Up Tempo NBA rulez

Can I get a witness! Testify, brotha!

Really, fast-moving basketball is why I love the sport, and get bored by all other (U.S.) team sports. That is why when the Bulls started to suck, post Jordan-Pippen, I adopted the Sacramento Kings. The Kings play (and still try, but without quite as much talent this year) motion offense, passing the ball around, taking quick shots, and trying to score more points than their opponents. In recent years, more teams have started to play this style as well, resulting in more watchable games. Pat Riley's Knicks were an abomination: the memory of those years ought to keep Riley out of the Hall of Fame. Thug-ball vs. UpTempo. No contest. And Steve Nash, the little Canadian who could, should be on the short list for MVP....

Anyway, some excerpts from Dennis Hans' article:

NYT: Phoenix Pays a Little Homage to Much Faster Times:

The Phoenix Suns are a much-needed breath of fresh air for an N.B.A. that remains far too bruising and boring. After 32 games, they were averaging a league-best 109.3 points, an astonishing 7.9 points more a game than the Dallas Mavericks, ranked No. 2 in that category.

But for those who become winded watching Steve Nash and his buddies run up and down the court, consider this: The Suns average 85 field-goal attempts a game. The 1960 N.B.A. champion Boston Celtics averaged 120.
Nothing would make me happier than Mike D'Antoni becoming a coaching role model. D'Antoni learned the game from his father, a legendary high school coach in West Virginia whose teams turned on the crowd by running the opposition right out of the gym. It was a style that kept the focus on the players on the floor, not on the “genius coach” on the sideline. Most important, it was a style that made kids want to play basketball.

The N.B.A.'s second-greatest dynasty, the Michael Jordan-era Bulls from 1991 to 1998, led the league in scoring in two title seasons and scored well above the league average in each of its six championship years. That team also served as a beacon in the dark days of the slow-paced Thug Era, first by dethroning the Bad Boy Pistons, then by serving as the worst nightmare for Pat Riley's Broadway Bullies....

To be fair to the Suns, a portion of their staggering field-goal-attempt deficit compared with the early 1960's Celtics is not their fault. Rather, it is a reflection of the walk-it-up, milk-the-clock, prevent-fast-breaks-at-all-costs philosophy of some opposing teams shackled by control-freak coaches. (Thankfully, their numbers are dwindling, and a few of the worst offenders have started to lighten their grip.)

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 9, 2005 10:36 AM.

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