“Basketball is interaction between the two teams and the rules of basketball.”
That was my definition of basketball I wrote in a previous blog. In this blog, I will first try to justify the aforementioned definition. Then I will discuss where it takes us – in other words, what it implies regarding coaching, practicing, and playing basketball.
There will be profound questions about complexity, collectivism, creativity, variability, mindfulness. All the way through, I will draw practical conclusions from the theoretical musings.
As James C. Maxwell remarked: “There is nothing more practical than a good theory.”
I am writing this piece by piece. The latest addition was made on Thursday August 25. The update starts with the subheading Adding to the Basketball-specificity of Practice.
We should re-imagine basketball.
The current equipment and rules are designed to suit men’s top level. Elite players can go coast-to-coast in a flash, palm the ball, throw end-to-end passes, dunk the ball thunderously, hit threes as if they were lay-ups. You know, do all kinds of cool stuff.
The rest – kids, women, recreational male players – are left with a ball game that’s nice not really suited for them. This could be changed. We could modify the rules so that players of all levels would get to really enjoy the game.
Whenever you see basketball performance analysis where eFG% is used as the metric to measure the efficiency of FG shooting, you immediately know that the whole analysis is invalid. Since eFG% is widely used, much of the current basketball performance analysis is invalid.
Nothing helps: not the huge amount of the data, not the sophistication of the analysis methods, not the great looks of the graphics. In a way, they only make matters worse since they help hide the invalidity of the underlying assumptions.
In a previous blog entry, I wrote about shooting and practicing shooting at a general level. Here I try to show how to implement those ideas into a real-life situation.
To make this concrete and familiar, let’s have a look at a much-publicized dilemma: an NBA player’s free throw shooting technique that is flawed and produces bad results. In other words, let’s look at Andre Drummond’s free throw shooting.
This entry is an attempt to combine some principles and some nuts and bolts regarding shooting and practicing shooting. Originally, I published this post in March 2015.
In November 2015 I put it back together piece by piece and also added some new remarks. The latest additions were made on Monday Nov 30. Drills related to this entry can be found in this blog entry.
Shooting Accuracy and Efficiency Are Not the Same Thing
For starters we must define the primary goal of shooting practice. That definition is a prerequisite for any intelligent discussion about the subject. That is because if we do not know exactly what shooting practice should accomplish, it is impossible to assess its efficiency.
Recently I started putting together a practice plan, as I usually do. This time it proved to be a laborious task because I couldn’t stop asking this question:
What should players practice?
This wasn’t just an acute question regarding the content of that particular session. Rather the question concerned me at a more general level. Meaning, what types of tasks should be included? Scrimmaging, running, ball-handling, shooting, defensive footwork? Yes? No?
And, most importantly, why?
In a previous entry, I wrote about the principles and scientific justifications of shooting and practicing shooting. This entry is attempt to put together a list of drills that could be used to turn those principles into praxis. You are probably familiar the basic drills but the potential novelty lies in the modifications they have faced. The first two drills were added on May 21.