Posts Tagged ‘Mike Krzyzewski’

There are but two choices

October 31, 2008

When the Warriors take the floor tonight against the Raptors, this corner of the net will now be cheering just a wee bit less enthusiastically for the home team, on account of this specific ‘take on life’, articulated clearly in this story and by the father of the invader’s starting PG, DeMarcus Nelson.

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A wonderful story of perseverance and determination

A defensive standout at Duke, Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s structured system changed his game from pure scorer to well-rounded player. As the lone senior and captain last season, he averaged 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists and [in March] was named the ACC’s defensive player of the year as Duke won 28 games.

Said DeMarcus’ father, an associate Baptist pastor:

“I know people reading this story are shocked about DeMarcus. But my son is tough. We did have a five-minute pity party after the draft. But in life, you have two choices: You can lay down or you can get up. He got up and did it the hard way.”

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The authentically ‘tough’ ones GET UP … each and every time. 😉

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Chris Bosh’s strength … as a player and a person

August 26, 2008

Redeem accomplishes mission

“He has been as valuable a player as we have on our team,” Krzyzewski said when asked about Bosh. “He has played with such maturity and smarts. You can see it in his play, but if you could hear him talk to our team and talk to the other big guys, in practice, in games and on the bench. …

“In this tournament, we are seeing an already outstanding player raise his game to another level. I’m very proud of him. He has been a real man for us.”

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In sharp contrast to what most other NBA observers will tell you …

De-constructing the mystery that is Chris Bosh [April 21, 2008]

this ^^^ is exactly who Chris Bosh is … as an Elite Level NBA player and as an Elite Level person.

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He rebounded. He motivated. He played defence, especially against the international pick-and-roll, which so wounded the Americans four years ago in Athens, when the great basketball power slumped to bronze. He stayed active on offence, always presenting himself as a threat, even if he didn’t always get the ball.

“I think sometimes you have to have someone behind the scenes who does the little things,” Bosh said. “You have to keep everybody motivated. If we come out flat, I’m not afraid to say something. If we’re not playing well, I have to pick everybody up.”

Bosh admits it wasn’t easy, checking his ego, not taking shots he would take in the NBA and not looking at the stats sheet. But that was the pledge the U.S. players made when they decided that global basketball supremacy was more important than egos, shots and statistics.

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Chris Bosh has ALWAYS had the ‘soul’ of ‘the Great Man‘ himself locked away inside …

and it’s been unfortunate that only a few astute NBA observers have been able to decipher accurately what his actual strengths are, prior to this point in his (still young) career.

Hopefully … this will now begin to change … and others (e.g. Raptors’ Management & Coaches?) too will comprehend just how good this young man COULD/WOULD/SHOULD be … if he emphasizes the REBOUNDING, TEAM DEFENSE, SHOT-BLOCKING, FACILITATOR (Team Offense) and … most importantlyLEADERSHIP role with whatever team he plays for.

Living life with Eyes Wide Shut is no way to be. 

NOTE: Only if the lessons learned from the 2008 Olympic Games are ignored … will Chris Bosh’s Beijing fail to translate to the NBA.

What becomes of the broken-hearted?

August 25, 2008

Took a while to find just the right article link for this story …

As I walk this land with broken dreams
I have visions of many things
Love’s happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion,
What becomes of the broken hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe.
The fruits of love grow all around
But for me they come a tumblin’ down.
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can’t stand this pain much longer
I walk in shadows
Searching for light
Cold and alone
No comfort in sight,
Hoping and praying for someone to care
Always moving and goin to where
What becomes of the broken hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe.
I’m searching though I don’t succeed,
But someone look, there’s a growing need.
Oh, he is lost, there’s no place for beginning,
All that’s left is an unhappy ending.
Now what’s become of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
I’ll be searching everywhere
Just to find someone to care.
I’ll be looking everyday
I know I’m gonna find a way
Nothings gonna stop me now
I’ll find a way somehow
I’ll be searching everywhere
– Jimmy Ruffin

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Redeem Team is personal for Collins

“For him to go through what he did and not be rewarded for what he did in Munich, it still bothers me. It upsets me every time I see it. To have this opportunity, to bring the gold medal back to the U.S. with him there broadcasting the game (for NBC), I don’t think anything could be more special to me.”

But you know what Collins really wants? He wants his song, the one he never heard in Germany 36 years ago. He wants to watch as Team USA stands atop the podium, and then lose himself in the national anthem.

“I’m going to take my headset off. I’m going to stand up. I’m going to put my hand over my heart,” Collins said. “And I’m going to say thank you.”

