Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thoughts on a Difference Between College Basketball and the NBA

The reason that the NBA plays a more isolation/matchup type of game is that at that level there are much fewer inefficiencies in defenses that can be exploited by running certain plays. NBA players aren't going to consistently be beaten by motion offenses with lots of screens off the ball because those offenses are designed to take advantage of poor individual and team defensive fundamentals (i.e. not knowing how to deal with screens or how to position oneself on defense). In the NBA these things aren't issues for defenders. The NBA is an efficient market with respect to defensive fundamentals. You can't consistently gain abnormal returns (i.e. score more points than your opponents) by relying on offenses that are built around taking advantage of inefficiencies in defensive fundamentals.

The reason then that the NBA features more isolations and finding mismatches is because those are the areas in which there are inefficiencies. Those are the areas in which the offense consistently has advantages. Players like Kobe and Lebron can often score regardless of perfect defensive fundamentals and positioning.

This is not to say that every play should just be a complete clearout for a respective team's best player, but rather that the NBA game might have a 60/40 isolation-to-motion ratio whereas college has a 40/60.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Post Smarter Not Harder

I think playing smarter as opposed to playing harder is underrated in basketball.

For example, watch almost any high school or college post player try to gain position in the post.

Watch how much energy he expends.

Watch him inevitably labor back on defense exhausted, once again disappointed after a guard couldn't get the ball to him and instead decided to do his best Allen Iverson impression with predictably mixed results.

Now watch how many times he does this.

Does he continue to expend incredible amounts of energy trying to get position or does he eventually tire out and just stand there (or get taken out cause he's tired)?

It doesn't have to be this way.

There is a better way to get position in the post. It's called timing and footwork. In other words, posting smarter.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why LeBron Isn't Clutch*

*This statement comes with a huge qualifier, of course. I don't mean to stay that LeBron can't be clutch, or has never been clutch, or is not clutch every once in a while (like against the Bulls), but rather why LeBron can't consistently be clutch to the level that we have come to expect from him based on his talent. And so with's why LeBron isn't clutch...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Evolution of Timmaaayyy

Someone smart probably once said that greatness transcends time. I agree with whoever probably might have said something to that affect.

Tim Duncan transcends time as a basketball player (not to diminish his video game skills, but I have no knowledge of their quality). He is great. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How Wrong Incentives Are Holding the NBA Back

I think everyone who has ever played, watched, coached, or in any other way been involved with basketball will tell you that it is in a team's best interest if its players are unselfish. But from a player's perspective, is that the case? Is there an incentive for each individual player to play unselfish basketball?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2010 NBA Genesis Draft

Note: This was originally posted on my old blog on Monday, August 16, 2010.

I just finished this year's version of my NBA Genesis Draft. For a description of what a Genesis Draft is you can read my description from last year.

Here are the pick-by-pick results of the draft with comments included for most players.

Here are the team-by-team results.

One note. I accidentally forgot Tiago Splitter. By the time I realized my mistake I was midway through the eighth round at which point it was too late to try to fit him in. He would have gotten drafted much earlier.

A Big Fundamental: Outlet Passing

Note: This was originally posted on my old blog on Sunday, April 25, 2010.

The Big Fundamental. Average fans think he's boring. He doesn't dunk on people and he doesn't break anyone's ankles when he crosses over. But for anyone who can appreciate the minutiae of basketball, Tim Duncan is endlessly fascinating.