Great weekend in Vegas. I had a chance to view the USA team practice as well as workout the Nike top 80 boys.
Here is what I noticed in the 1 hour practice scrimmage of team USA
It was Kobe, Lebron, Melo, Westbrook, James Harden, KD, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Blake , Kevin Love, Iguodala, doing the playing. They played against Kyrie Irving, Jarue Holiday, Demarcus Cousins, Dejuan Blair, Taj Gibson, Gordon Hayward, Lance Thomas, Derrick Williams to name a few.
The vets in their Prime vs the young “gunslingers” of the NBA. NBA young Stars with TALENT vs NBA veterans that are TALENTED. What’s the difference? The ED- “Extra Dimension”. The ED for the Vets was the following:
•Their spirit was stronger. They had more enthusiasm for playing the game and for each other.
•They had more FUN playing. They truly enjoy playing the game, (even though it was just a practice scrimmage). The passion and joy for the game and each other were there! Melo and Tyson was the loudest.
•They talked more! They had a continuous motor. Their was real talk on offense and productive talk on defense. The entire scrimmage. The bench was echoing instructions and encouraging. You see their is a significant impact of touches with Championship teams! Champions touch More! Even though Tyson, CP, and D-Will did not play, they were engaged on the bench and touching teammates! I mean it was blatant that Team USA had more spirit than the others. The other guys talked to the refs more than each other.
• They set more physical screens. They ran some flex actions, wide pins and ball screens. MAN did they lay a body on people. When they did it was like 2 waves coming together WAM!!!!
•They shared the ball more. The ball did not stick to their hands that long. It was ball reversal- read- ball reversal- attack- kick- …always probing for a better shot. It was really a joy to see.
•Both Teams played extremely physical. I mean that was a MENS game and you should have seen how the Vets were using their body parts, feet, elbows, hands, hips, chest and shoulders, to create leverage and separation. A clinic to watch. All of those guys respect and take care of their bodies!!
Every thing I just mentioned can be used in a team’s and/or a players philosophy. How Team USA approaches the game can be used as a platform for others to approach it the same way! Why not?