Anyway, I feel kinda dumb.
Sorry to Amar, the other writers, and everyone else who kept checking up all day and wondering what happened. Yucca, the brilliant 5th grade teacher, got his days totally mixed up.
Anyway, I still wanted to bring up something that I had been planning to put in my DB. It's a series of Tweets by David Thorpe at ESPN. For those who don't know, Thorpe is also a basketball coach who specializes in helping young pros develop.
Anyway, here's what he put out:
This game is not about getting great players shots. That is a myth, and a mistake. It's about getting good players great shots.— david b. thorpe (@coachthorpe) August 12, 2013
Conversely, defense is not about preventing great players to get decent shots. In fact that's what they'd prefer to give up. And don't foul.— david b. thorpe (@coachthorpe) August 12, 2013
True superstars can blind us to those facts, for the most part. In the end, though, the stars that earn great shots for good players win.— david b. thorpe (@coachthorpe) August 12, 2013
Offenses that can get superstars those great shots are unique and elite. Because it opens the game up for good teammates.— david b. thorpe (@coachthorpe) August 12, 2013
Defenses are evolving every year. Offenses must catch up or they will die on the vine. And take their teams, stars, and coaches with them.— david b. thorpe (@coachthorpe) August 12, 2013
I started thinking about something Karl Malone said before finally joining the Jazz as a coach. He said that Favors and Kanter ought to work on their little 5-foot jump shots. Why? Not so that becomes their go-to shot. But because if they can hit it consistently, it opens up more and better opportunities to drive inside for the dunk or layup. The real point is more dunks and layups.
And I think this may be the heart of what a great offense is ... developing a team's ability to hit decent shots, but not so you can take more of them. Rather the point is to make them enough a threat that it opens up the shots you really want to get.
I also wonder if this is something that separates the talented, but never great players from the truly elite ones ... the Carmelo Anthony's of the world learn to hit a shot from anywhere on the court so they can take a lot of shots from everywhere. But the LeBron James's learn to hit a shot from anywhere on the court so they can get easier dunks, put the defense off-balance, and get his teammates a lot of great shots.
I also wonder if this is a reason why the Jazz mired themselves in mediocrity the past couple years ... that they lost sight of using the threat of good shots from the stars to open up better shots for everyone. Whether you want to blame coaching, or players, or whatever, it really doesn't matter.
What does matter is that the team gets back to this kind of philosophy.