they were labelled as such. Below are my observations during the game:

Cavs:

  1. The Cavs’ transition defense was excellent. They minimised one of the Warriors’ threat – fastbreaks.
  2. The Cavs did a great job in closing out the Warriors’ three-point shooters.
  3. Mozgov and Tristan Thompson played very well. Mozgov changed a lot of the Warriors’ shots while Tristan Thompson rebounded tremendously well.
  4. There were too many isolation plays involving LBJ. Although effective, with James scoring 44, it’s never going to be enough in any series, let alone with the Warriors.
  5. JR Smith went cold in the second half. I really believe that he needs to step up to be able to help the Cavs win some games.
  6. Their bench did not show up.
  7. Kyrie played a LOT of minutes. Although he was spectacular until he got injured, Blatt should have monitored his minutes.

Warriors:

  1. Their bench saved them. Mo Speights, Iguodala and Livingston played very well, especially in the second quarter.
  2. Curry heated up in the second quarter. Following a big lift from their bench players, Steph Curry and his team shot their way back from a 14-point deficit in the second quarter which changed the game completely.
  3. They defended ‘smartly’ and with discipline. Thanks most probably to Ron Adams (asst. coach and defensive specialist), they allowed LBJ to have his way against multiple defenders but did not collapse their defense when he went into the paint. James ‘only’ registered 6 assists last night.
  4. Small ball closed it out. Coach Kerr’s decision to put Green on the 5 and Barnes on 4 in overtime allowed multiple switching on defense, gang rebounding and a quicker pace, leading to a better defensive performance and higher energy levels which ultimately closed the game out. The Cave scored only 2 points during the overtime period.
  5. Thank goodness for Klay. I assume that the outcome of this game would be the opposite had Klay not been cleared to play. He suffered from concussion symptoms after he took a knee to his head during their close-out game against the Rockets. He played well on both ends of the floor.
  6. They turned down easy lay-ups throughout the game. The length of the Cavs (and the undeniable presence of Mozgov) forced the Warriors to kick the ball out instead of finishing in the rim in a number of occassions during the game.
  7. Turnovers nearly cost them the game. The Warriors need to take care of the ball better next game.
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The Girl on the Train

I picked up this book yesterday to give myself a break from academic reading and writing. I rarely read fiction books but I was persuaded (thankfully) by one of the store assistants at Waterstones to check this ‘unputdownable’ book. Three minutes later, I found myself buying a book that I know nothing about.

I started reading it as soon as I got home late yesterday afternoon. The next thing I know, it’s 10pm, I missed supper and I’m on the last chapter! Needless to say, I finished it in less than 5 hours!! This thriller/suspense/crime/mystery/romantic fiction novel was so gripping and full of twists and turns, that I wanted to know what will happen next.

It’s been a looooong time since I’ve read a book from cover to cover without putting it down. It is THAT good!!

So if you’re looking for the next exciting book to read, read this. I cannot recommend it enough! Hurry before they turn it into a film and ruin it!

The Idiot that is Katie Hopkins – the unfortunate consequence of Free Speech

We all have the right to say what’s in our minds. However, we should always carefully consider the repercussions of our words. Words can empower, but they can also hurt. Take for example the inconsiderate and vile tweets by Katie Hopkins – a British television personality and columnist:

I really wish Katie would think before she speaks/tweets! Nobody in their right mind should utter, much less appreciate, these kinds of comments. Sort yourself out, Katie!

Born Naughty? – Initial Reactions

(Photo taken from the Guardian)

The new Channel 4 documentary series Born Naughty? looked at the causes of inappropriate behaviours in children. Last night’s episode featured two children and their families. Six year-old Theo whose behavioural outbursts were apparently difficult to control is suspected by his mother to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. In the show, Theo’s mother seems to want Theo to be diagnosed to prove to herself (and others) that she was not a bad parent. The other child was nine year-old Honey who has been excluded from school due to her behaviour and has not been in formal education for months. Her parents, also wanting to prove that they are not bad parents, wanted to know whether she has an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).

