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Author Topic: Awful Coaching, decisions; what were they thinking?  (Read 2075 times)
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« on: September 01, 2006, 01:08:07 pm »

What a heartbreaker.

OK, I know that there are a lot of supporters of what Team USA has done in regards to coaching and player selection for this year's FIBA world championships, but these mistakes are just too obvious and proved to be ultimately critical.

What was Coach Kryzewski thinking? I have to assume he is the one in charge of substitutions and overall strategy this tournament, if he isn't, then Jim Boheim and Mike D'Antoni are as much to blame.

So Greece played the pick and roll at will and beat up the USA. They shot the ball well, and also attacked the USA in the paint, and that hurts.

But in my opinion, you have to blame the coaching. I still can't believe that second half, I'm really at a loss for words. What was with the small line-up in the entire fourth quarter and frankly, for the majority of the entire world championships? I was upset with the lack of utilization of the big men before, but this fourth quarter had me screaming. Unbelieveable. The only subs were at guard and small forward?

To start the fourth (I believe) it was:
G Kirk Heinrich
G Joe Johnson
G Dwayne Wade
G/F Carmelo Anthony
G/F Lebron James

The only other subs made in the fourth were with Henrich/Johnson, with Chris Paul and Shane Battier! Where was the muscle?

Battier at center?
Lebron James at center?

Just what was the philosophy beind this? Just what was Coach Kryzewski thinking? Here is a Greece team where the average height is 6-8, and you want to play small ball?

The biggest reason this is a shock to me is because not only were we playing small ball, we were doing it in the face of AWFUL shooting - the US team has been TERRIBLE at shooting. Atrocious outside shooting, as well as from the free throw line.

And yet..




Where was the coaching effort to work around this poor shooting? Where were the high percentage shots down low? All tournament, the coaching staff has made it painfully clear - yet without saying so - that this team is in the hands of three players:

Lebron James
Carmelo Anthony
and Dwayne Wade

In my opinion, this was a big mistake. Clearly, this is their way of saying that - even though this is a team, the leaders are the superstars.

To me it seems that maybe the captains should have been the only three players who stayed on the court to congratulate Greek players: Shane Battier, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony.

Another point I wanted to bring up was the defense in closing two minutes. Was I the only one who was screaming:

PRESSURE THE BASKETBALL!!!!??? I couldn't have been. They had been playing it, scratch that emphasizing it - all tournament long, and you abandon it with less than two minutes to play? Granted, they eventually picked it up a little bit - I'm not saying they gave up, but clearly it was a sign of fatigue, maybe emotionally, for the main line-up Coach Kryzewski stuck with. You could see it in their eyes. It was painful to watch.

In the end, too much was asked of Wade, James and Carmelo. And its such a shame because they kept feeding us all this BS about how this was a T E A M, and how nobody was more important than anybody else. It pains me to say that this was BS, but apparently it was.

. . .

Check out these minutes/stats for the big men:

Elton Brand (whose a small big man to begin with): 12 min., 2 FG Attempted, 0 points, 2 blocks, 2 rebounds
Dwight Howard: 13 minutes, 4 for 6 from the field, 10 points, 7 rebounds (led both teams)
Chris Bosh: 5 minutes, 1 for 1 FG, 3 points, 1 block
Brad Miller: DNP

Clearly, the blame is on the coaching. There is absolutely no excuse for Schortsanitis scoring 14 points in 17 minutes. As much as you want to think he was a formidable big man opponent, I agree - but he was doing it against guys who should be playing guard, or small forward! It's not like this guy was a great rebounder, he only had 1 rebound, and he played more minutes than any of the USA big man!!!

The USA team could have outrebounded this team by 20 if they had made the appropriate substitutions. And yet we continued to see Lebron James, Joe Johnson, and Shane Battier trying to duke it out down low.


I could go on and on, but I have to stop there. What a heartbreaker. What a waste of determination. This team should have won the gold.

Unfortunately, the coaching staff never gave them a legitimate strategy to do so.
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 01:37:45 pm »

Hm, I agree with some observations.

In my opinion this game was just a result of wrong team preperation for word championship.
This was not the team and they were not playing good team defense or offense.
They were winning against other teams only because phisical dominance and good defensive pressure (in one on one defense), wich both results in big numbers in steals(=fastbreaks), turnovers and offensive rebounds (= second chanches). But they did not play team basketball.

About game against Greece, in fourth Q they wanted make a pressure on the ball with smaller lineup, but it was not working against smart Greeks.
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