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Things I love about the NBA


Things I love about the NBA

The coordinated choreography of team defense as played by both San Antonio and Boston.

Indescribable individual moves to the hoop in hostile traffic by the likes of Kobe, D-Wade, LeBron, or whomever. These examples of spontaneous brilliance make me fully appreciate the new technology that makes immediate, instant replays available at home with a mere touch of a button.

Players who are fouled extra hard — and even bloodied — then, without complaining, simply pick themselves up off the floor and sink both free throws. Indeed, these guys are much tougher than the guys who knocked them down to begin with.

Clutch plays after timeouts that work. These demonstrate both superior scouting and superior coaching on the one hand and inferior scouting and coaching on the other. In defense of the failed defensive strategies, though, often times players zig when they're instructed to zag. But plays like this also prove that most games are won or lost in practice sessions, which is why players who are lazy and/or inattentive during practice are detrimental to their team's fortunes no matter what astronomical numbers they may register when the lights are switched on for real.

Solid timber-shivering, shoelace-untying, dental-fillings loosening screens. In other words, one example of the critical execution of fundamentals that never shows up in a box score and is rarely appreciated by civilians but necessary for any championship-level offense.

Along the same lines, I absolutely adore the extra pass that enables a subsequent assist-pass. Plays like these reveal everything that's righteous about the game.

Tim Duncan's taking a pay cut a few years ago, thereby enabling the Spurs to enhance their championship hopes by signing whichever free agents they had in their sights without surpassing their mandated salary cap. This was the exact opposite of the mindset of most superstars and superstar wannabes. Sacrificing an extra million (or two or three) for the ultimate good of the team is a concept foreign to virtually all of Duncan's peers. And by this decision alone, Duncan proved that he's a winner.

The chaos in Golden State's organization, all of it traced to the mind games that Nellie plays with everybody, which in turn are motivated by Nellie's insatiable lust for power. And if the coach is manipulative and self-aggrandizing, how can — and why should — his players make the necessary on-court sacrifices required of winning teams?

Watching guys like Shane Battier play without the ball.

I also love the mere idea of a reunion of Larry Brown and Allen Iverson in Charlotte. I can already imagine the tenor of the comments both of them will make. AI has learned valuable lessons since he played under Brown in Philly and is now ready to practice hard and do whatever his coach asks him to do. It's time to move on. If you don't love the prospect of Iverson-Brown redux, then you'll hate it.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 4, 2009

 

 
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