A serious basketball theory question

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Posted by Inquisitive One on February 08, 2017 at 11:22:07:

In Reply to: I'm agreeing with Jack Pollon :( . Not all 92's are the same posted by Justin Credible on February 08, 2017 at 09:11:18:

Setting aside one's dislike or like of (former) newspaper reporters (or current ones), Chino Hills, and the Balls come in for a lot of very vociferous criticism from many who complain that their style of play "isn't really what basketball is about". Or rather, as these critics see it, the way Chino Hills plays, isn't what they *think* basketball is or should be about.

Serious question: If an opponent isn't going to defend against "cherry-picking" why shouldn't the other team take advantage of that and exploit it to score points whenever and however possible.

Basketball is a game of alternating possessions, last time I looked. At the end of the day, so long as the rules of basketball are followed and enfoced while the game is played, who says that basketball MUST be played in a certain way, or with a certain style that stresses defense equally with offense, or which requires a player to involve every player on every offensive possession.

The point of the game is to score more points than the other team, and from where I'm sitting, Chino Hills is doing that, in what many think is an "unfair" manner, one that "violates the spirit of the CIF". But no one is breaking any rules are they? There's no rule against keeping a player in the opponents' side of the court and passing the ball immediately after a made basket, to enhance the odds that the player who stayed back will face less defensive pressure than if the ball was slowly brought up the court or if a half-court traditional type of offense was run.

The way I see it, Justin Credible's son has got a point. You guys need to open up your minds to a style of play that is just not as conventional as what you're used to seeing.

I'd make the same point in response to the LA Times story in this morning's paper about UCLA's defensive Pomeroy rating, which is like No. 117 out of 325 in the county, in which the author makes the point that no team with an offensive rating that bad has made it to the Final Four since the ratings have been published, and that the lowest rating on record for a Final Four team was Virginia Commonwealth at No. 88.

But maybe Steve Alford's own experience as a player at Indiana, with a team that scored an average of 89 pts per contest, but gave up an average of 77, will once again demonstrate that even teams that play an unconventional style can still have overall success. After all Indiana won a title with a team that played some of the worst defense ever.

Open up your minds and start seeing the game as more than just traditional offensive and defensive styles of play.

Whether Chino Hills' style of play which focuses primarily on one or two players scoring and the rest of the team being willing decoys is or isn't seen as "fair" or what the CIF spirit of competition is supposed to be about, the fact remains that they are still playing basketball as it is permitted to be played under the National Federation of High Schools basketball rule book. It's not a foul and it's not illegal to "cherry pick" if the other team fails to defend against it. It results in one team scoring more than the other, which again, is within the rules and the full spirit of the game.

Do you ever hear people complain that John Wooden's teams played "unfairly" in the days before the shot clock when they went to a four-corners stall, and never scored, and made no effort to score? Again, just part of the rules of the game.

If there was a rule which required a team to have no one in its own frontcourt at the time it first obtains possession after a made basket, then perhaps the critics would be right. But that's not the rule, and it's not likely to ever be a rule in basketball.

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