Monday, October 8, 2007

Triangle Offense

The offensive strategy created by Tex winter that help Phil Jackson earn accolades of "best coach ever" and 9 championship rings

The biggest difference in triangle offense comparing to other offensive strategies is that it is never a set play. The ball goes to the skill player (usually into the high post [ most difficult place to defend]) and a couple of guys would start cutting through screens to get open and the player with the ball gets to make a decision each time, 1) which of the two guys coming out of the screens to pass to, 2) if the screener get open, pass to them or 3) create a shot himself. So triangle offense really depends on the skill player to make the correct decision and since it is not a set play, his teammates wouldn't know where the ball would go and shot come from so they need to react quickly to know where and when to attempt to get the offensive rebound and who to run back to prevent fast break opportunity from the opposing team.

The triangle offense really stress passing and players movement without the ball, and again since it is never a set play, this causes problems for the opposing team. Players' basketball IQ and chemistry within the team are also very important.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Why is basketball only the #3 sport in US

Just a quick/short article of my interpretation on why the sport I love so much is only the number 3 sport in US

because fat people cant play
football need to be strong or heavy - a lot of fat guys - #1 sport in US
baseball don't need to run very fast - don't need to be fit - #2 sport in US
basketball need speed and endurance - something fat people lacks - #3 sport in US
hockey need good balance to stay on your feet - enough said - #4 sport in US

This may sound mean but the truth stinks most of the time.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The San Antonio Spurs, a boring team?

The TV ratings of the 2007 NBA Finals dropped significantly. One of the suggested reason was that a lot of people thinks the San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers are the two most boring team in the NBA. Well, whoever believed in this, does not consider the bad teams as boring. It would be more valid, if they say the most boring playoffs teams. But in my opinion, then this statement is only half true, the Cavs is boring but the Spurs is quite exciting to watch. It is my believe that whoever think the Spurs is a boring team are not real basketball fans, they don’t care about winning but only enjoy highlights real plays, they would probably enjoy watching street ball more, which I consider as crap. Those are people who only watch the NBA occasionally (probably only the All-Star game and the playoffs) but do not actually play and cannot play the game of basketball.

Its true, Cleveland Cavaliers is a boring team to watch!
Yes, they have LeBron James, but that is all they got. The Cavs is a solid defensive team, with a couple of solid big men guarding the paint and LeBron’s athleticism to defend the perimeter. Of course, playing in a weak eastern conference help pad the statistics too. In the offensive end, the Cavs got nothing, they basically have only two plays, dump the ball down to Ilgauskas and let him post up, find the open man if double teaming by opposing team. The other play is give LeBron the ball and let him go to the hoop, pass to open man for shot if double teamed, pull up jumper if can’t shake the defender or hope the referees bail him out and get to the free throw line. Are they a boring team? Hell yeah!

Why are people considering the San Antonio Spurs a boring team?
There are only two generic reasons only, really. The Spurs only plays defense and a slow half-court game offensively. Which is true, if you watch a Spurs game, you are guaranteed to see the Spurs plays well defensively and they will dictate the pace of their game to their liking, which they tries to eliminate fast break and easy basket opportunities for their opposing team and plays a slow half-court game.

Why is it enjoyable to watch the Spurs then?
Fast break opportunities usually generated from opposing team’s misses and turnovers. Very few teams, only Phoenix Suns to be exact, can run and fast break on other team’s makes. But this exactly what the Spurs defense causes, turnovers and misses then they have one of the fastest point guard, Tony Parker, he may not dunk but seeing him blew by other NBA players is pretty amazing. The Spurs also have Manu Ginobili, who is one of the best in the open court and hitting circus shot, and get by defenders with some somewhat weird moves, which is also pretty interesting and enjoyable to see such creativity. As for the Spurs half court game, their attention to detail and ability to make the right pass to get a good shot is just fun to watch. I think this requires the viewer to be a basketball player, who had played a lot of basketball and been to similar situations, to know how difficult this is. Fortunately, I am such a basketball player/viewer to be able to enjoy the Spurs’ game.

I know this is a very short argument and probably can’t convince the Spurs haters to like the Spurs but there is no point to type 5 pages to do so. Because I am not a Spurs fan, I just think they play the game right and well, so I don’t need to defend them to death to convince people who don’t understand basketball to appreciate the Spurs’ playing styles.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Houston Rockets 07-08 Season

With the addition of Luis Scola, I was so excited about the upcoming season for the Rockets. But today the Rockets sign Steve Francis to a 2 year contract, I just don't have any words to describe how disappointed I am right now. Now I must not cheer for the Rockets until Francis leave the team.

