Jerome Bridgewater Diary Entry #5: Game Vs Bayern Munich

Today we were heading to Munich to play our next test game against Bayern München. We were travelling in a comfortable 23-seat bus. bridgewaterteampicWe got there 2 hours before the game. The tip-off was at 8pm. So we had plenty of time to get loose, goof around a little bit. With 35 minutes until the game started we started to warm up. The floor was very nice and soft. It seemed easy for me to get up. But I couldn´t keep up with Rocky, Cole and Christian. They did some hilarious dunks. Talking about 360 windmills, off the back board windmill and much more. It seemed like everybody was ready for the game.

Sebastian Betz was also back in action and he seemed very comfortable at the warm ups. No signs of pain. The gym wasn`t very crowded. It was nice to see some Ulm fans in the gym. I did not know much about the Bayern munich roster and was very surprised when I saw Robert Maras, a former German national player, in the gym. He is a 7-footer. He doesn`t look that tall thou like I always imagined. But I felt very honored to get the opportunity to play against him. Well to be honest, I didn`t expect to get any playing time, since I was struggling the last game a little bit on defense. And my lastest performance in practice wasn`t cheerful. My goal for this game to bring a lot of energy from the bench and be aggressive on the defensive end and not to get beat easily.

Well our start was decent. Their American guard Kenny Barker hit two threes at the beginning. We were able to run the same pace like Munich. Rocky had a couple good plays on the offensive and defensive end. He is hustling so much on the court.

I already got subed in in the first quarter. Didn`t do anything. I grabbed a board. It was very hard to get that one though. Because it was a baceline shot and the shooter airballed it. The shot was long and I really had to put a body on the guy I was guarding.

The score was 20-18 for Bayern Munich after the first quarter. Rocky came back in. We were able to control the pace of the game and didn`t gave up any easy baskets.

Cole tried to dunk over Maras. Maras was right underneath the basket. And Coleman jumped from I don`t know how far away and tried to thorw it down. But Maras was moving forward while Coleman was in the air. A flat out foul. Cole missed the dunk and got no call. Horrible! Maras did a finger swag like he was playing good defense. He would be on a poster, if he didn´t shift forward illegally.

I checked in with two minutes to go in the first half. Bayern was playing a horrible fullcourt press almost the entire game. Not horrible enough for me. I had to inbound it once after free throws and did not get the ball in in time. I hesitated once. I think Lee Humphrey was open for a short second, but there was a hand in the passing lane and I hesitated. Turnover! I tried to get myself back into the game by playing defense aggressively on and off the ball. I have had a steal on the next possession, rotating at the right time to the right man. That hyped me up. I was guarding Sebastian Greene. They say he is 6`8”, but he seems like 6`5” in my opinion. They did set a staggered screen for him. I was right there and made him catch the ball 30-feet away from the basket. I fouled him stupidly. It wasn`t really a foul, but my hands got on his arms while he was trying to drive.

Reiner Bauer, the Assistant Coach, had a few positive words for me at halftime. He told me that I am too aggressive and it is sometimes better to give the attacker some space. This is good, but I was always a guy who wants the control the offensive player. I want to make him to react on my defensive move. I do not want him to get into his offensive flow. I want him to react on my defense. I do not want to react on his offense. Well but in that case it was very stupid to be all over him 35-feet away from the basket. That sure wasn´t a smart move.

We entered the half with an comfortable 40-26 lead. Our defense got really better and we just allowed them to score 6-points in the second quarter. We took it a little bit too easy at the beginning of the third. And Munich tied all of the sudden the game with 6 minutes to go in the third. Mike had to call a timeout and gave us a wake up call. It really helped. We were shutting them down.

I subed in for Rocky at the end of the third period. We had the last shot of the period. Lee penetrated and I tried to go backdoor. He dished it to me and I got fouled by the way up. Can`t believe it. Missed both foulshots. That really sucked and it is still annoying me. I can`t still get over it. The game was decided in the 4th. Munich did not have a chance to get back.

I got another chance after Rocky fouled out. He really had a good game on both ends. There is still plenty of room to improve, but you could really see how valuable he is going to be for this team this year. He is doing everything. Scoring, deflecting passes, blocking shots, ball pressure. Mr.Everything!!!
Well we won the game with ten. Basti (Sebastian Betz) was really looking good out there and it is good to have him back.
We went to the KFC in Munich afterwards. It was fun with those guys. We start to grow better as a team and get to know each other better. It is very late now and we are still in the bus on the way back. It is past twelve and we are lifting tomorrow at 11am. Not much time to rest!

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