Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We're Having Fun Now

Ahhh . . . that's better.

It's interesting -- one could take the Mavs' Summer League so far as an example of team cohesion. In the course of three games we go from an almighty ass-whuppin to a game worthy of some chest-beating. Shan (you pronounce that Shane, Misters Maggot-Brained Announcers) Foster and Reyshawn Terry both looked salty. The team spent a lot less time in Offensive Half Court Hell; defensively they were a wall.

I don't think it was an even matchup, to be completely fair. This was the Timberwolves' first Summer League game, and they had a lot of the same problems as the Mavs did at their inauspicious debut.

I hadn't taken that into consideration. A lot of these guys are first-year players, or they've been overseas (I can't even imagine playing a sport at any pro level while living in another country). And they're trying to gell as a team given about a week's worth of practise, when they know full damn well they're probably going nowhere -- back to the D-League, back to Europe, back to where-ever. And considering that turning pro voids your college eligibility . . .

I'm not hunting up excuses. I'm trying to understand how this all works.

Anywho, the rest of Summer League should be interesting. I think I understand what Coach was saying when he said he was looking for shooters -- in major game situations the opposing defensive strategy seems to be Pile People On Dirk with double- and triple-teams. Why? Because it works. I'm going to need to research this a bit more, but it squares with what I've been reading; Dirk's a perimiter player, and his instinct when double-teamed is to fall back with a jump shot. When he's well defended, those shots don't sink.

The downside to multiple defenders on one guy, of course, is it leaves the rest of the offensive team underdefended. What I think the Org is aiming for is a scenario where the Bad Guys double up on Dirk, Dirk passes out to Jason Kidd, Kidd finds the underdefended player and passes to them for a jump shot or a layup. This Plan B depends on two things; Jason Kidd's offensive playmaking abilities and a reliable scorer on the floor.

As usual, if I'm full of shit, tell me so I can find out you're right and learn something. (Please don't take any name-calling personally. I hate being wrong.)

One more thing about Summer League; at about the nine minute mark in the second quarter there was an offensive rebound I wish the announcers would've paid attention to. T-wolves sent up a jump shot, it was waaaay short, and one of the Mavs leapt and caught it mid-air.

Here's my problem; since the throw was a shot and not a pass, and since the ball was going down, would that rebound actually be a goaltending violation? Once a shot's on the downward arc, hands off. Or is it since the shot was clearly short it didn't count as a shot? Was that a no-call on the part of the refs? The zebras are in training too, in Summer League.

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