So, I caught the 2nd Half of the 2017 NCAA game, and I gotta say it was a dud. Though it had some thrilling moments, all the way down to the wire even, I fear basketball has been narrowed down to two things… a game of fouls and endless three pointers.
I understand the reasons. It’s become a game of analytics and percentages. Hitting 3 pointers 35% of the time is better than effectively hitting from inside the arc 45-50 percent of the time. Plus, look at the big guys in the NBA. Lebron and company are setting 3-point records seemingly every other night, with Golden State picking up the rest of the records inbetween. So it works in theory.
What disturbs me the most about THIS particular game was the ineffectiveness. Though the ending score of the NCAA championship was 71-65, much of it was inflated due to some timely 3’s and 3-point plays down the stretch. With under 4 minutes left in the game, I saw a stat line showing a combined 11 buckets made over 40 something attempts, yet both sides continued to bomb 3’s. The only plays inside the paint were obvious attempts to draw fouls. In my opinion, it’s a backyard mentality where the goal is to just drive down the lane, dump it off if you have to, and eventually draw the foul. Otherwise, let the threes fly fellas!
Admittedly, I am a bit biased, which was apparent in my scathing and rather crude analysis of what happened Monday night. I mean, they did play some resemblance of “real” basketball throughout the game, be it finding an open guy on the wing, setting strategic picks, and playing stout defense; however, the majority of the game that I saw was the wannabe Curry/Thompson show, a style I’ve detested from the very start. This combination of mimicking a rather tedious yet conversely stylistic, flashy form of basketball, all the while, being incompetent in its efforts has left me sick to my inner core.
Honestly, no matter what philosophy or strategy is in the gameplan, there comes a time in a game when you gotta let go of the analytics and say, “Stop shooting the damn threes.”
Good for North Carolina and their 6th National Championship, but I’m afriad this crapfest trend is going to continue and only get worse. The great game that I grew up with in the 90’s is officially gone. A new era of basketball has now emerged.