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Mission accomplished, Doug.

After the Gold: First-class comments from Team USA

August 24, 2008

Straight from the horses’ mouths …

Post-game comments from members of Team USA

Click the link ^ … and read each one.

What it means to be a TEAM.

Genie no longer in the lamp

August 21, 2008

The RESPECT this corner has for Mike Krzyzewski just went up immeasurably.

Dispelling two myths on eve of US-Argentina semifinal

“The thing that our American fans don’t understand is that we’ve learned from other international coaches, from the way they conceive their systems, from individual players. We’ve always looked at it from an American basketball culture that we’re always giving knowledge to the world. And that has changed. They’re giving knowledge, and we’re sharing knowledge of the game. To me, that’s the one of best things about this whole experience, and I think the world sees that in us. They know we’re not kidding when we say that, and that’s something we have to take forward.

“Basketball is played at a high level all over the world; that’s why a third of the NBA is international. I mean, why don’t we come to the full realization that there are a lot of really good players and a lot of good systems all over the world?”

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In this instance, the stark reality is exactly as Coach K. has outlined in this article … and every hoops aficionado around the world today needs to understand fully the ramifications of his words:

1. Just because the highest paid basketball coaches in the world currently reside and are employed in the USA, either in the NBA or the NCAA … Does NOT mean that there is some sort of monopoly on coaching excellence which exists today in America.

2. Just because the VERY BEST basketball players in the world today reside and ply their trade in the USA does not mean that OUTSTANDING players cannot be trained/developed in other countries around the world … using a system which is different to the one in place today in America … or that the US model is somehow shattered or deficient.

Basketball is an international game today … without room for parochial notions of what constitutes an outstanding coach or player AND where such individuals are IN FACT concentrated around the world.

Kudos to a good coach and an examplary LEADER who emphasizes straight talk, at all times.

Of interest to Raptors fans

August 9, 2008

Courtesy of Kyle [from Forum Blue and Gold], Breaking Down Team USA

A scathing indictment of Chris Bosh

Nancy, first class nancy. Doesn’t rebound well against big men, doesn’t finish around the rim (no jumping ability and small hands) and isn’t hitting his outside shot. I’m not sure how many times he is going to drop a perfect pass before Coach K goes with Boozer over Bosh …”

Nancy?

Oh, my.

Not sure Kyle fully understands the rabid nature of the Raptors’ fan base.

Batten down the hatches, once this news hits Raptorland.

UPDATE: Look out Kyle … the Fury is heading your way. 8)

Upside and Motor: Team USA Blogger Roundtable

August 4, 2008

Courtesy of Hardwood Paroxysm’s, Olympic Basketball Gets Feisty:

Team USA Blogger Roundtable!

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Here’s the take from this corner …

The REAL answers to the 8 questions asked. 🙂

1. Which single player is the most pivotal to the team’s success?

Kobe Bean Bryant. If you take the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Team USA’s that came up empty and add Jason Kidd to each of those squads, Does that team win the Gold Medal? Maybe; maybe not. BUT, go ahead and add Kobe Bryant to each of those teams, instead, and what’s the correct answer? A RESOUNDING “Yes, they do!”

Kobe Bryant’s all-around game … beginning with his COMMITMENT TO WINNING, then his individual ability to DEFEND his assigned check (positions #1-3) AND his ability to REBOUND his position AND his ability/willingness to SHARE THE BALL with his teammates on Offense AND his ability to SHOOT THE BALL FROM THE PERIMETER … would have made each of those 3 previous teams champions in their own right.

I am NOT an unadulterated (pardon the pun) Kobe admirer but … the facts ARE the facts … tha Man is (very simply) the best (individual) basketball player in the world today. PERIOD.

With Kobe Bryant defending the best Guard or Forward scorer on the other team … Team USA’s opponent (whoever it is) will simply NOT be able to score enough points to beat this American team this go around.

2. Is starting Jason Kidd over Chris Paul (or Deron Williams a mistake? Why or why not?

Starting Jason Kidd is the CORRECT decision for this version of Team USA.

Jason Kidd, at the PG-spot, has NEVER lost a game in international competition … and, NEVER is a long time.

J-Kidd is unselfish, to a fault … gets his teammates involved and is big enough to Check (and Rebound against) any Point Guard, Off Guard or Small Forward he might need to, in order to allow Kobe Bryant to defend whatever player he NEEDS to Defend (and Rebound against) so that Team USA established the CORRECT TONE, from a Defensive & Rebounding standpoint, at the outset of the game.

