Posts Tagged ‘TrueHoop’

Better late than never

November 18, 2008

Under the category of … “Who? Did what? … In an NBA game?”

[Courtesy of TrueHoop]

From Sat Nov 15 2008

For everything else there’s MASTERCARD.

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Sometimes, hard work really does pay off. 🙂

Making the correct decisions in the Valley of the Sun

October 24, 2008

What a difference a year makes … when you add a new head coach to a veteran team.

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Suns starting Barnes at small forward
“Grant brings a lot to that second unit with a lot of stability as a veteran with possibly two rookies on that second unit,” Porter said. “He can relieve some of the pressure that Goran (Dragic) may get at times and I like Grant to have the ball in his hands. That’s one of his strong points – to make decisions and make plays.”

With the goal to limit Hill to about 25 minutes per game, Hill would have sat for long stints if he started. Instead, he must adjust to a bench role after doing it only eight times in a 705-game career.

“I don’t mind it at all,” Hill said. “One of the things we talked about at training camp was our depth can be a weapon for us. You look at the Lakers and their second unit did wonders for them coming in a lot of times to extend a lead and provide a spark.
“Hopefully, we can wear you out as a team and continue to hit you with talent and guys who can make plays.”
Porter likes Barnes’ shooting range to spread the floor while still having a solid wing defender.
“It didn’t really matter to us,” Barnes said. “Once my shots start falling, I can help stretch the floor. I can help Raja (Bell) out there because this league is full of two and threes who are scorers. I’ll just bring a lot of energy.”

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Those who under-estimate the Phoenix Suns this season will be in for a rude awakening, both, in the regular season and at playoff time … given:

i) This new role for Grant Hill;
ii) A reduced role for Shaquille O’Neal;
iii) The additions of Matt Barnes, Alando Tucker, Robin Lopez, Goran Dragic, Sean Singletary & Louis Amundson; and,
iv) The arrival of Terry Porter, with his focus on Rebounding, Defense & Team Offense.

If they eventually fall this season, sometime in May … let’s say, to the Lakers’ juggernaut, it will not be because they are once again ill-equipped to go the distance as they’ve been in seasons past under the premise of Seven Seconds or Less.

Thus far, every decision the Steve Kerr/Terry Porter tandem has made, in an effort to re-tool their once mis-directed team, has moved the Suns closer to realizing their long term goal of reaching and then winning the NBA Finals Series.

For the 1st time since the 1995-1996 season, this team has the type of Marquee Players, QUALITY DEPTH throughout the roster, Coaching & Style of Play it takes to be considered a Legitimate Contender for the League Championship.

Worthyfying Amare

October 21, 2008

If the question is …

Can Amare Stoudemire become a real life James Worthy [Lakers’ HOFer] clone this season for the Phoenix Suns?

Courtesy of TrueHoop

Goggles alone can not make Tha Man.

Goggles alone cannot make Tha Man.

Then the likely answer is …

Only if Shaquille O’Neal can also transform himself into a working version of a venerable Kareem Abdul Jabbar [the Lakers’ other bi-spectacled HOFer], circa 1987-1988, who regularly played 79-80 games for the LakeShow during the twilight stages of his historic NBA career, while still putting up solid numbers like these.

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Then, again … considering this is a League Where Amazing Happens, on the regular, and Anything Is Possible … who’s to say what lies ahead this season, in the NBA, when The Game Happens Here.

Hoop Talk 101

October 3, 2008

If there’s one thing that riles the dander of this corner it’s so-called basketball experts who seemingly do not know the importance of using highly specific language when communicating with others.

Let’s conduct a short quiz.

Raise your hand if you think you know what a “screen” is?

Raise your hand if you think you know what a “ball screen” is?

Now … raise your hand if you think you know what a “pick” is?

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In the judgment of this corner … the person heard speaking during this specific video might not know as much about teaching and learning elite level hoops as he thinks he does.

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In general, a lack of specificity is an important road-block to learning, and hence the proper execution of a skill.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “ESPN – TrueHoop By Henry Abbott“, posted with vodpod

 

 

NBA Defensive Primer from a fan’s perspective: Part I

September 24, 2008

A simple refresher, every NBA fan should take the time to digest, and the best one on the net in recent memory, from the perspective of an experienced blogger.

