8 05, 2018

Oklahoma City Thunder Experiment a Complete Disaster

By | May 8th, 2018|Categories: Players and Coaches|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Oklahoma City Thunder Experiment a Complete Disaster

With the influx of several super teams in the NBA, every summer has become an arms race to amass enough talent to compete with the league’s best. For teams that do not yet have enough talent to beat the Warriors or Cavaliers, this means taking some chances in an effort to get those pieces. And while the Oklahoma City Thunder definitely took their chances in an attempt to build the latest super team in the NBA, it is safe to say that their experiment was an unmitigated disaster.

Destroyed By Utah

After the first game of the first round playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz, there may not have been a point where the Thunder played better than the Jazz. Utah averaged over 105 points per game during the six-game series, compared to just over 101 for the Thunder, for a margin of four points per game. The Jazz also outshot the Thunder, shooting 45.4% from the field compared to the 43% mark of the Thunder. They managed to destroy the Thunder despite shooting 68.6% from the free throw line, a bottom-three mark in the first round of the playoffs.

While those stats would be impressive in a matchup between any team, it is even more so in a battle between a star-studded team like the Thunder and a team like the Jazz. Utah lost its best player last offseason in Gordon Hayward, and replaced him with rookie Donovan Mitchell. Instead of faltering, Mitchell demolished the Thunder by averaging 28.5 points per game in the series victory.

This was by no means the biggest upset in the history of the NBA Playoffs, but it was surprising nonetheless. According to Betway, the Thunder were favorites to win the series before it started. But the clearly superior performance by the Jazz flipped those odds to where Utah was nearly a -300.00 favorite before the start of game six, as of April 30.

Russell Westbrook’s Tailspin

Russell Westbrook

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The downward spiral of Russell Westbrook has been an intriguing one. He went from being a convincing MVP of the league last season, averaging a triple-double, to being looked at as overrated despite having a similar season this year. While the weight of expectations certainly has something to do with the change in outlook, Westbrook will now watch his former teammate James Harden win the MVP award as Westbrook’s season ends in disgrace.

Westbrook didn’t have a bad series, per se. He averaged 29.3 points per game and carried his team back from 25 points down to win game five at home. But he tried to do too much, something that is all too common from him. Westbrook shot seven three point attempts per game in the series, doubling his career average in attempts from beyond the arc. That is not the strength of his game, and he hurt the Thunder as a result.

But perhaps the biggest shock of Westbrook’s postseason was his postgame meltdown after being eliminated, when he got physical with a heckler. Nobody deserves to be heckled, but that was a poor way of handling a difficult situation by Westbrook, who should be used to the spotlight by now.

Paul George’s Inconsistency

Paul George

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Paul George scored five points in the Thunder’s season ending loss to the Utah Jazz in game six. Known as one of the best players in the league right now, he completely disappeared when his team needed him the most. It was baffling to watch him go 2/16 from the field in one of the most important moments of his team’s season against a fundamentally sound Jazz team. His inconsistency on the court was difficult to overcome, as will his inconsistency off the court.

His off-court inconsistency, of course, is about whether or not he will stay in Oklahoma City or leave for another team after this season. That decision could impact whether or not the Thunder can even remain this good for an extended period of time.

There will be a lot to sort out this offseason for the Oklahoma City Thunder, as they will look to rebound from what can only be described as a disastrous season. Given the weight of expectations on this group, the pressure will only intensify if they stay together.

17 03, 2018

Coach Eric Musselman and the Nevada Wolfpack

By | March 17th, 2018|Categories: Players and Coaches|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

University of Nevada Wolpack finish off strong today in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.
03/16/2018

NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament

Coach Eric Musselman sure can Coach. March Madness is upon us and the games continue to excite as always. I only caught the tail end of this game today between the University of Nevada Wolfpack and the University of Texas Longhorns, at a game played in Nashville, Tennessee. I also watched the Overtime portion and was thoroughly impressed with how Nevada finished the game.

The University of Nevada hit some Big 3’s when needed, 2 in a row by Caleb (maybe Cody??) Martin, and the place went nuts. After U of Texas player 6’11” Mohamed Bamba fouled out of the game earlier it gave Nevada the chance they needed to creep back in it and eventually win the game.

