lunes, 25 de mayo de 2015

Final Four 2015: Teodosic

There has been some controversy around Teodosic's performance in the semifinal between Olympiacos and CSKA.

I've said this before and it won't be the last time, we, the people, try to find an explanation for victories and defeats, so it is quite normal to hear "this player lost the game" "this player won the game" or "that turnover was the key" and also "the missed three point shots were decisive"... The use of some statistics, or taking a couple of isolated actions appear to be enough to find that explanation we need to feel "we know" what happened and why.

From a coach's point of view, and we have many different examples, the performance of your team rely on many different aspects. And the influence of a player in the development of the game goes, for example, way beyond the points he scores.

Playing the devil's advocate I'm throwing two single numbers in support of Teodosic: he scored 6 of CSKA's 17 points in the last quarter. That's 35% of their total points in the last quarter. 

These are Teodosic's offensive actions during the last quarter, those in which he was handling the ball - finishing his team's actions. There was some talking about "ball stopping" and it is clear that he forced some situations (something that Spanoulis did, too… being the outcome the main difference between some of them) but we should review the other four players movement (or lack of) and the spacing they have in some of those actions (not really helpful)

On the other side of the court, we can ask ourselves if Olympiacos' rule was to attack Teodosic, not being his defensive skills his main strength. It looks like he gives up a couple of fouls without a big defensive effort. In the second clip he gives his man a big distance so the pass is easy (and this is quite common when he plays defense on the ball handler)

The way things work on a team, a coach must consider a number of plus and minuses of his players, who is on the court, what is each one giving to the team, the game situation, will he attract the defenders to create opportunities for the other players (there are many different things to think about) and then make a decision about who is playing in a specific moment. But the beauty of sport is also in the decision making, sometimes the right decision looks like a mistake, and sometimes a "crazy" move from the coach ends up working… Sometimes you just need to keep it simple instead of "over coaching"… 

But remember, "after the battle everyone's a good general".

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