View Full Version : Summer League Ball

07-24-2001, 02:27 PM
NOBODY'S playing Zone Defense. This is about the 5th game I've watched(well kinda watched) on ESPN and so far nobody's really been playing Zone. The announcers keep talking about it too. Will this be a trend through the regular season aswell?

07-24-2001, 02:39 PM
Like i've said..i don't think the zone will be used as much as people have been thinking... it'll just make it easier to double up on players such as shaq, etc...

the mavs may use it at times because nellie's crazy like that...

just think, how many of the top programs in college use zone defense much? ...not very many at all...so why would we expect the NBA to be any different?

07-24-2001, 02:59 PM
Actually you can't really play zone with the new changes. I was watching the other day too. Bradley's presence may not be that huge of an impact because they have 3 seconds on defense now. If he stands there for a long period of time and the person he guards goes more than an arms length away from him, that's 3 seconds. So I can see why the rule changes can help out the quicker guards, they have the ability to drive and dish more.

So I think as Mavericks fans we'll see that trap that Nellie was using last year and that's about it. I don't forsee us playing a 2-3 or anything ridiculous like that.

07-24-2001, 03:52 PM
yes, but bradley would be able to step just out of the lane and immediately re-enter, much like an offensive player does when trying to establish position without the ball.
so..unless everyone on the offense is completely out of the lane.. bradley will almost always be within arms length (even if in the lane) of someone on offense.

07-24-2001, 06:39 PM
Bradley is a smart player, and he knows how to weasel just around the rules so he can stay in the lane more than he's supposed to. All Bradley has to do is keep an arm outstretched, and if any player on the opposing team is anywhere near the paint, then Bradley is IN the paint...

07-24-2001, 08:54 PM
If Bradley is such a smart player who will be able to "weasel around the rules", why does rank so high in fouls per 48 minutes? The refs hate his attitude - are they suddenly going to stop calling fouls on him? The closest Bradley will get to the defensive player of the year is when we play the Sixers.

07-24-2001, 08:59 PM
Well, if you are worried about whether or not Bradley is smart enough for this, just remember that he'll have Nelson to point out how it works to him--and I don't think anybody doubts that Nelson is an excellent weasel.

07-24-2001, 09:03 PM
I'm almost sure that Nellie has been coaching the Stick for the last couple of years and Bradley is still foul-prone. You can only teach so much - the pupil has to follow instructions.

07-24-2001, 09:04 PM
nellie´s no weasel - nellie´s a clown.

and he´s the VERY BEST i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif


07-24-2001, 09:14 PM
MFFL, what do fouls have to do with illegal defense? Bradley got away with more illegal defense than any other player in the league last year, and by a great margin. The reason he's always arguing with the refs on illegal defense calls is because he obviously knows the rules like the back of his hand... if there's one thing Bradley is GREAT at, it's knowing how to position himself on the floor. Being foul-prone has nothing to do with intelligence and knowledge of the rules of the game... ask Calvin Booth or Christian Laettner. Hell, ask Tim Duncan, or just about any other big man in the league...

07-24-2001, 10:06 PM
what do fouls have to do with illegal defense?

No direct connection. But I never implied a connection. I asked why Bradley would be considered smart when he gets so many fouls called against him. Surely a smart player would learn what is being called against him and stop doing it. Bradley has way too many fouls. He is a part-time player and got called for as many fouls as Shaq. How did he get away with all of those illegal defenses if he was on the bench half the time? He's a valuable spare, but a spare nonetheless.

07-24-2001, 10:25 PM
Try this one on for size- Bradley gets called for so many fouls because he has to make up for everyone else's mistakes. The Mavericks' perimeter defense is very poor, and when Bradley has to aggressively challenge a shot every three or four possessions, he's going to get called for more fouls than other players on the floor. In order for Bradley to get fewer fouls called, he would half to be less aggressive with his weakside defense (ala your boy Shaq) and he would not be the excellent intimidator and defender of the lane that he is. Yes, he is a better play when limited to 24-30 minutes- it's one of the limitations of his game- but Bradley is crucial to our success and to call him a "spare" is more than a little shortsighted. I half wish we would trade Bradley this offseason just so people like you would understand how poor a team we would be without his contributions...

07-25-2001, 09:12 AM
Actually I have to agree with you there, that the perimeter defense does suffer sometimes. However I think that's a mental thing because our perimeter people know Bradley's back there they pressure the ball much more and don't fear their man going by them. That's the same way San Antonio does it except they have two shot blockers protecting the basket that's why they had the best defense.

The only problem is Bradley is the ONLY shot blocker out of Mutombo, Shaq, Robinson, Duncan who gets called for so many fouls. That's why people take it to him with vengence because they'll get the benefit of the doubt. I think that has something to do with Bradley's lack of strength too all of these factors play into his foul trouble and how we defend the perimeter.

07-25-2001, 10:25 AM
bradley does pick up fouls because the mavs aren't a great defensive team...
nash, an average defender
finley, has alot of steals, but gets driven around alot
dirk, not quick enough to guard some sf's
howard, not quick enough to guard anyone except old white centers with bad knees...
so, bradley gets put in a bad situation alot...he can't constantly be expected to provide help defense, it's simply not that easy..
plus, bradley has a rep as a whiner with nba officials, so they basically screw him over a bit whenever they get a chance

07-26-2001, 07:12 PM
A nice article about the effect of the new rules.
Defending the zone
July 23, 2001

SALT LAKE CITY—Remember all the gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands that accompanied the announcement, back in April, that the NBA was about to legalize zone defenses?

