What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

“Linsanity” Offers a Golden Opportunity to Review the Power of the Fundamentals of Basketball

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:

  • Never give up your dribble without knowing what you are going to do
  • If you are in the offensive low post and get a pass, never put the ball on the floor – keep the ball high and go strong to the basket; it’s why you are there in the first place.

2) Passing

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:

  • There’s three basic pass types: overhand pass, chest pass, and and bounce pass. Know when and where to use each
  • Don’t get too clever – passing is essential to good ball movement, but you can overdo it.
  • There’s never an excuse for being sloppy with the ball. Turnovers will happen, but being careless is unacceptable.

3)  Defense

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.

4) Rebounding

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.

5)  Shooting

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

About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

6 comments on ““Linsanity” Offers a Golden Opportunity to Review the Power of the Fundamentals of Basketball

  1. ChrisHumpherys (@SportsChump)
    February 20, 2012

    Isn’t use of the word “Golden” in the title somehow racist, sir?

    All I can say is, I’m no Knicks fan, but as a basketball fan, I want to see them succeed. I was excited when they signed both Melo and Amare, but after their meltdown in last year’s playoffs and subsequent slow start this year, I found them quite unwatchable.

    Until Jeremy Lin. He’s got fans watching and he’s good.

    The only problem with Lin is his new success means a lot less talk of the Phil Jackson to New York Knicks rumors.


  2. J-Dub
    February 20, 2012

    “Isn’t use of the word “Golden” in the title somehow racist, sir?”

    Only if I worked for ESPN. But if I had called him “the Golden Dragon,” then an argument could be made. Or if every time he makes an assist I call it “Chinese Delivery.”


  3. Bobby Charts
    February 20, 2012

    Funny the Kings announcers were talking about that same thing when the Kings played the Konicjs, how Lin is Nash like in the fact he does not stop his dribble, since I heard and really thought about this about a week ago, watching the past two Kings games all NBA players stop their dribble way to damn early!

    Great read and great points.


  4. Sam's Sports Brief
    February 20, 2012

    Other than the fact that Lin has troubles with using his left hand, he is surely a fundamentaly sound player, unlike one Tim Tebow…


  5. chappy81
    February 21, 2012

    Should we nickname him the big fundamental 2.0? I totally agree with you on how he looked. He got some playing time with the Warriors last year, and didn’t play with nearly as much aggression. I was mad when the cut him, but that was more because he was the asian guy on the team and not because I thought he’d contribute much. It shows you how important fundamentals are though…


  6. sportsattitudes
    February 21, 2012

    Fundamentals in basketball. Wish they would return. I agree his particular success is related to knowing how to play the damn game. God, I wish that became an epidemic throughout all levels. My. Pet. Peeve.


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This entry was posted on February 20, 2012 by in Basketball, Sports and tagged , , , .

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