Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's a matter of getting the reins, but with the coach guiding you

Good story today on about point guards Devin Harris and Chris Duhon (pictured here), who currently rank in the top 5 in scoring and assists, respectively.

Nets GM Kiki Vandeweghe contends the PG spot is the most challenging "because you have responsibility not only for yourself, but for running the plays, organizing the team and it's a matter of getting the reins, enough of the reins, but with the coach guiding you at the same time. It's a matter of finding what works and what doesn't work, and that's true of any player, but especially for a point guard."

Mike D'Antoni credits Duhon's improved play to an increase in confidence.

"That's the first thing. He's playing a lot of time. He's not worried about making a mistake. Most players in this league when they get that type of confidence they're better than they were."

Says Duhon, whose nickname is "48 Plus" because of his heavy minutes, he's not concerned about getting a quick hook after a bad play:

"This offense has given me an opportunity to shoot or create for my teammates. Coach has confidence in me and I know I'm not going worry about coming out because I've made a mistake."

Harris attributes his improved play to Coach Lawrence Frank's offense, saying:

"I feel free, the system allows me to make plays. And it makes it easier when you have a coach who sits back and just lets you play."

According to the article, "Repeatedly after a rebound, the Knicks... seek out Duhon to bring the ball up. [In a recent game] Duhon had numerous 'hockey assists'... where he'd get into the lane off dribble penetration or on a pick-and-roll and dish it off, only to have his pass lead to another pass to a wide open Knick."