Sunday, March 22, 2009

"The best shooting team will be tied at half time...

...with the worst shooting team."

Not as concise or catchy as this headline: "The best shooting team will win", but accurate nonetheless.

Oklahoma St.
FG: 17-28
FG%: .607
3PT: 10-17
3PT%: .588
FT: 5-5
FT%: 1.000
OffR: 2
Reb: 7
Ast: 15
PF: 9
Points: 49

Pittsburgh
FG: 17-29
FG%: .586
3PT: 8-16
3PT%: .500
FT: 7-11
FT%: .636
OffR: 7
Reb: 12
Ast: 12
PF: 4
Points: 49


Smizik is arguing that if Pitt shoots well, they'll be fine. I agree with this. So does everyone who has ever seen a Mesoamerican ballgame. I think the Smiz realized this, and to beef up what would otherwise be an inane truism, he churned out a theorem:
When the talk gets around to what wins basketball games, the conversation usually drifts to rebounding, defense and turnovers and is broken down even further into offensive rebounding and assist-to-turnover ratio. Those are important but not nearly as important as shooting. Rebounding and turnovers help create baskets. Good shooting doesn’t need any help.
Now we're just entering the realm of the crazy. Two points to be made.

Firstly, that shooting does not exist in a vacuum. Rebounding, turnovers, assists, defense in general... all that directly influences the open looks allowed to yourself and your opponent.

Secondly, all this non-shooting activity is essential for those days when you're just not getting it to go in. Here, I'll quote Camus:
Shooting comes and goes. It has nothing to do with effort. Some days the shots fall, some days ithey don't. Even the greatest shooters have off days. When they do, their teams often lose.
How fatalistic and true. But note the key word between "teams" and "lose" : "often." Not always. Teams don't always lose when they can't make a shot. Because sometimes a team has a system in place.

As I publish this, we're picking up the D and making free throws. Our game from the field is still as underwhelming as can be expected. Do we want to be a better team shooting? Absofuckinglutely. Will it happen? Probably. But that's going to be on account of our defense and passing system giving us the edge by default. No more truisms for now, Smizik. I need to focus on this game.

THREE POINTS, PANTHERS!

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