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Monday, December 25, 2017

Basketball Tricolon

Tricolon is a form of rhetoric relying upon threes. Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered. "Friends, Romans, Countrymen." "Duty, honor, country." Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." You get the picture. Three usually sounds better than two. 

Can we apply tricolon to our basketball lexicon? Yes, we can. 

Bill Belichick and peers cite offense, defense, and special teams. Basketball coaches use offense, defense, and conversion, the split second bridging between the former duo.

Historical personnel often came in threes- Chamberlain, West, and Baylor, Bird, McHale, and Parish, Jordan, Pippen, RodmanPierce, Garnett, and Allen. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, and with apologies to Draymond Green, Curry, Durant, and Thompson.

The UCONN women had Stewart, Jefferson, and Tuck

Offensive staples are layups, threes, and free throws. Youths learn the "triple threat" position. In Basketball Methods, Pete Newell wrote about basketball offensive pivot roles - scorer, passer, screener.  

The Rockets' 2016-2017 shot chart chitters the conventional wisdom. 

Defensive communication is a must, with emphasis on "early, loud, and often." 

My last pregame talk kept it simple, "attack the basket, attack the glass, and attack the ball defensively."

Dribble, pass, and shoot get the leads, while rebound, cut, and pivot get shorter shrift. Three referees monitor the action and the thirty NBA teams have three letter abbreviations. Three-point shots can be reviewed but never three-second violations. 

New Yorkers have "Let's Go Knicks" while the Thunder chant "O-K-C." Not an accident. 

Less than a handful (ironically, three) of NBA teams celebrate the portmanteau of championship three-peats.

There's something magical about three. 

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