Off Season Hopes
2 months ago, I hope the Rockets will get an active power forward, one that can get offensive rebound and finish around the basket, because of all the attention that Yao and T-Mac get. Marcus Camby would be awesome and he is available for trade due to Nuggets high payroll from the addition of AI and big contract of Nene and K-Mart made these two un-tradable. Instead the Rockets gave up nothing to get Lusis Scola in return, a talented Argentine power forward, which the Spurs just don't have enough cap space to sign, after drafted him 3 years ago with a second round pick.

Then they need to add another player that could drive to the basket and finish to lighten T-Mac's load. Ideally, this would be a good point guard, but that is hard to come by and Juwan Howard for Mike James isn't so bad. At least James could play some solid "D" with his size as a point guard. Also Aaron Brooks was drafted, developing a young point guard, that would work too.

Subtraction by Addition

The Rockets sign Steve Francis, who was recently traded by the Knicks to the Trail-Blazers and the T-Blazers bought out his contract to clear cap space afterward.
The Rockets don't need Francis, he might came at a bargain price but the Rockets don't need him. The Rockets is now loaded with too many point guards - Rafer Alston, Mike James, Steve Francis, John Lucas III and rookie Aaron Brooks is now destined for the NBDL. Look for the Rockets to swing another deal to trade away Rafer Alston and/or John Lucas to get more depth on the two forward position (possibly the center position instead, but big man is tough to come by). The Rockets would probably play some small ball when Yao goes to the bench with Francis at shooting guard and Battier plays power forward at times, but that would also mean Francis already not a particular good defensive player to play as an under size defender on the other end. This is something that Francis is used to but that doesn't mean that it is a good thing.

With the addition of Scola already, the Rockets need other players (role players) to play solid "D" to be able to complete with the likes of the Spurs and the upcoming Jazz. With Francis, the Rockets might get caught up to try to outscore the other teams, they will get by the first round and maybe the second but will end up like the Mavs and Suns, a great season record but can't win the championship. With Yao and T-Mac, Francis would only be the third option at best and need to give Scola some touches, but the Rockets don't have a good distributing point guard, there just might not be enough shots to share.

Bottom line, the Rockets don't need Francis and now I can't cheer for Rockets anymore, even Yao Ming, my current favourite NBA player, is on the team, because of the signing of the Vancouver Grizzlies destroyer, my all time most hated NBA player.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Yi Jianlian

Yi Jianlian is a 7-foot power forward from China. Yi was drafted 6th overall on the 2007 NBA entry draft by the Milwaukee Bucks

As a Chinese Canadian I have to like him. But as a basketball fan, particularly, still a Vancouver Grizzlies fan and a Memphis Grizzlies hater, I very much dislike Yi's and his agent's comments and action of demanding a trade. The reason given was that Milwaukee do not have a large enough Chinese community and they felt that this maybe more difficult for Yi to get use to the American culture.

I dislike this action as a basketball fan, because this brings back so much bad memories of the Steve Francis fiasco, when Francis was drafted 2nd overall by the then Vancouver Grizzlies and refuse to sign with the Grizzlies and force a trade that see Francis sent to the Houston Rockets. Two years later the Grizzlies was relocated to Memphis.

My advice to Yi is, at least give the Bucks a chance for a year. Doesn't matter where he plays in the NBA, if he plays well, he will get use to the American culture in a hurry, because everyone in Milwaukee will love him. On the other hand, if he doesn't play well, it doesn't matter where he plays the home crowd will get on his back and criticize him, and having a bias Chinese fan base wouldn't do him any good. So just sign the contract with the Milwaukee Bucks and get on with it. I really hope he could have a nice career in the NBA.

Yi Signed with the Bucks on Aug. 29
After reading more about the situation in the past month and a half, apparently the only person that cause this mess was Yi's agent
Dan Fegan. Because of the low Chinese population in Milwaukee or the state of Wisconsin in general, Fegan wanted to force a trade with a larger Chinese market, in hopes for more and fatter endorsement deals. But this backfires a bit as this situation upsets the largest Chinese population of all, the people in China. This is a fight that Fegan will never win, as long as the Bucks don't panic and stay tough, because Yi wants to play in the NBA, and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) wants Yi to play in the NBA, so as long as the Bucks say they won't trade Yi, Yi would sign with the Bucks.
Facts to consider in this situation are
1) Beijing Olympics next year, the CBA wants Yi to play in the NBA in the 07/08 season and further develop his skills for the Olympics
2) As long as Yi has a contract outside of North America, the Bucks retain Yi's rights, so unless Yi sits out for a full year, the Bucks could still sign him later, with the Olympics coming up, Yi can't sits out for a year
3) Sitting out for a year, means lost a year worth of commission for Fegan and give Yi a bad name, which will limit his endorsement deals as well
4) Money for Yi, doesn't matter how much endorsement deals he sign, just playing in the NBA, Yi would make more money than playing for the Gongdong Tigers just by signing with the Bucks
With these important factors, Fegan was in a fight that he never had a chance.