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Thread: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

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    Default Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    These are in no particular order, but are some of the things you hear in the media, or on message boards, that people SAY or THINK are really important to winning, but in my view aren't nearly as important as most fans think:

    1. "Off floor chemistry". You hear this alot from losing teams and franchises.....often you'll hear something like "This guy is good in the lockerroom or clubhouse." Now, Im not saying that you want your entire team fighting with each other and stabbing each other in the back in the media, not at all. I'm just saying that how players communicate and get along ON THE COURT is much more important than if they get along away from the arena. I always have believed and told teams that I don't really care if you all get along with each other or not, but it would be more FUN for all of us if you do....but either way we are going to do things on the floor the right way.

    Chemistry is tricky anyway.....lets say you have 8 players on your team that laugh and joke alot, all get along, and in general are fun to be around but are average players. You get a new player who plays harder than they do, works out extra hard, watches more film than they do, and because of that gets to play ahead of some of the guys in the 8 player "clique."...The 8 returning guys don't like the new guy that much, so therefore you might say the "chemistry" is bad now on this team.....you tell me, is there really a problem here? If so, who is the bad apple in this case? Chemistry problems and solutions arent always as apparent as they seem....

    2. " We don't have enough experience." Thats an excuse usually....the best players are the best players, and thats who should play. Too many decisions are made based on who has 'experience" and who doesnt. How many times have we seen a coach bring in an older player in a clutch situation, even though in reality that player is worse than the guy he replaced? You see that in baseball all the time, when some idiot manager takes out a young pitcher for some old reliever who sucks, but has the elusive "experience", and you see it in basketball too often as well.

    3. Coaches off season favorite quote: "We want to play more uptempo."
    We are going thru this here this summer, but it isnt just us. Almost every college and pro coach tells his fan base this each summer, to persuade potential recruits and alumni to get on board, and to excite the fans enough to start buying tickets. No one ever announces this: "This year, we are going to try and slow it down, maximize each possession, because our defense still sucks and we only won 25% of our games last year." I know in our case we are making personnel changes that would indicate we really ARE going to play a little faster, but all 30 teams are saying that I promise you, and few of them will follow thru.

    4. Timeouts. In generally, these are overrated. Most of the time there is actually very little done during a timeout other than just get a rest...there is very little actually strategic changes or anything, yet every time you see a 6 point spurt by someone, the opposition coach jumps up to stop the run. This always amuses me especially if its right out of a quarter or halftime break.....15 minutes to discuss things werent long enough? LOL....Im not saying they arent effective in some cases, but in general, they are overused. Also, I guarantee that at the end of games when coaches diagram something on their board, that more often than not the play designed isnt what happens......and i'd also tell you that generally whats being drawn isnt something new, but its just a reminder of something thats been done in practice time and time again. No coach becomes a genius by something he instantly comes up with at the spur of the moment in a 20 sec timeout.

    5. Halftime pep talks. These don't work over an 82 game season, especially with experienced professionals who already have pride in their performance. Actually, Id bet you that the coaches only address their teams about 2 minutes total during these breaks.....

    6. "Revenge" as a motivator. People don't play well just to spite someone else....they have to play well for other reasons, be it pride, or desire to achieve great things, or whatever.....being motivated to gain revenge on someone because they've beaten you isnt a strong enough of an emotion to carry you long into games.

    7. "Confidence" for a player. Thats crap basically when you hear a statement like this :"Johnny is a better shooter than he is showing, he just has lost his confidence." Or you might hear " Tommy was doing so well, but then the coach yelled at him and he lost his confidence." I hate that as an excuse, I really do. My statement to that is " I could care less if you have all the confidence in the world, or if you have none....when you play or, or make a move, or take a shot I WANT TO HAVE CONFIDENCE AS YOUR COACH it will work!" For instance, for our team what good does it do for Stephen Jackson to have confidence that he can make a 22 ft jumper off the dribble with a hand in his face, if indeed he can't? I hear the confidence argument on other players too....I say, especially at the NBA level, if you are so weakminded that a little adversity or failure hurts your so called "confidence" to the point you can't play effectively, then you are too weakminded to be here....quit feeling sorry for yourself and get better, so I personally have enough CONFIDENCE to put you back out there.

    8. Blocked Shots....now, Im not saying they aren't nice to have, im just saying they arent as important as CONTESTED SHOTS, i.e. shots taken while being guarded with a hand up in the shooters face. If some player blocks 3 shots a game, but 7 other times he gets faked out and gives up a driving layup, then is this guy really as big a help as he seems to be defensively? Or if while hunting for a block he leaves his man open to get a rebound putback, or if he blocks it violently out of bounds and gives the offense the ball back....does any of that really help you?

    9. 3 point shots early in the game, especially if all by one guy. This can become "fool's gold" for a team, and if they forget to get the ball inside, or drive and get foul shots, early success for the 3 can often breed a lack of movement and a reliance on difficult shots that often can get you in big big trouble in a game.

