Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today's Worst Petty Controversey

What, more than Shaq-Fu? It's Team USA's odd insistence on having three point guards (including the utterly spent Jason Kidd) on the 2008 Olympic team, and how the team is going to lack bigs, because they didn't get Duncan, Garnett or even Tyson Chandler. (Because when you have Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh, you have no bigs, you see.)

Is this the best possible 12-man roster? Of course not; Kidd's there and Michael Redd is the only drop dead shooter. On the other hand, they could play a spectacular defensive team with Deron Williams at the 1, Kobe and LeBron on the wings, Tayshaun Prince at the 4 and Bosh at the 5; you pressure all over and live on transition.

But let's not, please, get into The Horror of thinking that they can't win because they don't have enough bigs. Or, if you are going to go that way, please do me the small favor of calling out the player who you think was a mistake to put on the roster. I'm doing that with Kidd, who can't shoot, is old, doesn't help you in half court and can't defend quick points anymore. Other than that, he's just great. Assuming you don't mind the fact that he hits women and kills coaches. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Finally, people in the US need to understand that Olympic / International hoop is not the same as NBA hoop. The foul calls that you get in the NBA don't exist. Mid-range and three-point shooting is almost to a college level of importance. The larger paint area means that passing big men are spectacularly useful, and penetrating guards aren't as big of an edge. So the traditional US strengths -- taking your man off the dribble, shot blocking athleticism, and on-the-ball pressure -- are all disregarded. Add in the curious choice of Duke's Coach K to lead them, and it's a horse designed by a committee, which is a camel... and not really suited for the task.

(Plus, there's also this -- they have to go to China and try to win in the most partisan Olympic environment since Los Angeles 1984, or Munich 1972, or Berlin 1936. Let's just say that I'm not counting on impartial refereeing, or giving much of a damn...)


Brian P. Foley said...

Plus these NBA players don't know how to play against a ZONE defense and know how to move without the ball.

DMtShooter said...

Many NBA teams play a little zone, and if you think that teams don't know how to move without the ball, you haven't watched the pro game in the past five years.

If you want to hate on the NBA, go for the time-honored They Don't Call Traveling Curmudgeon Complaint, or the New-Fangled That's A Moving Pick, Dammit.

What the rest of the world really knows how to do over the NBA is take / sell a charge. You can also call that Flopping...

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