Tag:Kobe Bryant
Posted on: August 24, 2008 5:33 am

Kevin Garnett: All-Time Best Olympic Basketballer

I am going to discuss the differences in FIBA and NBA, the contrast of Team USA and the rest of the world and, of course, the title, why Kevin Garnett could quite possibly be the all-time greatest player in Olympic Basketball -- That is, if he played of course.

The superstars of the NBA are always going to be great in the olympics. They are bigger, stronger and faster. They have experience shooting from further out and play against the toughest opponents in the world on a regular basis, unlike a lot of their competition. But of course the rest of the world play under the FIBA rules 365/24/7 and the teams play together a lot more than Team USA do. So they have their advantages too. But that doesn't change the fact that the USA are bigger, strong, faster and better.

In the NBA there is a defensive three-second rule. What this means is that the big men have to work together and communicate a lot more. Because there is an offensive three second rule coinciding with this it means it is easy to play man defense though. The biggest impact of this rule is what I consider to be the most important -- It makes it very hard to be a defensive powerhouse. Which is why when a defensive specialist in the post comes about in the NBA, it is something very special to watch. Take David Robinson, one of the best defensive specialist centers of all-time. He was a beast in the NBA, an all-time great. Just imagine for a second, if there was no defensive three-second rule in the NBA and Robinson can camp in the paint all day long. You wouldn't be able to buy a point in the post.

Right there is a great reason why defensive post players are oh so dominant when it comes to playing under FIBA regulations. Dwight Howard is the closest thing Team USA has to a defensive center in this olympics. While his defense is adequate, I wouldn't say it would frighten top international talent. Put in the NBA's current DPOY, Kevin Garnett into FIBA rules. Marc or Pau Gasol would've been contained better in the gold medal match and the game would not have been so close. Not to mention the amount of offensive rebounds that Spain would have got with Garnett in there would be nowhere near the amount they managed to get in the gold medal match.

Something that ties into that rule, though, is the shape of the key. In FIBA it is wider and a trapezoidal shape. As opposed to the NBA's rectangle. It is a lot of easier to get out of the paint on defense as the area is smaller in the NBA, and the offensive post player can collect the bring much much closer to the hoop. Something that makes Dwight Howard look very good in the NBA, he can catch it, turnaround and dunk it. In FIBA the trapezoidal key shape helps the defense a lot more. The defense can camp under the basket and in the key as long as they like and the offensive player often collects the ball further away from the hoop. This in turn can help spread out the defense and can encourage much more penetration. When I tuned into the gold medal match I saw a lot of penetration and a lot of threes. Compared to NBA play where you can often see a lot more play through the post and slightly less threes.

If you can have a post player that can catch the ball and shoot with the wider key in FIBA, then that gives you another weapon. Kevin Garnett is very good at the mid-range touch. He is very very strong and the opposing defender would be absolutely helpless against Garnett. The version that the 2008 Team USA has of this is Chris Bosh. He is a PF that can shoot mid range shots. This is a valuable weapon in FIBA and can help your penetrators even more. Just imagine Allen Iverson in that gold medal match. He would tear apart that spanish defense, and having a post player that can shoot from a little further out like Bosh would help immensly.

The three point line is also closer to the hoop in FIBA, this helps players like Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony score a lot more threes than they would with the further out NBA three point line. A player like Wade that can shoot mid-range and penetrate very well in the NBA is always going to be very valuable in FIBA play. The olympics help prove that with Wade having an excellent Olympic campaign. Allen Iverson would be very good at this as well. Carmelo Anthony is very good in FIBA thanks to the closer three point line and his size. With a shorter distance to the hoop this also encourages penetration and also gives the defensive players less time to react. I think evidence of that could have been at the end of the 3rd quarter when Navarro drove and scored. He got past his defender and that was that. Within a split one second he was right at the hoop. That where defensive orientated post players come back into the equation. If Garnett or Robinson were there they would've seen this and reacted. But Bosh and Howard didn't react quick enough and in FIBA you can't do anything if you don't react quickly.

Players like Kobe and LeBron are always going to give Team USA that added X-Factor because no matter what rules you play under no players are really going to compare. A defensive post persence that can shoot a little further out like Garnett is an unstoppable force in FIBA. I didn't see too much evidence of any such player at this olympics. But Team USA had the best of the other group of players that can help you out the most. Guards that can penetrate and shoot the mid-range shot (NBA mid-range, FIBA three point), like Wade and Iverson.