On the court, Jason Kidd is THE Leader of this Team. Period.

3. The lack of Centers on Team USA’s roster is well chronicled. But aside from that, what is this team’s biggest weakness?

Mike Krzyzewski.

For further explanation, see the following link:

https://khandorssportsblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/game-time-usa-vs-turkey-take-i-ii/

Nuff said.

4. If you had to pick one team to upset the United States and win the Gold Medal, what team would it be? Why?

There is NO TEAM, this year, which will defeat Team USA … as outlined in the answer to Question #1.

Several teams could come close … e.g. Spain, Greece and Argentina … but there’s a HUGE difference between ‘coming close’ and ‘winning’.

Isn’t there?

5. Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh will be fighting for the back-up Center minutes; who should win the job?

This is a silly question.

If Team USA wanted to dominate the international competition this year … the most potent line-up it could put on the floor would see Carlos Boozer at the 4/Power Forward AND Chris Bosh at the 5/Center positions, not ‘fighting for the back-up Center minutes.

For further explanation, see the link provided in the answer to Question #3. 🙂

6. Which is more likely to be the achilles’ heel of the American defense: perimeter shooting, high post play, or the pick & roll?

Between these three options (exclusively), it’s (deadly) Perimeter Shooting … originating from the Pick & Roll play, principally involving offensive players (in a 2-Man Game) that are not being checked by Kobe Bryant, while the player who Kobe Bryant is checking is being isolated in an offensive Corner position, either strong or weak side, depending on the specific set play which is being run … at least, that is, IF the international coaches have any clue at all about how to stay close AND maybe steal a win from this version of Team USA.

All teams, everywhere, are vulnerable to deadly Perimeter Shooting … at least, for specific stretches of a game.

7. Which of Team USA’s “big three” of Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, or Lebron James will cause the most trouble for opposing defenses?

Kobe Bryant “will cause the most trouble for opposing defenses” … because when HE INITIATES a defensive sequence which results in a Team USA STOP the defense of their opponent has almost NO CHANCE to recover in transition to prevent Team USA from scoring easily in Offensive Transition Mode.

This is Team USA’s single most effective (efficient?) Offensive Scoring play. PERIOD.

8. W’ell do this last question Tiger Woods style: Who are you taking for the Olympics? Team USA or the Field?

Team USA will NOT lose a game this go round.

For further explanation see the answer to Question #1. 🙂

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Enjoy, one and all!!!

Game Time: USA vs Turkey, Take I & II

August 1, 2008

A collaborative effort thanks to David Wafer’s nbaroundtable.

Enjoy!

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Take I
by David Wafer

Missed the start of the game. We’re tuning in halfway through the second with the US leading 37-34.

  • LeBron James playing tonight. He just hit a midrange J off the dribble. Turnover Turkey, Deron leads the break, pass to the left wing to LeBron, touch pass, Kobe layup. Nice passing from Williams and James.
  • Erden is playing for Turkey tonight. He was the final pick in the draft this year, selected by the Celtics.
  • US looking very dangerous off of turnovers again tonight. Their halfcourt offense looks a bit disjointed so far though. A couple of sloppy turnovers haven’t helped matters but the main problem is that their offense doesn’t seem to be heading in any particular direction.
  • LeBron James with two steals in a little over a minute here. US are putting a lot of pressure on the ball and creating a lot of havoc defensively, primarily on the perimeter. Another turnover, Kobe leads the break, high lob to LeBron, one handed slam. US up 50-37 now. Turkey’s offense can’t get anything going. LeBron makes another steal, beautiful recovery play. The US’ zone was all over the place and left one of Turkey’s bigs under the left hand side of the rim, LeBron was defending his man out in the opposite corner, he sprinted a good 15 feet and soared through the air to deny that easy dunk. Great stuff.
  • Carmelo and LeBron have 25 of the team’s 52 points. Wade is the third leading scorer adding another 8. US are getting outrebounded ever so slightly (13-12) though. US outscored Turkey 23-7 in the second quarter to get their lead.
  • Chris Paul making another razzle dazzle play to end the half. He got a high screen and roll at the top of the key, he cut through the middle of the paint, sold the help defense on the ball fake (pass to right wing), sliced inside for a layup. He made that look simple.
  • Halftime
  • Looks like the Turkish team has thrown in the towel. They’ve started the second half with no intensity and they’re giving up easy shots right at the rim. They’re down 21 points now. This could get ugly. They’re getting very little going offensively also which seems to be effecting their levels of effort and confidence.
  • This is like a layup drill. US up 25 points after the powerful flush from LeBron. Turkey are faking it just enough to make you think they’re still trying.
  • Turkey hit a nice three there. The US almost stole the ball four times on that possession but Turkey made the most of the broken play and found an open shooter. What happens next? Wade leaks out and gets a wide open layup off the inbounds pass. Terrible defense by Turkey.
  • Nice play. Turnover Turkey, long outlet from LeBron up ahead to Kobe, right by the bucket now, Kobe pounds the ball hard and high off the floorboads, Melo goes up, collects it, flushes it. Creative alley oop.
  • Gonlum has given the Turks some good work tonight. He’s been a threat. A few nice moves and looks to go inside a little bit. He’s been their best big man. #13 the point guard has been decent too.
  • US up 31 points here in the fourth. Okay I’m going to call this one because the game is pretty much dead as a contest, all that’s left is the odd highlight type play here and there.

