Season Ticket Review – Floater

“The basketball shooting technique called ‘tear drop’ is also referred to as the floater. Both of them are very descriptive names in that the basketball shot seems to ‘float’ over the defender and drop into the hoop so lightly as if it were a drop of tears. It is an alternate basketball shooting move in a lay up where you take the step-and-a-half early and while jumping forward, you shoot the basketball over your defender before he jumps.” – From


Game 8: January 4, 2008

Iowa Energy (9-8) at Sioux Falls Skyforce (5-10)

The floater. A soft, pretty shot. A skilled high-arcing drop in the bucket.

The floater. David Bailey’s new best friend.

The Skyforce entered the game looking pretty rough. I had hoped that they were righting the ship, winning three of four (including Christmas Day) but was disappointed to see they had answered the semi-streak with three losses in four games. Everything was back where it started, evened out.

And who were we playing? The horribly named Iowa Energy, featuring a Chicago Bulls NBA send-down Demetris Nichols. They were second place in the division, three games ahead of the last place Skyforce. But we had one thing on our side: the Iowa Energy’s amazingly streaky win/loss record. Go ahead. Scan down their schedule. Win three, lose three, win three, lose three, win three. They had lost two in a row going into the Friday night game. We were destined to win, right?

With David Bailey playing the way he did, sure enough. Tonight was my first glimpse of the faster, friendlier Skyforce – little Elton Nesbitt was starting, J.C. Mathis had disappeared (which is weird considering how effective he was during the Christmas Day game) and David Bailey was featured front and center.

I mean, he was everywhere, playing with ferocity I had yet to see out of him this season. He was the fastest player on the court, and he was using it to his advantage. Versus Jeff Horner? Easy – drive around him. Versus Euro-trash Fabricio Vay? Easy – wave off the rest of the team and take him one on one. Someone’s hand his face? Even easier – the floater, his newest friend.

Seriously – I’ve never seen someone take more tear-drop shots in a game. It was as if he had met a best friend from high school and he couldn’t help showing him off to his new crew. Drive. Floater. Drive. Floater. It kept happening, and like a Malone/Stockton pick-and-roll, you couldn’t stop it.

This is what I’ve wanted to see for the past six games. Two speedy guards, splitting the court apart, driving to the basket. Driving! We didn’t let the jump shot beat us tonight – we left that to the incredibly hot Iowa Energy, a team that managed to make nearly every shot in the first half and lose their touch in the second. We drove! I mean it – this was an epiphany, it must have been!

Nesbitt and Bailey combined to bring a Nash/Barbosa like tandem to the court – speed and shooting, assists and steals, like pesky gnats swarming unsuspecting campers. They were all over the place, making the extra pass when needed, shooting the three when feeling it, making life hell for the slower, lankier Iowa guards.

At halftime, we were keeping up with the Energy, 60-60. We begrudgingly left, knowing we had to get Sierra to bed and being better parents for the act. I listened to the rest of the game on the radio – Bailey kept making his new signature teardrop shot, Chris Alexander re-appeared in the fourth to defend the Energy’s impending rise, and the Skyforce eked out a win. It was an ugly second half – after scoring 60 points, both teams ended with a 36-34 half – but it worked.

It felt good to get a win. It felt good to finally defeat Iowa after two losses. It felt good to gain ground in the standings, and it felt good to see the team playing like a team – finally gelling after a season-so-far of awkward getting-to-know-you play.

But it felt really good – no, it felt GREAT – to see Nesbitt and Bailey taking control and playing basketball that’s both fun and effective. Live and die by the jump shot no more. We’re driving – and floating – from now on.

Skyforce 96, Iowa 94

This was lovingly handwritten on January 5th, 2008