Wow, just finished my first project in almost 30 years! in the 80s through games magazine I purchased (well, my Dad) Pursue the Pennant. Well, I spent many a night rolling them dice. See I was born in the US but my parents relocated to Guatemala, C.A. When I came back as a teen - no friends or family… So I really rolled the hell out of them dice. In any case college came up, marriage and family. Somehow though, I had this love for the sports sims and board games.
In trying to get my kids to play board games (and they do like them) I happen to gravitate towards sports games. Blood Bowl (card version, though I played the miniatures games in the early 90s) and they loved it. Well eventually we got the Strato Basketball board game. It was too much for my 12 year old.
Through exploration on the net I have found this fabulous community of like-minded people! I am not alone or crazy for wanting to play these games!
Well, decided to play my first project. After playing a few games, I knew it would have to be at most a series. It takes me about an hour to play 1 quarter… I have read that it takes less time for other experienced players. Perhaps they use online resources or IPADs to keep scores?
A digression first - My super quick review of Strat-o Basketball
If someone would have told me, or if I would have read it would take me 4 hours + to play this game completely it would not be in my house right now. However, after playing it I really do recommend it. I love the complexity of it, how teams just can’t have a bunch of shooters in the lineups. Teams with better rebounders will pound the boards on the smaller teams. There are better more in depth reviews but I do recommend this game if you have the patience to play it out.
Well, for my project I decided on the 2012 Finals between the Spurs and the Heat. And I gotta tell you, it stunned me. SA 4 - MIA 1. It felt like a 5 game sweep.
SA 93 - MIA 79
The spurs set the tone for the whole series by ripping the first game from the Heat. Curiously Duncan had only 13 points but it did not matter. In typical Spurs fashion everyone contributes. Parker with 20/7/7, Leonard 11/6, Diaw off the bench w 10pts, and Blair (????) with 8 pts. For the Heat Wade 11/5/1 ---- The Heat really had only Bron who got NO help usually, He went off though 30/5/7. 3rd leading scorer… Chalmers?? 9 pts. Bosh non-existent with 6/6/1.
Miami only win of the series as they eek out a 102 - 96 win. Bron again goes off 32/10/10. Wade 18/8/4 and Bosh with his best game (except one other game a total non-factor) 19/6/2. Allen had 11 pts, but as for usual the bench really was just there to give rest and not much else. Duncan with 26/6/3, Parker 21/6/9, Leonard 14/3. Neal off the bench w 7 and Diaw w 8. A real disappointment was Ginobili in the series. He is one of my favorite players, but could not get going. If I remember that season he did not play well at all until the playoffs. In any case he got 5.
SA 78 - Mia 75
Close defensive game. Lebron with 20/5/5, Wade 10/6/4, Bosh 19/5. However this game was not that close. SA was up by 10 or so during the whole 4th and by 7 or 8 till some desperation buckets. I was expecting Allen to hit key 3s but alas it was not to be, 2pts 1 for 6. Parker 24/1/5, Duncan 17/10. Ginobili with his best game when it counted 11/5/4, 5 for 12. Green big game w 17. Miami w 17 turnovers, SA w 10. Story of the series.
SA 93 - MIA 68.
And just to be corny, this game is from now on known as the…”Ambush at the Alamo” (yes, I am sure you guys could come up with something better). 4th quarter total garbage time. Not one starter played any minutes. Lebron with 24 by the 3rd, but could not even get back in as the game was out of hand. He had 7 T/Os by himself. Mia w 20 T/Os. Wade w 14 and everyone else as usual gone. Bosh w 6. Parker w 28 by the 3rd. Duncan w 19.
SA 112- MIA 99
Game was close till the middle of the 3rd. SA opens up a 10 pt lead. MIA makes a quick run in the middle of the 4th to get it down to 5, but SA runs them off the court and blows them out. Lebron 26/3/11. The whole series he has great assist number. His passing card is really amazing, with Dazzlers dominating (Auto buckets to the recipients of his passes). Coach Spoelstra toys with the idea to run Lebron on the point, but just can’t do it as SA really dominates the boards this series. Chalmers fouled out in the 3rd. Lebron again disappears in the 4th (SA probably helps by double teaming him) with 1 for 4. Wade with 23/5/7 and 9 pts in the 4th. Bosh 12/9/1. Allen finally hits some 3s to try to keep them close in the 4th - 10pts. They tried doubling Duncan, doubling Parker. It does not matter. SA ALWAYS finds the open man. Parker 16/4/7, Duncan 19/12/1. Leonard 16/10, Splitter 14 pts, 7 for 10. Blair (Again him???) 12 pts 6 for 8. Ginobili w 8.
Final impressions of the series
It just seemed that MIA was outmatched. They tried doubling, it never worked. It really seemed that SA would get the open man. Find Duncan or Parker. They tried to PRESS SA. No good. Parker would turn those into fastbreaks. MIA really could not get their Break to work. Wade’s FB passing number are not that good. It seems that their halfcourt passing numbers are excellent. When you are behind though you need to fastbreak. Chalmers when in would take PG duties if behind (which most of the series they were) just to run a few breaks.
So for the series, Parker got the MVP. Here are some numbers:
Parker 23 / 6.6 A
Duncan 18.8 / 8.8 R
Wade 15.2/ 3.8 A
Bosh 12.4 pts
Lebron really had a great series, but those 4th quarter disappearances...So even though he got no help, the media is blaming him for the series.
Overall a great experience for me. Loved doing it.
Hopefully your playing time has been reduced. In my Strato basketball prime two of us, with experience, could play a game in about an hour!
It is a great game, as well as a great simulation!