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  •  The stall was an art, and a direct challenge to (4+ / 0-)

    the defense. Bear in mind the "five second, closely guarded" rule, that is, if the player in possession of the ball was closely guarded (meaning, roughly, within arm's length) he must advance the ball or pass it to a team mate. I have played in games where our point guard would stand, ball on his hip, for one, two, five minutes until a defender came out to closely guard him. The whole point was to prevent tight, packed in zone defenses that made high percentage shots impossible.
    Perhaps the best analogy is to two good defensive football teams, each three and outing the other to a 0-0 tie at the end of regulation. Perhaps two or more overtimes, until somebody makes a mistake.
    To me that is every bit as exciting as watching Dr. J, or Michael, or Kobe, or LBJ, demostrate their incredible talents as individuals.
    The low scoring mentality relies far more heavily on the entire team concept, as the other team will quickly find and attempt to exploit the weakest links.
    But then again I'm the kind of sports fan who finds as much enjoyment in watching the strong safety, say, fill in for the linebacker drawn out of position to cover the pulling guard. It's not all about the ball carrier.
    I don't know if that makes it any clearer for you, I hope so.

    I had a brother at Khe Sanh, fightin' off them Viet Cong, they're still there, but he's all gone. The Boss

    by DaNang65 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 11:24:37 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  well, I think the football analogy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Radlein, DaNang65, Larsstephens

      would be more apt if, after snapping the ball, the entire offense stood there, without making a move to exploit the defense, for entire minutes at a time, and the defense didn't react at all.  Or better yet, if there was no play clock in between downs, so that an offense could gain a few yards on a single run, then just hold the ball indefinitely.

      I agree that tough defensive battles are exciting to watch, and shouldn't be dismissed outright because scoring isn't necessarily high enough.  But, I'm not sure the low scoring mentality helps the team focus more on the team concept -- because in the pre-shot clock era, there were several players who didn't get to participate on offense or defense at all, even when they were in the game, due to indefinite stalling tactics.

      •  Two things my first high school b-ball coach (5+ / 0-)

        taught, admittedly this was the 1950's: First, on the first day of tryouts he began "Gentlemen, this is a basketball. There are three things you can do with it; pass it, dribble it, or shoot it. If you want to play for me you'll choose them in that order" Second, he preached time after time, "One Nothing is a Win".
        If you ever saw a properly executed stall, think Dean Smith's "Four Corners Offense", every player was constantly involved, sometimes in the sense of Castenda's Don Juan "A warrior knows that he is waiting, and he knows what he is waiting for."
        Many times a seemingly uninvolved player was "waiting", usually for the moment of inattention or distraction by his defender, to make a backdoor cut. The four corners bored casual fans, so the NCAA outlawed it, but it was a thing of beauty to watch, especially with Phil Ford at the point.

        I had a brother at Khe Sanh, fightin' off them Viet Cong, they're still there, but he's all gone. The Boss

        by DaNang65 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 11:54:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sounds like Gene Hackman's words from "Hoosiers" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, DaNang65, Larsstephens

          about requiring his players to pass the ball four times before shooting, if only to teach the fundamentals.

          •  When Bob Knight was winning (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, Larsstephens, SuperBowlXX

            NCAA championships at Indiana his rule was three passes, but the idea is the same. When I watch a team that I haven't seen before one of the things I like most is when all five players get a "touch" on the first possession. Even the guys there aren't any plays in the playbook for, maybe especially them.
            It's a team building thing.

            I had a brother at Khe Sanh, fightin' off them Viet Cong, they're still there, but he's all gone. The Boss

            by DaNang65 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 12:50:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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