    10. The starting lineup is way way way overrated. I know its fun to talk about, but just think about it: is who plays the very first 6 minutes of the game more important than who plays the last 6 minutes? Of course not....right now we have threads discussing who will start for us on opening night, but does it really matter? I think it would be smarter to worry about who is going to play in the last quarter of the game, with winning or losing on the line. Who do we want in up 8 with 3 minutes to go? Who do we want in if we are behind and have the ball late? Who do we want in if we are up 2 with 10 seconds left and they have the ball? Who do we want to take the last shot for us, and how do we want to get it to him? These are the things coaches worry about, and consider key decisions. They are really the things we should think about too.

    Sorry for the rant....those things have been on my mind while reading some message boards this past week, not just here. I'm sure there are other overrated things too that you all may want to post as well.

    JMO
    Last edited by thunderbird1245; 08-01-2008 at 10:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    7. "Confidence" for a player. Thats crap basically when you hear a statement like this :"Johnny is a better shooter than he is showing, he just has lost his confidence." Or you might hear " Tommy was doing so well, but then the coach yelled at him and he lost his confidence." I hate that as an excuse, I really do. My statement to that is " I could care less if you have all the confidence in the world, or if you have none....when you play or, or make a move, or take a shot I WANT TO HAVE CONFIDENCE AS YOUR COACH it will work!" For instance, for our team what good does it do for Stephen Jackson to have confidence that he can make a 22 ft jumper off the dribble with a hand in his face, if indeed he can't? I hear the confidence argument on other players too....I say, especially at the NBA level, if you are so weakminded that a little adversity or failure hurts your so called "confidence" to the point you can't play effectively, then you are too weakminded to be here....quit feeling sorry for yourself and get better, so I personally have enough CONFIDENCE to put you back out there.
    ARE YOU F'IN KIDDING ME? This may be the single most wrong statement I have ever seen posted on this board. I know you're trying to make a point, but this is like saying the Pope is Jewish: it's just incorrect.

    Confidence is a huge, huge factor for so many players. In fact, one of the main things young guys develop is confidence in their game, which only comes from experience. There's also cockiness, which is just a sort of posturing used by many players who aren't truly confident and are compensating. But cool, collected self-confidence is one of the fundamental attributes in any athlete, in any sport.

    So many of the greats, from Jordan to Chamberlin to Bryant, have self-confidence bordering on megalomania. And so many guys who never seem to be able to take it to the next level fail because of a lack of confidence. When you see a guy talking to himself, shaking his head, and failing to step up when it counts, that's all confidence.

    Meanwhile, some aspects of the game are largely about confidence. You mentioned shooting, both from long distance and from the line; but great defenders are also confident in their ability to recover from a gamble, or shut the opposing player down.

    Two things develop assured confidence rather than dangerous cockiness: 1) experience, as I mentioned, and 2) mentoring from coaches. I gather from your posts you are a coach. I feel very sorry for your players, particularly if they're younger.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    8. Blocked Shots....now, Im not saying they aren't nice to have, im just saying they arent as important as CONTESTED SHOTS, i.e. shots taken while being guarded with a hand up in the shooters face. If some player blocks 3 shots a game, but 7 other times he gets faked out and gives up a driving layup, then is this guy really as big a help as he seems to be defensively? Or if while hunting for a block he leaves his man open to get a rebound putback, or if he blocks it violently out of bounds and gives the offense the ball back....does any of that really help you?
    I could show the picture, but what would be the use? You guys have already seen it 3,000 times since the 2004 ECF....

    As to your second point, a good shot-blocker knews when to knock the ball into row 10 to send a message, and when to gently tap the shot to a teamate.

    In either case, a shot-blocking presense will always affect a game moreso than a good position defender, because of the intimidation factor.

    There's a saying: Bill Russell blocked more shots without jumping than he did by leaving the floor.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    I agree with some but strongly disagree with some other ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    6. "Revenge" as a motivator. People don't play well just to spite someone else....they have to play well for other reasons, be it pride, or desire to achieve great things, or whatever.....being motivated to gain revenge on someone because they've beaten you isnt a strong enough of an emotion to carry you long into games.
    So you're telling me the killer games AJ had against the Nets this season were just coincidences? I mean, the guy had a near-perfect game against them early in the season and dropped 40 on them at the very end. Granted, that was a playoff game, but AJ played his best against the Nets, just like Al played really well against the Pacers (even though he wanted to leave, blah blah). People look for motiviation and sometimes "I'm gonna show these ******** up because they screwed me" is exactly what works.

