Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Special rules for special players

It's not unusual to have "rules" in place for special/certain players. When I was with the Timberwolves in the early '90s, we had the "John Stockton Rules." Whenever Stockon crossed half-court, we'd double him to make him give up the ball and then deny him the ball back as the PG is so important in Jerry Sloan's disciplined 1-4 high offense.

In Golden State, we had the "Iverson Rules." Whenever AI had the ball or caught the ball, we immediately went to a Box-and-One, which really bothered him. When he gave ball up, we matched back up in straight man to man. When he got ball again, we went to the nearest box (2 elbows and 2 low blocks) in a Box-and-One.

With the Warriors, we had our own "Kobe Rules." In the first half, we'd force him right on either wing. Then, in the second half, we change so he didn't get a steady diet of the same defense as he is too smart and figures out a way to score. Then, depending how game was going, in the final period (or next game vs Kobe), we could force him baseline in the first half, then force middle in the second half.

We knew he could go either way. The point was we wanted the player defending Kobe to know where all the help would be. Our guys with the Warriors really bought in and let the staff be creative which made it even more effective.