Coach Anthony Macri is Director of Business Development and a Player Development Consultant for the Pro Training Center. Anthony works closely with NBA trainer David Thorpe, and writes the weekly Coach’s Notebook column for HOOPSWORLD. Coach Macri gets started at 3pm EST every Monday.
Happy Monday everybody! Sorry for the 30 min delay – got caught up in something at the office, but I’ll stay a half hour past the normal time to make sure I get to your Qs. Please keep putting them in, I promise to stick around to 4:30p to answer them. NFL lockout over, NBA lockout and stalemate over the debt ceiling remain. Which negotiations do you think are more tense? Ha… let’s get to your questions.
God I hope JR Smith is not the best they can do. He is talented but I don’t like him as a fit next to Derrick Rose. They shouldn’t want a guy who is ball-dominant. I’d look for a guy that can give you selective, efficient offense (especially as a catch and shoot stationary shooter) and has the ability to handle the ball a little, giving Derrick Rose a chance to go into attack mode on the wing. I have said it before, but guys like Courtney Lee are who I am looking at. Make a list of guys like that, rank ‘em, then see what you have to do to get ‘em. That’s what I do if I’m Chicago.
Axel in Germany:
Hey Coach, thanks for answering my question about how to get better as an undersized Center, I’m sure it’ll help me a lot! Another question I have is how I could get better on the defensive end of the floor against taller opponents?
A few thoughts and principles:
- Low man wins. Since you already start shorter than your opponents, that gives you a leverage advantage. Always work to keep your hips lower than their hips and use your legs to keep them where you want them to be as much as possible. You are harder to move when you are lower than their center of gravity.
- Release contact when behind. If they manage to get position on you in the post, you should release contact after they catch the ball. Just back off about 8 inches. This cushion prevents the defender from locating you with his body and makes it harder on him to "feel" your weight, so he can’t determin the best way to attack.
- It’s not arm wrestling. Don’t get caught up trying to beat the guy up high with shoulders and arms. That’s a losing proposition. Instead, work to get your foot on top of his (higher up the floor), and work to keep your hips lower (see point one). That wins a lot more battles than being stronger in the shoulders.
Good luck! Hope that helps.
Bhagdeep in :
Hey Anthony, I feel like the rest of the NBA has a tendency to label Toronto as a small market team even though we have one of the best cities and a big population (one of the largest amongst NBA cities)…do you see toronto as a small market team?
Markets in my mind have a lot more to do with the size of the NBA-interested population than simply the size of the city overall. Toronto has not necessarily supported its team the way that some of the big market cities have. Philadelphia might be a large metro area but it could do better than it has in recent years of supporting its team. The same kind of idea applies up to Toronto.
Ben in Ireland:
What’s the best workouts for core to increase vertical? And best moves just to have as a point guard? I’m currently trying to speed up a crossover… Any others? Thanks !
The easiest answer in the world is – if you want to get better at jumping, jump a lot. That sounds like a trite answer, but it’s the truth. Jumping is like any other skill. If max vert is your goal, practice maxing out your vert. You can also do things using steps, and plyo boxes, etc., but if you jump a lot and jump to your max each time, you will see results. I like our guys focused on effective jumping for basketball (not just max vert), so we spend a lot of time jumping in workouts to practice their abiliy to jump on the court. As for moves for a point guard, the most important thing is not crossovers or behind the backs, but the abiliy to change speeds. Going from fast to slow and knowing when to change it up is much more important than having the lightning fast crossover. Work on having 5 different speeds that you can use on the court, and then work on being able to go from Gear 1 to Gear 4 to Gear 2 to Gear 5 to Gear 3, and randomize it.
Jack in Oklahoma:
Uptempo Wolves, good or bad? And I wanna see Jimmer play a sixth man role, so he and Tyreke together are limited… Agree or Disagree? Jimmer has potential as a Jamal Crawford, with maybe 19ppg at his peak ! Tyreke’s better tho.
They might as well go uptempo and be exciting, cause that roster is going to have a tough time winning games for a while. Did I hear correctly that they are interviewing Larry Brown? He does not fit the uptempo goal, does he?
As for Jimmer, I really think he will be a better lead guard that people give him credit for. He can handle the ball and his ability to see and anticipate scoring angles and lanes will translate into an ability to pass as well. Defending might be an issue but no one can really defend the ultra quickest NBA guards anyway – not even each other. Tyreke should be better – but I think Jimmer adapts to the NBA quicker than Tyreke did / is.
chris in :
Steve Nash deserves a ring?
There’s no place like home.
Joey in Arizona:
Why won’t the NBA recruit Asian players? I saw a video on YouTube that an Asian guy dunked on Kevin durant… I think it was from the Philippines…
When I was in college (back in like ’99 or so) at Loyola (MD), there was a kid who was coming in as a freshman (Donovan Thomas I think was his name) who dunked on Grant Hill at a summer basketball camp. He never ended up doing much at Loyola in terms of production, and was not an NBA player. I’m sure you can figure out the moral of that story.
cleighton in ia:
As a coach would you have done a special drill technique or anything to help strenghten yao’s feet? Could there have been a solution before it got that bad and he finally called it quits?
I’m not a doctor, and I never worked with Yao, so I hesitate to give definitive answers about things to do to strengthen / protect his feet. I think all players would benefit from doing Yoga, because it gives good total body strength and flexibility, and I do think it helps to keep injury away to some degree – but I have no idea what special benefit if any it would have given Yao.