    7. "Confidence" for a player. Thats crap basically when you hear a statement like this :"Johnny is a better shooter than he is showing, he just has lost his confidence." Or you might hear " Tommy was doing so well, but then the coach yelled at him and he lost his confidence." I hate that as an excuse, I really do. My statement to that is " I could care less if you have all the confidence in the world, or if you have none....when you play or, or make a move, or take a shot I WANT TO HAVE CONFIDENCE AS YOUR COACH it will work!" For instance, for our team what good does it do for Stephen Jackson to have confidence that he can make a 22 ft jumper off the dribble with a hand in his face, if indeed he can't? I hear the confidence argument on other players too....I say, especially at the NBA level, if you are so weakminded that a little adversity or failure hurts your so called "confidence" to the point you can't play effectively, then you are too weakminded to be here....quit feeling sorry for yourself and get better, so I personally have enough CONFIDENCE to put you back out there.
    Confidence plays into everything, from high-level NBA jobs to truck driving. It's a yin-yang thing -- people are good because they're confident and confident because they're good. As a writer I know I do best after I go through and read fan mail... why? If I have people backing me and I know it, I feel better and I'm not as likely to second-guess myself.

    8. Blocked Shots....now, Im not saying they aren't nice to have, im just saying they arent as important as CONTESTED SHOTS, i.e. shots taken while being guarded with a hand up in the shooters face. If some player blocks 3 shots a game, but 7 other times he gets faked out and gives up a driving layup, then is this guy really as big a help as he seems to be defensively? Or if while hunting for a block he leaves his man open to get a rebound putback, or if he blocks it violently out of bounds and gives the offense the ball back....does any of that really help you?
    This kind of ties into the confidence thing and definitely ties into on-court morale (something you yourself said is important). If a guy's going up for every shot, yeah, a coach is going to tell him to knock it off. You can't tell me that one dramatic block can't turn a game's momentum around, though.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    1. "Off floor chemistry". You hear this alot from losing teams and franchises.....often you'll hear something like "This guy is good in the lockerroom or clubhouse." Now, Im not saying that you want your entire team fighting with each other and stabbing each other in the back in the media, not at all. I'm just saying that how players communicate and get along ON THE COURT is much more important than if they get along away from the arena. I always have believed and told teams that I don't really care if you all get along with each other or not, but it would be more FUN for all of us if you do....but either way we are going to do things on the floor the right way.

    Chemistry is tricky anyway.....lets say you have 8 players on your team that laugh and joke alot, all get along, and in general are fun to be around but are average players. You get a new player who plays harder than they do, works out extra hard, watches more film than they do, and because of that gets to play ahead of some of the guys in the 8 player "clique."...The 8 returning guys don't like the new guy that much, so therefore you might say the "chemistry" is bad now on this team.....you tell me, is there really a problem here? If so, who is the bad apple in this case? Chemistry problems and solutions arent always as apparent as they seem....


    Care to guess which Pacer he used to get into fist-fights with?

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
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    ARE YOU F'IN KIDDING ME? This may be the single most wrong statement I have ever seen posted on this board. I know you're trying to make a point, but this is like saying the Pope is Jewish: it's just incorrect.

    Confidence is a huge, huge factor for so many players. In fact, one of the main things young guys develop is confidence in their game, which only comes from experience. There's also cockiness, which is just a sort of posturing used by many players who aren't truly confident and are compensating. But cool, collected self-confidence is one of the fundamental attributes in any athlete, in any sport.

    So many of the greats, from Jordan to Chamberlin to Bryant, have self-confidence bordering on megalomania. And so many guys who never seem to be able to take it to the next level fail because of a lack of confidence. When you see a guy talking to himself, shaking his head, and failing to step up when it counts, that's all confidence.

    Meanwhile, some aspects of the game are largely about confidence. You mentioned shooting, both from long distance and from the line; but great defenders are also confident in their ability to recover from a gamble, or shut the opposing player down.

    Two things develop assured confidence rather than dangerous cockiness: 1) experience, as I mentioned, and 2) mentoring from coaches. I gather from your posts you are a coach. I feel very sorry for your players, particularly if they're younger.

    Ummm...I think you mightve missed my point, or maybe I wasn't clear enough in how I stated it. Im not trying to say confidence isnt a nice thing to have, or that it isnt important, im just saying its an overrated factor.

    Let me try again. Let's just use Jordan for example.....he was obviously a great great player, maybe the greatest player who ever played. Now, did his confidence in himself allow him to be great as he was, or did his greatness allow him to have the supreme confidence he had? Which came first, in your view?

    I guess I was trying to make a point in a sort of humorous way, and maybe it doesnt come across well on a printed page. But face it, I can have all the confidence in the world I can hit my tee shot 250 yards over the water, but if my swing itself isnt good enough to do so, then I won't, no matter how many mind tricks I play on myself to allow me to try. What I need in this case isn't more "confidence" in my swing, its that I need a golf lesson.

    The point I was trying to make is that obviously, a player has to have a mental toughness and self assuredness to be able to perform under pressure. I don't want guys to be able to fail and have the excuse be that their "confidence" was down for some reason.

