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Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Rambis

Kurt Rambis: The Chef Who Uses Too Many Ingredients

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Kurt Rambis

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Before this season I didn’t think the Minnesota Timberwolves would be anything but a lottery team, but I expected more than this. I liked how they added a ton of 3pt shooting and spacing, their biggest weakness last year with Martell Webster, Wesely Johnson, Luke Ridnour, and Anthony Tolliver to along with Michael Beasley and Kevin Love‘s outside range. I liked the Ridnour addition because of what his steady hand did to Milwaukee last year. I liked Kevin Love playing beside role playing centers in Darko Milicic and Nik Pekovic instead of another star who didn’t fit. The team made much more sense this year structurally and more designated roles usually leads to better chemistry.

Yet despite Kevin Love having a much better season than I expected, they sit at 17 wins on April 5th and are barely holding off the last place Cleveland Cavaliers who have 15. On paper an all-star PF surrounded by shooting and size should be much better than this.

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Some thoughts on the first week

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It’s only one week.  I’m trying hard not to rush to any judgments, because I know it can often take teams a good dozen games or so to really show their true colors, but that doesn’t mean what I see isn’t weighing on my mind.  So here’s some thoughts on a few different teams so far…

Miami Heat

Personally, when LeBron announced he was moving to Miami, my main reaction was excitement.  Not because of any fandom bias, but simply because we rarely get to see this kind of “What If?” experiment.  Will the team of dreams actually be a Dream Team?  Will it happen right away?  How will the team grow over time?

What we’re seeing so far is mediocre offense and absolute lock-down defense, which is about the least discussed result possible.

Take 3 offense-first stars put them on a team, the thing you’d most expect is that the offense would improve.Instead, we see an offense full of guys who don’t really know how to multiply their games together.  It’s either the LeBron show, the Wade show, or the Bosh show.  Funny how that works.  Certainly it speaks to the team aspect of the game, but let’s remember that offenses don’t always take time to work together.  Steve Nash went to Phoenix, and the offense went to GOAT levels overnight.  Does Miami’s struggles say something damning about the Thrices ability to really play team basketball?  Eh, let’s give them more time before saying that.

Meanwhile the defense has been extraordinary, something along the lines of the Garnett-infused Celtics of ’07-08.  Now, there’s things we can point to to fit this in with a larger pattern.  While Kevin Garnett is a fantastic defender, he wasn’t capable of creating a defense like that on his own – the bigger factors were probably the extremely hyped up motivation of the Celtic crew (of which Garnett was a big part) and the fantastic team-oriented defensive scheme that guru Tom Thibodeau drew up.    Well the Heat already had a strong defense last year (much better than their offense), and I think we can all agree now:  The members of the Heat, led by the 3 stars, are hyped to within an inch of their life.

Los Angeles Lakers Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Matt Johnson

November 1, 2010 at 11:56 am