Courtesy of Dave at BlazersEdge.com (via TrueHoop) …

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A Basic Defensive Primer: Part I

[Assigning ‘Responsibility’ with Accuracy]

This brings up one of the core lessons of defensive analysis: be careful when assigning blame. Sometimes the guy who looks the best is the same guy making the mistake. Often a player who never seemed to affect the play should have and thus should shoulder blame along with the guy who made the obvious error. Very, very few coaches design systems that depend on one player and one course of action. Much like airplane engineering, there’s redundancy built into the system. If one part fails (and it’s assumed this is going to happen) another part is supposed to compensate. Defensive breakdowns usually require two or more participants from the defensive team. In other words, you can be as skilled as you wish individually, but it’s the team defensive effort that really counts in the end. 

[Keys to Team Defense]

This brings us to the one, solid-gold standard even a casual fan can use to judge their team’s defensive efforts: contested shots. A shot which is contested is taken in space that somebody else controls. This can be vertically (the defensive player jumped up with the shooter and got a hand in his face or in front of the ball) or horizontally (the defensive player forced the shooter to move in an uncomfortable direction before attempting the shot). The ultimate goal of team defense in the NBA is to not let the opponent get any shots which are uncontested. There’s always at least one man in the vicinity to break up the rhythm. A secondary goal would be having any shots which do end up uncontested come from a place on the floor where the offensive player is not comfortable.

[Keys to Individual Defense]

That brings us to the mental side. Good defenders usually have a steely attitude, much like a homeowner defending his property or an older brother guarding his baby sister’s honor. Nobody is going to break me down. Nobody is going to get in my house. You pull out that ball anywhere near my sister and I’m gonna kill you. Whether you’re a boisterous menace or a silent, competent assassin the right attitude goes a long way towards making up for any lack of physical attributes. Defenders need to be tenacious. They need to want to defend and take pride in it. Understanding the game really helps too. Good defense is about anticipation: anticipating what your opponent tends to do, anticipating what he needs to do in this situation, then taking it away from him. Because they understand what’s going on veteran players tend to defend better than younger players even though the younger ones have physical advantages. Defense also takes a measure of unselfishness. It’s not a stat-intensive endeavor. It doesn’t bring the same big bucks as scoring 20 a night. You’ll spend a fair amount of time helping out your teammates…committing yourself to not making mistakes of your own and simultaneously vowing to help clean up theirs even if it costs you energy or gets you into foul trouble. A ton of NBA players have the physical tools to be great defenders. Few end up reaching that plateau because of the mental discipline, heart, and sacrifice it requires.

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Although it’s a relatively long article, take the time to read it all.

Most of it is accurate, simple stuff that every fan should know/learn about the game s/he is taking the time to watch and, hopefully, enjoy.

[NOTE: Please feel free to ask questions about any part which you might not understand thoroughly, or that you might wish to point to as being inaccurate, from your unique perspective on the NBA game. Afterall … Living & Learning is really, “What The Game is all about.”]

Bad Boyz II … featuring U Can’t Touch This

September 19, 2008

This terrific stream of Detroit Pistons’ material just keeps rolling off the presses …

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Awkward Interviews: Rodney Stuckey [It’s Just Sports, via TrueHoop]
” … when I’m in the game with Chauncey, coach wants to have the ball in Chauncey’s hands more. When I’m in with Rip, he wants the ball in my hands more so Rip can come off screens and what not. Things are gonna be the same offensively with stuff like that, but I’ll tell you one thing, our defense and defensive standpoint, things are going to be a lot different. We’re gonna be picking up full court, trying to get back to our old ways of playing Bad Boys defense. That’s something to look forward to this coming year.”

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seemingly, coming from every corner of the net.

Bad Boyz II … featuring M[ichael]C[urry] Hammer-ball makes it’s debut, for real, in Motown … Wed Oct 29 2008, at the Palace vs the Pacers.

Now you know exactly what the intro music SHOULD be.

PS. If the Lakers hadn’t already been annointed in this space as eventual 2008-2009 NBA Titleists, with a Legendary 70+ regular season W’s to their credit, IF ALL HANDS ON DECK CAN STAY HEALTHY! … even yours truly MIGHT be swayed into thinking that this year’s Pistons Crew has a legit [underdog’s] shot at knocking down the reigning CHAMPS … and, THEN, taking out, again, Showtime.v2, in Lalaland. Might being the operative word, of course. Still, something to keep in mind, as the season ahead develops.

PPS. I Love THIS Game, I & II.