    Example #1: Player who feels he should start doesn't, and instead has his minutes cut because a better player has been brought in. When he does play, he plays worse, and fans claim its because this player has "lost his confidence." What is the solution? To me, the player just needs to get over it, play better, work harder and get his minutes back. Can't just give him his minutes back to soothe his ego.

    Example #2

    5 seconds left....Pacers ball, ball goes into Jackson, who is double teamed and trapped. 2 players appear to be open close enough for Jackson to find them. Instead, Jackson, who has "unlimited confidence", shoots and misses everything, and Pacers lose. Should we praise his decision and pat him on the back for having a great amount of "confidence"? After all, he truly felt he'd make that 23 foot turnaround over 2 guys......should a coach be mad at that?

    My point was, if Jackson ( and he was just a convenient example, Im not trying to make this point about him specifically) is going to take that shot, its me PERSONALLY who wants to have "confidence" he is going to make it, and if I as his coach don't think he can make it, then I dont want him shooting it.

    Does that explain it better?

    JMO

    P.S. 99% of my players love playing for me, so don't think Im some evil tyrant destroying young people for fun lol.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    You have to have the talent, but if you don't the confidence to come with it, you won't actualize it, or at least not consistently. I've seen it in tons of players.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Let me try again. Let's just use Jordan for example.....he was obviously a great great player, maybe the greatest player who ever played. Now, did his confidence in himself allow him to be great as he was, or did his greatness allow him to have the supreme confidence he had? Which came first, in your view?
    Jordan got cut from his very first varsity tryout. He wasn't always that talented, but he NEVER lacked confidence.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    I just loved playing offense, posting up, against shot-blockers. They block my shot and celebrate about it, I run the ball down and score while they are still celebrating, they still talk trash about it even though I scored 2 points!

    Then they are so giddy about having blocked my shot that pump fakes are GUARANTEED to work from that point on.

    Shot blocking can be part of good defense but it doesn't make you a good defender.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by pacertom View Post
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    I just loved playing offense, posting up, against shot-blockers. They block my shot and celebrate about it, I run the ball down and score while they are still celebrating, they still talk trash about it even though I scored 2 points!

    Then they are so giddy about having blocked my shot that pump fakes are GUARANTEED to work from that point on.

    Shot blocking can be part of good defense but it doesn't make you a good defender.
    So how did you deal with them after highschool?

    Heck, that's being generous. I can't recall seeing the scenario you just described since 2nd grade.

    I can just imagine Rip Hamilton or Danny Granger taking the ball down the lane and seeing ben wallace or alonzo mourning in their way:

    "It's ok, if he blocks my shot I can just run the ball down and score while he's celebrating! Yay!"

    Where did you pick up the impression that all shot-blockers got on the floor by being stupid?

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    Jordan got cut from his very first varsity tryout. He wasn't always that talented, but he NEVER lacked confidence.

    This thread is letting me know what it must be like to be Bob Kravitz and have everyone disagree with you lol.

    I'm glad you brought that example up. Here are the 2 possibilities involving "confidence" that may explain what I mean.

    #1 Jordan is cut, very disappointed, figures out he wasnt good enough and gets extremely motivated to work harder, come back stronger and better, and make the team better. In this case, which is what really happened, his own self worth and confidence level was grounded in reality....and he worked hard to make sure that initial roadblock was overcome. He knew he'd improved thru his hard work and therefore his "confidence" was justified.

    #2 Jordan is cut, but instead of disappointment, feels like it was all a big mistake and that he did nothing wrong, and that he shouldve made the team. Jordan is "confident" that he is indeed better than anyone on the team, and in the next season's tryout has not improved, and gets cut again.

    Now, in example #2, would Jordan's problem have been a "lack of confidence"? Of course not, it was a lack of having a realistic viewpoint on his own limitations as a player. Its a good thing for all of us who love basketball that this isnt what happened to him.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    T
    #1 Jordan is cut, very disappointed, figures out he wasnt good enough and gets extremely motivated to work harder, come back stronger and better, and make the team better. In this case, which is what really happened, his own self worth and confidence level was grounded in reality....and he worked hard to make sure that initial roadblock was overcome. He knew he'd improved thru his hard work and therefore his "confidence" was justified.
    By your logic, if Jordan didn't have confidence, he never would have worked hard to make himself the greatest player of all time, he would have quit after getting cut thinking he wasn't good enough.

    He didn't just wake up one morning and become able to dunk from the FT line or play stifling defense: He worked at it, because he knew if he did he'd be a better player. You don't come back from failure without conficence.

    #2 Jordan is cut, but instead of disappointment, feels like it was all a big mistake and that he did nothing wrong, and that he shouldve made the team. Jordan is "confident" that he is indeed better than anyone on the team, and in the next season's tryout has not improved, and gets cut again.

