The NBA’s Five Contextualized Nuances


Basketball is a form of art.

The discourse of basketball conversations on social media, like Twitter, lacks context and productive discussions.

To come to fair conclusions about a basketball opinion, simply watching games will reveal the nuances of the sport.

Here are five nuances of basketball to consider:

1. Game planning

Let’s say Stephen Curry has shot 2-of-10 from downtown versus the Boston Celtics at halftime.

The Celtics still need to guard Curry like he’s 7-of-12 from deep. If they defended Curry by top locking, ball denying and switching defenders into him in the first half, they are best at sticking with that gameplan.

When the Celtics see on the stat sheet that Curry is 2-of-10 at halftime, it would be a bad idea to suddenly relax by playing drop coverage. Otherwise, Curry would start torching the drop coverage and get a rhythm going.

2. New defensive era

Today’s offensive skillset has been better than ever. It’s even harder for defenses to put the clamps on when there’s so much isolation scoring and floor spacing.

It’s can be simplified as this: key in on the opposing team’s most skilled player by double teaming him or sending help, there’s bound to be an open 38% knockdown shooter.

Stay home on knockdown shooters, now the most skilled player on the floor has his defender at his mercy, one on one with limitless floor spacing to operate on.

Now, take a look at the big men on the perimeter.

No matter how good a shooter like Karl-Anthony Towns is, the defender has to short close out on him and stay down.

If the defender leaves his feet, Towns is so skilled to drive by and score a layup. If the defender short closeout on Towns, Towns is usually not bothered by the contest and he’s a 44 percent shooter from deep.

Here, Wendell Carter Jr. short closes on Towns and Towns swishes a triple.

3. The best of the best

Defenses switch more than ever in today’s league. It’s rare to see the best players at the same position guard each other the whole game anymore.

It’s rare to see the best defender guard the opposing team’s best offensive weapon the whole game.

One can’t look at a box score and say because LeBron James scored 40 points with Kevin Durant as his position counterpart, that means that James cooked Durant the whole game.

Since defenses switch so frequently, it’s likely that James attacked numerous defenders en route to a 40-point performance.

Curry can be facing off a defense that’s led by Marcus Smart. He can drop 40 points but one can’t come to the conclusion that he exploited Smart one on one when Smart’s defensive unit was switching the whole game. Which means that Curry was picking apart the entire defense.

4. Give credit where it’s due

When a star player drops 50 points on a bottom-five defense, many fans are quick to point out the poor defensive performance.

It was stated earlier that context is key. Not to be contradicting, but no matter what the context is, scoring 50 points in an NBA game is an impressive feat.

Appreciate historical performances.

5. 3-point barrage

The league is hoisting an unfathomable number of 3-pointers. Defenses have been more aggressive than ever when closing out on the perimeter.

Sometimes, defenders recklessly close out and as the jump shooter jacks up a triple, the defender’s feet end up under the shooter’s landing space, which leaves the shooter vulnerable to injury.

Just because there is a free-throw disparity in a game, it doesn’t equate to Team A shooting more free throws because they are driving to the rim more than Team B.

More fouls are called on 3-point shots more than ever in today’s league.

All in all, there are many factors and variances for basketball fans to consider.

When discovering these nuances, it can open up to the many different perspectives of basketball.

About Mac Pham

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