I’ve spent the last few days getting ready for the beginning of a new season by watching how the old one ended: an intense, wire-to-wire viewing of all 5 of the Finals games, with an eye toward looking at what might be transferable to a new season. There were numerous reasons to do this, but the biggest reason was this: it was really, really fun.
I hate the use of the phrase “market inefficiency” when it is applied to basketball players. It’s kind of like “Beer! It’s not just for breakfast any more!” It’s funny the first time and the second time. But after that…well, it’s still funny.
Ok, I don’t have a point there. I just like beer. But, market inefficiency is an overplayed metaphor. I think it is a way for people covering the sport to say “Talent! We don’t know it when we see it!”
It’s time for my almost annual analysis of the Spurs schedule. I breakdown the schedule into segments and then predict how the Spurs will fair in each segment. In the end, I’ll tell you how many games I think they’ll win this season.
This is my first post on TBF in a long, long time. Since I’ve been away, a few major things happened: my job role changed significantly, I moved, and the Spurs won a championship. I should probably stay away longer, to get the 6th ring, but alas, I’m back to give you a few thoughts on the first pre-season game against Alba in Berlin. No, I’m not in Berlin with the team. That would be awesome, but I’m not. I’m sitting on my couch watching the game on NBA TV. Anyway, my thoughts on the game…..
The shell drill is about defensive positioning. You have to learn to play defense away from the ball as well as on the ball. The key to this is positioning. It is the same whether you are playing man-to-man or zone. Different coaches will have different rules, but the principles will be the same.
In this class we are going to put in the foundation for shooting drills. These are going to be the basics from which a player can develop their full set of drills. As the class continues, we will add to this first class.
Everything you need to know happened in the second and third minutes of game 4 which ended with the Spurs up 5-2. Want to know what Spurs basketball is? It happened. Want to know what great coaching is? It happened. Want to know what effort is? It happened. Want to see lollygagging? It happened. Want to see the difference between coachable players and non-coachable players? It happened. Want to know why the Spurs are up 3-1? It happened. Want to know why the Heat won’t recover? It happened.
I kid you not. Five to two is hardly a commanding lead, but every difference between these teams happened in those two minutes.
Week two will (did, really, as class was yesterday) focus on the three basic steps you need to know in order to play defense. The retreat step, the attack step, and the pivot. I read about them in a book written by Morgan Wootten, the great Dematha High School coach. The cover has a picture of Keith Bogans on it from his high school days.
Week one will focus on how to use the free throw as the building block of your shot. I will discuss a couple techniques for allowing you to examine the mechanics of your shot while still allowing you to shoot naturally during games. I think it is very important that a basketball player be able to analyze their shooting and their techniques, but they still need to be able to relax and shoot when it counts. That is much easier said than done.