    Now, in example #2, would Jordan's problem have been a "lack of confidence"? Of course not, it was a lack of having a realistic viewpoint on his own limitations as a player. Its a good thing for all of us who love basketball that this isnt what happened to him.
    What you described in #2 isn't true confidence, it's arrogance.

    Confidence is knowing you are better than everyone says you are, wnd working hard to prove everyone else wrong next year.

    Confidence is coming back from missing more game-winners than you made (which jordan did) in your career and still coming back to take the next one thinking it will go in.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    I still disagree on the confidence thing. I have watched young players suddenly gain the awareness that they belong. It comes with the rest of their understanding of the game. At first a player might have the speed, strength, whatever, but doesn't believe it. He assumes that these famous vets can do more than him and that he is just the new guy who shouldn't even touch the ball.

    I watched Harrington play like this for a few years, and I can remember the exact moment he stopped it. Vancouver in town, he posts SAR up. As soon as he touches the ball he goes into that super-quick spin of his, right to the rim via the lane, monster play for the bucket. He'd never made a play that strong against a player of that caliber, but he sure didn't instantly get that fast - he had it in him all along (or at least had it for awhile before that moment).

    It was like a light-bulb went off and suddenly he realized "I belong here, I can play with the best". His game took a dramatic jump after that point.

    I think James Jones got that with his matchup against Pierce not too long after the brawl. In that case he was forced to try, thrown into the pool to sink or swim if you will, so he just tried to survive. And in doing so he saw that he could handle it. It totally changed his poise from that point on. He started hitting late in the clock jumpers instead of passing it, and he wasn't afraid to take a 3 earlier in plays if he thought he had it.


    A lot of green players have the coach yelling at them to take the open shot because they defer to the vets too much. Chris Paul was doing that with the US team early into the tourney even.


    Don't get me wrong, some players have TOO MUCH confidence and think every shot and play is theirs for the taking, even if it isn't. But that's another problem entirely.


    What you are describing T'Bird IS CONFIDENCE, as in #1 Jordan had CONFIDENCE in his ability to improve. You are mispairing #1 and #2 for this purpose. The real alternate would be "is cut, LACKS confidence that he'll ever be good enough, never tries to make the team again".

    Your #2 is OVER confidence, or as you say a misunderstanding of his own ability. That's a different issue. My verison of #2 is where lacking confidence ruins a player. Heck, if Jordan wasn't confident he might not even have tried out the FIRST time, right?

    "Aw, I'm not good enough to play with the varsity."

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    I still disagree on the confidence thing. I have watched young players suddenly gain the awareness that they belong. It comes with the rest of their understanding of the game. At first a player might have the speed, strength, whatever, but doesn't believe it. He assumes that these famous vets can do more than him and that he is just the new guy who shouldn't even touch the ball.
    Both your points on development and confidence/overconfidence are right on the money. True confidence is developed, over time, by practice and game experience. I think coaches play a major role in this development, Tbird, which is what my comment was about.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    By your logic, if Jordan didn't have confidence, he never would have worked hard to make himself the greatest player of all time, he would have quit after getting cut thinking he wasn't good enough.

    He didn't just wake up one morning and become able to dunk from the FT line or play stifling defense: He worked at it, because he knew if he did he'd be a better player. You don't come back from failure without conficence.



    What you described in #2 isn't true confidence, it's arrogance.

    Confidence is knowing you are better than everyone says you are, wnd working hard to prove everyone else wrong next year.

    Confidence is coming back from missing more game-winners than you made (which jordan did) in your career and still coming back to take the next one thinking it will go in.
    That last part sounds like a good idea for a commercial....oh yeah, that already happened lol.

    Not to keep arguing semantics here, but in the first example, I'd say he didnt necessarily have confidence that he'd become the best player ever by practicing, Id say he just had a great deal of determination to not fail again at something he desperately wanted. By practicing and seeing his own improvement, I think he DEVELOPED confidence that continued to carry him through.

    The fact whether greatness is borne thru the confident actions of the supremely gifted just to achieve winning, or if greatness is borne thru an extreme maniacal hatred of losing and/or fear of failure is one argument we can have on another day. Im not sure I really know the answer to that question.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    Not to keep arguing semantics here, but in the first example, I'd say he didnt necessarily have confidence that he'd become the best player ever by practicing, Id say he just had a great deal of determination to not fail again at something he desperately wanted. By practicing and seeing his own improvement, I think he DEVELOPED confidence that continued to carry him through.
    Um, you don't succeed by playing not to lose. That's also an old adage.

    I don't recall anyone training under the presumption of, "well i'm not that good, but I'm going to work hard anyway even though I don't believe I'll get any better!"

    The fact whether greatness is borne thru the confident actions of the supremely gifted just to achieve winning, or if greatness is borne thru an extreme maniacal hatred of losing and/or fear of failure is one argument we can have on another day. Im not sure I really know the answer to that question.
    See above.

