The Silent Engine

As he walks onto the court, Anthony Lenoir may not strike you as the kind of guy who would captain an entire team. He is calm, and reserved, mostly. Even though he is our leader on the court, he doesnt really throw himself into making on the fly decisions. He trusts the men he's put around him, and he goes to work on the inside.

If you leave it to memory, you will leave the stadium remembering the two minute span in which he decimated the defense by nailing three straight from the left block. His ball rarely touches the rim. You'll leave wondering why he simply doesnt take over the entire game, demanding the ball, running up the point totals. Very rarely will he shoot under 50% for an entire game. You'll think back to that two minutes in the first half and wonder what he'd be like if he asserted himself the entire game...

And then youll watch the game later on film and realize, he put up 22.

Your team scored 49. In a victory.

And you'll realize, this team runs on a silent motor that you dont really notice, even if you are looking for it. Lenoir has had a double-double in all but two games this year. Our starting power forward has been sick or injured more than half the year, so he has been alone in the middle, soaking up the oppositions big while pulling down rebounds, sinking pretty 15 footers, being our best free throw shooter and hitting the occasional 3-pointer (or two). The man is steady like a ship in the doldrums....and thats why he is the captain of this team.

Its been an interesting year. Yes, we are 3-4, yet I am a man of statistics and of hidden knowledge. Our 4 losses came by 19 total points. Our worst loss was by 8 points. We have lost two games within the last possessions, including an overtime games where we missed a shot at the first buzzer, and then two free throws and yet another last second heave from 3. This is not a run of the mill under .500 squad.

Our defense has been impressive in its consistency, giving up over 60 points just once. We average just 52 points per game against. That means we are easily in every game we play.

So...whats the problem? Turnovers, mainly. And our inability to hit foul shots. For as good as our defense has been (#2 in the league), our offense has been pretty anemic. Opposed to how the basketball world is trending, spreading it our and shooting from mid court, our style is better played inside out. Shots from the paint and drives to the hoop is what brings us a bulk of our points. And when we do that, we win. Generally.

Another thing that has taken some time is the rotation from the group we entered training camp with to the group we have now. We just werent strong enough basketball knowledge wise early in the year and our consistency was poor. It took some time to stir the ingredients in the pot, yet we are seeing more of an ease on the court together.

Yet through it all, there is Anthony, dropping shots from the key as if he was born to do it. His jersey wet with sweat, standing on the line late in the game, knowing the outcome could very well rest with him. Yet you'd never know he felt any pressure, this is one captain who directs his boat with ease.

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