NBA Playoffs: The Stakes

With the NBA playoffs about to begin within a matter of hours, now would probably be a good time to review just what is at stake for all of the participants in the Association’s tourney:

Continue reading NBA Playoffs: The Stakes


Sports Equation #27

Experience / (offense + defense) + Donte + Dapper  = Dominance


Here’s another follow-up post. In fact, it’s a follow-up to a follow-up. Since the NCAA’s Final Four will be contested today, it’s worth looking back–and maybe a little forward–at the DFR’s case study in what’s wrong with college basketball, the career of coach Shaka Smart.

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Villanova’s Jay Wright: the poster boy for ‘stick around and succeed’?

Two and a half years ago, this space examined the ramifications–pun intended–of Smart’s move from VCU to Texas. That post put forth the proposition that maneuverings such as the Longhorns poaching Smart away from the Rams are ultimately detrimental to college basketball overall, except that they benefit a small cadre of elite schools like Texas. I also noted that, despite superficial considerations, there was a strong chance that the move would not be to Smart’s benefit either.

The early returns were not promising. How’s it gone since then? Well, I don’t want to say I told you so…  Continue reading DNS-CD

A Hoops ‘Huh?’

Here’s a thing I’ve been pondering lately:

We all know that, in basketball, if a defensive player blocks a shot that is past its apex–that is, it’s on the way down to the basket–that is defensive goaltending, and the basket counts. The same thing applies once the shot hits the backboard. In either case, goaltending is called and the basket is called good. All well and good.

And we all know that there’s a counterpart, offensive goaltending: an offensive player is not allowed to touch the ball while it is still on the hoop, also known as still “in the cylinder,” that imaginary geometric shape that defines the space above the rim. If an offensive player touches the ball while it’s still bouncing around the hoop, that’s a no-no, and any basket is waived off.

That raises a question: why?

Continue reading A Hoops ‘Huh?’