    You don't make last-second shots by being afraid to miss.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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  17. #17

    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Ok. getting away from this hornet's nest of "confidence".....

    Earlier in the thread "pantsfish" disagreed with my "revenge" is a poor motivator statement. Let me explain what I meant there, because Im not totally sure I was clear.

    Yes, I think that an INDIVIDUAL player, on a limited basis, can carry a "revenge" factor chip on his shoulder against a certain team or even another individual player. However, as a TEAM AS A WHOLE, I think revenge is a negative emotion and motivator, and doesnt work as well as its thought to.

    For instance, I dont think the Pacers hating the Pistons after the brawl game, is a strong enough motivational factor to get you thru the entire next season. And I definitely don't think it can be the primary reason you have for wanting to beat them in a series....thats a little weakminded and too "small" of a goal for my taste for a team to have its hopes pinned on.

    Another example might be the Colts vs New England in a playoff game....I don't think if our primary focus is to beat them just because they've beaten us so many times, that that is the correct mental approach you'd want your team to have....it brings up negative connotations in my view. id rather us be motivated to achieve something positive for ourselves, and not to squash the hopes and dreams of others. Of course, some of you might say the Colts could never win this game because they lacked the "confidence" to do so, but I don't really want to go there lol.

    I first heard this from Rick Pitino, by the way, in a speech.....and Im pretty sure he's writen his views on the subject as well in print.

    Again, JMO

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Revenge can be a motivating factor if both teams are evenly-mached. It's not a sibstitute for talent, but it can most definately be a tie-breaker.

    It can also be a detriment if you overlook one team thinking about another.

    Still, l've seen revenge play a big part in a lot of series, most notibly Pacers-Knicks and Celtics-Lakers.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    Revenge can be a motivating factor if both teams are evenly-mached. It's not a sibstitute for talent, but it can most definately be a tie-breaker.

    It can also be a detriment if you overlook one team thinking about another.

    Still, l've seen revenge play a big part in a lot of series, most notibly Pacers-Knicks and Celtics-Lakers.

    Ok, so you are saying that the Pacers wanted to win a series against the Knicks not so they could advance to next round, not so they could pursue a championship, but instead just so they could beat their rival? I dont think that makes any sense......"revenge" can be the cherry on top of the sundae, but I still don't think it can be the primary motivating factor for successful people or organizations.

    In a real life example, if you are competing with a coworker you don't like for a promotion, are you saying your PRIMARY reason to work as hard as you can to get this promotion is to just prevent the guy you don't like from getting it? That might be a small perk, but you'd be more likely to be successful, and a happier person in general I think if you go after the promotion because you sincerely want the challenge of the better job, and they increase in pay and perks that go with it.

    Maybe its just a different way to think, I don't know, but when I heard Coach Pitino explain it it made perfect sense to me.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Ok, so you are saying that the Pacers wanted to win a series against the Knicks not so they could advance to next round, not so they could pursue a championship, but instead just so they could beat their rival? I dont think that makes any sense......"revenge" can be the cherry on top of the sundae, but I still don't think it can be the primary motivating factor for successful people or organizations.
    I'm saying revenge made the pacers want to beat the knicks in 1995 a little more than the knicks wanted to beat the pacers.

    This year's 2006 ECF is another prime example. Miami simply wanted it more. Look at Reggie in near-tears on the madison square garden floor if you don't believe me.

    Same goes for the 1991 ECF.

    In a real life example, if you are competing with a coworker you don't like for a promotion, are you saying your PRIMARY reason to work as hard as you can to get this promotion is to just prevent the guy you don't like from getting it? That might be a small perk, but you'd be more likely to be successful, and a happier person in general I think if you go after the promotion because you sincerely want the challenge of the better job, and they increase in pay and perks that go with it.
    Comparing pro sports to real-life everyday job scenarios never works.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    Comparing pro sports to real-life everyday scenarios never works.
    Why not? Sports are life intensified. Or at least certain aspects of life. That's one of the reasons we watch, right?

    But, even in that real-life example, revenge would be a major motivation. Perhaps you're typing from the only computer in Amish country, tbird, but where I'm from coworkers go after each other all the time for revenge.

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    This is the kind of thread that brought me to PD 2 years ago. Keep it up, gentlemen.

    Back on topic, if I never again hear the words "defense wins championships" I will die a happy man.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
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    Why not? Sports are life intensified. Or at least certain aspects of life. That's one of the reasons we watch, right?

    But, even in that real-life example, revenge would be a major motivation. Perhaps you're typing from the only computer in Amish country, tbird, but where I'm from coworkers go after each other all the time for revenge.

    Im not saying "revenge" can't play a small role you guys, Im just saying it can't be the PRIMARY, MAIN, ONLY motivating factor in what you are trying to achieve.

