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Gary’s Blog: No Bias Here

I knew it. I knew this would happen. I was hopeful that, in this worst year ever, people would appreciate more in their life and not let little things get to them like they used to. See the big picture. Don’t sweat the small stuff, as I wrote two weeks ago. I have followed this way of thinking, for now at least.

Last week, the Mountain West Conference released its football schedule, and from where we were a month ago, with no football on the horizon, I am thankful that we have football at all. I didn’t think we’d have it so soon. I always kind of laugh at people who criticize the schedules for UH teams, mainly football and basketball. A lot of fans, and even some in the media, feel like the University of Hawaii is getting a raw deal, that the schedules in league play are biased against Hawaii. And it’s happening again. Hawaii will start conference play with two road games, vs Fresno State and Wyoming. “How dare the MW?” some are saying. “Here they go again,” I’ve heard from others. Come on, are you kidding me?

This football schedule is not unfair or biased against UH, and it never is. It actually benefits Hawaii to play back-to-back on the road. It’s one less trip to the mainland, as they’ll stay there after the Fresno game, getting ready for Wyoming. I’ve been told that UH might not have requested this, but they prefer this, which makes sense. I heard someone who is kind of in the media say that playing the first two games on the road, without any non-conference games, is unfair. Um, do you realize the other teams don’t have a non-MW game as well? Only Air Force does, and we don’t play them. Do these fans and media  members realize Hawai’i plays five of the last six games at home? Now that’s an advantage.

Maybe other schools are complaining that UH has an unfair advantage. And from the original MW schedule , we now have Wyoming instead of Air Force. Air Force was 11-2 last year, 7-1 in the conference. Wyoming was 4-4. Thank you, Craig Thompson and Mr. Schedule maker. This is actually a favorable schedule for Hawaii, especially from where it was originally. I remember a few years ago, for Big West basketball, someone in the media went on a season-long rant that UH had to play road road games in a row. I pointed out that they also had four home games in a row, so what’s the problem? I got no answer. Just know this: The conferences don’t favor any school over another when they make a schedule. There are things they need to consider, like gym or arena availability, that fans don’t take into account. And right now, in October of 2020, we should be grateful that we are alive. (I assume if you’re reading this you are alive.) And that sports are here. Can’t we appreciate this, and again don’t let things like two road games in a row get us that upset?

Within the next few days, the NBA season will come to an end. A year ago, it began with the Clippers and Rockets here at the SSC. I’ve really enjoyed the action in the bubble – great job, NBA. I’ve gotten to watch more games than usual, being at home so much. I’ve watched for parts of the game that I didn’t look at before. I see how the game has really changed offensively. There used to be more half-court sets, especially in the playoffs. Remember when most teams had an actual low-post game? I know the Golden State Warriors really changed the look of the league, with so many three-pointers and a lack of a true center. Now I see a lot of teams playing in a similar fashion. I don’t like it. The Houston Rockets don’t play with a center too often, and it benefits them with their roster makeup. But the LA Lakers, wow. They basically play a five-out offense, meaning that all five players are playing in back of the three-point line. They’ll swing the ball around until someone is open, and in game 2 , shot 47 3 pointers, an NBA playoff record. In game 3, they took 42 3’s.

The Lakers have such a size advantage over injury-ridden Miami, yet they rarely use it. Once in a while, LeBron will go coast to coast and, with his size, go right to the rim. But this offensive strategy is kind of what I see in high school here, where teams with a lack of size will settle for outside shots. But in the NBA? That’s why I like watching Miami, usually 4-5 players touch the ball on every possession. That’s the NBA I know and like.

Wait, am I complaining about something? Am I being a hypocrite? Ok, I won’t mention this part of the NBA again. Until next year’s playoffs.

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