“When I feel it, I shoot it. When I don’t feel it, I shoot it anyways.”—Leonard “Truck” Robinson
I believe, in the NBA, a player caught cutting to the hoop without the basketball is fined greater than if he were caught maskless at a strip club.
Well, that’s what I heard!
The idea behind Dean Smith’s “Four Corners” at North Carolina was to kill clock and expose an opportunity. Phil Ford dribbling the ball up top, teammates moving, picking, and cutting to the basket was a beautiful thing to see.
But the NBA’s idea behind putting the ball in your star’s hands and spreading the rest of the team to four corners seems designed to kill interest in basketball itself.
I saw two games last night, and I only counted—possibly/maybe—two direct cuts to the basket by players without the ball. A lot of high screens and rolls away from the hoop to cast three-point shots. But a backdoor cut—Heaven forbid!—would be like wearing a MAGA hat to the Academy Awards.
And if I have to hear one more time about the “great pass” a star makes by driving the lane and whipping the ball, no-look, out to the corner or wing, I’m gonna puke. It’s not a great pass because the star knows his teammates will be standing like statues waiting for the ball.
Does anyone get yelled at for standing around anymore?
More than once, I was taken out of a game for being a spectator.
“You’re just standing around! Do something!” And that was harped at me during a pickup game in the park.
Everyone complains that there’s no defense. Yes, there is defense. The defender playing the star at the top has to have skills. Those still have to be taught, but it’s clear they don’t teach help-defense.
Coaches used to say, “You’ve been given two eyes for a reason. One on your man, one on the ball.”
There are defensive breakdowns in the NBA so bad that players would be questioned for treason if national security were involved. Their clearances would be revoked, and investigations would be opened.
With that said..Milwaukee-Boston was a great game.
Great game! Horrible basketball.
When I was nine, the Bucks-Celtics played in the NBA Finals (1974). It was the first NBA series I saw from start to finish. And it was fantastic. Havlicek, Jabbar, Cowens, Bob Dandridge (Who no one remembers, but should), JoJo White, Oscar Robertson.
I can tell you no one stood around and watched in that series. So it was a tough memory to shake when bulldogging through four quarters last night.
Celtics won, 122-121, but did Jayson Tatum call, “Bank!” on his game-winning three? When he launched, I called “Brick!”
But good for Tatum. And good for him after growing two-inches during the offseason. The Celtic star is now closer to 6-10.
I know Giannis—word count limits prevent me from using his last name—missed the free throw that would have tied the game. Tatum missed his shot—badly!—and got lucky. But Giannis gets hammered for not being a clutch performer.
I can see why people like Giannis…I wasn’t as thrilled with him shooting the three as I was the few times he went into the block and put his back to the basket.
I like the Bucks, and I really like Khris Middleton. He reminds me of Milwaukee’s (and the NBA’s) original “Point Forward” Paul Pressey…but with a little more offense.
It wasn’t a bad loss for the Bucks…I thought they looked better than they did in The Bubble, but they always seem to underperform when I watch them.
But they should crush Golden State on Christmas.
I saw Dallas and Phoenix. Never been a fan of the Mavericks, never hated the Suns. I mean, how could you hate Walter Davis, Alvin Adams, and Paul Westphal?
And this Suns team is interesting. If Chris Paul stays healthy and if center Deandre Ayton can keep developing, there are pieces around them to make this team special.
Devin Booker is always fun to watch, but I don’t know if I trust him yet.
Since the days of John Pinone and Dwayne McClain, I’ve been a Villanova fan, so it was good to see Jalen Brunson (Mavs) and Mikal Bridges (Suns) play so well.
On the whole, Dallas was Dallas and looked the same as last year. So on Christmas Day, if the Lakers don’t handle them easily…then I think we need to take a closer look at LeBron and company.
My ancient friend, Andy Villanueva, has always been a fan of Sacramento’s Buddy Hield…But I don’t think Andy remembers always being a fan of Buddy Hield.
I hate the name Washington Wizards, but I do like the look of; “The District” across their jerseys’ chest.
Can everyone just cool it on the Nets? They beat Golden State. That’s like getting to the party after everyone else has gone home. Let’s see them play the Celtics before we declare Irving and Durrant the “most dynamic duo” in the East.
NBA Games Seen: 3
The Dude abides…
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
MeWe: Joe Torosian