    Back to "confidence" again. Let's spin this argument forward to a Pacers real life situation. The prevailing opinion on Sarunas last season was that he played fairly well early, and then seemed to either hit the wall physically or the league figured him out a little during the middle of the season. Either way, it was said by many fans that RC playing him in unfamiliar roles, and giving him irregular minutes, caused Sarunas to "lose his confidence", and therefore he began to play an even worse floor game and really struggle with his shot.

    Now, using what I believe about Sarunas and his level of "confidence", id tell him to simply work harder, get quicker and better, and if he is the best player for his role this year he will play, and if someone else is better, then he won't. I personally wouldnt as a coach spend one second worrying about whether Sarunas had his "confidence" back. I'd give him a chance to compete, and if he is good enough to play Id play him, and if he isnt then id sit his butt down. In my view, if a player is good enough and mentally tough enough, especially at 30 yrs old playing in the NBA, then I shouldnt have to spend time trying to boost his ego and soothe his feelings.

    Now, I assume that the way some of you are thinking, that you believe its important for RC to make some kind of statement backing him or praising him, and possibly to allow him to play over someone else who is playing better at that specific time, in order to regain his "confidence". If something like this doesnt happen, and if Sarunas struggles again, do we criticize the player for not being good enough, or RC for not getting his "confidence" back up somehow? In my view, its the players job to be good enough to have his own mental "confidence" issues handled, and I wouldnt criticize the coaches at all personally.

    Now, I do have to say that I realize all people are different, and some players need a softer touch while others need a kick in the pants....no one is disputing that. I do have a problem personally though with having to sugarcoat things for my "lead guard", the player I think that has to lead your team on the floor. If this is a guy you constantly have to handle and stroke and massage thru the season, I think it hurts your team as a whole. it's easier I think on a teams structure to try and boost the "confidence" of a player who isnt your lead guard.....that may not be fair but thats how it is in my opinion. Your point guard needs to be the mentally toughest guy on the floor.....which has to be a big concern for us going into the season, that is if you share my opinion on that.

    JMO

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    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    First, I'll deal with your ten.

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    These are in no particular order, but are some of the things you hear in the media, or on message boards, that people SAY or THINK are really important to winning, but in my view aren't nearly as important as most fans think:

    1. "Off floor chemistry". -snip- Chemistry problems and solutions arent always as apparent as they seem....
    Very true. And what the Pacers just went through with Ron Artest was a very out-of-the-ordinary situation. Rarely do you have a player so blatantly put the team at risk and put himself above the team as Ron did. It was no wonder this guys were slugging each other and we end up with a bunch of guys "tainted" by the me-first cancer that ran through the team.

    There's a big difference between "team cancer" and "team with chemistry problem." The early-1990's Pacers, with a load of offensive firepower and 0.500 records, had a chemistry problem. They couldn't figure out how to work together on the court to get better than 0.500. But they got along well off the court. Chuck, Dale, Reggie, Tank, etc. - these guys are all still good friends. Over the past couple of seasons, we haven't seen a chemistry problem. We've seen a cancer, perhaps two cancers, and we've seen it spread.

    2. " We don't have enough experience."
    I dunno, most championship teams are veteran teams. I think there is something to this one.

    3. Coaches off season favorite quote: "We want to play more uptempo." -snip- and few of them will follow thru.
    Yep. I'll believe it when I see it. Ricky C. seems like the classic control-freak coach.

    4. Timeouts. In generally, these are overrated.
    Generally agree with you. Except if Isiah is calling the timeouts in Game #1 against Boston in 2003. Never have I seen a worse in-game job of clock management. Imagine coaching a team with Reggie Miller, sitting him down during the last minute for defensive purposes while forgetting you're out of timeouts, controlling the rebound, and having no way to stop the clock to get him back into the game unless you commit a turnover. Brilliant. So timeouts can be mis-used, and that's bad. But there's not much upside.

    5. Halftime pep talks.
    Yes. These are pros. Rah-rah speaches must be saved for very special occasions. Even a great motivator like Pat Riley doesn't rely on this gimmick that only works for HS/ college players.

    6. "Revenge" as a motivator.
    Ditto.

    7. "Confidence" for a player.
    Disagree with you here, for reasons others have laid out.

    8. Blocked Shots....now, Im not saying they aren't nice to have, -snip- Or if while hunting for a block he leaves his man open to get a rebound putback, or if he blocks it violently out of bounds and gives the offense the ball back....does any of that really help you?
    Excellent observation. Russell is the ultimate example of this, if he blocked a shot out of bounds or if the offense still controlled the ball, he was mad at himself. Many times a blocked shot can result in an even easier scoring opportunity for the offense if they stick with the play.

    9. 3 point shots early in the game, especially if all by one guy. This can become "fool's gold" for a team,
    Bingo. Live by the three, die by the three. That is usually not a good NBA strategy.