Great defense again by the US tonight. They’re terrific at creating turnovers and making teams pay on the break.

On the dubious side, I can’t help but wonder what their offense will look like when the opposition limits their layups and actually makes them create something in the halfcourt. They’ve gotten quite a few turnovers in the halfcourt and have mostly resorted to one-on-one plays rather than team orientated stuff. Anyway it’s too early to tell about that but it’ll be interesting to watch as the level of competition picks up.

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Take II
by khandor

Once upon a time (e.g. 50 years ago) the USA had major advantages over every international team in the world in every single facet of the game. Today, this is no longer the situation.

The major US advantage today is the individual Defensive ability of their very best players … specifically, to pressure and then steal the ball from their opponent, in effect, totally disrupting their opponent’s half and/or full court offense.

This version of USA Basketball is centered on the Defensive abilities of Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, and their respective capacities to wreak havoc on this side of the ball, both in freelance situations and within scripted defensive ‘plays’.

Jason Kidd’s unselfishness, as this team’s leader at the PG position is crucial, as well, but only as a corollary to the DEFENSE of Bean & The King.

Second.

Coach K. is simply an ‘average’ game coach. Has been throughout his career. His strengths as a Leader exist outside the parameters of the 48 (or, in this case, 40) Minutes of Live Action, and have to do with such things as interpersonal relationships, goal-setting, Command, communication, preparation, etc.

In contrast, making in-game adjustments and the application of specific X’s & O’s have never been hallmarks of his unique coaching style.

It’s not that he doesn’t know these things … because he surely does; he’s a veteran, solid basketball coach. It’s that he CHOOSES not to make these specific aspects of ‘coaching’ what he specifically emphasizes with his teams.

There is nothing wrong with this; it’s merely HIS ’style’ and it works … most of the time … especially when his teams are substantially more talented than their opponents (e.g. see when at Duke).

When his teams struggle, it is usually when (i) they are matched-up against an exceptional in-game coach, whose team can make the necessary adjustments to counter their opponent’s strengths and effectively minimize their own weaknesses, or when (ii) they are physically over-matched.

In international competition, as long as the USA sends a collection of their best players ’situation (ii)’ is not going to happen … but, depending on which team they are matched-up against, and who is coaching that opponent, at that given point in time, Coach K’s team WILL ALWAYS BE VULNERABLE to the type of situation the most recent version of USA Basketball ran into in Japan (at the 2006 World Championships) … i.e. situation (i) … where they were simply out-executed by a savy veteran team under the direction of a solid in-game coach that was (a) physically talented enough and (b) skilled enough (etc.) to cope with the strengths of that specific USA team … in other words, “They were/are Loaded for Bear.”

This year’s version of USA Basketball WILL win the Gold Medal and restore American pride in their basketball supremacy … but, as long as Coach K. is leading their team they will always be vulnerable in this way.

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What did others see?

Fight or flight response

May 6, 2008

Q1. When the Code by which you live is, “Run, Run, Run …“, how can you possibly hope to respond … during times of hardship … with steadfastness?

A1. In all likelihood … you can’t.

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After an oftentimes spectacular 4+ years at the helm of the Phoenix Suns, head coach, Mike D’Antoni seems as though he will soon be moving on to – what he hopes will be – greener pastures.

In a searing indictment of all that’s at the root of the Basketball Philosophy, ‘Seven Seconds or Less‘ (Jack McCallum), Adrian Wojnarowski (Yahoo! Sports) explains the how’s & why’s.

D’Antoni ready to leave his desert mirage behind

Mandatory reading for all.