Assists, point guards, and ball movement

Earlier this season, I posed a question about Sacramento’s Rajon Rondo to several basketball coaches. I asked if Rondo’s gaudy assist totals were a positive for the Kings. The coaches answered unanimously that a point guard racking up a lot of assists could not be a negative, and several even questioned why I would ask such a question.  […]

Spot-up three-point shooting: Touchdowns, not home runs

“Most of the league’s 3-pointers are more like touchdown passes than home runs; they involve a key interaction between two offensive players.” – Kirk Goldsberry

Every offseason, basketball players head to the gym to get up some repetitions in an effort to improve their shooting. We view shooting as an individual skill, and consequently players practice their shooting individually. The above comment from Kirk Goldsberry in his article about the NBA’s best spot-up shooters highlights an important, but forgotten element of shooting: The interaction between teammates.  […]

Set plays and playing the game

I refereed 20 games this weekend at a team camp, and the differences in approaches in the teams was striking. One team, as an example, played 12 players nearly equal minutes although much of the second team played in middle school last year and this was a varsity tournament. Another team had 15 players on its bench for one game, and stuck to a seven-person rotation. Some coaches stood and yelled and controlled the players for the entire game, and others sat and barely said a word. Some teams ran plays every single time down the court, and other teams played with little structure. […]

The problem with the triple threat

Last year, at this time, everyone wrote about the beauty and ball movement of the San Antonio Spurs offense. A series of posts that I wrote eventually became the genesis for SABA: The Antifragile Offense. Now, with Atlanta’s loss to the Cavaliers, everyone is writing about the deficiencies of the same philosophy and offense. […]