Help needed to appreciate basketball

nickcat0

Senior List
Jun 22, 2007
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Southport , Lancashire
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The new NBA season starts today/tomorrow and as a lover of many sports, including the other 3 big North American ones, I'm going to make one last effort to watch and "get into it".

I've tried before, but all I see is the attacking team being allowed to advance the ball up the court to at least halfway, often more, until the defence tries to stop them. Then the attacking team then go through one of a handful of "set" moves, and either tries for a 3 pointer, a lay up, or a dunk. Then the other team get a turn. This gets repeated for 48 minutes, and the only "excitement" is if it's a close game with a few minutes to go.

The very fact that so many baskets are scored, proves how easy it is to score when you're 6'6" tall. There seems to be very little strategy, or tactics.

So, in order to help me enjoy it, what nuances am I missing? What should I be looking for to keep my interest? Clearly all popular sports have many complexities to them, so please, help me out here.
 

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nahnah

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 26, 2012
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My first piece of advice is you just don’t like the sport so there is no point forcing it...

But few things you are missing:
- there is full court pressure especially late in games
- there are different types of defense, zone, or man on man, switching etc
- there are many different types of offensive strategy
- a lot of the highest scorers are under 6’6 (James Harden, Curry, Mitchell, Westbrook to name a few)


My questions to you about sport you potentially like (not sure if you do):
- what is so interesting about baseball where they just throw, hit and run over and over?
 

nickcat0

Senior List
Jun 22, 2007
295
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Southport , Lancashire
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The thing I love most about Baseball is the strategy. The Catcher calling pitches based on the batter's tendencies and strengths. The Managers trying to get the best match ups by use of the bullpen or by pinch hitting/running. The runner deciding to try and steal a base or not. The Manager calling for a hit and run, a sac fly, or maybe a bunt, etc etc.

The second thing that really appeals is the sheer athleticism of the fielding. The outfielder climbing the wall to take a catch, the 3rd baseman firing a laser to get the runner at 1st base, and of course, a short stop and 2nd baseman turning a quick double play.


I could go on but I'll get myself a well deserved reputation for being a sad, obsessed, sporting anorak.
 

peternorth

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May 6, 2005
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The thing I love most about Baseball is the strategy. The Catcher calling pitches based on the batter's tendencies and strengths. The Managers trying to get the best match ups by use of the bullpen or by pinch hitting/running. The runner deciding to try and steal a base or not. The Manager calling for a hit and run, a sac fly, or maybe a bunt, etc etc.

The second thing that really appeals is the sheer athleticism of the fielding. The outfielder climbing the wall to take a catch, the 3rd baseman firing a laser to get the runner at 1st base, and of course, a short stop and 2nd baseman turning a quick double play.


I could go on but I'll get myself a well deserved reputation for being a sad, obsessed, sporting anorak.

applies to basketball as well. Matchups are so fluid at any second players will orchestrate plays in order to get someone on a mismatch. Using certain players on certain other players, changing them according to offense vs defence. Foul trouble often dictates minutes for a player, especially if its a gun player in trouble.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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The enjoyment of basketball other than the sheer athleticism which 99.9% of us will never relate to (seriously, guys are 2m tall or more, can run like the wind and have vertical leaps of 1m - put that into perspective when you are a short fat white guy playing Monday night C-grade or something) is that it's a game of efficiency. Perth lost at home to Illawarra on Friday, 99-73. Pretty convincing scoreline. In reality it was 28/86 from the field and 9/14 from the line vs 39/68 and 7/8. Great shooting? Great defence? Both? The scoreline only tells half the story. If you can put up 100 shots to hit 40 of them and your opposition hits 35 of 80 then great, but it usually comes back to efficiency. If you can score 4 or 5 times in every 10 plays to their 3 or 4, then you should win.

An NBA game goes for 48 minutes of 24 second plays. In an average game there should be about 70-100 plays per team, give or take. It's an end to end game and every time you score you give possession to the other team. Every time you score (or don't and turn over possession) the 5 players on the court involved in the attacking play immediately revert to defence. It's different to a game like football or soccer where you can play forward or defence and not be a part of the game at all for large chunks at a time.

Tactics vary greatly depending on what you have to work with and who you are playing. Fit Lakers vs fit Warriors could be LeBron, AD and Howard/Cousins vs Steph, Klay and Russell. The Lakers focus would be on getting the ball inside in offence to find a physical mismatch. The Warriors would be looking to move the ball around on the outside and look for an open 3.

But yeah, if you don't like it you don't like it. Nothing wrong with that. Unless you go on and on about how much you don't like it.
 

Milpool

Team Captain
Oct 23, 2017
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I'm also starting to watch to fill the sports void. Caught the Clippers vs Lakers game yesterday, was interesting but will take some time to get my head around some rules. I've hardly payed any attention to it since NBA Jam '95 and opening a Michael Jordan skylighter out of my first pack of cards.
 

Upgrayedd

A Vote for Clive is a Vote for Justice
Aug 11, 2006
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Full court pressure is taxing and especially when it opens up much more of the court to the offense with one decent pass it becomes 4v4.
However when I played juniors our club consistently rotated guards and we played it a lot howeber you would want a deep guard bench to play that style. You don't want to run your best PG into the ground and reduce their effectiveness for the hope of forcing 2 turnovers

Especially if you have a big comfortable coming out past the 3p line and being able to shoot because effectively it's an open 3 for a guy or Some wide open lanes for cutters
 

Demonic Ascent

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2006
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I like basketball I just find the season too long. I'm usually all in in October/November and hold that through December. But I love NFL more so that takes precedence.

I tend to lose track in Jan/Feb and always tell myself I'll get back into it after all star weekend (which always seems to come at a crap time ie I want to watch games but nothing on)

I then don't really watch much until playoffs and even then it depends who is playing. I've been sick of the warriors so haven't watched a lot the last few years

Maybe this is the year I keep track all the way through.

Another thing I find difficult is multiple games per week. So if you are busy/lose track for a couple of weeks you might miss 6-10 games and lose track of a teams season.
 

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