Most everyone, ever, is taught to focus on the rim when aiming for a jump shot (obviously). Most are also taught to keep focusing on the rim while the ball is in flight. But not everyone. Some watch the rim, but as soon as the ball leaves their hands, they observe the arcing sphere. Dirk Nowitzki famously looks at the ball.
It’s a question that’s intrigued me. I recall during the 2012 NBA All-Star game, Andre Iguodala, mic’d up, asked Luol Deng if he looked at the ball or the rim. Deng said rim. Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller later discussed the topic on Inside The NBA. Both said they look at the ball in flight once it leaves their fingers. Internet searches—with mostly message board discussions providing the results—confirm memory of this Miller-Kerr conversation. (Miller even went so far as to claim that answers amongst NBA players would be dispersed 50/50—rim vs. ball in flight; a very Miller-like, outlandish claim.) Other good shooters said to look at the ball in flight: Steve Nash and Kevin Love.
I personally keep my eye on the rim. Some coaches will tell you that switching focus to flight can add unnecessary motion, as you would tend to raise your chin to follow the path of the ball. My shot was never consistent enough to be affected by such nuance (or, rather, there can be dozen of other inconsistent ticks in motion for the average shooter). I just figured that it’s best to provide the highest amount of concentration possible on the ultimate destination. Plus, that’s how I was taught.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 36, Washington Wizards at Sacramento Kings; contributors: John ConverseTownsend, Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidiefrom the East Coast.]
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 29, Washington Wizards vs Dallas Mavericks in D.C.; contributor: Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center.]
Vince Carter started the game with a dunk against the #SoWizards… Surprise, surprise.
Below is the brief reaction I submitted for ESPN’s Daily Dime, and then a video of some Wizards talking about losing to Dallas while witnessing some retro Vinsanity.
If a bad team like the 4-25 Wizards doesn’t get what’s left of Vince Carter’s juices flowing, what will? The artist formerly known as Vinsanity started the game with a monster dunk, of all things, and pretty much ended the night with a more vicious dunk. Carter finished with an efficient, game-high 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting.
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 29th game of the season against the Dallas Mavericks in Washington are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It), and guests Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh), Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace), and Shay Vance, all of whom write about the Mavericks for the TrueHoop blog The Two Man Game.
In early mid-April (the 12th to be exact), when asked as part of an ESPN.com 5-on-5 roundtable which NBA star would have his legacy enhanced the most in the 2011 Playoffs, I wrote:
“The health of Andrew Bynum won’t affect Dirk Nowitzki’s hunger, but Nowitzki’s stomach did just growl. One could argue that Dirk’s legacy has the deepest hole from which to climb. Since blowing a 2-0 series lead on Miami in the 2006 Finals, the Mavericks have been bounced in the first round of the playoffs in three of the past four seasons. A championship isn’t wholly necessary to repair Dirk’s playoff legacy, but if Dallas fails to make the Finals, he may have to live with the label of a regular-season MVP who can’t come through in the postseason.”
Now, I’m not here to exactly toot my own horn as a prognosticator of all things basketball — seeing as I predicted last year’s Wizards to achieve 34 wins (only off by 11 wins), and the bastardly 2009-10 Wizards to achieve 55 wins (yes, I was off by a whole 29 wins here… like I said, “bastardly”) — however, in the same ESPN poll, in reponse to a query on the most surprising thing that would happen in the Western Conference playoffs, I wrote: Read more »
["What he did? Told them he cut his eye ... in sparring." -Wu-Tang Clan, Bells of War]
I kept telling myself, evenTweeting, when Miami was looking like unstoppable beasts for all but about seven minutes of NBA Finals game two, “Is Dallas the type of team you don’t want to let hang around?”
Of course they are. The Mavs are a unit well-versed in veteran composure, lest they would have had a seven game series with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But Miami isn’t Oklahoma, in so many senses.
Late in the game, after countless amazing dunks with little defensive resistance, Miami finally pulled away and took an 88-73 lead on a Dwayne Wade three. After nailing the shot near Dallas’ bench, Wade held his follow through and slowly walked toward his own bench, as Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had called a timeout. LeBron came over to give Wade celebratory chest jabs.
The Washington Wizards have been involved in 12 games out of 50 which have been decided by five points or less. Their record in those games is 7-5, with wins coming against Philadelphia (twice), Boston, Memphis, Sacramento, Toronto and Portland; the losses have come against Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta, Orlando and Miami. Only two of the games have come on the road, the losses to the Pistons and the Hawks.
So, Washington has fared better in close games in comparison to their 13-37 record on the season overall. But the glaring problem, especially in the midst of an 0-25 road record, is that Flip Saunders does not have a player with the ability to step up as a clutch performer and truly put the team on their back when big buckets need to be scored, or when a defensive stop needs to be made.