Monday, May 7, 2012

Two lessons for the Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies are down 2-1 in their first round playoff series. Instead of dissecting every game I just want to focus on two things that I think go a long way towards explaining the two losses and what would make it much more likely that we win three of the next four games.

The first thing is that it's easier to make a shot the closer you are to the basket. There are generally two ways you get close to the basket and thus increase your chances to make a shot, and thus increase your chances of winning. One is that you dribble around a defender and to the basket. The other is that you go stand near the basket and have someone pass the ball to you. The Grizzlies are very capable of doing both of those things. Yet for some reason, especially in the 4th quarter, they don't focus on doing them and instead settle for more difficult shots further away from the basket. Focusing on getting closer to the basket will go a long way in improving our chances to win.

The second lesson is closely related to the first. It's actually the same thing, but with more emphasis in regards to the game situation. At the end of game 3, the Grizzlies had the opportunity to win the game during the final seconds by scoring two points, which means that they could have tied it with one point. Not only is it easier to make a shot when you are closer to the basket, the odds of you getting fouled and getting two free shots are probably higher when you are trying to dribble to the basket as opposed to stopping and shooting the ball far away from the basket. So instead of shooting a difficult off balance shot several feet outside the paint like we did, it would have increased our chances of winning if we would have driven to the basket to try for a closer shot or create a foul. Granted, there wasn't a lot of time. But these are situations that should be prepared for. And the Grizzlies simply don't seem prepared for them and it's part of why we lose games.

So to sum up (and this applies to every basketball team I like, I'm looking at you Duke), STOP SETTLING FOR LONG JUMP SHOTS AND EITHER DRIVE TO THE BASKET OR PASS IT TO SOMEONE STANDING CLOSE TO IT, ESPECIALLY IN THE 4TH QUARTER AND AT THE END OF THE GAME!

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