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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 08/21/16 3:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
To equate the men's Olympic team with an NBA team is unfair, I think.

And to say that only a few teams in the NBA play as a team is also unfair. What about Utah and Portland and Memphis and numerous others? They may not have the talent of Golden State, but they are well-coached, intelligent and play as hard as the 100-game (counting playoffs) NBA schedule will allow.

All those assistant coaches on NBA teams aren't just collecting paychecks. I know a guy who did pro scouting and it took him five or six hours to assemble a report after every game. The options are there for individual and team effort, but the hard truth in basketball is this: Talent rules. Idiots like Gilbert Arenas can be effective because of the nature of the sport, just as Tot Byears was. (I think the fact that there are fewer WNBA teams limits the number of dumb players because competition for roster spots is so difficult.)

Last point, again comparing the NBA to the WNBA, not the Olympic teams: There are 30 NBA teams. What if there were 24 WNBA teams? How smart would the league be then?


How many more boys play basketball than girls? I'd say it's greater than the 2.5:1 ratio of teams in the NBA compared to the WNBA. The talent pool is more limited because not many women grow up playing basketball in the first place.

I don't have an issue with the coaching or scouting. I'm sure the work is intense. It's a multi-million dollar enterprise. My issue is that players make so much more money than the coach, it tends to shift the balance of power toward the players. I thought the article about Bill Laimbeer above pretty clearly demonstrated that.

Baseball to me is pretty similar. I don't watch that either. Also guaranteed contracts, often for players past their prime. Often who make 10-20 times more than the manager. The result? More strikeouts, less bunting, very little in the way of moving runners. Football is by nature a team sport and the only guaranteed money is the bonuses. I watch every Sunday. The NHL is by design and necessity a team sport. Nobody controls the puck long enough for it to be too individualistic. I watch regularly. The WNBA, partially by nature of the athleticism differences, is more fundamentally oriented too. I watch religiously.

My thing is, I think a lot of these players are more limited to one-on-one play than they should be. There's certainly more ball movement in the NBA than we saw in the Olympics, but the lack of player movement without the ball just really lowers my enjoyment of it. Maybe I am overrating that element as one of intelligence. But if it's not an intelligence thing than certainly there's an ego thing at play. The spacing of the 3 point line is partially to blame for that. You won't get as much player movement if you can space the floor wide and still have people score. It's still not for me.



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 08/21/16 4:08 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Silky Johnson wrote:
NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
I'm also not buying the argument that this is an ill-conceived team. It shouldn't be. The point guard just won an NBA title. Draymond Green defers and fits in on Golden State. Doing so here isn't an issue for him. DeAndre Jordan is an upper-echelon role player and one of the few playing his role well. Melo and Durant are hall of fame caliber scorers. The problem the men have is that if you take the defensive three second out of the equation and use 5-man systems against them they struggle to know how to react. Sure they can play 1-on-1 in the NBA, The game is tailor-made for it. Defensive help can't stay in the middle and the three point line is nine miles from the basket. If a team has some shooters, penetrations are going to be readily available.

Rubbish. Removing the defensive three-second rule makes it easier to defend, not harder. You think it's harder to defend when the center doesn't have to clear the lane, and you don't have to leave your assigned area, because you're playing zone? Miss me with that.

The team is poorly constructed, and to make matters worse, the coach isn't using the talent he does have in an optimal manner. Draymond Green should be starting: he's the only guy on the entire men's team who's first instinct when he gets the ball is to look for the open man, and Krzyzewski doesn't even play him. Kyrie Irving is not a point guard: he's just the shortest guy on the team, and is classified as a point guard by default. Up until the start of the knockout rounds, Krzyzewski was starting five scorers, three of which don't play any defense, and a center who is actually an above-average NBA defender, but who has a specific defensive weakness, one which is easily exploited by the fact the the alleged point guard can't keep his man in front of him.


Quote:
And it's not like teams from the past few Olympics haven't been in close games against teams they've been better than. If it was just this team, I'd buy the "ill-conceived" argument. But I don't think that's it. I just think the NBA players have trouble adjusting to a game that requires they play more of a team game than an individual one.

