The Globe TRONers vs. The Robellion - Game 3
Does Chris Webbrowser hold the keys to the fate of the universe, or just basketball games in the Swoops Universe?
In Game 1 of our very first seven game series, the Globe TRONers held on to a 85-83 by virtue of some savvy foul drawing by Chris Webbrowser with the game clock running out. In Game 2, with the Globe TRONers mounting an incredible 4th quarter comeback, Webbrowser would be the foul committer at the end of the game as he put Jabar the Hutt on the line to seal up a 82-73 victory for the Robellion.
All knotted up at one game a piece, the two teams were now in a fresh five game series and we were left wondering how Chris Webbrowser would decide to end Game 3.
Let's find out!
As is customary in this series, the first quarter started off with both teams having ice in their veins. Not the cold blood that lets someone make clutch shots at the end of the game, but rather the kind that freezes both arms up and renders them unable to shoot.
After a bevvy of missed threes by Droidmon Green and Sith Curry, Chuckbacca still feeling the effects of last game and starting off 0-4 from the floor, and a series of comical turnovers, the game stalled out at an 8-6 lead for the Robellion with four minutes remaining in the quarter.
The dam finally broke when Doge McDermott clamped down on Sith Curry, picked his pocket, and ran down the floor for a 25ft transition three.
In classic Kobe Wan Kenobi fashion he said anything you can do, I can do better and earlier in the sho tclock, as pushed the ball up quickly and pulled up from 26ft to sink a three-ball of his own.
Threes had been coming in bunches of three in the first two games so in keeping with that tradition, Droidmon Green nailed one from the corner the very next play to give the Globe TRONers their first lead of the night which they would carry to the end of the quarter, 17-13.
The second quarter started with Luka Skywalker initiating a crossing pattern for his team and finding Jabar the Hutt cutting down the lane for an easy dunk over Hakeem Olajutron.
The Robellion kept up the physical play and in between a couple Doge McDermott threes, started to rack up the fouls on the Globe TRONers and get some free throws. First Kobe Wan Kenobi, then Chuckbacca, then Jabar the Hutt, then Sith Curry. It seemed that the best strategy for breaking through the enemy line for the Robellion, was to get to the line themselves.
A few turnovers and missed long balls from Luka allowed the Globe TRONers to find some easy buckets in transition, but their half-court offense stalled out and blue screend for most of the quarter, and it was the Robellion who went into the half with a 43-33 lead.
The third quarter started off hot as Green and Kenobi traded buckets, and Olajutron continued his transcendent shooting from downtown, making his third three of the night on five attempts. Get yourself a center who can do it all!
Just when it looked like the TRONers were going to go knee-to-the ground-and turn the corner on their light cycle, the Robellion would start to find their way to the line once again.
A soft double-team from Rajon Trondo resulted in him smacking Jabar the Hutt as he went up for a dunk and the Hutt sunk two at the charity stripe. The next trip down the floor Doge would foul him on a similar play. The Robellion were even beating the TRONers on the boards as Jabar missed the second free throw, Chuckbacca grabbed the board and kicked it out to Jabar for an 11ft jumper right back at the line which he missed, but another offensive rebound by Luka resulted in an easy wrap around to Kobe Wan for the lay up and the Robellion were up 12 half way through the third.
The Globe TRONers were going to have to find a way back into this game and it may have to be from distance once again. Luckily, Doge McDermott had woken up from his Game 2 nap and was starting to spike. A couple made threes, a dazzling pass out to Chris Webbrowser for a corner three of his own, then forcing a shooting foul on Luka Skywalker on a 28ft bomb, and suddenly the TRONers were within 7.
As they did in the closing quarter of Game 2, the Globe TRONers were mounting their counter-attack, and a joint effort between Doge and Droidmon forced four Robellion turnovers in the final two minutes resulting in some easy transition buckets and just like that it was a four point game. Robellion 66, Globe TRONers 62.
The Robellion knew full well that the TRONers were going to force the issue heading into the fourth, this was a movie they had seen before, and the team were determined to not let episode 3 flop.