Bryan in Chicago:
During/after the Jordan era it seemed like you could find big athletic 2 guards throughout the draft/NBA. I know NBA rule changes give smaller guards an advantage but why such a dearth of big 2′s nowadays. are they all paying as smallish 3′s?
Smallish threes is one reason. It’s hard to be super athletic, skilled, and 6’6 or bigger. There aren’t a ton of those guys out there.
JB in Annandale, VA:
Hey Anthony, I’ve really enjoyed your player development articles. Any advice for us weekend warriors? Anything you’ve noticed as a secret weapon for those of us who aren’t exactly playing above the rim?
Annandale – you aren’t too far from where I am living and working! As for advice for weekend warriors, the best thing I can say is to attack middle, counter baseline no matter where you are attacking from. You want to make moves going to the middle of the floor. Don’t drive baseline and get yourself in a bad situation. Good things happen when you go to the middle, and the baseline is death. This week we’ll look at some stuff for shooting guards, which may help. Next week – small forwards. I know a lot of weekend warriors fancy themselves playing in those positions, so be sure to check out those articles. Thanks for the kind words!
John Abernathy in Riverside, CA:
Do you think the Lakers would be able to get Dwight Howard from the Magic if they put him on the block? Andrew Bynum and a couple of first round picks?
I’m sure they could find a package involving Bynum that Orlando might raise an eyebrow to. Do the Magic really want to become known through history as the team that delivered the league’s best center to the Lakers every 15 years?
Luis in Portland, OR:
Hey Mr. Macri what’s your best advice for getting past your defender, is it a quick 1st step your born with or is it something you can develop?
Mr.? Please say Coach or Anthony.
As for getting by a defender, you can develop a first step and make it quicker, but a lot has to do with how unprepared you can catch the defender. Being super quick helps, but if you can use jabs and fakes in a way to get the defender off-balance, you can get by most defenders effectively. The Better Basketball DVD series has a good section on first step in the One-on-One Moves DVD – check it out.
The PILL in Belize City:
what do u want 2 c D Rose improve on the most?
He needs to continue to improve at playing in curves instead of just straight lines (he started the process in the postseason but needs to get better at it). I’d also like to see him improve anticipate and vision of passing angles as he comes off of ball screens to the middle of the floor. He tends to be a little tunnel-visioned in these situations, and if he can broaden his understanding of the locations his teammates occupy he’d be better off (and so would his team).
Sir Lancelot in Knights who say NEE:
Is Beasley gonna get moved now that DW is in Minny?
This seems possible, though I don’t like Derrick as a full-time three as much as I like him as a matchup-nightmare four. Beasley strikes me as the kind of guy who would do well when he has mature leaders around him – but left to his own devices, immaturity reigns. I like many of the things he did for the Wolves last year, to be honest (maybe one of the few).
Mamw in Turkey:
Grant Hill, Vince, and RIP eyeing the Bulls, How can Bulls land all 3?
I hope they wouldn’t want to. I wouldn’t mind them getting one of that three, with Rip being my first choice if only because I like Luol Deng and I don’t think Vince Carter helps them altogether that much. Rip is kind of the wrong type to be next to Rose beacuse he thrives in situations where he can come off screens, not necessarily as a stand-alone catch and shoot guy, but I’m sure it could be made to work.
Toney in Anguilla:
who do u think Miami will get to play 5 this year?
I’m one of those folks who says to let Haslem play the five. I go LeBron, Wade, Miller, Bosh, Haslem, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may with youth and athleticism coming off the bench. That’s me.
today in tomorrow:
Y do people speak as if Bynum can be mentiond with D12? Bynum will Nevr b a great 5 becasue he has no work ethic and has a HORRIBLE attitude.
I don’t think anyone would ever say that should be a straight up deal – but Bynum is one of the few pieces in the league that could fill Dwight’s shoes if you get other pieces of value along with him, especially if Dwight is going to leave with no other compensation if you screw it up.
Josh in Utah:
With the theory that nba markets are measured by fan base rather than population of city would that mean the Utah Jazz are one of the larger NBA market teams?
I guess my answer should be nuanced to include that small market vs. big market deals with a lot more than pure population / city size. Fan base size, demographics, long term interest, other professional sports teams, etc. – a lot of factors need to be weighed in to get it figured out.
Shahi in Toronto:
How high do u think demar derozans ceiling is
As high as an elephant’s eye.
Roughly 3-4 time all star is probably his ceiling. That doesn’t mean he will ever get to that point, and in fact, he probably won’t. More likely is a guy who constantly flirts with all-star status but never quite gets there, and a bunch of fans that wonder "what if…"
Sasha in Berlin:
AI/Picks to LA for D Jordan and Aminu. Youth is sevred In Philly and LA gets a beast of a line up.
I like the deal for Philly at first glance. I like athletes and that gives Philly two young ones. LA I’m not sure about – is Iguodala a good enough shooter to relieve lane pressure for Blake Griffin? I do like how those two could complement each other on the defensive end though. Good food for thought!
Alright folks, my time is up. I’ll be back next week to answer your questions. In the meantime, be on the lookout for my next Coach’s Notebook on offseason development for shooting guards, coming out this Thursday. Thanks for checking in and see you soon!
Have questions for Coach Macri? Be sure and drop by HOOPSWORLD on Mondays at 3PM Eastern for the Coach’s weekly basketball chat! You can also follow Coach Macri on Twitter @CoachMacri.
Coach Macri serves as a player development consultant for the Pro Training Center and Coach David Thorpe, working with a variety of NBA players on their skills and game understanding. The Coach’s Notebook appears on HOOPSWORLD every Thursday.