"Should've Been A Cowboy"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Different Game Of Basketball

i've never seen a european basketball game, but it must be quit a bit different style of play than a nba basketball game. what made me think of this was when the commentators for the nba finals commented on dirk nowitzki's great ball control for a big man. another big guy from over seas, that isn't quit the star that dirk is, but has great ball control is toni kukoc. being a bulls fan as a kid i was able to watch and marvel at toni, a 6-11 man, drive to the basket and shoot three pointers like your average guard.

here in america we tend to groom big players to be low block players. most of which can't drive to the basket from the top of the key or make a three pointer on a consistent basis, but we keep finding big men in europe that can. obviously they train their big men a bit different in europe. on the flip side these big men with ball control and a good shot can't control the paint quit like our american big men. at least not when they first come into the league, but i must say that dirk has gotten a lot better at that over the years.

a couple more examples of foreign big men with a shoot and some ball control are peja stojakovic and mehmet okur. i think this is a trend that will continue to grow and will really effect the way basketball is played in the years to come. as it is right now, teams really have difficulty guarding a player like dirk. if you stick a big man on him he will burn the guy on the way to the basket, and if you stick a smaller faster defender on him he will shoot the ball as if the guy wasn't even there or post up on him in the paint. i must say that i really admire these big men with skills other than dunking and rebounding.


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