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.
Marc Muholland in Chinatown:
Years ago i played a one-on-one with Lamar Odom, i was up 19-15 and he refused to check the ball. I want my victory!!!
Happy Monday folks! A beautiful, hot day here as the dog days of summer continue. Very happy to hear that the NBA and NBPA are meeting today but I don’t think we’ll have an answer anytime soon. In the meantime, throw your questions out there and I will do my best to answer them.
Here is Exhibit A that there is not a lot of basketball news going on. I think you should definitely visit with Lamar and let him know. Maybe you should challenge him to a game of 1 on 1 on his show, and the prize is a Kardashian or something. Hey, you never know…
Papik in Los Angeles,ca:
Wesley johnson, next Kobe?
I’m not sure I understand the question. Does that mean Wesley Johnson plans to have a meal consisting of Kobe beef sometime soon?
CJ in Toronto:
Hey coach, really appreciate the chats. I recently came back from a calf injury after a nasty accident mid air. But now when I play I find myself shying away from contact altogether. Got any advice to overcome this?
Good question. Part of the solution is simply time (remember, it heals all wounds). I have had a lot of ankle issues in the past – and I’m always very cautious when I start playing on them again after a tweak (or worse). It is going to take some time to develop the trust in your body that you need to perform your best. One thing you can do to expedite the process is to make sure you do everything to strengthen and prepare your leg in between playing. Do a fair amount of strength training and stretching, and give it a chance to be tested off the court. That will make your work on the court come a little easier. Good luck!
Danny in :
Got any drills to help with decision making for a PG?
Plenty. Did you see the article on point guard development from a few weeks back? You can see it here. The real goal is to get your brain in step with your body when it comes to decision making. So, you need to vocalize out on the court. Give yourself options in drills (a pass to the corner, or a kickout to the wing?), then imagine a defensive response, and let that change how you execute the drill. Finally, vocalize every decision made in order to match up brain and body. Good luck!
Aristotle in Sydney, Australia:
Hey Coach. You’re made head coach of a new NBA franchise. You can take 1 franchise player to build around, select an All-Star, & choose 1 top 15 draft pick from this current draft. Who rounds out the roster? Why these 12?
As many other all-stars as I can get?
Seriously, this question is a little broad in terms of parameters. There are a lot of players I would consider starting with, and filling out the roster would depend a great deal on cap space, etc. However, my over-arching philosophy would be to include athletes at positions wherever possible – even at the expense of skilled play. My own personal desire would have us as extremely active on the defensive end, turning defense into offense whenever we could.
Ryan in CA:
How R you Coach. Im going into my 4 year as a HS basketball coach. Im ready to shake things up & get outside the norm. Any non-traditional or different drills you care to share? Just a couple of you secrets. lol
Drills? No. But I do suggest all young coaches study and become very familiar with certain principles and systems. Suggestion of the day is Bob Kloppenburg’s "SOS Defensive System." There are plenty of books and DVD collections on the system. Whether you adopt the entire thing or not, it is a huge benefit to learn how to teach high pressure, switching and trapping defense. It’ll at least give you some new ways to teach, if not a new way to think about defense overall.
Bradon in CO:
HI, Im a high school basketball players. Im only 5’7, cant jump & not fast or quick. Just not in my DNA. I think im done growing. But I do have a wing span of 6’2. How can i use this to my advantage VS quicker players?
Give yourself a bigger cushion (more space between you and the offensive player). Since your reach is longer, you can afford that cushion. Use your length and stay long, really bothering passing lanes as much as you can. Also, you have to be willing (and able) to train to get quicker. Practice quickness as much as possible. However, your central advantage has to be your understanding of space. Both the cushion I talked about earlier and the idea of taking appropriate angles in any defensive slide is critical.
JAY in FL:
HEY Coach, Would Lebron James be better suited to be around players who wouldn’t let him let himself down? I know 1 would, but I think KG or Steve Nash wouldn’t have tolerated his finals performance.
I think the approach of most in the media took was to bash LeBron’s performance. And while he did not play as well as he is capable, I don’t think he was as bad as some are making it out to be either. As for how KG or Steve Nash would respond to his performance, I don’t like to assume how it might go down. However, my guess is there would be just as much patting on the back as their would be kicking in the ass.
Dylan in Wilmington MA:
Anthony, do you think Celtics Forward Jeff Green has more room to develop and what position would you classify him as?
Unlike some, I have liked Jeff Green for a long time. He is a four man that can handle and distribute the ball effectively. I think he can take better advantage of his athleticism, rebound the ball more and not be too perimeter-bound.
Ben in Ireland:
I know this is simplistic but what’s the best way to dribble? As low and hard as possible? I’m already very small, so should waist high be alright? Any tips ? Thanks !
