Off The Boards
By Jack Scheuer
November 20, 2013 Edition
Guard Play – Yesterday and Today
The combo guard seems to be taking over the great sport of basketball, and whether this is good or bad for the game is subject for debate. One negative is that the pure point guard is on the verge of becoming an after-thought. As a result, shooting averages and assists are definitely on a downward trend. In fact, total assists last season were the lowest in 20 years. The traditional point guard would run an offense to get scorers in the proper spots, while most combo guards look more to individual scoring. It seems likely that younger kids today are being influenced by some of the NBA stars who are “lead” guards who usually top their teams in assists, but also in scoring and shots attempted. Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings, Kyrie Irving (who took 28 shots in a game last week) come to mind. Add in Russell Westbrook, who on too many occasions has taken more shots than Kevin Durant. Of course these are great players, but to try to emulate them is not a good idea. The result is too many young players try to force the issue, take bad shots, and commit turnovers. Among the starting guards in the city, only Tyreek Duren has the pure point guard label, and he even became a combo guard against Siena (good thing) scoring 20 points in a LaSalle win. Amazingly, he had zero assists in the game, probably a first-ever for him. Temple’s Will Cummings was a true point guard last season, but is supplying much-needed scoring this year. Combo guards obviously can be very effective. Stephen Curry, Tony Parker, etc., but most hoop purists prefer the true lead guard who prefers passing more than scoring. As for me, I really miss Mo Cheeks.
the NBA. Coach Dunphy has always said he would like his players to learn about other cultures., so they took
him seriously. (and they’re also getting paid.)