Friday, June 1, 2018

Basketball: Your Best Stuff



"There are very few things in this life that aren't rigged, and I'm thankful for both of them." - David Mamet

Tipsy, he crawled on his knees under the streetlight, desperately looking for his car keys. The Samaritan asked if he knew where he dropped them. The drunk pointed to his car, about ten yards away. "Why are looking here?" "Because the light is better." 

We make those mistakes. Look for the right answers in the right places. And don't even think about driving drunk. 

The basketball season has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning of this season started this week with offseason workouts. "Repetitions make reputations." We're writing a new script, developing the characters, crafting dialogue. 

Hemingway could have coached. "Write the best story you can and throw out all the good lines." Don't settle for good. Script the offseason plot artfully. Bad chefs seldom cook great meals. Be a mentor not a monster.  

Just as David Mamet taught that the main characters need the best lines, so too the best shooters need the best shots. If you want those shots, then you need to step up. 

Games often have three acts. The first act introduces the plot and the characters. Character is not who you are, it's what you do. The second act reinforces the struggle - foul trouble, lethargy, deficits, plagues of shooting or turnovers. The hero must overcome barriers along the way. The final act offers chances for redemption, the heroes complete the journey. Or not. Game, season, possession...the nuances of A to B

At the possession level, we have a series of 'incidents'. Spacing sets the scene, the characters read the defense and offense, and action creates the shot. Good writing doesn't keep 'throwaway lines'. Move the story forward. Each scene needs a purpose or it needs to go. Ron Howard explains, "the editing room makes the movie."  

At practice, we enact three possession scenes - offense, defense, offense - O D O. We could start the scene with a 'turnover' or 'blocked' shot, but beginning with a baseline out of bounds (BOB) or sideline out of bounds (SLOB) adds authenticity. 

We muster a plot and characters. Add more dialogue. "Silent teams lose."
Celtics assistant writer (coach) Micah Shrewsberry shares a 'dialogue tool' above. 

Demand that our teams put on the best possible show. Entertain the coaches, fans, and community with your best stuff. 

Lagniappe: (Hat tip, Scott Peterman)
Stagger pop action. The best players get the best lines. 

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