Glen Davis, to begin last night’s game, couldn’t hit Kim Kardashian’s backside with a beach ball. But that didn’t stop him from posting a near-triple double, bouncing back from Friday’s “Davis tried to do way too much to replace Kevin Garnett” debacle.
His all-around performance last night impressed. But please, Glen, do us all a favor and rethink your position on three-pointers. Hold your fire. (Boston Herald)
Davis’ only regret about his missed trey Friday night is that he missed — not what most considered to be his poor shot selection.
“Nope. I’d do it again if I had to,” Davis said. “If I had an open shot like that again, I’d do it again. Other people may not think it was a good shot, but I have confidence in myself. That’s the only thing I can do. You have to take the good with the good and the bad with the bad. Take it as it comes.
“Everybody takes bad shots on this team. It’s how you react to it. You can react, why the (bleep) did you take that shot, or we could have got a better shot. It doesn’t matter if Doc was mad at me or he wasn’t. My teammates were mad at me for taking that shot, too.”
I almost feel bad playfully chiding Davis after his near-triple double last night, but:
Doc was mad at Davis, Davis’s teammates were mad at him, and Davis (kind of) acknowledged it was a bad shot. Yet he’d do it again if he had to? That doesn’t make much sense, to sensible people like myself. (I’m just kidding. I’m far from sensible.)
Thought processes like these are why Rajon Rondo said he never wanted to coach. (Boston Herald)
“It’s frustrating as a coach,” Rondo said of that view of the game. “I don’t ever want to coach when I’m done. These guys, you tell ’em stuff and they do the opposite. It is more frustrating, because when you’re out there you can control it more.
“Obviously I want to be out there calling the sets. I know the plays better than Doc — other than that, I was confident out there. It was a take-your-pick game.”
It’s not just frustrating to coach. It’s way beyond that. No matter what you teach your players in practice, no matter what you tell them during a timeout, they’re on their own once they step onto the court for a game. In practice for my JV team, I stop play 150 times during each scrimmage. They don’t set the right screen? I blow my whistle and make them do it right. They screw up a matchup and someone ends up with a wide open layup? I blow my whistle, tell them to run a suicide, and make them do it right. They get split on defense, or miss a rotation? I blow my whistle, tell them what they did wrong, and make them do it right.
But when they get into a game, my kids are on their own. Last week, we told our kids to run a 2-3 zone against our opponents’ out-of-bounds plays. They started off in a 2-3 zone, but — for some reason entirely unbeknown to me — three players switched to man-to-man defense after two passes, completely ditching the zone defense they were supposed to be playing. Of course, one of the three offenders left his perch down low, and the opposing team was afforded a wide open layup.
The coaching staff was all frustrated. What on earth had made them switch to man-to-man in the middle of the play? we wondered. None of us knew, but the next time our opponent received the ball out of bounds, we knew better. We called timeout, and specifically told our guys, “Look, I don’t know what in the name of Johannesburg you were thinking last time. But when we say you’re playing a 2-3 zone on out-of-bounds plays, we mean you’re playing a 2-3 zone the entire possession. We ARE NOT switching to a man defense. Not under any circumstances.”
The teaching worked. Kind of. Two of the three wrong-doers heard us loud and clear, and stuck in a zone. But one player, despite the timeout we took specifically to teach the team not to be morons, switched to man-to-man defense as soon as the ball was inbounded. His man opened up underneath the basket, and we again gift-wrapped a wide open layup for our opponents. I sat on the bench, dazed and confused, and I realized: once my kids are out on the court, there’s nothing I can do.
Basketball coaching is all about preparation. You teach your players everything you can in practice, and try to prepare them to succeed in games. But once they get on that court, anything can happen. You can’t blow the whistle and make them run a play over again. You can’t make them run a suicide for failing to listen to you. You can only hope you taught your players well enough in practice, and that they listen to your words in huddles.
And Doc Rivers can only hope his bruising, 6’9″ power forward — a career 18.8% three-point shooter — learns better than to shoot three-pointers. Especially in close games, and especially with just a minute or two left.
As my coach used to tell some of my teammates:
There’s a reason why you’re so damn open.