The Wolfpack website is here http://nevadawolfpack.com/index.aspx?path=mbball. It is a very good site with lots of photos and videos and stories about the team and their journey to the NCAA tournament.

I’m not writing today to give a full recap of the game but rather to share an interview I did 9 years ago with Coach Musselman for the now defunct “How to Play Pro Basketball” website that I started with a friend, Trajko Dangov, who was from Macedonia.

 

You can listen to the Coach Eric Musselman interview here:

Now if you are a serious Basketball Coach you definitely need to be organized. Organization is one of the most important attributes in life period, and especially as a Basketball Coach. You can bet Coach Eric Musselman is organized. I would recommend 2 great Coaching tools to help you with Organization.

The first one is called The XPS Network from Sideline Sports. It is excellent. I won’t go into all the details here but you can check out their website or check them out on my website Here. SideLine Sports

 

PlayGineering Sports Technology

The next one is called PlayGineering. You can also check their website or check them out on my website Here.  PlayGineering is a sports technology company that deals with Analytics as well as automated Game Filming or Videotaping. Their suite of products will definitely help you to become a more organized Basketball Coach.

21 01, 2017

NBA Stars With The Best Fundamentals

By | January 21st, 2017|Categories: Fundamentals, N.B.A., Players and Coaches|Tags: , , , , , , |1 Comment

Words By: Kevin Ramsey

Ever since it was invented by Dr. James Naismith in 1891 and later adopted by the NBA in 1946, much of basketball’s primary fundamentals have largely remained the same. Disregarding many rules changes over the years, like the addition of the three-point line in 1977, getting good at a basketball still requires a sound understanding of the same principles that were practiced years ago.

One excellent method to improve your game is by copying some of the practices and traits that elite players with solid fundamentals have developed. This article will take a look at some of the most successful NBA stars who display a solid understanding of important fundamentals and what practices others can learn from them.

 

1. Dennis Rodman

Best known for his wild attire and the championships he earned with the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons, Dennis Rodman entered the league being drafted by the “Bad Boy” Pistons in 1986. One of the most aggressive teams in basketball history, the Pistons employed a significant amount of physical play during their tenure at the top of the league in the late 1980’s. This type of physical play was very evident in Rodman’s primary ability; getting rebounds.

Getting a rebound, or as it is typically referred to as a getting a board, is when a player gets the ball in their possession after either a missed field goal or free throw. Getting as many rebounds as possible is very useful for teams as controlling the boards leads to more possessions which naturally leads to more points. Despite measuring at 6’7” in a time where most rebounders were where around 7 feet tall, Dennis Rodman used his physical strength and positional instincts to make up for his height advantage. Rodman was one of the key pieces that made the Chicago Bulls one of the best teams in NBA history.

By knowing how to be in the right place at the right time and anticipate where the ball will land after a missed shot attempt, Rodman recorded some of the best rebounding figures during his time in the NBA. Rodman’s achievements like leading the league in rebounding for half a decade demonstrates that a solid understanding of the fundamentals of rebounding can help any player regardless of their size excel in their game.

2. Chris Paul

Knowing when to pass and when not to pass in basketball is more important than it may seem. While a good pass can generate an assist or a player getting free throws, erroneous passes often lead to turnovers which are equivalent to giving opponents free points. Mastering this skill of making good passes is difficult. However, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul has done an excellent job at making the right passes throughout his career. By posting the highest assist-to-turnover by any point guard or player in history, Paul has shown time and time again that he knows the difference between a good pass and a bad pass. Overall, knowing how to make a good pass is a critical skill to master in basketball, and Chris Paul has done an excellent job of demonstrating its importance in his career.

3. Tim Duncan

Nicknamed “The Big Fundamental.” it is not difficult to understand the reason behind Tim Duncan’s immense success in the league. At 6’11” tall, much of Duncan’s play revolved around his perfection of post moves. During his first championship run in 1999, Duncan showed his talent early by easily posting up players and effortlessly turning around to score time and time again. Duncan’s five championships and MVP title is a testament to his commitment to working on his post moves and his fundamentals. When looking at Duncan’s career, kids interested in improving their game can learn that mastering fundamental or simple things like post moves is critical to enhancing their performance on the court.

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