Well, then, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what "ill-conceived" means, in this context, because that's not what it means. Ill-conceived means that there are too many players on the men's team who are only good at doing one thing. It means that there aren't enough players whose skill set lends itself to being effective without the ball in their hands: too many players who lack the ability to play off the ball. It means that there aren't enough players whose skill set complement the other guys on the team: look at DeAndre Jordan, who seems like a great fit for Team USA... he actually is a capable defender, he actually is able to play off the ball, and somehow he still doesn't complement the guys he's playing with. He's a pick-and-roll player, but Kyrie Irving and Kyle Lowry aren't pick-and-roll point guards. Klay Thompson should be a good fit, as a catch-and-shoot player who also plays defense, but what good is having a catch-and-shoot player on the team, if nobody is looking for them on offense? Nobody on this team runs off screens to get open, nobody sets screens to get somebody else open, nobody makes the extra pass. That's not an IQ thing or an ego thing: what you have is ten guys who are accustomed to having teammates do that stuff for them, and don't have enough experience playing in a system where they have to do that for their teammates.

The team is "ill-conceived" because it is not built correctly. You can get away with a "point guard" like Kyrie Irving, when you have another guy in your starting lineup who's going to make all the decisions with the basketball, and all you need Kyrie to do is "get buckets." But Team USA doesn't have one of those, at least not one that Krzyzewski trusts. You also can't send out a starting five that features two guys who are only good at "getting buckets," you need to be more well-rounded.



First off, the defensive three second rule makes playing defense harder without a doubt. The vast majority of games not involving team USA have been ridiculously low scoring. While some of that is a talent thing, some of it is undeniably a lack of space for players to penetrate. Do you really think the NBA would have a defensive three second rule if it made it easier to defend? Most centers can stay in the middle without the team playing zone because few opposing centers can shoot. You don't have to play zone for the lack of the rule to come into play. If the rule exists it just makes it much harder to play zone. The defensive 3 second rule is there precisely because allowing one defender to roam free in the lane slows the game down. If defensive 3 seconds made it easier to play defense, the NBA would eliminate the rule in less time than it took me to write this.

As for Kyrie, he's a score-first guard, but he's still the primary (or at worst close second) ball handler from the NBA champions. He's plays on a team with the best player in the world and can still coexist enough to be able to win. To me, the problem is not that all these players can "only do one thing." Many of them only CHOOSE to do one thing. There's a big, big difference. You could "conceive" a team of whatever group of NBA role players you want. It's not likely the style of play would be much different. It's not like moving without the ball is a staple of the NBA. It doesn't have to be. Not for the top players or the second-tier players. It happens on occasion, and some of the top teams do it much better than other teams do. But it's not an NBA staple. The fact that these players don't move without the ball is at the very minimum an ego thing. They don't think they have to, when in fact it would make some of their individual games...and their NBA teams..better. I watched a lot of that OKC-Golden State series. The thing that ultimately did in OKC is the fact that their top players had no concept of how to do anything without the ball in their hands...especially Westbrook. Just because he's a fabulous one-on-one player doesn't mean he can't be better in other facets of the game.

One thing on Clay's discussion of team play, even if 25-30% of the NBA plays as a team, I still see that as an excruciatingly low bar on what we should actually expect from a team sport.



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Michelle89



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PostPosted: 08/21/16 4:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Australia should have been in the final to make it more exciting just like with the women



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PostPosted: 08/21/16 4:31 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Michelle89 wrote:
Australia should have been in the final to make it more exciting just like with the women


I very much doubt the 2016 version of the Opals that was put together would have made it exciting at all.



That was a really nice postgame interview from Melo on NBC.

Still waiting for ESPN to roll out the "Was Team USA's dominant gold medal performance bad for men's basketball" question... Oh wait... Rolling Eyes


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PostPosted: 08/21/16 7:55 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
First off, the defensive three second rule makes playing defense harder without a doubt. The vast majority of games not involving team USA have been ridiculously low scoring.

Exactly my point. It's easier to play defense when you don't have to clear the lane. Zone makes everything easier: it's a way to hide the deficiencies of less-talented players.


Quote:
Do you really think the NBA would have a defensive three second rule if it made it easier to defend?

The NBA doesn't want to make defense easier: they instituted a defensive three-second rule in order to increase scoring. And it worked: after about a season and a half adjustment period, the league-wide scoring average has been a minimum two points per game higher than it had been in the period between when Jordan retired, and when the rule was instated, and most years, it's been around 4-6 ppg higher.

