14 June 2014

The Office of Central Planning

I've long since forgotten where I read it, or who said it, but the gist of it was that what made Larry Bird special (and was never recorded in his stats) was his ability to "make the pass before the assist". In other words, he saw where ball had to go before the ball knew where it had to be for the next stop in the basket. It is a rare talent. While trite, there is no I in team. Few actually play that way.

In a couple of stories (here and again here) today, writers make much the same argument for the Spurs as a team, without mentioning Bird, alas.
Told that Tim Duncan, the Spurs' ageless and brilliant forward, had broken the record for career double-doubles in the playoffs, Popovich shrugged. "I can assure you he doesn't care," he said.

and then this:
The Spurs do not run these pick-and-rolls to score immediately, but rather to create easy baskets a few passes later.
When Diaw shares the court with Manu Ginobili, another ace passer, San Antonio has been unstoppable. In 87 minutes together this finals, lineups with Diaw and Ginobili have outscored the Heat by an unfathomable 79 points.

I guess one Bird is worth a Ginobili plus a Diaw.

What does American hoops got to do with the RM and such? Well, only that doing what you're doing better than anyone generally works out better. Dr. Codd was right, the RBAR zealots be damned. Aspire to be Bird.

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