On the first possession of the fourth, Doge McDermott drove into the lane off of an Olajuwon screen, but Jabar the Hutt played excellent drop coverage and swatted his shot out to Luka Skywalker, then sprinted down the floor to receive the ball back from Skywalker, and found Kobe Wan Kenobi who was hip-checked by Olajuwon for an acrobatic and-1 bank shot.
Not to be outdone, Droidmon Green got his own and-1 opportunity the very next play down the floor and narrowly avoided kicking Chuckbacca during an empassioned post-shot celebration, resulting in some words and a light tussle before making it back to the line.
A made three from Kobe Wan Kenobi kicked the lead back up to 12 for the Robellion, but Droidmon Green would simply not be denied as he found the cup on the next four TRONers possessions to cut the lead back to five with as many minutes left in the quarter.
It wasn't until three minutes left that the TRONers would miss a shot, as Jabar the Hutt would send a Green 11ft jumper into the stands, like a poor soul being fed to the sandworm. Luckily the security on the Swoops Simulator court is strong, so there were no worms to be found, and the ball made its way back to the court and we played on.
Jabar split a pair of free throws the next trip down, Hakeem Olajutron launched a high arching three from 25ft out, and here we were with three minutes to go and the Robellion were once again barely holding onto a four point lead, 86-82.
Unfortunately for the Globe TRONers, the next two plays were an offensive foul on Hakeem as he set an illegal screen for Trondo, and a shooting foul on Hakeem that sent Chuckbacca to the line for an easy two points.
Still, the 99 coaching overall Olajuwon was receptive to the game plan and his focus unaffected. He ran the two man game with Doge and floated a beautiful pass over the defender for McDermott's 5th three of the night, forced a tough Skywalker shot from 12ft on defense (which he made), then came back down the floor and hoisted another three. Butter. Three point game. TRONers 88, Robellion 91.
With a minute-thirty left all eyes were on Chris Webbrowser to see where this game was going and sure enough, the ball found Jabar the Hutt on the block and we were right back to where we were at this time in Game 2.
Once again, Jabar raised up from the outside with time left on the shot clock, fought through Webbrowser's adblocker, and got himself a trip to the line.
The very next play, Webbrowser would get the rock on the block, but Jabar would get him back for Game 1, steal the ball, and Kobe Wan Kenobi would get the lay-up on the other end and be fouled by a trailing-and-frustrated Webbrowser to extend the Robellion lead to 8.
Close the tabs and go incognito Chris, this one is over.
A Droidmon Green three would get the game within five but it was too little too late as Kobe Wan Kenobi would get an easy two and secure the 98-91 win for the Robellion who admirably defended the Globe TRONers comeback once again.
This was a game that was won at the line for the Robellion. That was their game plan and it was executed flawlessly. A staggering 33 free throws made on 44 attempts (75% and +22 margin!!!) on the night helped them get over their woeful shooting from distance.
While they lost the game and need to address their fouling issues, the Globe TRONers were a blistering 43% from three as a team, and saw big nights from Droidmon Green and Doge McDermott.
Droidmon's game was especially notable as he's not normally the scoring option on this team but lead the Globe TRONers in points with 28 on 19 shots, a fantastic 58% from the floor, while chipping in 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal, and a block for good measure.
As great as Green was this game, the Player of the Game was none other than Kobe Wan Kenobi who was absolutely in the zone tonight as he put in 32 points on 11-15 from the floor (73%!), 3-6 from three, and a perfect 7-7 from the line.
Interestingly enough, it looks like Kenobi really favors shooting from the right side of the court, so the TRONers may look to force him left for the rest of this series to try and slow him down.
Chuckbacca deserves an honorable mention as well as he put up 23 points of his own and took down 16 rebounds on the night, dominating the paint from the power forward position, and heading into Game 4 the TRONers are going to have to find a way to box him out and secure the boards on both ends.
Will they be able to match the Robellions physicality next game? Will Webbrowser bounce back and even things up? Have the Robellions exposed a flaw in the TRONers and use that to take a commanding 3-1 lead?
You'll have to wait to find out!