Buzzer beaters add to dramaA buzzer beater in the closing seconds of a game can boost the morale of a team and play big dividends in lifting the confidence of a basketball team.
For the SK Knights, the opposite has been true this season. The Seoul-based team has been hard pressed to win close games at all.
On Sunday, SK lost a nail-biter to the KCC Egis when Ivan Johnson sank a buzzer beater to give the Egis a win.
The Knights seemed to be in good position to take the game when veteran forward Moon Kyung-eun drilled a three-pointer to give the Knights an 83-82 lead with two seconds remaining in the game.
SK had seemed to be well on their way to breaking out of their three-game losing slump. The smiling faces on the SK bench turned ice cold in the ensuing play when Johnson delivered a clutch mid-range jump shot right before the buzzer rang out to give the Egis a one-point win.
The Sunday game was not the only deflating loss for the Knights this season.
On Oct. 27, Samsung Thunders forward Terrence Leather sank a basket with 0.8 seconds remaining in the game to give the Thunders an 82-80 victory over the Knights.
Looking back to last season, Samsung’s Leather played a key role as he drilled a mid-range jump shot with 2.8 seconds remaining to give the Thunders a 75-74 win over the Knights on Jan. 15.
Counting the loss from last season, the Knights have surrendered three losses in the closing seconds of games.
The biggest concern for Knights fans is the aftereffect. Such close losses from buzzer beaters can deflate players on the losing team and can have long-lasting impact.
“The dramatic manner in which the games are won can have a lasting effect on the players. It can be a big morale boost for the winning team but the opposite can be said about the losing team,” explained Choo Il-seung, an MBC-ESPN basketball analyst.
SK got off to a solid start to the season by winning its first four games but after the buzzer beater loss to Samsung on Oct. 27, it lost to the Daegu Orions.
The Orions had been posting a record on one win and five losses without their star point guard Kim Seung-hyun at the time.
By Kim Jong-ryeok [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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