Quote:
Most centers can stay in the middle without the team playing zone because few opposing centers can shoot. You don't have to play zone for the lack of the rule to come into play. If the rule exists it just makes it much harder to play zone. The defensive 3 second rule is there precisely because allowing one defender to roam free in the lane slows the game down. If defensive 3 seconds made it easier to play defense, the NBA would eliminate the rule in less time than it took me to write this.

Hey, you're the one who implied that the lack of a defensive three-second rule in Olympic play is making it harder for Team USA to play defense, not me.

Quote:
As for Kyrie, he's a score-first guard, but he's still the primary (or at worst close second) ball handler from the NBA champions. He's plays on a team with the best player in the world and can still coexist enough to be able to win. To me, the problem is not that all these players can "only do one thing." Many of them only CHOOSE to do one thing. There's a big, big difference.

That would be a big difference, and the only problem with it is that it's not true. For as much as you want to believe that these guys aren't coachable, they have developed the skills and habits that they have been coached into. These are guys that are told to get the ball, wait for the double team, and then make a play: they haven't been properly coached on how to let somebody else make a play for them.

Quote:
You could "conceive" a team of whatever group of NBA role players you want. It's not likely the style of play would be much different.

I bet you lunch you're wrong.

Quote:
It's not like moving without the ball is a staple of the NBA. It doesn't have to be. Not for the top players or the second-tier players. It happens on occasion, and some of the top teams do it much better than other teams do. But it's not an NBA staple.

The point isn't whether or not it's a "staple," the point is that USAB could easily put together a team of twelve NBA players that are better suited to playing the international style than the twelve they usually come up with.

Quote:
The fact that these players don't move without the ball is at the very minimum an ego thing. They don't think they have to, when in fact it would make some of their individual games...and their NBA teams..better. I watched a lot of that OKC-Golden State series. The thing that ultimately did in OKC is the fact that their top players had no concept of how to do anything without the ball in their hands...especially Westbrook. Just because he's a fabulous one-on-one player doesn't mean he can't be better in other facets of the game.

We agree on the latter, mileage varies on the former. I'm getting a lot of #IHateTheNBA coming off of your posts, which makes it difficult to read them objectively.



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 08/21/16 8:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Silky Johnson wrote:
NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
First off, the defensive three second rule makes playing defense harder without a doubt. The vast majority of games not involving team USA have been ridiculously low scoring.

Exactly my point. It's easier to play defense when you don't have to clear the lane. Zone makes everything easier: it's a way to hide the deficiencies of less-talented players.


Quote:
Do you really think the NBA would have a defensive three second rule if it made it easier to defend?

The NBA doesn't want to make defense easier: they instituted a defensive three-second rule in order to increase scoring. And it worked: after about a season and a half adjustment period, the league-wide scoring average has been a minimum two points per game higher than it had been in the period between when Jordan retired, and when the rule was instated, and most years, it's been around 4-6 ppg higher.

Quote:
Most centers can stay in the middle without the team playing zone because few opposing centers can shoot. You don't have to play zone for the lack of the rule to come into play. If the rule exists it just makes it much harder to play zone. The defensive 3 second rule is there precisely because allowing one defender to roam free in the lane slows the game down. If defensive 3 seconds made it easier to play defense, the NBA would eliminate the rule in less time than it took me to write this.

Hey, you're the one who implied that the lack of a defensive three-second rule in Olympic play is making it harder for Team USA to play defense, not me.

Quote:
As for Kyrie, he's a score-first guard, but he's still the primary (or at worst close second) ball handler from the NBA champions. He's plays on a team with the best player in the world and can still coexist enough to be able to win. To me, the problem is not that all these players can "only do one thing." Many of them only CHOOSE to do one thing. There's a big, big difference.

That would be a big difference, and the only problem with it is that it's not true. For as much as you want to believe that these guys aren't coachable, they have developed the skills and habits that they have been coached into. These are guys that are told to get the ball, wait for the double team, and then make a play: they haven't been properly coached on how to let somebody else make a play for them.

Quote:
You could "conceive" a team of whatever group of NBA role players you want. It's not likely the style of play would be much different.

I bet you lunch you're wrong.

