Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Magic Number is 10

No, I'm not talking about wins (altho, even at this late date, the Nets have only 10 wins) or the number of players involved in the Quixotic and fictive Carmelo Anthony trade.

I'm talking points. Specifically, the number of points when you call a time out.

With 10 minutes (sic) remaining in the game, the Nets are leading 90-75, a 15 point lead. Good teams make plays, bad teams make mistakes, but even a bad quarter would still result in a win.

Unless you mismanage it, of course.

My biggest gripe about Frank was that he had no idea how to use time outs judiciously. It seemed I never wondered about the timing of an opponent's coach's use of time outs, and always wondered about Frank's. His timeout calls were frankly (sic, or not) tone deaf to the game.

AJ is better; I haven't questioned his time out calls, until tonite.

I don't get why Nets coaches don't know what virtually every other NBA coach of note does - don't let your double digit lead dwindle to single digits without doing something about it. The time to call a time out is when your lead is 10 or more, NOT when it is less than 10.

A 15 point lead can duck under 10 with 3 buckets in a row, or two threes. Either string will wake up a team, but not give them hope. Hope comes when the opponent chops a double digit lead to single digits. Every announcer on the planet, every fan in the stands, every coach in history, every player on the floor, will say, Now it's a game...

Phoenix cuts the lead to 10, 92-82. They are starting to get into it. AJ calls time out. Sets up a play. The Nets score. 94-82. Run over. Hope fades.

But no. AJ does NOT call a timeout. AJ "let's them play". Who is he letting play?

The Phoenix Suns, is who.

With poetic justice, former Net-for-life Vince Carter drains a 3. It's now 92-85 with more than a half a quarter left. NOW AJ calls time. NOW the house is rockin'. NOW the Suns are pumped.

It's more than a 5 point swing. It's a game swing. The Nets somehow force overtime, after trailing for most of the last 2 mins. Even after taking a brief OT lead, they wind up losing. That 3 was the only points they score in OT.

YOU CAN'T CONSERVE YOUR TIME OUTS FOR LATE IN THE GAME. If you use them judiciously, YOU WON'T NEED THEM. If you conserve them, barring a miracle, their only effect will be to draw out the humiliation of your team as they watch a winnable - a won! - game dribble down the drain.

Instead, he lets the Suns back in, lets his team take their feet of the Suns' throat. Yet again, for the 100th time, the Nets lose the first game on a difficult Western swing in OT, due solely to poor coaching.

It amazes me how so many obviously flawed coaches are allowed to malpractice in the pros of every sport. A coach needs not only to have a great work ethic for preparation, not only has to know his players and their strengths and limitations, not only has to be a viable strategist but HAS TO KNOW HOW TO MANAGE SITUATIONS IN-GAME.

AJ failed that test miserably tonite.

Nets lose in OT by 9. By NINE.

All because the jerk on the bench doesn't understand when to call a lousy time out.

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