Remember how NBA icons like Rudy Tomjanovich, fresh off coaching Team USA to an Olympic gold medal, predicted the demise of enjoyable basketball, NBA-style?

Recall how just last week Shaquille O’Neal disparaged the elimination of the illegal defense rules?

Relax, NBA fans.

If the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league is any indication—only time will tell if it truly is—you’re going to like the game even more than you did last season.

And as we begin to dissect the rules changes that have been in place in the off-season summer leagues such as the Rocky Mountain Revue and the Shaw’s Summer League, remember how strongly the naysayers were criticizing the NBA game as recently as the All-Star break.

Before the select committee of basketball experts that included Jerry West, Dr. Jack Ramsey, Dick Motta and Rod Thorn took the rules by the lapel and shook them, the critics were talking about how boring the NBA game had become.

I hope those critics are willing to give the new rules a chance to work.

What I saw over three days of the Rocky Mountain Revue was, by and large, the same game we’ve seen in the NBA for the last dozen years, with some minor, positive changes.

For one thing, it’s clear the new rule requiring teams to advance the ball past the halfcourt time line in eight seconds, instead of 10, is going to result on more backcourt pressure. It’s equally clear that teams are going to employ more trapping defenses.

What is not clear is how often teams are going to use recognizable zone defenses.

Zones were few and far between in Salt Lake City, and Cleveland Cavs coach John Lucas thinks he knows why.

“You haven’t seen anybody playing zone yet,” Lucas said, “because it’s hard to play zone. You’ve got to get up the court so quickly to set it up."

Lucas hardly was surprised the game looked essentially the same as it has for years.

“Of course it’s not going to look different," Lucas said, “except for the trapping. You can’t stay in the lane now when you’re trapping. You’ve got to get out of there, so it opens up the game. I like what I see so far."

The most noticeable difference in the rules: The defensive three-second call. “Aircraft carriers” won’t be able to camp in the lane and wait for opponents to drive to the basket so they can swat their shots aside. Unless they are aggressively guarding someone near them in the lane, they will have to “cleanse” the lane.

If they don’t “cleanse” in three seconds, they will be called for a violation that will give the opponent a technical foul shot.

Of course, it’s going to take some time for everyone to adapt to the new rules, including the referees. Bill Kennedy, who has been calling NBA games for a few years now, got confused a couple times on Friday when he spotted a defender hanging in the lane too long. He used the proper signal, which is the old illegal defense signal, and that likely confused him further. He called out the violation as “illegal defense; I mean three seconds; I mean defensive three seconds. You know what I mean."

The bottom line for the referees: Their jobs just got a lot simpler by not having to apply the many different definitions of the illegal defense.

Anything that makes the refs’ jobs simpler is a good thing.

“Having been part of the committee, simplicity was a big part of our decision," said NBA supervisor of officials Ed Rush, who has criss-crossed the country watching summer league games for the last two weeks. “I was in Long Beach and I just got back from Boston, and there is no question that this will be easier for us, for the players, and it’s going to help open up the middle of the floor. That’s because if you do allow any defense without legislating this (three-second violation), then we’d have a game we really don’t want.

“The most important thing is that it works. The mission here is to get more movement in the game, both offensively and defensively.

“From what I’ve seen—and the summer leagues aren’t a true test—I am very optimistic, much more so than when we did this."

How vital was the defensive three-second rule? According to anti-zone meister Tomjanovich, it makes all the difference.

“I was opposed to (allowing) any defense," Rudy T. said after watching his team’s first summer league game with the new rules. “If there’s any defense, then you can just sit in there, without the three seconds. To me, this is basically what we had before, but it’s easier to call.

“To me, when NBA basketball is at its best it’s a man-to-man game where players are exploiting their skills, things like that. Those things won’t just let people stand in the paint."

“From what I see so far, it looks like it’s easier for the officials to call the illegal defense," Tomjanovich said. “Let’s not get under the illusion there isn’t going to be an illegal defense. They’re just going to call it three seconds. But it’s so much easier for them to spot it. That they have to have guys to get “cleansed," all the way out of the three-second zone. It’s a great deal because it does get some spacing. I think it’s going to be OK."

Suns general manager Brian Colangelo liked what he saw in the Revue. Of course, even if he didn’t, saying so would risk the wrath of his father, Jerry, the architect of the new rules. But Colangelo seemed sincere in his assessment of the changes.

“I think it’s forcing people to re-think the game," Brian Colangelo said. “Teams are trying to move the ball a little more. In terms of the overall effect it’s too early to tell."

The Suns were one of the few teams who regularly employed zone defenses during the Revue games I saw. They used them selectively, almost as an element of surprise.

The summer leaguers were confused by them.

“I think it’s confusing everybody right now," Colangelo said. “But the officials are getting a grasp for what the calls are about. By the start of preseason we’re all going to have a better feel for it. Teams are going to have a chance to work on things in training camp. Then the preseason itself is going to be a bit of a testing ground.

“The overall effect of the rules, from what we’re seeing right now, is a little better ball movement. And that’s one of the things we set out to do."

Rush pleaded for some patience from NBA fans.

“I think the fans should look for an adjustment period for all of us," Rush said. “These are different ways of playing the game. Early in the season we’re all going to be adjusting to the reality. There are a whole bunch of coaches sitting out there with their notepads, trying to figure out ways they can beat this. That’s the nature of coaches."