Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 16, 2003
BASKETBALL: No Breaks For The Nets

The NBA Finals were so exciting, even Bill Simmons, who wrote a whole column hyping the Nets-Spurs matchup (Page 2 headlined the piece "A series you can't afford to miss"), announced after Game 4 that "this series has been a disappointment in every sense of the word."

Now, I didn't get to see a whole lot of the series myself, but this paragraph from Bill's preview didn't really gibe with my experience as a basketball fan:

The best lesson from this series, especially if New Jersey wins: Fast breaks matter. Wait a second, you're telling me that it's easier to score in transition -- when you have numbers, when the other team is running backward -- then when your opponent has a chance to set up its defense? What a wacky concept!!!!!

As I think the series bore out, this is backward: fast breaks are a by-product of winning basketball, not a cause. It's like big innings in baseball -- while it's true that some teams are more cut out for them than others, the fact is that you don't decide, "let's have a lot of big innings"; you build for success, and the big innings come. Fast breaks are like that; you can try to push the ball as a philosophy, but the things you need to do well to get fast breaks are more important than the decision to have them.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:06 AM | Basketball | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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