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News » Knicks have no excuse to pass on Iverson

Knicks have no excuse to pass on Iverson

Knicks have no excuse to pass on Iverson

One of the biggest problems with young players who come into the NBA with only a year of college competition is that they've been able to dominate purely on the basis of their talent. Every move they've made in high school or as freshmen was successful, so when they face experienced NBA defenders these youngsters have no idea of exactly what they can and cannot do.

Jermaine O'Neal is a prime example. It took him five seasons to pare down his offensive possibilities and develop his turnaround jumper as his go-to move.

Some young players — Andray Blatche, Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Gerald Green, Spencer Hawes, Jeff Green, Darko Milicic, Jamario Moon, Patrick O'Bryant — have yet to figure this out.

Travels with Charley

From time to time, I've been contacted by a player (or his representative) and asked to further explain some criticism I'd written concerning a certain aspect of his game.

A couple of years back, one of the Wizards public relations staff called in response to my pointing out that Gilbert Arenas tended to turn his head on defense and was burned by two or three backdoor plays every game. Arenas wanted to know, the PR guy said, what he could do to prevent this, and what other pieces of his game I thought could be improved.

Although this was the provenance of his coaches, the PR guy diligently took notes as I discussed how to avoid being back-doored. Actually, it's just by adhering to a fundamental defensive principle — open up until you can see both the ball and your man. If the specific angles prohibit this, then watch the ball while keeping some physical connection — a hand on the nearest hip will do — with your man.

Anything else?

I talked about Arenas' shot selection, and his frequent domination of the ball.

Anything else?

Yes. I wasn't particularly fond of the way Arenas spun the basketball prior to releasing his free throws. Remembering how Arenas had botched a pair of last-second free throws that cost the Wiz a playoff game against the Cavs back in 2006, the PR person was eager to relay my advice to Arenas.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 19, 2009


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