The good

1. Holistic(-ish) portrayal of the children

What I liked about the programme was their conscious effort to show that both children’s behaviours were not always bad. Theo was shown to behave really well at the psychologist’s office and around her grandma, while Honey behaved well when she was around animals.

2. It showed professionals in a positive light

The professionals in the show aimed to gain a holistic perspective of the children’s behaviours and the reasons for those behaviour with the intent of improving the situation. They all worked collaboratively and came up with solutions to each family’s concerns.

3. The effects of a diagnosis (and lack thereof)

Honey was diagnosed with ASC and Pathological Demand Avoidance (a term I absolutely loathe) to the delight of her parents. The diagnosis was welcomed by the parents as they were previously blamed for Honey’s behaviour. It helped them ‘see’ Honey’s behaviour in a different light. In addition (and perhaps most importantly), the diagnosis triggered appropriate support that she needed such as her access to an Art therapist who comes to their house regularly to work on her behaviours and anxiety. In addition, she also secured a place at a school wherein she could be around animals which she absolutely loved.

Theo on the other hand was not diagnosed with ADHD as her Mum was hoping for. Rather, her Mum was given a strict behaviour programme. The programme helped as Theo was shown to display appropriate behaviour at the end of the show. His sleeping pattern and relationship to his mother also improved.

These hghlight the fact that slapping a diagnosis at every child who misbehaves is not always the right solution. In addition, a professional assessment is meaningless unless the appropriate support and interventions are planned and strictly implemented.

The less good

1. The title

I almost did not watch this programme because of the title. No one is born ‘naughty’.

2. The children were labelled as naughty

I feel like these vulnerable children are portrayed in the worst way possible as they were labelled naughty. I guess this is a reflection of some people’s perceptions of young people who misbehave. As I have said above, I felt that the programme tried to show the children’s positive side as well as their not-so-positive one.

3. Children were not protected

I’m still concerned that although their families consented, they were not able to give their appropriate consent. How will they feel in a few years’ time? How will they react when they read the inappropriate and vile comments posted on social media sites?

4. Idealistic scenario

I’m sure there will be a lot of families in similar situations wondering why they have been refused an assessment. Similarly, some of those who have been assessed may be left wondering why they have not received the appropriate support post-diagnosis. I must stress that this is not a criticism of the show, but one directed to some professionals.

HOPES AND FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope that future episodes will further show the complexities of behaviour and explore different explanations of why some children behave inappropriately. Despite the shows shortcomings, I feel that it is a step forward in dispelling the unfortunate wide-spread belief that behaviour IS the problem. Instead, what I want is for people to understand that behaviour is a consequence of something else.

RIP BB King

I’ve woken up to the news that one of my all-time heroes passed away. I’m terribly saddened. BB King was one of the most amazing musicians that ever lived. I was very forunate to have watched one of his concerts a few years ago – he even gave me a guitar pick in the middle of his set!! 

The world will miss you, BB, but your music lives on! Say hello to Jimi and Stevie Ray for us!

Read the full news story HERE

Mayweather-Pacquiao: Was it worth the wait?

DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE FIGHT’S RESULT

The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight took five years to be finalised. It had all the hype, all the commercials, all the intrigues that got serious and casual boxing fans salivating for the prospect of watching the ‘fight of the century’. Bets were made and tickets were bought. But was it worth it?

No one was knocked out. Manny was aggressive but Floyd dodged his punches. Manny knew that the only way he could beat Floyd was to attack with all guns blazing, while Floyd knew that he needed to be on the defensive althoughout.

It was a great match from a tactical perspective. But I felt like it did not live up to the hype. I felt that fans, who paid as much as £250,000 to see it live, were expecting to see a one-sided match in favour of the fighter they were supporting. Instead, they watched a match where not a lot of punches landed and what’s worse was the fact that it ended with neither boxer being knocked out.

Did the best fighter win? Yes, if you believe the stats:

But not if you’re Manny Pacquiao or his legion of fans:

In the end, there’s only one winner:

Until the re-match, right? Both fighters, their promoters, TV channels and their sponsors have made a fortune from this fight alone so why not get them to fight again?

But I still feel that the real losers today were the fans who paid so much money to watch this match. I wonder if they’d make the same decision on the next fight.