Well, that was certainly different from the Kelvin Hall, wasn’t it? Fire, big screen, one holy heck of an entrance. Just a pity about the result.
Like many people there it was the first time I have seen the 2012/2013 version of the Glasgow Rocks, and despite the woeful fourth quarter display (a 40-19 type of woeful display) I feel that there are certainly enough reasons to be positive.
Firstly, one thing that Sterling has always been able to do is find a good guard combo, and it seems this season will be no different.
Donald Robinson looked very effective. He passed the ball well, shot the ball well and generally made the right decisions with the ball in his hands. He was caught out in possession a couple of times, but his hustle defence certainly made up for that. Could he have the same effect as Mychal Green did last year? Obviously it’s too early to tell, but he looks a very good player.
E.J. Harrison was the other player that really stood out on Sunday, but that is no real surprise. After a difficult season last year, both on and off the court, it was good to be reminded of what he can do when fully fit. The 36 year old led the team with 23 hard fought points. He also went 5-of-8 from behind the arc, a crucial area of the field that the Rocks struggled with last season. If he is back to his best, he will certainly help in that category.
What of Scotland’s Olympic star Kieron Achara? 18 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks almost always makes me impressed. But this time, it just didn’t. To be fair to Achara, he hasn’t played since the Olympics and presumably there will have been an element of rustiness, but it did certainly seem that he wasn’t playing at 100%.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Achara is the best player in the BBL, it just remains to be seen as to how long we will keep him. Hopefully it’s not another one and done spell like last time and we will get to see the big man at his very best.
Defensively, the team were fairly solid for three quarters. Joe Chapman, so often the focal point offensively for the Eagles, had just 10 points through the first 30 minutes. Problem was, Smith and Maddox were playing at the top of their game and the Rocks just couldn’t cope with either of them.
Before the game, it seemed to me that the Eagles were the team lacking the height, but Achara aside, they dominated the boards and the paint, which are both vital aspects of the game that the Rocks didn’t command.
So often last year the team would lose games thanks to a poor quarter, or a wee seven minute spell without a basket. While it’s only three games into the season, it has happened already against the Eagles and Coach Davis must be tearing his hair out (or maybe he already has?) over the inconsistencies of his team.
So yes, it was a disappointing display on a momentous occasion, but there is still plenty of room for optimism. And hey, we’ve got a pretty cool arena, eh?
Callum Carson is the Rocks’ resident blogger. He also writes about the Rocks and baseball(!) on the UKAmericanSportsFans.com site.