These ideas occurred to me when watching the NBA Playoffs 2014. A half of these ideas are gathered from my previous (now deleted) posts, but the other half I have not posted before.
* Some basketball people now seem to think that all NBA teams should now try to implement the strategy and tactics of Spurs. However, as in any business, this type of imitation is bound to lead to failure.
* Even though Spurs’ tactics worked last season, who says they will be any good this season?
* Think of Lakers in 2011. After winning two championships in a row, they got swept in the playoffs by Mavericks – partly because their famed triangle offense had gotten outdated.
* What happened to idolizing the strategy and tactics of Miami Heat? They have made it to the championship series four times in row and won the championship in 2012 and 2013.
* Performance analysis is an important tool for developing performance, but its importance and predictive power are exaggerated by the PA industry and the media.
* The more precisely and rigidly a team follows the guidelines derived from the analysis of past performances, the more vulnerable it becomes.
Misusage of Terms
* Usually there is nothing extra about an “extra pass” but the term simply refers to a pass that is made by a player, who is in a decent position to shoot, to a teammate, who is in a better position to shoot.
* What are often referred to as “little things” in basketball tend to be not little things but big things that are called little only because they do not appear in the box score.
* The term “look-away pass” is most often literally incorrect, because the passer does not look away but rather keeps facing the basket and sees what the defense does. In other words, he does not turn his shoulder towards the direction of his eventual pass.
* At the highest level of play, any simple-sounding action is hard to execute successfully. The physical, technical, and tactical constraints are strict.
* That is why “positionless basketball” will never happen at the highest level of play. Players must specialize in certain skills to be able to execute them efficiently even where the air is thin.
* A paradox: The more optimally a coach wishes to utilize his players’ unique skills, the more functionally specialized his system should be. Yet the more functionally specialized a system is, the more difficult it becomes to make it functionally integrated.
Watching and Learning
* If a coach watches basketball in order to improve himself as a coach, he shouldn’t watch exclusively NBA basketball (or any other one league).
* Rather, a coach should watch a wide variety of b-ball: different countries, different levels, different age groups, both sexes.
* Exposure to wholly different types of basketball will allow a coach to learn more than watching the NBA teams over and over again.