Quote:
It's not like moving without the ball is a staple of the NBA. It doesn't have to be. Not for the top players or the second-tier players. It happens on occasion, and some of the top teams do it much better than other teams do. But it's not an NBA staple.

The point isn't whether or not it's a "staple," the point is that USAB could easily put together a team of twelve NBA players that are better suited to playing the international style than the twelve they usually come up with.

Quote:
The fact that these players don't move without the ball is at the very minimum an ego thing. They don't think they have to, when in fact it would make some of their individual games...and their NBA teams..better. I watched a lot of that OKC-Golden State series. The thing that ultimately did in OKC is the fact that their top players had no concept of how to do anything without the ball in their hands...especially Westbrook. Just because he's a fabulous one-on-one player doesn't mean he can't be better in other facets of the game.

We agree on the latter, mileage varies on the former. I'm getting a lot of #IHateTheNBA coming off of your posts, which makes it difficult to read them objectively.


You misread my initial post. In turn I misread yours. I never attempted to imply that the defensive three second rule made it harder to play defense. I thought I stated pretty clearly in an earlier post that the defensive three second rule makes it harder for teams to penetrate, which is why for stretches the US offensive game was experiencing difficulty reading the defenses. And often found itself reliant on offensive rebounds and points off of turnovers to create fastbreaks.

In turn I misread yours because I couldn't understand why anyone would disagree that the defensive three second rule makes defense harder. I meant the US players had trouble reacting to that on offense.

Just to be clear. I used to love the NBA. I watched Jordan, Pippen, Barkley, Stockton, Malone, etc. Some of those Pistons teams really played the team game well.

I don't "hate" the NBA, though I certainly dislike how today's NBA is played. And you're arguing that these players need to be "coached" on how to move without the ball and play without the ball in their hands. The problem with that is they make megabucks more than the coach. Any coach who tries to use that approach is likely a coach on his way to getting replaced. David Blatt wanted a triangle offense. A system with a lot of player movement. LeBron pretty much disrespected him for his entire tenure, and LeBron is a player I respect for ball sharing, IQ and team play. I'll watch teams that play with a higher level of understanding of the game and respect it. But it also shows how resistant upper-echelon NBA players can to be playing away from the ball. It's not a lack of coaching. It's that the player runs the show, and a good coach learns to work within that framework to maintain as much authority as possible while still allowing the player some freedom. It works with LeBron and Lue. It worked with Jordan and Phil Jackson. But if you think that the players aren't the ones who dictate how much power a coach has, you're fooling yourself. That's why the NFL is somewhat different. Yes, there's some bad apples who might get a second or third chance because of immense talent. But the NFL has two things that give coaches much more power. Non-guaranteed contracts (outside of the signing bonus) and an essential need for coordinated team play. Hence, I still watch. I don't love that system, but one thing it accomplishes is to make sure players remain accountable to the team and the system. If not, they won't last long and it won't matter how good they are.

http://www.foxsports.com/nba/story/cleveland-cavaliers-fire-david-blatt-lebron-james-shamed-nba-finals-012216

But it speaks to a higher point, for me. It's hard to really like a sport where the players make so much more than the coach that they have more power than a coach. They're not very likely to be responsive to things like moving without the ball. And for me personally, this stems from AAU on forward. Players should have some understanding of how to move without the ball before they get to the NBA, and from there it can be coached up according to a system of play. It's a basic skill. It's not the theory of relativity.

Even in 2012, with LeBron and Kobe, team USA had two close calls against teams they should have easily beaten. I don't think this is just a 2016 USA team phenomenon. The wider spacing around the 3 point line has largely removed movement off the ball and passing and cutting.

Oh, and don't believe me about today's players generally (with some exceptions) lacking the capacity to 5-man basketball? One of the greatest coaches in NBA history agrees:

http://www.slamonline.com/nba/phil-jackson-modern-nba-players-lack-skills-play-triangle/#35YZGE4AgHsHuvFZ.97

http://www.foxsports.com/nba/story/knicks-carmelo-anthony-phil-jackson-triangle-offense-nba-players-lack-skills-072916



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Michelle89



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PostPosted: 08/22/16 10:22 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

miller40 wrote:
Michelle89 wrote:
Australia should have been in the final to make it more exciting just like with the women


I very much doubt the 2016 version of the Opals that was put together would have made it exciting at all.