The central goal is to keep the ball low and tight, but exact height can’t be determined in a vacuum, but depends on pretty specific circumstances. The main goal should be dribbling the ball hard, like there are nails in the ground that you want to hammer in with the ball. Let the ball explode off your finger tips, hit the floor and come back up with force. The idea is to keep the ball in your hand for as long as possible, and keep it out of the air where you don’t have control of it. One thing to avoid is bending over in such a way that it compromises your athleticism – that doesn’t help you at all!
Phil in :
I’m working on a layup where you gather the ball in one step and jump then, laying the ball up almost directly above me… Basically a long jump rather than going higher, but I find it keeps defenders off balance… Think it would work? Thanks!
On about 90% of attempts around the rim, the goal should be to jump up, not out. The idea is that you are trying to get near the rim rather than travel, where you have less control of the ball and your body. One exception to this idea is on what we might call a Nash move. Steve Nash has a move where he extends the ball with a straight arm far from his body, then as he runs he extends his stride and keeps his body between the ball and the defender as he flips the ball up toward the rim. He doesn’t attempt to jump high, instead, he tries to create space and distance with his leap. Other than that, I can’t think of too many times I would want a player jumping out instead of up on a finish around the rim.
Charlie in Philadelphia:
If you were GM of the Bulls, how would your rank these possible targets to fill your void at SG: Courtney Lee, Aaron Affalo, Jason Richardson, JJ Barea.
Since I’ve been pushing the Lee scenario for a while, he’d be my #1. Probably Richardson at #2, though I want to investigate Afflalo more, he might be a better option. I’m not as high on Barea as others – tend to think he is a great change of pace guard but I don’t think he helps next to Derrick Rose, and I think he’s better in smaller doses.
Susan in LA:
Last week you said you supported the idea of the HEAT starting Haslem at center and Bosh at PF. Do you think Eric Spolestra will use this combination or does he beleive this pair will be dominated down low due to the lack of size.
Good question, I’m not sure. I’d at least investigate the possibility. I think you can take that chance of domination down low if your defense out front is aggressive enough – it makes it hard to abuse people down low if you can’t enter offense effectively to begin with.
Wade in Miami:
Is Lebron the modern day Charles Barkley, talented but can’t win. Barkley was top scorer on 1992 dream team, but he couldn’t win and didn’t have dwade and bosh and bibby and Z talent
I think this discussion is a bit premature – LeBron is like 26. Plenty of time to come, folks.
Larry in Canada:
With your known talents and abilities why don’t you get an NBA or college coaching job. If you got your dream college coaching job what college would you choose? NBA?
My options are open for the future – I have learned to always listen to a variety of opportunities. But the right one hasn’t come along yet. My interest in college coaching has lessened over the years – a great opportunity at the college level would be in a stable place where I could put down roots in the community. The places I would be interested in are places where coaches are pretty entrenched and unlikely to move anytime soon. The "rat race" was never my idea of a good time. As it comes to the NBA, I’m not sure if my interest would be more on the bench or in the front office – but for now I enjoy helping individual players no matter what team they are on get better.
Deshawn in Texas:
You likely played b-ball, so what modern player’s game did yours look like?
I was not very good. I would never disgrace an NBA player by saying that they played like me. It would be pretty insulting to a guy like Grant Hill if I said we played similarly.
Andy in California:
Lebron is clearly the heats best playmaker, not their best scorer / finisher… should he play more point guard? bosh and wade can both score 25ppg, lebron should average 12apg
I wouldn’t set parameters or scoring expectations, but I tend to agree in principle. My lineup for the HEAT would be LeBron at the 1, Wade at the 2, Miller the 3, Bosh at the 4, and Haslem at the 5.
JC in LA:
If you could spend part of the summer coaching any incoming rookie, who would it be and why?
From what I have heard and seen from Jonas Valanciunas, he would be a guy I’d like to spend some time with – see if his potential is as high as I think it is. I also would like some time with Tristan Thompson, who I think has a chance to be special.
Josh in :
I’m twenty-one now and haven’t played competitively for over three years.Any tips for conditioning and getting my legs back into.dunking shape?
Do a round of P90X followed by or combined with INSANITY. I’m 31 and it got me back into dunking shape (and 35 lbs lighter, thank you very much!).
girdy stinkbomb in compton:
who has the hottest wife/girlfriend in the nba? now thats a hard hitting question youd only be asked in a 60 minutes interview!!!!
Back in the day, it was Jason Kidd’s wife. Nowadays, if you made me pick one, I don’t think I could deny former NBA player Marco Jaric’s wife, Adriana Lima. You can do the Google search yourself. Enjoy!
That is the kind of hard-hitting NBA wisdom I’m dropping every week in the offseason chat! Hope today’s chats between the NBA and the NBPA were more fruitful – either way, see you next week. Oh, and don’t forget the last installment of my series on player development will be out later this week – be sure to check it out!
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.