What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
As we find ourselves in the midst of “Lin-Sanity,” I’ve spent a ton of time watching various and sundry sports commentator types asking the question “How did so many people miss on Jeremy Lin?”
There’s an easy answer to this…because he isn’t the same player now that he was even six months ago. That leads to another question. How did that happen? To me, it seems pretty clear that one of the secrets of Lin’s success is the fact he understands the five fundamental skills of basketball.
1) Ball Handling
While it may seem obvious to say, the NBA is not the NFL. In the NFL, there are lineman who will go their entire career without ever touching the ball. In basketball, you are going to get the ball at some point, and when you do, you need to know what to do with it. There’s two fundamental rules here:
This is really an off-shoot of Rule #1. There are only three things you can do with the ball; pass it, shoot it, or have it taken from you. Shooting isn’t always an option, and if you shoot when you shouldn’t or give the ball away too often, you aren’t going to stay on the court long. So, you’d better learn how to pass. The fundamental rules of passing:
This area is the one that gets the most overlooked by many NBA players, but it is crucial. A good defensive scheme can be used to set up the offense, and to be effective in any good defensive scheme, meaning to be able to stop the passing, shooting, and dribbles of the opponent, a player needs to understand the concepts of footwork and position.
Roughly 50% of the time the ball gets shot, it’s coming back down as a free ball. Teams that can rebound limit the opposition’s scoring opportunities while increasing their own. Like defense, the keys are footwork and position. As a shooter, this also means following your shot.
Just like hitting in baseball, this skill is both the key to scoring and it is the hardest to master. The difference is that low-post players need to develop a different skill set than perimeter players. The most valuable “bigs” can shoot from five feet in with both hands. The most valuable perimeter players can create their own shots off the dribble. Regardless of who you are, MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS. There is no excuse for anybody who calls himself a basketball player to shoot less than 60% from the stripe.
Nobody is born with all this skills, and even Jeremy Lin didn’t have them all at an acceptable level as little as six months ago. This means these skills have to be developed, and they get developed through practice. Lin clearly improved something between the D-league and now. The last mass-hysteria outbreak in the NBA came courtesy of Blake Griffin, and he did that largely on freakish athleticism.
That leaves the last question: When’s the next phenom coming along, and will he be a fundamentally-sound player or a genetic-lottery winner with super-human abilities?
– Dubsism is a proud member of the Sports Blog Movement