No player at that Olympics would be able to stop Garnett, offensively or defensively. If he played he would be classed as one of the best Olympic basketballers of all-time, if not the best. Because he is suited towards those rules. His game fits perfectly into the mould you need to be successful. Nothing against Howard, he is the greatest NBA center right now and is the star of my Orlando Magic, but he isn't really suited toward Olympic play. Team USA didn't have a choice, there is currently no better post player to send. If Garnett were there, he would dominate. I'm not even a huge fan of Garnett's but his style and his game is totally suited for FIBA play. Personally, if any all-star NBA player gets snapped up by a european outfit - I hope it's Garnett. Not because I want to see the NBA lose a top player, I don't and I hope they never do, but because I want to see Garnett play in or around his prime under FIBA rules.

Thanks for Reading guys, please comment as I would love to hear all opinions on anything and everything that I have mentioned....

Thanks guys!!!

Posted on: April 25, 2008 3:49 am

MVP is being awarded on this

Ramon Sessions played out of his mind for the last week of the NBA regular season, combine that with the voters (journalists) tendancy to only remember what happened within the last week or so...abra kadara and here we are, Ramon Sessions, your 2007-08 MVP.

My point is how can Chris Paul lose the MVP over his last few games? That doesnt really make sense. While I believe Kobe is the MVP, if CP3 had the lead in the race how does 3 games lose it for you. What about the 78 other games he played in guys?

The voting system is stupid anyway, but if would be fine if they remembered the whole season instead of the last 4 games they played in.

I may have it in the wrong order but In the Australian NBL coach gets 3 points per vote, assistant coaches get 2 points per votes, captains get 1 point per vote. It's not a great system but its a hell of a lot better than the NBA system.

What do you guys think?? Does the MVP voting system need to be rectified or is it fine...and who is your MVP...?

Posted on: February 27, 2008 2:50 am

NBA Coach of the Year.

My first blog, I have dreamt of this day (not really).

Topic: NBA Coach of the Year.

First off, No matter how great the team / coach / system - if you dont make the playoffs you are not eligible for Coach of the Year. As the NBA has a bit of an eliteist attitude whne it comes to its accolades.

I'll start with Doc Rivers, Boston (Patriot) fans seem to think he is a shoo-in. I don't. Though I wouldn't be surprised if he did, as he does have the best record in the NBA. I would consider him a shoo-in if he did average last season. He had an All-Star (Pierce) and had one of the worst records in the NBA. The players have made him this season. Sure you don't have a good team without good players but he had Paul Pierce. If he was one of the best coaches he would have achieved something with them.

Flip Saunders, Detriot -- He has a good side, good young players with a pretty solid starting lineup. Proven system and wouldn't be surprised if they finished top of the east. I don't hear his name in Coach of the Year discussions that much, and you can see why. Good coach, but not coach of the year.

On Mike D'Antoni and Avery Johnson all I can say is that unless their respective teams win the west by a decent margin I think that they will just be long-shots.

Greg Poppovich has had the same core for awhile and once again his team are contenders. His team has battled injuries which may be able to get him up the order in the Coach of the Year. Great Great coach, but I don't think he will win the Coach of the Year.

Jerry Sloan, I dont think he will win. A lot of Utah fans seem to think he has a really really good chance. I think it is more the development of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer that helped him. If he was a good coach I think he would have won a title in the eternity he has been coaching.

Rick Adelman, Houston -- He has had a great year and falls into a similar boat as Nate McMillan (with different circumstances) that his team may suffer after Yao Ming's injury. He has done well, but we are yet to see if he is a great coach. I don't think he will get Coach of the Year.

Phil Jackson -- He may have one of the best, if not the best, players in the league -- but, if you look at it, they should have had major chemistry problems and a possible early start to rebuilding at the beginning of the season. I think Phil had a major role in cleaning that up and making them the current favourite to win the west. He was my pick in December to win Coach of the Year, but I think Byron Scott is edgeing him out by the narrowest of margins at the moment. A very, very, very close second. Surely, Lakers will get one of MVP or CotY awards..Kobe and Phil..one of them must get something.

Byron Scott, New Orleans -- The emergence of CP3 has helped him A LOT but he has a young squad with only one inexperienced all-star have taken him to first in the west at various times throughout the season. Definite conteder for Coach of the Year. Byron Scott has done a great job in New Orleans and has a decent coaching past. Phil Jackson was my pick in December but I think Byron Scott is my pick now. Average looking lineup on paper, inexperienced -- 1st in the West - What? Great Job

I have been going back and forth between Phil Jackson and Byron Scott. I think it is an exciting contest.

That is what I think but what are your thoughts and opinions...

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com