Ben’s off this week, so in his place, we brought on three former NBA team employees to geek out about some early-season X’s and O’s trends they’ve noticed. If you’ve ever coached on any level, or if you just want to know about what’s really happening on the court, you’ll want to listen to this one.
- Mo Dakhil, a former video coordinator for the Los Angles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, and Australian national team.
- Dylan Murphy, a former NBA D-League assistant coach for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and a one-time Atlanta Hawks D-League Scout. Dylan now has his own website called Basketball Dictionary where he explains common coaching jargon to the layperson.
- Steve Jones, former Brooklyn Nets assistant coach, Memphis Grizzlies video coordinator, and more.
- The evolution of pick-and-roll defense in the NBA. Even a couple years ago, the widely accepted best strategy was to drop your big man back in the paint and concede mid-range jumpers. We explain why that approach no longer works and how the league has adjusted.
- Switching! This is the hot new strategy on defense, made popular by the Golden State Warriors and copied by almost everyone. But do teams properly practice how to switch effectively? What are the keys to doing it right? And what’s the counter to a team like the Warriors or Celtics that can switch so effectively?
- The Thunder are just 7-9 this year despite importing two stars and amassing a point differential befitting of an elite team. What’s behind their major struggles in crunch time and how would these coaches snap the team out of that?
- Why we need to do a better job of appreciating cuts and other movement without the ball, and how a coach can coax players into making those selfless movements that lubricate offenses. Also: Which teams do this well?
- Which teams are overachieving relative to their talent, and why? We point specifically to the Pistons and Pacers.
- What do we see as the next big X’s and O’s innovation that’ll be relentlessly copied in three years?
- One tip each for how an average fan can watch a game like a coach.
If you love the game itself, you’ll love this podcast. I had an incredible time recording it.