In a game of runs, the Delaware Blue Coats couldn’t keep up, falling to the Capital City Go-Go 120-116 on Thursday, Nov. 10, and spoiling their homecoming.
From the early minutes of the first quarter, both squads built up bursts of momentum at alternate times, which allowed this to be a back-and-forth game. The most important one came with 90 seconds left in the game. The Go-Go went on a 10-2 run which included the basket that put them ahead once and for all.
“It’s a game of runs, so once we go on a run, they’re going to go on a run but we weren’t able to stop the bleeding once they got going,” Blue Coats’ Justin Smith said. “We gave up a lot of easy baskets, a lot of second-chance points, so that kind of put us behind the eight-ball.”
Throughout the game, the lead changed 13 times. In most statistical categories the teams were evenly matched.
In almost every aspect Delaware and Capital City were neck-and-neck, from both lineups going 50% from the field to both recording nine steals. Due to this, intangible factors were emphasized, specifically chemistry.
“Momentum is big. Basketball is a game of runs, they caught theirs at the right time. So things like that, it’s chemistry,” Blue Coats’ Jaden Springer said. “They were playing together, we could see the energy they had, so I feel like that’s stuff we can take away from them and bring to ourselves. Just playing for each other, playing together, that’s the biggest thing.”
Due to the transitory nature of the G-League, only three players from last year’s team returned to the roster, including Springer. This means there are a lot of new faces trying to learn each other’s style of play during these first few games.
“Chemistry, that’s the biggest thing right now,” Springer said. “We’re three games in after tonight so we’re not really beating ourselves over the head, we just know we have to work on close games like this, we know it can be little things that can be game changers for us. So we’re just going to keep working, keep building up the chemistry.”
Teammate and newcomer Smith agreed and felt that the team’s success might be a slow burn.
“Success isn’t linear. It’s going to be up and down,” Smith said. “So I think that we can take away something from this game and not even just me, but once we are all able to figure it out… we’re all going to be successful together.”
While chemistry is something the team is looking to work on, the talent is already there. Despite the loss, there were some Blue Coats who were able to shine. Springer put up a solid 28 points and Smith provided a spark off the bench with 12 points and four steals.
“Somebody’s gotta do it,” Smith said. “I think that coming in and providing energy is what the coaches are asking of me and finding ways to impact the game right away.”
With only three games behind them, the Blue Coats sit 1-2 in their division’s Showcase Cup standings. The G-League’s second annual preseason tournament only allows the top two teams from each division to advance to bracket play, something the reigning champs in the Blue Coats aren’t in position for. But they are not hitting the panic button just yet.
“1-2, we’re three games in,” Springer said. “We got a good little stretch where we can go on a run, we definitely got a chance.”
For comments/questions about this story tweet @TheWhitSports.