Thoughts Through A Hangover

Kurt —  August 25, 2005

I really don’t go out much on “school nights” anymore, but as last night was our anniversary my wife and I lined up a babysitter and we were off to splurge on a wine dinner at a fine restaurant. It was well worth it, great food (amazing seared ahi and steak courses) and plenty of great wine (love the St. Francis old vine Zin), but today is a tad hazy — this post is brought to you by a Peter King-level caffeine intake.

• There’s an interesting discussion in the comments thread for my last “Fast Break” post about learning to play the triangle that is worth the read. Regular commenter Renato Afanso (who has explained why I regularly get hits from Portugal) said he has been playing the system in club and college teams overseas:

The system is incredibly easy. If you have the fundamentals and you understand some easy concepts of the game, the system allows you to get easy shots out of picks 9 feet from the basket. It also allows you to play with the center at mid-post (a good passing center like Divac would thrive with the system… Problem is that most kids just want to do some flashy moves and dunk over someone, and forget to learn the rest… maybe that’s the problem in US college basketball right now. But that’s a subject for another post, isn’t it?

SI.com’s Kelly Dwyer (who also knows the offesne well) points out in a subsequent post that the problem in teaching it is not the offense itself but rather getting the players to grasp the concepts behind it, to understand Tex Winter’s seven Principals of a sound offense.

I have read some of Tex Winters writings, but not the entire book on the offense. It didn’t seem exceptionally challenging to me, however I assumed that often things are different in execution than on paper. I think the comments made by those more knowledgeable than I about this pertaining to basketball IQ and the need to subjugate yourself (and your stats) for team goals — and that not always meshing with NBA players (or college, for that matter) — may be a big part of the challenge coaches face with the triangle. (That adds to why Phil needs a real buy-in from Kobe to make this work this season.)

As for Vlade (another part of that comment thread). I would love to have him back, providing his back is up to it. I think I’ve said this before — if he can play 15-20 minutes a night for 70 or so games, then bring him back because his passing skills will be a great fit with the triangle (they were in just seven games last year) and he should be a good influence on Andrew Bynum. Well, not the smoking but in pretty much everything else. However, if Vlade can only play as much as he did last year, then that’s a wasted roster spot.

• As for Laker news, there isn’t much. Hoopsworld’s Eric Pincus said don’t expect to see Jalen Rose or Marcus Banks in a Laker uniform, or for that matter Eddy Curry. He suggests the Laker will make another move in the coming weeks, but it won’t be a blockbuster.

• And Eric, congrats on Maya! Glad to hear everyone is doing well.

• In case you didn’t read it, check out the interview with Laker owner-in-waiting Jim Buss from the LA Times yesterday (all the other area dailies also had the interview).

• Finally, if you wondered what Brian Cook has been up to this off-season, well, golfing. But for a good cause.

• By the way, late last week this blog hit the minor milestone of getting its 50,000th visitor. While the site has been around basically since the start of last season, the first few months it was little more than just me and my parents coming here. Since the hiring of Phil and through the summer readership had really exploded (I expect to pass 100,000 during the second half of next season). I just want to say welcome to everyone, please join in the comments and know that there will be some improvements to this site and some other exciting (for me) changes come in the coming months. It’s great to be forming a community of passionate and intelligent Laker fans and I look forward to that making this next season even more enjoyable.

Kurt

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