That was a really nice postgame interview from Melo on NBC.

Still waiting for ESPN to roll out the "Was Team USA's dominant gold medal performance bad for men's basketball" question... Oh wait... Rolling Eyes


They made it exciting when they played against each other a couple weeks earlier..



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PostPosted: 08/22/16 10:52 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Just a thought: By far the most effective play in basketball is the pick-and-roll, especially with defensive three seconds.

Therefore, every NBA player is extremely well-versed in the nuances of running the pick-and-roll, which is almost always a two-man termination game.

The reason they're coached this way, and taught the pick-and-roll, is because that's the best way to win. (As a high school girls' coach, I had two simple strategies: Shoot the three so they can't zone us; and when they go man, pick-and-roll.)

My take on this is that if pretty basketball were indeed the best and most efficient basketball -- remember how much money is at stake in the NBA -- we would see a lot more of it. We do see movement off the ball in the NBA, and that was an issue with the Olympic team, but you can't change players' styles in a few weeks. You have to dance with who brung you, and that's pick-and-roll and one-on-one domination.

That's the best way to win in any game of basketball, male or female. And please note that the U.S. went 16-0.



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PostPosted: 08/22/16 10:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
Just a thought: By far the most effective play in basketball is the pick-and-roll, especially with defensive three seconds.

Therefore, every NBA player is extremely well-versed in the nuances of running the pick-and-roll, which is almost always a two-man termination game.

The reason they're coached this way, and taught the pick-and-roll, is because that's the best way to win. (As a high school girls' coach, I had two simple strategies: Shoot the three so they can't zone us; and when they go man, pick-and-roll.)

My take on this is that if pretty basketball were indeed the best and most efficient basketball -- remember how much money is at stake in the NBA -- we would see a lot more of it. We do see movement off the ball in the NBA, and that was an issue with the Olympic team, but you can't change players' styles in a few weeks. You have to dance with who brung you, and that's pick-and-roll and one-on-one domination.

That's the best way to win in any game of basketball, male or female. And please note that the U.S. went 16-0.


That would employ five quality players on the court at the same time, something the NBA tends to be lacking in places. Two man game evolved because the two best players have the ball in their hands. In international play, we have five great players on the court for USA, and other countries trust their players more than NBA teams trust theirs.


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PostPosted: 08/22/16 5:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Just want to say first off I respect all sides of what is a reasonably thought out argument from all who have posted.

I think the idea of the pick and roll as a primary means of offensive attack is a good one. Even the WNBA has far more pick and roll then it had in its formative years, due to the upgrade in talent and athleticism. I accept that as a means to an end in terms of efficiency. What I don't understand is why that has to be so often the only means to an end. I watched quite a bit of the NBA finals. The tide of that series turned toward the Cavs when the Cavs bounced Curry all over the court and savagely attacked him on the numerous high on-ball screens the Warriors employed. That's where I would have liked to have seen more off-the-ball play utilized, with offense initiating in a wider variety of positions.

I think Clay is correct about the pick and roll being a primary means of attacking a defense, especially with the defensive three second rule. I also agree with David, that its increased emphasis has been the result of emphasizing ways for the elite players on teams to score.

What I don't understand is why other methods of scoring aren't utilized more frequently when either pick and roll opportunities aren't as available or when teams have a talent gap compared to other teams.

I know the WNBA is an entirely different entity, but one of the things I like about the Liberty and how they are coached is how they seem to get the most out of their talent, and a heavy portion of that is off-the-ball movement, particularly on plays where Tina initiates offense. This year the Liberty are 18-8, with a basketball reference expected W/L of 15-11. Last year they were 23-11 with an expected W/L of 21-13. One of the ways they get the most out of what has not been an elite level of talent is through off-the-ball play. Obviously their defense is very good and their offense is only approaching average. But they've also gotten a lot of mileage out of certain personnel.

So I'd ask...can't some of the lesser teams vary up their games better to try and close the talent gap? Can't teams struggling with on-ball oriented sets vary them up a little better?

Tell you this. If the NBA eliminated defensive 3 seconds I would watch again. It would force teams and players to be more judicious about how and when to penetrate.



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PostPosted: 08/22/16 10:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I thought this tweet was funny

Rich Nye
Paul George making #SRB feel like #RyanLochte at a Brazilian gas station.



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