If you’ll excuse me, I have some blog doting to do.
M. Haubs and Jay Aych have been absolutely killing it with their previews and coverage of the FIBA World Championships at The Painted Area. This is nothing new. TPA has been an established go-to source for both NBA and international basketball content for some time, and the only thing that gives me more pleasure than taking in one of Haubs’ or Aych’s fantastic pieces is seeing them get their due.
And a plug by Fran Fraschilla on today’s Team USA broadcast? Not too shabby.
Fraschilla: “You know, Mark, I love reading the blogs. We have a guy, Jay Aych, The Painted Area, great blog this week. (I hope I said his name right.) But he made a great point about teams in Europe and international play, they run their offense like the Utah Jazz run it â€“ very crisp, disciplined, lot of touches. And thatâ€™s why the Jazz give teams in the league â€“ you know, Jerry Sloanâ€™s team gives teams so much trouble. Team USA is not used to guarding all 24 seconds of the shot clock, in my opinion.”
For reference, Fraschilla was referencing this post by Aych following USA’s win over Brazil:
This is not a surprise as NBA players don’t see that type of off-ball movement in the U.S.–lots more moving parts to deal with in FIBA ball. Brazil ran a lot of continuity sets, like the ones Magnano’s Argentina teams used to perplex Team USA with. It’s not just pick/roll that befuddles Team USA, it’s the off-ball action and screens coming from all angles. You will see a lot of variations on Princeton sets or flex sets in this tourney. Constant offensive motion is a staple of int’l basketball. Offenses with reads, counterplays, and counterplays to the counterplays.
If we were preparing Team USA for what to expect in this tourney, we’d tell them that it’s like playing the Jazz many times. And if you ask NBA players about defending the Jazz offense, we’re sure most would say it’s not fun. (More on this topic as it relates to Team USA, from ’07.)