    10. The starting lineup is way way way overrated. I know its fun to talk about, but just think about it: is who plays the very first 6 minutes of the game more important than who plays the last 6 minutes?
    Disagree, because I think the "starters" and "finishers" should be the same. You want to start the game putting your best foot forward, and you want to end it with your best overall combination. In fact, coaches like Carlisle that use egg-timer one-person substitutions will go for almost 12 minutes (or more) of each half without the entire starting lineup on the court together. And that seems like a bad idea if that is, indeed, your best lineup.

    Now, here are some important ones you left off...

    1. Depth. A team with a lot of "depth" usually has starters that aren't good enough to be clearly better than its bench players. That's a losing proposition in the playoffs when short rotations rule the day.

    2. Individual defense. Usually a player is a great individual defender by accumulating defensive stats (steals and blocks) that prompt them to gamble far too often, jeopardizing the rest of the team's defense. The best example I've ever seen was Micheal Williams, who averaged two steals and at least four unconstested-drives-resulting-in-a-Rik-Smits-foul per game.

    3. Individual rebounds.

    4. Offensive rebounds. You show me a team with a lot of offensive rebounds and I'll show you a team that's missed a lot of shots.

    5. Situational substitutions. These are a loser's strategy. Assemble a team in which your best five-man combination on offense is the same as your best five-man combination on defense.

    6. Slam dunks. Too many players try for the dramatic dunk only to end up with a contested shot that misses. They may or may not get to the FT line for a chance at two points the hard way. Many times, a layup would get the two points and a foul, with a conventional 3-point opportunity.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Winning basketball: top ten overrated things you hear

    Thanks for the reply Jay...well thought out as usual, although I want to discuss some of yours before I go to bed.

    1. Depth is overrated.....I'd say sometimes it is, and sometimes it isnt. Your example is a valid one though.....for instance, I could say that my Cubs have a bullpen with a lot of "depth".....in fact, what they have is a 7 guys who all suck about equally. Lots of quantity, not much quality.

    2. Individual defense is overrated.....Id amend that to say that INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE STATISTICS are overrated. A great individual lockdown defender, especially on the perimeter, actually made my "underrated" list in a thread I started a couple weeks ago. Having said that, your example was well explained and correct, in the sense that it was intended...I just dont think in that case that Michael Williams was indeed as good of a defender as the stats said. On a side note, Tinsley sadly has this same kind of stat line,as many of his steals come from behind, after he has been beaten off the dribble....

    3. Individual rebounding...Kind of disagree here..as I think rebounding is the one area in basketball I dont mind a player being selfish in. id like to hear your reasoning on that one.

    4. Offensive rebounds are overrated.... I think thats basically correct, in as far as it goes. Some teams who do shoot well arent good offensive rebounding teams by the numbers, since there are fewer chances. On top of that, some teams who crash the boards hard to get an extra 3 rebounds per game might be risking giving up twice that many fast breaks by the opponent by not getting back on defense. Its kind of like the stat of turning the most double plays in baseball (KC is the MLB leader in that stat)...it sounds good, but the reason you lead that isnt good defense, its that your terrible pitchers have allowed more runners to reach first base.

    5. Situational subs....well, in an ideal world your top 5 offensive players = your top 5 defenders, but in some cases you can't help but sub. Rik Smits is an example from the Pacers I think youd have to sub most likely on defense.

    An interesting point on that is that at younger levels, I found out a few years ago, when I had a team that I had to that kind of substitution pattern alot with (lots of close games, a somewhat patchwork roster), that my players really really HATED that. I always talked to my players alot during and after the season, and almost to a kid they absolutely despised being subbed in and out like that in a close game, even though doing it in my view gave us the best chance to win on that particular night. Since hearing that Ive almost stopped doing it unless its just an obvious move that you can't help but make. I never did really understand why the kids hated it so, but it is something we talked about as a program and with other coaches.

    6. Slam dunks...totally agree.


    Im going to try one more time on the "confidence" question:

    Example A: 5 seconds to go, we are up 1 point and the opponent has the ball at midcourt. You as a coach KNOW who will get the ball for the opponent....for fun let's just say we are playing Cleveland, and you know it will be going to LeBron. Who do you have guard him?

    You look at your team, and decide that clearly Granger is the guy with the athletic ability and defensive skill to guard him. You assign him to LBJ, but he shakes his head and indicates to you he doesnt feel he can do it, even though you as a coach strongly feel he is the best for the job.

    At the same time Armstrong pipes up and says "Coach, put me in, I know I can stop him one time for you....I have "confidence" I can do the job." Now, you as a coach have a guy in Granger who has the skill but not the "confidence" or the "experience", in DA you have a player with the "confidence" and "experience", but not the size or the skill......who do you put on him in this spot coaches?

    By my way of thinking, I use Granger and tell him to "get tough" and go guard him, and I disregard the issues discussed.....am I wrong? if the player who voulnteers isnt DA but instead is someone else, does that make a difference?

    Just asking.....and thx jay for all the good responses all of the time.

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