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December 06, 2007


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Very, very interesting questions. Off the top of my head, I'd say the Jazz have a great approach to player development (just given their historical success with lower-rated prospects), but is that the coaching up or the great eye at the draft? Curious where you end up going with this.


I think the analysis of young player development also has to take into consideration culture and opportunity. It's too simplistic to finger Darko's public comments as a negative sign. There are all kinds of NBA players past and present who have excelled despite having a dark side to their character. Some GMs would have been endeared (privately) to Darko's comments, equating it with killer instinct. However, Darko was drafted into a veteran team which had no need for him. Larry Brown and the Piston vets probably expected Dumars to draft Carmelo Anthony as opposed to an 18 year old foreigner who se role was to eventually replace one of them, not help them win in the here and now. Brown met the drafting of Darko with outright hostility and was true to his word: He buried him deep on the bench and probably squelched his confidence. Those Piston starters are/were a close knit group and didn't give up minutes easily. In fact, under Brown and their first year of Flip, they were ready to play every minute of every game. I don't know if this had anything to do with Darko being white, foreign, young, whatever. But the opportunity for Darko to play, and play through his mistakes, was never there.

Secondly, Dumars has had his other drafting mistakes, like Cleeves and White who may never had had pro game, but Carlos Delfino is a better example of a player who did his time in Detroit and now is flourishing in Toronto. There is definitely more opportunity for him in Toronto, and there may be cultural issues in his favor. The Raptors have more international content. On Detroit, he never got the minutes to play through mistakes, while in Toronto, with a big jump in minutes, he's become a quality rotation player with upside. Delfino is an introvert, and this initially caused Sam Mitchell to question his effort, but now Mitchell has admitted that he didn't understand Delfino - the passion is there, it just isn't expressed outwardly with grunts, scowls, shouts, fist pumps. I wonder if the Detroit staff understood Delfino as well as Mitchell has come to in a short period of time.


I apologize in advance for the long reply. I don't keep a blog, so comments are my outlet...

I'm in Phoenix, and while I don't know any specifics about how the Suns handle their young players, the results on the court over the past few years would indicate that they're doing something right. Aside from D'Antoni's approach of instilling nearly absurd amounts of confidence in his players, it seems that the Suns spend a lot of time working with players individually to maximize their efficiency in the Suns' system. Amare, for example, is now nearly automatic off the pick-and-pop, either from the top of the key or the wings. I have a sneaking suspicion they have him practicing jumpers a lot lately, but only from the few places he will ever shoot them in a game. Indeed, if you pay attention, you'll notice his jumpers coming from almost the exact same spots over and over again. There isn't much variety. That's smart and efficient coaching. Same with Brian Skinner. He shoots jumpers from nearly the exact same spots each time from the baselines and shallow wings. Nowhere else. And guess what? He makes them, to the continuing surprise of even our hometown announcers. This pattern of practicing to the role, rather than for all around greatness, seems to work very well for the Suns, as they end up with players who are extremely comfortable doing what they are expected to do. This, of course, helps Nash as well, with regards both to having confidence in teammates to make shots, and in knowing they will be where they are expected to be... because that's where they have been made to feel most comfortable. I don't know if this can be considered individual player development per se, as this approach does not necessarily prepare the player for success in any system other than the Suns' (which could be a problem if they leave for another team), but it certainly speaks to the Suns spending time working with players individually to excel in their expected roles.

Lastly, I think the strongest case for the Suns' approach to young player development is Leandro Barbosa. Those who have watched the Suns closely over the last few years remember when Barbosa couldn't buy a layup. He was always quick, but he was a disturbingly weak finisher around the rim, blowing open layup after open layup. He was also always a pretty good shooter, but only when open. Now, he finishes just about everything in the lane, including a new floater I think he learned from Nash, and in addition has developed a pretty accurate jumper both off the dribble and coming off screens, and can now shoot accurately over defenders. Some of this is personal dedication, no doubt, but I can't help but think that because his specific weaknesses were so thoroughly addressed, that the Suns must have played a role in helping him address them.

Boris Diaw, on the other hand, remains a work in progress. The Suns practically beg him to shoot the open shot, to no avail...


Hi everyone

http://www.internetmoque.net - Compared Translations of the meaning of the Quran

God's Attributes
If the Creator is Eternal and Everlasting, then His attributes must also be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. If this is so, then His attributes are absolute. Can there be more than one Creator with such absolute attributes? Can there be for example, two absolutely powerful Creators? A moment's thought shows that this is not feasible.

The Quran summarizes this argument in the following verses:

"God has not taken to Himself any son, nor is there any god with Him: For then each god would have taken of that which he created and some of them would have risen up over others." (23:91)

And Why, were there gods in earth and heaven other than God, they (heaven and earth) would surely go to ruin." (21:22)

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